Tips for Planning a Family Ski Trip

 

 

 

                  Easy Tips To Planning Your Family Ski Trip

Our first family ski trip was a success! Y’all I don’t even know where to start on telling you all about this trip.  It was amazing and exceeded all of our expectations! I’ve always wanted to go on a family ski trip, but it always fell to the back burner, and I just kept thinking to myself.  Why?! Especially because I want our children to be exposed to all types of travel, not just the expected trips.

A little background on me when I was younger I was in a ski club at school (surprising righth?!) So I learned how to ski early on and it was always a blast for me! After that I never skied again, because life happened we prioritized other travel.  Rick was a bit different, he only skied one time, and let’s just say he wasn’t a pro. This was also the first time having the boys ski, but I heard teaching kids how to ski is so much EASIER than adults.

Read along to get many different travel tips throughout the blog to help when planning your family ski trip. Also, stay tuned for the next ski travel series that will share our very FIRST VLOG and packing for a ski trip tips!

Shop our ski trip gear here by clicking the pictures below

How to get to Keystone Colorado?

Keystone resort is located 90 miles west of Denver International Airport (DEN).  Please see driving directions or optionally take the convenient Colorado Mountain Express shuttle.

Keystone offers a free in-resort shuttle service that runs every 15 minutes or so.

 

Our Resort – Keystone Resort

Guys, I don’t even know where to begin about our resort.  Keystone was absolutely amazing! Because we were not seasoned skiers I really wanted a resort that was great for families and where the boys would have a blast. This was the perfect resort.  First, when we arrived we saw quite a few families so I instantly felt comfort this was a great resort.

Travel Tip:  I want to point out that going on a ski trip it is important to find a resort that is more than skiing.  I didn’t realize until on the trip that a full day of skiing for the boys was exhausting. I strongly recommend booking at a resort that offers other activities besides skiing, to give the boys bodies a break.

If you are planning to go on a ski trip I would highly recommend Keystone resort even the service was amazing.  Again, this was new to us so when we first arrived the guest services took us through EVERYTHING.  Even getting our skiis the staff was so accommodating and helping a family of newbies!

Our Condo: Red Hawk Townhomes were nothing short of Remarkable!  The townhomes are so close to the slopes which is very helpful walking back and forth with children.  Our townhome was a 3 bedroom and 3 bath and 3 levels. It had a full kitchen, washing machine and dryer, balcony (with a view of the mountain), and full living room.  So spacious for a family of 5 and my mother. The boys were on bunk beds, and then we had a crib waiting for us upon arrival for Cyrus. There is a full master suite on the top floor!

To give you a better glimpse into our trip I am going to break down each activity we did.

 

 

Sleigh Ride Dinner – The title of this excursion is enough said.   We were seriously on a horse drawn sleigh, going through the mountain on a scenic trail!  Learning about the early settlers that once lived there.I was satisfied with that, but then we go to a historic cabin in the middle of the mountains for dinner! This was such an amazing experience for the entire family.  We took my mother, and she was almost in tears experiencing this. Absolutely breathtaking!

 

World’s Largest Snow Fort – The kids were in heaven!  This is a humongous fort all made of snow for the kids to runaround go down slides climb robes.  It was a perfect activity to break from skiing!

 

Gondola ride To Fondue Dinner – On our second night we went to dinner at Der Fondue Chessel.  To get to the resort we had to take the Gondola ride to all the way up the mountain.  It took about 20 minutes but the entire time you have an amazing view of the mountains. The restaurant is a Bavarian style cuisine.  Since we came during the holidays the restaurant had Santa taking pictures with the kids! Clearly Cyrus wasn’t amused, but the other boys had a blast!  This was such an fun dining with the Fondue. The boys got to help cook the meal… All the while there was a trio going around single different songs, that we would all join in on! So much fun!

 

 

Travel Tip:  Keystone offers Gondola or ski lift rides.  We used the Gondola each time. It was easier for the entire family to sit together and it was enclosed. I also felt it gave us a bit more of a view experience.

Ice Skating – We took a few tumbles but the boys had so much fun! It even had a giant Christmas tree it is at the heart of River Run Village.

 

Adventure Point Tubing Park  – Ok guys I was all prepared to go down this until I was in the tube ready down the hill.  It is not a hill like at your local park! This was no joke! Be prepared you go really fast, for some reason I was thinking sledding and it’s definitely not that haha! Cameron went down a ton of times!

Ski Lessons – Of course while we visited Keystone we were going to do a lot of skiing! We knew that everyone needed lesson, for our own life safety haha!  Our first day of skiing was a private family lesson, which was absolutely amazing! To have the opportunity to see the boys ski all together was the best.  This lesson was catered a lot toward Calvin, which was absolutely fine. It was fun seeing him learn and go down the practice slope. We had one instructor, Angela that was very patient with us, and would work individually with us.  

 

Travel Tip: Y’all remember that skiing is a sport! I kind of forgot how difficult it was, until I am going down a 3.5 mile ski slope and my thighs are burning. 🙁 Just be realistic with your abilities so you are only going on a slopes that you can safely get down.

The second day we broke out separately parents and then the kids had lessons.  It was quite a full day the lessons were from 9am – 3pm. I was a bit worried about how Calvin would do, but he did amazing! The instructor said he was the leader in the class, and went from a level 1 to 3! We didn’t see the Calvin at all during the day because he was on a completely different slope area.

 

Cameron I knew was going to be a superstar.  He started on the little kids practice hill. Then next thing you know Rick and I are waiting to go up the ski lift while in our adult lesson, and then here comes Cam skiing up to the ski lift from coming down the slopes.  That was an amazing feeling, gave me goosebumps. Cam looked like a pro, it was such a cool moment to go down the slopes with him.

 

Rick and I also had a day of lessons.  For me, it had been many years since I skied so it was nice to get a refresher. Rick was completely new to this so the lessons were great for him to get acclimated. By the end I was going down slopes without my instructor which was pretty awesome.

Travel Tip: There are typically 3 tiers of lessons to fit with your budget. Group lessons, Family Ski lesson, and Private 1-on-1 lessons.  Any type will be pivotal to new skiers.

 

I would highly recommend doing lessons if you have never done it or its been many years. It gave us both the confidence we needed to feel comfortable going down the slopes on our own. It is so worth the cost! There is nothing worse than being on a slope and being scared for your life haha!

Y’all please be prepared that when you are in all your ski gear you will feel winded.  This being our first time skiing in Colorado I don’t think I was prepared for how that altitude actually affects you.  Then to add to that we had to carry our kids skis when they got tired.  Drink tons of water, and just give yourself some time.

 

Altitude sickness:  The altitude is tough, and if you are not prepared it will take you down.  I had 1 classmate in our ski class that could no longer participate because of the altitude. It didn’t hit us like that, but you will experience shortness of breath.  We would go up a flight of stairs and be winded.

 

  • Before/During the Trip drink tons of water
  • Once we arrived we did not go skiing right away, we allowed ourselves a day to get more acclimated with the altitude. Thankfully, the boys never really seemed phased by it, which was a major blessing.

 

Restaurants and the Village – Near our hotel there was the cutest village with restaurants, shops, and other activities.  It is the cutest area. From our townhome it was about a five minute walk. We loved the 9280’ Taphouse  it was perfect when we first got to the resort, and needed good food that was easy to get in/out.  I would highly recommend this restaurant too if you need a break from skiing because it is super close to the slopes.

Travel Tip: Restaurant food can get pricey, consider finding a local grocery store and making some of your meals from your lodging.  We did this for our breakfast to help cut costs.

 

Childcare:  My mother came along with us on this vacation, but I want to point out that don’t be discouraged on planning a ski trip if you have young children.  Keystone and I sure others offer childcare. This is perfect if you have children that aren’t quite ready to go skiing.

Planning your day: Give yourself and kids a little extra time, with the altitude you don’t want to have to rush anywhere! Also, because skiing sport be prepared to give yourself downtime.

Morning –

Breakfast in room

Get Dressed – It takes a little extra time getting on all the ski gear

Ski for 2-3 hours

Afternoon –

Break for lunch

Nap for the kids if needed (Calvin definitely needed it)

Head back to slopes to ski for a bit longer

Break

Evening –

Dinner

Family Activity

Rest

This is a sample schedule to use as your guide with having children.  You will also want to be flexible we had a tight schedule and sometimes it changed a bit, and that is ok.

 

What would I change?  This being our first time of course there is going to be something I’d change.  We did this on a long weekend 4 days/3 nights. We didn’t feel this was long enough honestly.  The time it takes to transfer from the resort to airport takes a big chunk out of our trip time.  Only going 4 days it made each day packed. If we could do it different we would love to have extended the trip by 1-2 days.  This could have given us most ski time, and then have a rest day.

 

Overall Experience review

It was absolutely amazing, and can’t believe it took us so long to do it! We are making this a yearly trip for our family, and don’t think we could have picked a better resort for our first time going as a family!

 

 

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  1. Thank you so much for this post and your packing list … we’re heading to Keystone for our first family ski trip so all of your info was super-helpful!