Destination: South Lake Tahoe, California
Date: December 2013
Activity: Skiing with Kids
One of the hardest activities with children is probably skiing. Just because there is so much involved getting those cute little faces on the slopes and happy enough in the cold to want to spend the day out there! My biggest piece of advice is make sure your kids have the right ski attire. For kids of any age there are some musts! First of all, layering is the most important. Start with a pair of long johns both tops and bottoms. My kids often just wear a form fitting pajama set so that saves on some of the cost. I will list the rest:
-Ski Socks (some sort of wool sock) don’t skimp on this one. Kids will fold if their toes are cold.
-A pull over fleece for their torso
-a gator (scarves are too hard for kids to manage)
-ski gloves (label these puppies! They are the first thing lost!)
-A warm ski coat that is water proof
-goggles (every ski school requires them)
-a helmet (most skis schools will provide or let you rent these) They are a must because a risk of falling for kids is 100%. Keep them safe, and besides every other kid on the mountain will have one on! In this case no ski hat is required.
Getting my kids outfitted is no easy task, then of course once they have the right attire there is the equipment that is needed. Four of my kids snowboard and two still ski. I recommend renting this equipment the day before you plan to ski. Renting the morning of can reek havoc on anyone nerves.
This year we decided to ski Heavenly in Lake Tahoe. This was a big difference for us because we’ve never stayed at a mountain lodge and skied at their facilities before. We’ve always gone to Utah and stayed with family nearby. Who knew how much easier the mountain lodge experience would be for a family of 8?!?!
With the ability to come right off the gondola and check our skis with a valet at the resort instead of then trekking our skis to a car, and loading them on the roof, as we then tried to maneuver down a windy mountain pass, to finally get to our accommodations was ridiculous. Beside the kids were at a risk of losing much of their gear as they shed it in the car on the way down the mountain. It was all craziness before. How did we not learn about the benefits of lodge accommodations in the past?
This year we stayed at the Timber Lodge in the Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe. The three little girls attended ski school each day but because of their huge ski school facilities it was easy for us to go to that part of the mountain and spy on them during their lessons. I am a huge fan of ski school because every kid does their fare share of whining at the beginning of a ski day. They are always cold, they have wedgies, runny noses, they want hot chocolate, anything they can think of is going wrong… but the moment I leave my kids with their ski instructor it all stops. Then when I come to pick them up at the end of the day they are so excited to see me and I admittedly loved my time away.
At Heavenly it is a little different because there is no time to get a few runs in with your little ones at the end of the day. You aren’t able to pick them up until after they ride down the gondola which is far away from the ski runs. That part wasn’t my favorite because I usually like to take two or three runs to see what they learned that day. However, I do think Heavenly has the best ski school experience for kids from all of the ski resorts we’ve visited. Their kids facilities are amazing and there are so many other children and instructors that each of my kids had a special friend at the end of the day. More information on ski school and lift tickets can be found on the Heavenly web site.
Our time in South Lake Tahoe skiing was a blast with all of our kids. The oldest three spent the day snowboarding around Trent and I as we skied both the Nevada and the California sides of the mountain. It was hard for them to fathom that they were skiing in two states! Also during our visit all of the locals complained about the lack of snow. Down at the base at Heavenly Village there was hardly any snow at all but up on the mountain the resort did a great job of creating snow to fool us Texans. We thought it was all great. It was powdery and soft and a little different from Utah snow, but we still loved it. In all Heavenly was a heavenly experience!
Safe and Happy Skiing!!