Busy Mom’s Guide to Ski Resort Adventures
Skiing and snowboarding can be a lot of fun and the idea of passing along a love for winter sports to little ones is an appealing one. But the reality of taking on a winter-weather ski resort adventure with young children can deter even the most well-meaning, winter-loving parent. You bundle them up in warm, insulated snow bibs, hats, gloves and boots a la A Christmas Story, only to hear they need to go potty right when you’re about to step into the snow. You introduce them to skis and their ski instructor only to hear that the ski boots don’t fit right and a trip back to the lodge is in order. Everyone gets on the mountain and then someone’s either hungry, wet, cold or tired, including you. So we put together a guide to winter-weather adventures for busy moms and today’s #29DaysofEssentials to-do is to put them to the test during these last few weeks of winter:
- Don’t go shopping. A ski resort adventure doesn’t have to mean buying more stuff. Ski resort shops display hordes of expensive, however beautiful, shiny and new, skiwear and winter wear that attract snow-goers to buy and bundle up with on the mountain. But the truth is, your kids may or may not be willing to wear the extra gear, and they’ll probably grow out of a lot of winter wear after one season. Dress everyone in layers and try to use what you have on hand.
- Keep your feet warm. Nothing can ruin a day at the ski resort worse than cold, or cold and wet feet. Wear just one pair of good, wool socks, rather than cotton and mandate the same for little ones. Don’t buckle ski boots too tight. Keep the day fun by keeping your feet warm. Warm kids mean happy kids. Happy kids means a happy mom.
- Prepare in advance. Hours of operation for each ski resort, as well as height, weight, age requirements can vary. A little preparation and advance research can go a long way in saving you time on the mountain. Make sure you check out each resort’s policy for young children and look for any downloadable waiver forms you can fill out in advance to avoid additional lines when you visit. Waiting in line is one thing, but waiting in line with young kids rarely ends well.
- Pre-load everyone’s pockets. You’d be surprised how many essentials you could stuff in the pockets of two other family members. You probably do this anyway day-to-day taking care of your children (if you have a binky or a diaper in your purse, this might be you). Pre-loading pockets is a great way to be the one carrying as little as possible for a change. Gold fish snacks, tissues, credit card, driver’s license, chapstick, cell phone – shove them all into a pocket. A lot of snow jackets have sleeve pockets safe for valuables. Use them.
- Don’t be the designated carrier. Let’s be honest: in any ski resort or winter-weather situation, every person must be the carrier of his or her own belongings. Moms cannot be the designated carriers of discarded hats, scarves and gloves or even skis and boots. If you can walk, you can carry, and everyone is responsible for their own items. (However, any essential pocket items should be shared communally.)
- Ditch the skis. Go snow tubing instead. Most ski resorts also dedicate parts of the mountain to snow tubing, a much more simple, dry and easy venture the whole family can enjoy. Some snow tubing parks even designate a low-slope hill for kiddie tubes where children younger than four can test the snow at slower speeds. No previous experience is necessary and with the installation of conveyor belt systems on many mountains, the “climbing back to the top” part is considerably easier than it has been in years past. Bundle your family in warm, waterproof clothes and hit the tube lanes with far less drama.