Skiing With Babies and Toddlers
I have a friend who started his son skiing before he could walk. And, despite how crazy this sounds, it worked. Now my friend is a ski instructor and a former US Ski Team member, so perhaps it's in the genes.
For most of us mere mortals, however, we're lucky to get our kids on skis at age three or four. What this means for skiing parents is up to four years in limbo - trying to ski and trying to keep your toddler occupied, safe and happy -- while you try to ski.
If you find yourself in this position, with an infant or non-skiing toddler this winter, here are some tips from other parents who've been there.
Tag Team on a Budget
If you and your spouse both yearn to ski, tag-teaming may work best for you. Taking turns skiing and watching the baby at the resort can be an equitable way to divide the day. Both parents get some time with their child and both get some time on snow. The downside: You never get to ski together.
Some resorts, especially smaller ones, are making it more affordable to bring baby along. Look for partial day or hourly tickets. It's much easier to stomach sitting in the lodge if you haven't paid for a full-day ticket. If your spouse isn't up for tag-teaming, grab a friend who is in a similar situation and share the fun and baby duties.
Martha of Bretton Woods Outdoor Mom shares that Bretton Woods, New Hampshire offers a special ticket for parents. Buy one regular adult ticket and two print out. These tickets share a bar code and can't be used at the same time. But each parent can put a ticket on their coat, making it quick and easy to trade-off runs and childcare. Ask your resort if they can do something similar or have a different deal for tag-team parents.
Find a Family Friendly Lodge
If one or both parents are going to be spending time hanging around a ski lodge with a baby or toddler, try to ski at resorts that welcome loiterers. You can only buy so much food and hot chocolate during a ski day, and after you've eaten your fill, you will be loitering. Make sure you're welcome to sit and play with your child even if you don't have food in front of you.
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