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The very best snow holidays for non skiers

The very best snow holidays for non skiers


The sound of impatient barking fills the air, the huskies flinging themselves bodily ahead of their eagerness to be off. Then silence, solely the tender sound of paws crunching on snow because the brakes are launched and we pace by way of Lapland’s winter panorama.

Huskies running in a team over a snowy landscape under blue sky - one of the activities to try on the best snow holidays for non skiers
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I’ll always remember the canine’ sheer pleasure at with the ability to run and run by way of the snowy paths among the many bushes, the infectious enthusiasm which introduced a smile to my very own face and set my coronary heart racing. Years on, it’s nonetheless one in all my favorite journey reminiscences.

For somebody usually defaults to seaside over mountains, it’s usually winter actions like this which tempt me greater than making it off the nursery slope – so when you’re much less tempted by the pistes, right here’s why snow holidays for non skiers are nonetheless a terrific thought.

As a result of who doesn’t just like the sound of having fun with powdery snow underneath clear blue skies, then having a luxuriously cosy place to twist up within the night or a number of the well-known après-ski (or instead-of-ski in my case).

In the event you’re in search of the very best winter snow holidays for non-skiers with youngsters, you may’t beat a Santa break in Lapland – try my important packing checklist for Lapland in addition to my ideas for visiting Lapland with youngsters

A few of the massive ski vacation corporations have woken as much as the concept individuals need alternate options to snowboarding, particularly households the place not everybody would possibly get pleasure from or have the ability to take to the slopes, so household snow holidays with out snowboarding are ever simpler to search out.

Pale blue mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, cream, chocolate beans and dusted with chocolate, another mug seen behind, spoons, beans and cinammon sticks on a wooden table

And with self-catering residences (and catered chalets) in addition to accommodations, there’s a lot of flexibility if you wish to curl up with a scorching chocolate and a e-book for a couple of hours.

However nevertheless you select to e-book, you’ll discover increasingly locations to check out some enjoyable snowy actions for non-skiers, together with a number of the hottest French mountain resorts.

I’ve centered on winter actions which could be discovered throughout Europe, together with Scandinavia in addition to the Alps and different ski locations, for this publish – when you’re heading to Scandinavia, there’s the possibility to see the Northern Lights too although.

Canine sledding

Husky sledding is large enjoyable, particularly with youngsters – the canine’ pleasure is infectious as they bark to be allowed to run and run and run.

And whooshing easily over the snow, stretching white to the bushes and the horizon is unforgettable – particularly because it’s normally virtually silent as soon as the huskies do get going.

Team of huskies pulling a sled in the snow in Alpe d'Huez with the sun shining in a clear blue sky - one of the other fun winter activities to try on a first time family ski trip

We tried this in Alpe d’Huez – you may take the lifts over from neighbouring areas when you’re not staying in Alpe d’Huez itself, or decide up your sled journey from the underside of the pistes.

In Avoriaz you may even study to drive your individual workforce of canine – mushing is tougher work so there are additionally extra conventional canine sledding choices too.

In the event you’re visiting Switzerland or Austria, you’ll discover husky sledding in the primary winter resorts, and unsurprisingly, you’ll discover loads of alternatives to do that in Lapland as properly – we additionally took a brief husky sled journey in Levi and you’ll usually.

These are sometimes mixed with a go to to a Sami or Inuit camp, the place you may study extra concerning the tradition, typically even discover an igloo earlier than ending up with a glass of one thing warming. Mulled wine is one a part of the ski expertise that I do have apply at.

Reindeer sleigh rides & horse-drawn sleighs

One other unmissable a part of a Santa vacation with youngsters, you’ll be spoiled for alternative of reindeer sleigh rides in Lapland.

View of a reindeer pulling our sleigh with the pinky gold clouds of sunset beyond the snowy trees on one of our Lapland tours - another fun activity on a snowy holiday for non-skiers

And whereas reindeer aren’t as widespread within the Alps, there are many horse-drawn alternate options that are nonetheless simply as magical.

Peisey Vallandry in Savoie usually has each, in case your youngsters have their coronary heart set on a visit with Rudolph, whereas Les 2 Alpes and Meribel in France each have the horse-drawn choice, in addition to a string of comparable sleigh rides in Austria.


Going snowmobiling in Lapland is one other of my favorite reminiscences from journeys to Finland – with the ability to cruise by way of this white panorama is all the time enjoyable, nevertheless it additionally permits you to enterprise additional afield than when you had been on foot or skis.

An excited boy on an electric snowmobile in a snowy mountain landscape - trying this, or snowmoto, like a small powdered snowmobile crossed with a sledge, is one of many fun activities to try on the best snow holidays for non skiers

Understandably, youthful youngsters can’t get behind the wheel of an ordinary snowmobile – though for our snowmobile tour in Levi, our information pulled the children behind their snowmobile in a separate little pod.

However they’ll attempt snowmoto or electrical snomobiling that’s appropriate for youngsters aged 5-10 – you’ll discover it in French ski resorts like Tignes in addition to Val d’Isere, typically referred to as Skidoo or Moonbiking as properly.

Take a look at some extra family-friendly snowmobile excursions right here

Tobogganing (sledging)

It’s one other basic winter exercise – all you want is a slope, some snow and even a reasonably primary sledge or toboggan to have enjoyable.

Girl smiles as she lies on a toboggan sliding down a snowy slope - sledging is one of the activities to try on the best snow holidays for non skiers

After we had been in Lapland, you may decide them up comparatively cheaply (they usually come in useful to tow youthful youngsters alongside if their legs get bored with strolling by way of the snow).

It goes with out saying to decide on one you may management and to select a slope the place you gained’t be zooming throughout the piste – some ski resorts have their very own toboggan areas, akin to those in Les Arcs, whereas Cosmojet in Val Thorens is the biggest toboggan run in France and take 45 minutes to descend the 6km route (appropriate for youths aged 5+ accompanied by an grownup).

Or as soon as my daughter turns six, Les Arcs needs to be on our radar for one more cause, with new era Airboard sledges to whizz alongside the slopes – a little bit like bodyboarding on an air mattress on the snow!

And in Valloire, the entire household can sledge down collectively on a “snake gliss” – the triangular toboggans hook up to one another, to type the snake sledge.

Fats biking (and e-fat biking)

Biking within the snow doesn’t sound a lot enjoyable – till you discover out about fatbikes. With their specifically designed fats tires, you may bike over the powder for a enjoyable journey past the ski resort.

Person cycling on a fat bike over the icy snow with a blue sky behind them - fatbiking is a great way to explore on a snowy holiday for non-skiers

Not an choice for toddlers, however you will discover little one fatbikes for youthful ones to hitch in within the Alps in addition to e-fatbiking (electrical snowbikes, successfully) for adults and older teenagers.

It takes a short while to get the grasp of it, so it’s not one thing for youths to attempt if they’ll’t journey an bizarre bike. Though when you can, it’s undoubtedly not as onerous as studying to cycle over again – plus snowy mountain holidays additionally imply loads of padding due to thermal ski gear when you do fall off!

Throw snowballs

Are you ever too previous for a snowball battle? All the time the spotlight of a household vacation within the mountains for my daughter, some areas even have particular snowball battle arenas.

A woman turns as a snowball is thrown towards her - one of the fun activities to try on the best snow holidays for non skiers

Right here, somewhat than simply grabbing a handful of snow, you’re divided into groups and have obstacles to keep away from as you pelt one another.

I’ve been on the receiving finish of my daughter’s snowballs so I’m undoubtedly staying on her workforce – her intention may not all the time be correct, however she doesn’t maintain again!

Alternatively, you may usually discover snowball makers to pack the powdery snow into excellent spheres earlier than pelting your loved ones.

Extra snow actions for non-skiers

It’s value conserving an eye fixed out for extra quirky actions to attempt, with totally different areas and ski resorts including extra new and weird issues to do on winter holidays.

In Meribel, youngsters aged 7-12 can head off on an night journey on snowshoes, in search of tracks left within the snow by animals and even learn how to construct an igloo.

Girl in bright pink coat and goggles in a snowy landscape in Lapland, Finland, on snowshoes - one of the many fun activities to try on a winter family snow holiday for non skiers

You’ll be able to all pull on snowshoes and set off to discover too – Switzerland has a string of trails to deal with together with these household pleasant choices round Zermatt, or Les Menuires in France has guided hikes for age 6+.

Or you may attempt your hand at laser rifle capturing as a part of biathlon (sure, the one you see within the winter Olympics) in resorts like La Rosiere for age 7+ in addition to extra choices for youths in Alpe d’Huez – even toddlers can have a go.

For one thing extra enjoyable, archery tag makes use of foam tipped arrows – designed for teams, the intention is to not get hit by the arrows however to see what number of targets you may hit. La Plagne, Megeve and Savoie Mont-Blanc are only a few of the locations within the French Alps providing this.

Personally, after that, my sights are firmly set on discovering a sauna.

In the event you do wish to ski as properly, or a minimum of slot in a few classes on your loved ones winter snow holidays, try my ideas for a primary household ski journey in addition to concepts for household ski holidays with childcare

*First revealed 2018, final up to date 2023*


The best snow holidays for non skiers - from husky sledding to fatbiking in the French Alps, as well as airboarding sledges, snowmobiling, biathlon and snowball fights on family snow holidays

Disclosure: This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee. All opinions about the very best issues to do on snow holidays for non skiers are my very own

Huskies in Alpe d’Huez/Reindeer picture copyright MummyTravels, all different photographs courtesy of Depositphotos/Shutterstock




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