Every parent with a baby faces the same dilemma when they are ready to strap on their skis or board again: What do you do with your baby while you are cruising down the mountain? Obviously, they are too little to be fitted for a pair of skis and definitely can’t be left alone. You will need to find a few alternate activities on what to do with babies and keep them entertained when you are on and off the slopes.
Child-care facilities can be found at many ski resorts. Most are built into the kid ski schools, or at least close by, so you can drop everyone off all at once before you head to the lifts. Before you arrive, double check the age minimum. Some will not take babies under 12-18 months old. This is not a surprise that you want to have when you arrive. Also look into the requirements for reserving a spot for your child, especially if you are there on a weekend. The last thing that you want to do is bring the whole clan up and have no where for your baby to play.
When your child is too young, there is no daycare available, or you are hoping to sneak out for a date night while vacationing on the mountain, look no farther than the local babysitter scene. Most resorts will have nanny service recommendations that they can send to you ahead of time. Be prepared to pay a premium price for your little one, and to possibly pay extra if you have more than one child.
If there are no babysitting services close by, ask at the ski school if any of the instructors babysit on the side. Many who move up to the mountain for the season will be looking to pick up a little extra money on their days off. No matter who you choose, make sure they are have gone through a background check, are CPR certified and have first aid training. This is standard procedure for all nanny services. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
At some point you will have to get off the slopes. The lifts shut down, or you just miss hanging out with your kids. There is plenty of fun to be had in the snow that babies and toddlers too young for ski school will enjoy.
- Ice skating may not seem like something you can do with a baby, which is true, but younger toddlers can definitely get in the game. Check with the local ice rink (if there is one) to see what the smallest size skate is that they have on hand. Many will carry a child’s size 5 and up.
- Sledding is loads of fun for babies. Find a gentle slope, not “Dead Man’s Drop” to let your child slide down with you. As long as you have a sled, this is free fun that can go on for hours.
- Snow angels and snowmen are perfect for any age. Bundle up your kids and introduce them to the creative joys that a little frozen water can bring.
- Snowballs are such a simple, yet overlooked, means of entertainment. The idea of just mushing up snow may have your little ones giggling for hours.
- Bring along a few small trucks and sand shovels to make your own snow fortress on the mountain.
- Splashing in the pool is a must for kids (and adults) of any age. You are never too young to pop a swimsuit on and zoom around the pool with mom and dad.
- Reading stories by the fire is the best way to warm up and keep dry with even the smallest snow bunny. Bring a few board books to enjoy together as you watch the flames flicker and the embers burn.