Planning a family ski holiday can be stressful when you watch the prices start to add up. It can be easy to panic and think you’ll never be able to afford skiing ever again! But luckily for you families out there, many of the biggest ski areas across Austria and Switzerland offer free or discounted lift tickets for kids. You’ll want to look out for ski areas that have family-friendly facilities if you’ve got young tots, or choose ski areas with snowparks and good ski schools if you’re going on holidays with your teens. Regardless of your needs, there’s something for everyone on this list!
This picturesque ski area nestled in Austria’s Tyrolean region has a long ski season with guaranteed snow thanks to its glaciers. The 170km of slopes are evenly divided between beginner and expert terrain. Children under the age of 10 ski free at Stubai Glacier when accompanied by an adult. There are discounted rates for children under the age of 14 and youth under the age of 18.© TVB Stubai Tirol
The Dolomiti Superski area comprises 1200km of ski slopes, of which a large percentage is well-suited to beginners. After an exhausting day of skiing, you can relax in towns with a traditional Italian vibe. Children under the age of 8 receive a free lift ticket when accompanied by a paying adult.
At the foot of the mighty Matterhorn, with a ski area reaching to almost 4000m, Zermatt is renowned for having incredible views and challenging terrain. But don’t let that scare you away – the Klein Matterhorn offers plenty of easier slopes for beginners. Children under the age of 9 can apply for a free ski pass at Matterhorn-Zermatt.
Pitztal Glacier has some of the highest altitude skiing in Austria, with lifts reaching up to 3440m altitude. The Pitztal Kinderland has everything a child could desire, and snowboarders will be glad to hear they have their very own slopes here. With the Bambini free pass, children under the age of 10 ski free when accompanied by a paying parent.© Ski school at Pitztaler Glacier
Sprawling Wilder Kaiser Brixental is Austria’s largest linked ski area, connecting 9 resorts including as Söll and Westendorf. It’s the perfect place to learn skiing, with a multitude of easy and intermediate runs interspersed with a healthy amount of mountain huts. Children under the age of 5 ski for free, and youth under the age of 18 get a discount. A lift ticket here gives access to the entire 280km of pistes.
Located off the beaten track in Austria’s Carinthia region, the Nassfeld ski area is a favourite of families with young children. Gentle slopes, sunny skies and ski-in, ski-out accommodation make for an easy and relaxing ski holiday. Kids under 10 ski free.
Straddling the border between Switzerland and Austria, Ischgl-Samnaun-Silvretta Arena is one of the best-known ski areas in the Alps for a reason. The ski area boasts 230km of slopes, as well as a lively resort scene and jam-packed event calendar. Children under the age of 8 ski for free with the Silvretta ski pass when accompanied by a parent.Discounted youth passes at the © Almenwelt Lofer
The Jungfrau Region has 230km of pistes for all levels. Grindelwald is especially popular with families thanks to its several dozen kilometres of toboggan runs, plus a snow park for freestylers. On Saturdays, when accompanied by a paying adult, up to three children per family between the ages of 6 and 15 receive a free day's lift ticket.
The ideal place for families, Almenwelt Lofer has modern children’s facilities and a high percentage of blue runs. Every Saturday, kids under the age of 15 ski free when accompanied by two paying parents.
Now that you're all set, check out our tips for a family ski holiday. Before you leave, you'll also want to check the weather forecast. Taking an EasyJet flight? Squeeze as much as you can into your rucksack by following our advice on packing for a budget flight. Happy ski holidays!
This information was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing but Snowplaza does not accept responsibility for inaccuracies or changes in prices.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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