9 December 2018 from Danielle in 'Family/Children''

Après-ski is inextricably linked to winter sports for many skiers and snowboarders. But once children appear on the horizon, suddenly it’s a completely different story! If you find your kids have cramped your style, try thinking outside the box for fun options that you can do with the kids in tow. There’s no harm in a night out once in a while... as a family!

1. See a ski show

Extend the kids’ bedtime by an hour or two so the entire family can catch a ski show. These impressive displays usually include spectacles like ski instructor stunts, music and fireworks, and very often they’re a weekly occurrence. Check out the Hochfügen Nacht in Hochfügen (Thursdays), the Michi’s Skischule ski show in Gerlos (Sundays) or the Fire & Ice show in Kronplatz (Thursdays).

2. Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh

Children have a tendency to get completely exhausted after a day of skiing (don’t we all?). If you’re looking for a low-key activity where nobody has to exercise their muscles much, consider going for a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. They’ll be mesmerised as soon as they pet the horses, and then they’ll snuggle up nice and warm under the blankets and maybe even fall asleep! What an idyllic way to end the evening.

Horse-drawn sleigh in Avoriaz

Horse-drawn sleigh in Avoriaz © Pixabay

3. Go disco dancing

This one is designed specifically for children – children who have a lot of energy to burn. Many family-oriented ski resorts and hotels offer a chance for the young ones to get out their dancing shoes and get to know their peers. Check out the children’s disco at the St. Johann in Tirol ski school (Wednesdays0, the Bobo’s Children’s Club in Brixen im Thale (Thursdays) or the very appealingly named “après-skihihi” at the Laurentius Family Hotel in Fiss (daily).

4. Do-it-yourself après-ski

Who ever said you had to leave your hotel room to enjoy a classy après-ski party? Whip out the garlands, find a disco ball, throw together an après-ski playlist, get your best party hat and get the party started! Après-ski of the highest calibre, with the best guestlist!

5. Take a dip

It’s interesting how, no matter how exhausted they are, kids always seem to have energy for swimming! Almost every winter sports village in Europe should have a swimming pool available (and even a hot tub if you’re lucky). A quick soak is just what you need to get the muscles loosened up for another day on the slopes tomorrow!

Outdoor swimming pool at Alpe d

Outdoor swimming pool at Alpe d'Huez © Danielle Pacheco

6. Play a board game

Board games are pretty close to #1 on the packing list for any family holiday, including a family ski holiday. If the kids aren’t quite ready to go to sleep but the energy levels seem to be dwindling, wile away the evening with a round (or two or three) of Monopoly, Cluedo or The Settlers of Catan.

7. Take part in a Hüttenabend

A special night out for the whole family once the children are a bit older, don’t miss the opportunity to experience at least one Hüttenabend in your lifetime. Dance to music in a cosy mountain hut, enjoy traditional alpine food and then return to the valley via toboggan or a torchlit stroll. An unforgettable experience!

8. Go to a kid-friendly après-ski bar

Do none of these options sound appealing enough to replace a good old traditional après-ski session? Then it seems there’s nothing for it but to arrange childcare or find a child-friendly après-ski bar. Oh yes, they do exist! There might be less table-dancing, but you can still have a good time. Try the Hexenalm in Fiss, which has trampolines for the younger guests, or the Der Brander in Winterberg, which has a kids’ room.

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!