Skiing with Kids in Switzerland

Tips for skiing in Switzerland: where to go, what to expect, ski school, where to rent equipment, etc.

Here are some tips for skiing with kids in Switzerland based on our experience teaching two little kids how to ski here. No matter what you do, remember that skiing with friends is more fun!

Skiing with Kids: Elm



In 2015, we tried out a few different resorts and Elm was our clear favorite, especially these cool hammocks at the top of one lift - a perfect picnic spot! Elm is a relatively small resort, but there was plenty to keep all skill levels happy. I was particularly impressed by their big snow garden with multiple magic carpets for different skill levels and an adjacent T-bar for beginners that need the next level. I wish my kids had learned to ski here.  Like Hoch Ybrig, they have wide groomed pistes next to wide open powder fields, so beginning and advanced skiiers can ski parallel to each other and each have their own kind of fun. Lower down, the kids were happy to find a few areas where you can dip in the forest and get little jumps, but not as much as at Flumserberg. Although Elm is no secret, even though the parking lot was full, we never felt crowded out on the slopes. It's also more affordable than the bigger resorts and they offer both morning and afternoon half-day tickets, which is great when your kids aren't old enough to last the whole day. We love Elm and plan to go back often.

Skiing with Kids: Flumserberg



Flumserberg is the resort of choice for Zurichers, as it is quite close to Zurich and easy to access with public transportation. It's a medium sized resort with pistes suitable for all skill levels. For kids, we like that they have drop-in ski lessons, free magic carpets for absolute beginners, nice wide blue runs for beginners, as well as lots of advanced terrain for parents. The kids love the forest trails that have lots of little jumps and bumps. Of course, it is very popular and can get very crowded on sunny weekends.

Skiing with Kids: Hoch Ybrig



Now that are kids are confident skiers, we love Hoch Ybrig, both for the fun slopes and great views. We also love that it's so close to Zurich and doesn't require driving up a winding mountain road. Our kids love the "racing track" which is a little trail with turns and jumps. As parents, we love the wide open slopes with ungroomed powder fields between the groomed pistes. While the kids stay on the groomed intermediate slopes, us parents can snowboard right next to them on mogels and untracked powder. However, we don't like the main Hoch Ybrig resort for beginner skiers because even the blue run is quite steep and can be difficult and dangerous for beginners that can't reliably control their speed.

Skiing with Kids: Hasliberg



We tried Hasliberg this year and liked it so much, we went back again a couple days later. We happened to ski there right after big snow storms, so that may have influenced our opinion. But we really enjoyed the slopes, especially the Twing-Käiserstatt side of the resort, where the kids could try some easy powder fields just off the nicely groomed pistes. I would recommend this resort for beginning intermediate skiers and above, as most runs are red and the blues runs aren't particularly great. Although the prices are relatively low (especially with the family discount for those with a SBB Junior card), the resort still quality services, like plenty of fast cable cars and lifts with weather bubbles. Elm is still our very favorite but we'll definitely visit Hasliberg again.

Winter Walks with Kids


Before my kids could ski, we often went to the mountains just to play in the snow and do a little sledding. We found that many resorts groom trails in winter so you can do a leisurely winter walk without snowshoes. This a great winter alternative to skiing for families with very little kids. You could take an all-terrain stroller. But it's more fun to take a big wooden sled, equipped with a chair and insulated stroller bag to keep your little one all snug and warm.

Below are a few winter trails I can recommend. These are all loop trails that are manageable with kids in a stroller (or sled if there's enough snow), with restaurants along the trail, and very nice views. I'm always looking for more, so please leave comment if you know of a good one. I'll add more as I try them out.

   

   

Skiing & Sledding in Einsiedeln



Einsiedeln is a nice place to come when the snow has melted in Zurich but you still want some low-key winter fun. Einsiedeln is a charming little town about 40 minutes southwest of Zurich. It's claim to fame is a big beautiful monastery, which is nice to visit any time of year. Directly behind the monastery is a small ski area with a couple tow ropes, snow garden and a big free sledding hill. My favorite thing about the hill is that it has a variety of heights to suit multiple ages.

Skiing and Sledding with Kids: Amden Arvenbüel


Summary: combo beginner ski/sled run with chair lift

I finally found a ski run that works for both my skiing 6yr old and my sledding 3yr old: Arvenbüel! My 6yr old was a beginning skier and I needed a small hill where he could ski "by himself" while I sled with my 3 yr old and could still see my 6yr and rescue if needed. I've tried a few other places but usually the hill was too big so I couldn't see him as he came down and there was no place near the ski hill for me to sled with my little one. This slope was just what I needed at the time. This is a small operation and a small hill, but a good option for families with a both beginning skiers and non-skiers to entertain.

Sledding with Kids: Elm


A favorite Swiss pastime is the super long, slightly dangerous sled run. Our first experience with this was at Elm with their 4km long sled run which takes about 20 minutes. You take the gondola up from the parking lot and sled back down along a country road that is covered in snow. It's super fun, but also fast and curvy so be careful. I wouldn't recommend taking under 3yr olds on this one, though I have seen both babies and dogs riding along.

Elm is also a small, but fun ski resort. For details, see my post on Skiing with Kids: Elm.

Skiing, Sledding and Winter Walks at Sattel Hochstückli




Sattel Hochstückli is a small mountain resort near Zurich that's fun both in winter and summer. They have a few T-bar lifts, a long sled run to the valley, winter walks, and small snow garden for beginners with a magic carpet and a tow rope. It's not a perfect resort, but it's close, affordable and a lot of fun.