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Kids & Skiing – What Age Is The Right Age?

This is the third year in a row I intended to get my now 6 year old back on the slopes. My parents have a vacation home in the Conway area, just a quick drive to Cranmore Mountain. What I love about Cranmore is that it’s very family friendly and offers more than just skiing.

Skiing in 2009

My daughter actually did a one day ski camp when she was just 3 years old with her cousin and seemed to enjoy it. Her brother and I (about 8 months old at the time) watched from the bottom of the slopes. I longed to get back to skiing one day but knew it would still be a few years before I could actually leave the kids in a ski camp all day without me watching or ski with the kids myself.




Tubing at Cranmore in 2011

Shortly after my daughter turned 4, we had good intentions to return to Cranmore. Same cousins, same plan. Unfortunately for the short time we were in NH, it didn’t climb above -5 degrees so we skipped skiing and instead went tubing with our cousins, aunts and uncles. It was so much fun!



Cousins in 2012


So much fun that when she turned 5 last year and the weather was similarly cold, we skipped skiing and went tubing again. Plus last year, another cousin was with us and he was just over a year old. Not quite ready to ski, but ready to watch the kids and adults zooming downing the mountain in giant inflatable saucers. I know he was watching, eager for his turn in the tube.


Family Tubing in 2012

So now it’s 2013 and my daughter is 6, her brother is almost 4, and we definitely wanted to get them on the slopes! Back to Mount Cranmore we went. When the day for skiing came, it was pretty cold and windy and I started to wonder how exactly I was going to make this work. They were with their other cousins this time who are a bit older (11 & 9) but not quite old enough to teach the kids or assist them on the slopes. It’s been over 7 years since I was on skis (the year before I was pregnant with my daughter) so I was definitely not comfortable taking the kids skiing.  I considered enrolling them in an hour lesson but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that unless we were going to commit to several ski lessons this winter, what was the point? I started to wonder if I was just getting the kids on skis for my own sake. Wouldn’t they have just as much fun tubing with her cousins? So, we opted for a 2-hour tubing pass and took about 2-3 breaks to warm up inside.

Tubing at Cranmore in 2013

I think in hindsight, skipping skiing this year was the right decision. I’m not sure when I’ll be willing to try to tackle this winter sport with young kids. One thing I’m considering is attempting it locally instead of saving it for one of our few trips to NH. My kids aren’t missing out anyway, their time to ski is sure to come.  If you are one of the brave ones, please share your tips for make the leap from snow boots to ski boots.


  1. Media Mom

    MediaMom February 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    My daughter is 6 as well and is skiing at Nashoba right now. Tuesday was her first time on skis and she’s doing three days of group lessons. She’s now on her third day and LOVES it. She even got to get on the chair lift yesterday. My husband had been skiing a few times in high school and college and has been on skis ONCE in the 20+ years I’ve known him, but he has been able to go along with her. If you’ve been skiing as recently as 7 years ago, you should be able to accompany at least one kid (2 might be a stretch). If you can swing a private lesson for your daughter she’ll learn a ton and you can watch how the instructor skis along with her to give yourself some pointers. Good luck!

  2. Kate

    Kate February 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    My husband’s family is from VT so for them, skiing starts as soon as you can walk (in fact Liam will go skiing for the first time in a few weeks)! My mother-in-law is a former ski instructor and a great teacher (she taught me how to ski) and loves using a ski harness once kids have some basic skiing skills. My niece and nephew both used it and it’s seems like a great way to move beyond the bunny hill without fear of them losing control or getting away from you. They are 6 and 3 and are both already better skiers than I am!

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