Your Kids’ First Ski Lesson: Preparing Them for The Mountain

If you're thinking about enrolling your kids in a ski program at one of the Ski Areas of New York, do it.

There's nothing more rewarding than watching your little ones link turns, go from pizza to French fries, and fall in love with a new sport. Also, let's face it; it's absolutely adorable to see a 4-year-old in mini skis, mini boots, helmet and googles. That's the stuff of holiday cards and senior yearbooks.

So much of enjoying a day on the mountain is about preparation. So, we have a few tips to help both you and your little ones make the most of your time on the trails.

  1. Don't Pack Light – Being on the mountain requires a few more items than a snowsuit and mittens. Conditions and weather can change quickly, and it's best to be prepared. Make sure you bring extra socks, mittens if you can, and dry clothes for after skiing.
  2. Wear Layers – It can be hard to gauge what it's going to be like at the mountain just by checking the weather. Prepare for warmer, blue bird days, and colder, windy weather and wear layers. The best formula is a long-sleeve lightweight shirt, fleece and ski parka, and a neck gator or turtleneck can help protect the bottom part of your child's face.
  3. Wear or Rent the right gear – Goggles and helmet are a must. Most ski shops rent both, and they come in all sizes and colors.
  4. Take Breaks – Hot cocoa at the baselodge at 10 am? Frenchfries at 11? C'est perfect! Stopping to warm up, enjoy a quick snack, and make sure your little ones are still having fun are essential to everyone's well-being.
  5. Group Lessons vs. Private Lessons – Does your kiddo do well in a group dynamic or solo? There are pros and cons to both options, but one thing is constant: New York State ski instructors are some of the best, most certified, and nurturing teachers at any ski destination in the world

In addition, essential to enjoying a day on the mountain, especially if it's your kid's first time and they're not even sure they'll want to keep learning how to ski, is not spending an arm and a leg.

Fortunately, I SKI NY, an organization dedicated to fostering and furthering alpine snow sports for all ages in New York State, offers a variety of learn-to-ski packages, including the Free for Kids Passport program for third and fourth graders. The program includes a beginner lift ticket, beginner lesson, and equipment rental good at 19 participating ski areas across the Empire State. So for a $26 processing fee, your kid could ski for free all winter long.

So what are you waiting for? Get your little ones on the snow and loving every minute of it! Discover our variety of learn-to-ski programs today.