Wondering what your kids day will be like at a ski/board lesson at a major mountain resort? Well, here is a glimpse of what a Day in the Life of a Whitefish Ski Kid would be like. Help prepare your kids and you for a fun-filled day on the mountain.
We have taken our kids to many mountain ski resorts, but hands down Whitefish Mountain Resort has by far the best setup for kids! From the moment you enter the resort the people are what defines it as a world-class ski resort. You feel as though you have been included into a close group of friends, when they are always willing to go above and beyond to help. So when you are looking for someone to trust to leave your kids with for ski lessons or daycare, the people at Whitefish Mountain Resort is the major distinguishing factors on why we go! They know what they are doing and they just handle it! They have an extensive kids center and lesson programs to offer families with kids of all ages.
- Child Ski/Board & Play – Ages 3-6
- Junior Learn to Ski/Ride – Ages 7-12
- Teens 13+ typically go in Adult group lessons
- Private lessons
- Adaptive Options for those who have physical and cognitive disabilities.
Here is what a typical day was like for Sofia (Age 3) and Luca (Age 6) in the Child Ski/Board & Play:
Night Before Prep:
Why? Because mornings are crazy enough, start your morning off right with being organized the night before. Trust me it will be smoother for you and the kids.
- Have a pile set up for each kid.
- Lay out all the clothes including base layer, socks, sweater, pants, ski pants, jacket, toque, mitts, neck warmer, etc.
- Get all ski equipment ready – skis, boots, poles (if they need them), board, helmet, etc.
- Most important make sure everything is dry.
- Pack their lunch and snacks if you are not purchasing a supervised lunch.
- We put both our kids set of ski boots in one boot bag and zip it up, so it is ready to go!
- For young ones – Attach their mitts to their jackets. I use hair elastic and loop them with the mitts to their jackets, so when they fall and “yard sale” their mitts are attached.
- I use their backpacks to put an extra pair of underwear, pants (in case of accident), mitts, neck warmer and extra snacks if they need. Their backpack can stay in their locker.
- Label everything including skis, boots, helmet, clothing, etc. It’s just like school, if you want it to come home with your kid – label it!
- Find out more about our other ski packing tips here.
- Breakfast – Try and have them eat a healthy, full-sized breakfast that will help them stay energized until lunch. Ex. Cereal, toast, fruit, milk, oatmeal, etc.
- Get them dressed. We usually gear them all up, with the exception of their helmets, neck warmer and ski boots.
8:30 am – Kids Center Opens
We try to be there for first thing in the morning, so we aren’t rushed and have time to get everything organized.
- Stage 1: Sign-in and pay at main desk. This will get your child’s lift passes and tags for lessons. Remember to sign the ski/board lesson waiver.
- Stage 2 – Check-in with Ski/Board & Play area
- You will be given a yellow ski school vest and tags will be inserted into vest for identification. This will have your phone number, child’s name and what type of lesson they are signed up for on it.
- Discuss the ski/board level of your child to determine which instructor they will be with. If you have special request, this would be the time to ask if they can accommodate (ex. Sofia is much better with girl instructors so we requested if possible. Or if you want your kids/cousins to be with the same instructor). Keep in mind they will try their best but sometimes not possible.
- If staying for full-day and need of a supervised lunch, fill out the form for lunch.
- Stage 3 – Assigned Locker for Child
- Each child gets their own locker to put jacket, helmet, lesson vest, etc. All things for your kids will go in this spot.
- Put skis/board out in the ski lesson designated area.
- Meet the instructor and ask them if you should get your child’s ski boots on, jacket, etc. They will be in groups of 2-4 depending on their ability levels, ages and which terrain they will be going to. Sofia ended up being alone one day, since there was nobody else for her group… bonus for her!
- If you haven’t label everything before, they have tape and markers to label anything you may have missed.
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Ski/Board Lessons
- Until the instructor and group in ready, kids will have a chance to play a few table games, color and meet their new friends.
- Each of the instructors will bring their groups out to the ski areas when they are ready.
- Depending on the dynamics of the group and the day, kids will ski/board for the majority of the time and then come in when required. Ex. On colder days they may take more breaks with hot chocolate! Sofia was just not into skiing the one morning, so they brought her inside to play; she was then supervised by one of the indoor staff…. like I said, they just handled it!
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunchtime
- If supervised, their ordered lunch will be brought down in brown bags with their names on them. Instructors and other Kids Center staff will help them with their lunch if needed and make sure they have everything. Cost was $15 for lunch, we splurged to get them hot lunches to eat and was one less thing for us to prepare the night before.
- Kids can also bring in their own lunches.
- The instructors generally hang out and eat lunch with the kids too! Have a few laughs and get to talk about their morning.
- If they have time after lunch they can color, play some games and have some indoor fun.
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Ski/Board Lessons
- More time on the hill skiing and/or boarding!
- Through out the day, if you know what chair lifts and/or magic carpet your kids will be on you can go watch and take photos. It may just cause more distractions than help encourage them. Luca and Sofia were better this year, but in previous years I was hiding behind fence to catch a glimpse of them without them “wanting” to come see me.
- At around 4pm, kids will be brought back into the Kids Center and will have some time to relax and warm up.
- Return the yellow ski school vest, clear out the locker and most importantly check-in with the instructor. The instructor will provide a report-type card of where your child ability is at. This will help for further lessons and let other instructors pick up where your child left off. This will also help you know the what lifts and terrain your kids will be at the next lesson.
Report Card For Skiers
Report Card For Riders
Luca was able to get through a full day of lessons without a problem. Sofia, who is 3, had a tough time the first day getting through a full day of lessons. So the next day we put her in a half day lesson, a supervised lunch and then the remainder of the day at the daycare area where she could play all day. Depending on your kids and their temperament find what works best for them. We don’t want to push our kids too much for skiing because it is all about fun, exercise and enjoying being outside!
The daycare area has a great selection of activities, toys and stations for the kids to play with others. Sofia had so much fun playing in this area!
We brought our own ski equipment for the kids. But, if you need equipment for your kids they have a smooth system that will get you and your kids setup. It is located directly beside the kids center for ease. With the purchase of Ski/Board & Play you can receive a discount on rentals.
Check out Whitefish Mountain Resort for latest prices and specials on lessons.
Last but not least, call to make a reservation for daycare and Kids Ski/Board & Play, especially if going during the busy holiday weeks.
Our kids spent four days learning how to ski and spending time with the people at the Whitefish Kids Center. Some great memories were made for them here and we are grateful for their patience, care and expertise on the slopes with kids. The instructors are trained and know exactly how to get these little kids skiing the slopes in no time. Luca made it to the top of the mountain this year on some blue runs, but his favourite was Home Again!