Family Ski Holidays in Austria: The Most Kid-Friendly Resorts
Austria's skiing regions are the perfect place to take kids on their first real winter adventure.
Watching the little ones take their very first turns – and eventually master a slightly more challenging slope. Tobogganing, friendly snowball fights, sledging, and a large portion of Kaiserschmarren at the mountain hut to round up a fun-packed day. Active winter holidays are a great opportunity for families to spend quality time together and bond over shared memories. And Austria is just the right place to take kids on their first real winter adventure.
While all of Austria’s skiing hotspots cater to families, some resorts are especially known for their kid-friendly vibe, with hotels close to the pistes and lifts, ski schools and childcare (with English speaking staff!), snow parks and equipment rentals widely available and – more important than ever given the economic climate – great money-saving deals and packages for those arriving with children and teenagers in tow. Have a look at some of the best family-friendly winter resorts!
ST. JOHANN IN SALZBURG: 16 FAMILY HOTELS AND A DESIGNATED KIDS SKI WEEK
St. Johann in Salzburg invites guests to enjoy a fuss-free Austrian winter holiday like “back in the day”. The resort has 16 hotels especially catering to youngsters, think extra-large rooms, children’s menus, games and playrooms, which are easily recognizable by the JOFamily partner certificate and its mascot, a squirrel called JOEY. While there are tons of activities for families all winter long, the highlight will be the kids week JoKiWo Winter Edition (3-7 April 2023), now in the second year running, with behind the scene tours at the cable cars, treasure hunts and fairytale walks as well as the Kid’s Olympics.
SKIWELT: FUN SLOPES, ADVENTURE PARKS, AND SKI PASS DEALS
With over 270 km of slopes and 83 lifts and cable cars, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental is one of the largest resorts in the world. Unsurprisingly, options for families are extensive here. Throughout the region, ski schools offer kid-friendly beginner courses and kids clubs aimed at those aged three and over. Brixen has its own Kids SkiWelt, featuring practice slopes and lifts, while Ellmau's Hartkaiser Adventure Eldorado has its own children’s restaurant and adventure school, and Ellmi’s Winter Wonderland offers plenty of family-friendly winter activities. Kids and teenagers aged 15 or younger ski for free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ski pass for 3 days or more from 8 to 16 December and 18 March to 10 April.
SKI JUWEL: FAMILY-FRIENDLY SLOPES AND A BRAND-NEW FUN PARK
Celebrating its 10th birthday this year, Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau is home to 113 km of slopes, 10 ski schools and Austria’s “most beautiful village” Alpbach. The Tyrolean resort features kid-friendly slopes and lifts, ski courses for children and kids clubs where the youngest are entertained while their parents hit the slopes. New in 2022 is the Schatzberg Zwergenland at the mid-station of the Schatzbergbahn, featuring a snowball playground, a ski carousel, an igloo and a toboggan run among other attractions. Children born in 2017 or later ski for free.
ST. JOHANN IN TIROL: CERTIFIED FAMILY HOTELS AND A DAILY KIDS PROGRAMME
St. Johann in Tirol and its neighbouring chocolate box villages Oberndorf, Kirchdorf and Erpfendorf are traditional old-school winter resorts, where top-notch slopes, ski-in/ski-out and exceptional hospitality are key to a fun holiday for all ages. Certified family hotels feature extra-large rooms, play areas, cribs, and daily programmes for children, while ski schools run courses for kids from the age of three, teaching them all the basics in a playful way. Family-friendly activities away from the pistes include tobogganing, winter and snowshoe hiking.
Read more: Family ski holidays in St. Johann in Tirol
VORARLBERG: SKI COURSES FOR KIDS, SNOWMOBILE DRIVING, AND LANTERN HIKES
Given that most skiers head straight to Tirol and Salzburg, Vorarlberg might still be a bit under the radar. However, Austria’s westernmost province has several amazing winter resorts not to be missed, especially for families. Bregenz Forest boasts tons of kid-friendly ski and snowboard schools, offering tailor-made courses for the little ones, including fun slopes, obstacle courses, carousels and friendly mascots. Other family activities include tobogganing, igloo building, snowmobile driving, and lantern hikes. An area especially suited for families is Damüls Faschina, where ski schools and kids clubs are open for children from the age of just two, kids menus are widely available, and an indoor playground (over 170 km2!) keeps the little ones entertained even in bad weather.
Read more: Family ski holidays in Vorarlberg