To help you get a handle on costs, either call various areas directly or go online to compare prices and services – most have Web sites that provide information on rates, lodging, activities, and special deals. Word of mouth is a good source of information, too; so ask your friends where they like to visit and how their family enjoyed the lessons. Pick a location that is family-friendly and offers activities for everyone.

When should we go? Holidays and weekends tend to be the busiest times, so be sure to plan accordingly. You might even want to consider scheduling your visit during the week or on a non-holiday weekend, if possible. On the other hand, what better way to spend a winter holiday than with your family on the slopes?

Can I purchase lift tickets in advance? Most areas sell lift tickets in advance and may sell multiple-day tickets. Many areas also sell lift tickets through local retail shops and grocery stores. When purchasing a lesson for a child, be aware that the lift ticket might be included in the price. Verify this so you won’t end up buying more tickets than you need. I

How can I prepare my child for the trip? Make sure your child has had enough exercise and is physically ready to be out sliding for a whole day. Some children may still be taking naps; you can prepare younger children by making sure they are well rested. Reading a book together about the sport is also a good thing to do to get ready for the trip.

Kids should know their whole name, birth date, parent’s full names, phone number, address at home, and whether or not they have any allergies. You can review these questions and answers with your children to help them mentally prepare.

For young children, if you can rent the gear before your day on the hill, try and walk around in the boots and even play in the skis or snowboard on a non-slippery surface to help build confidence and familiarity with their gear.

Make a point to dry out your child’s clothing after you get back to your room. Hang it up or throw it in a dryer if there is one. (Be careful not to hang it too close to an open flame or wood stove.) You will be glad you did this instead of dealing with damp clothing before the next day or when you get back home.

What sports can help to prepare my child for skiing and snowboarding? Ice-skating and in-line skating are especially good crossover activities for skiing. The movement patterns are very similar and they also help with balance and stance. Skateboarding has an obvious parallel with snowboarding. – Courtesy of American Snowsports Education Association.

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