So you’ve been packing for days, you have all your shiny new ski kit, you survived the travel day with the children only to wake up and find it pouring with rain and much of the resort closed due to a high avalanche risk. It’s pretty disheartening and not what you dreamed of but the family fun doesn’t need to be put on a back burner. There are still loads of fun activities which can be done come rain or shine.
1. Skiing- Of course, it’s why you are here.
It is so important to have realistic expectations of skiing on a rainy day. Whilst most ski kit is pretty snow proof it is very rarely rainproof and despite best laid plans you and the children are likely to be wet through withing 20 minutes or so. This doesn’t have to be a problem though. Skiing in the rain can be great fun, the slopes tend to be empty thanks to the absence of fair-weather skiers. You can have a laugh together seeing who can wring the most water out of their gloves. This brings me to my main point. The actual skiing in the rain is fine. Putting wet soggy clothes back on for a second round is not so fun so on a rainy day I would strongly suggest just a morning or afternoon (even quieter) ski to avoid grumpiness all round.
2. Sledging- Sometimes particularly in high resorts the slopes close all together due to a high avalanche risk.* But it is still nice to get some fresh air. Wet snow can be the best to get the most fun, fastest sledging on so get out and give it a go! The same applies as above though- once you are wet through get home and dry, don’t try to force yourselves or the children to put wet clothes back on for a second session. It is rarely fun!
3. Indoor Activities -So you’ve done your outdoor activities but everyone is wet through by mid-day… what next? Most resorts will put on some indoor family activities when the weather on the pistes isn’t at it’s best. In my experience this is often not well publicised so it is worth contacting the tourist office to ask about any events. Chatel has a wonderful room full of wooden puzzle games, table football, air hockey etc and best of all, it’s mostly free!
The new huge soft play centre has slides, trampolines, balls, indoor sledging and much more- a fantastic way to spend a few hours on an wet afternoon.
4. Swimming- Get even wetter with a splash in the pool. Most big resorts have a good pool and spa. these can get very busy in the afternoons on a bad day so pick your times. If possible go over lunchtime when the pools are often deserted.
All of the above are activities that I am happy to accompany your children on (skiing with qualified instructors only). My experience working as a nanny here in the Alps means I am well used to encouraging the children to stay out for a ski but I am able to judge when it is getting too much and quickly scoop them back to the warm and a hot chocolate. After all, a holiday is about fun and it is that that we want to maximise.
*If your resort is fully closed due to avalanche risk this is often due to a combination of heavy snow and high winds. It is worth looking at smaller lower resorts in the locality as they are sometimes able to remain open as they are less exposed to winds.