When I had kids, I knew that I would never become a “soccer mom” or a “hockey mom”. The early wake up times, shuffling sports gear to and fro, and the possibility of driving an actual “family vehicle” brought me fear and loathing…! I wasn’t very sporty either, so how did I end up being a “ski mom”?
Every weekend, from December to April, I wake up at 6 am, I make breakfast and grab snacks, fill my car up with ski gear and throw some skis on the rack and make the 45 minute drive up to Whistler. I pray for nice weather for the drive up, but I also pray for snow so the kids can have a fun pow day!
My daughter started when she was about 4 and she’s now 11 with amazing ski skills, and my son started last year at 3 years old, and is now 4 and doing amazingly well. I’m not even bragging, I’m not sure I’ll even be able to ski with him soon because he’s THAT good! I’m the one that needs ski lessons now!
Whistler Blackcomb runs a Weekend Ski Club out of the Village (where we always go), as well as Blackcomb and Creekside. It’s an all day program that provides a lunch and a ton of fun – the ‘Mini’ club goes for one day per weekend (choice of either Saturday or Sunday), and my daughter has gone both Saturday and Sunday since she was 6 years old.
The instructors are AMAZING. Each year we meet more and more of these fun-loving instructors that are so awesome with kids – our kids literally fall in love with their instructors each year (and sometimes you get the opportunity to have an instructor for multiple years!). Our kids make friends in Ski Club – people from Whistler, from Vancouver, and even families that have travelled the world over and are spending a winter in Whistler!
The Whistler Ski Club is a ton of fun – there’s dress up days where the kids can dress up as animals or pirates, the little ones have Teddy Bear picnics, and there’s also fun racing days!
Watching a group of 3 and 4 year olds skiing is like magic! It’s unbelievable what these tiny kiddos can do – and yes, they make skis their size! If you’re looking for ski gear (and there’s a lot of it!) for small kids, Whistler Kids, located right in Whistler Village, has the best selection! And it’s convenient if you’re missing a pair of gloves or a balaclava!
What Kids Need for Skiing (aka The Ultimate Ski Gear List for Kids):
- Ski boots
- Poles (if they’re old enough)
- Underlayer (Hot Chilly’s are a classic choice, or a Ninja Suit is fun!)
- Ski socks
- Mid-layer if necessary (my kids don’t use one – too hot!)
- Balaclava to go under helmet and cover face
- Ski Pants/Overalls
- Ski Jacket
- Hand/Feet Warmers (if they’re cold!)
And I always hide a couple of snacks in their pockets, just in case they need a boost of energy!
Like anything in life, being a ski family isn’t fun 100% of the time – we have to deal with tired kids sometimes, attitudes about not wanting to go (rarely, but it happens!), long drives in bad weather, and as my daughter gets older she’s not too impressed about missing out on weekends. Sometimes she misses out on birthday parties and fun events that we could have gone to – the trick is to balance it out. Not be too strict about missing a day here or there, but on the other hand, reminding our kids of the commitment we made to skiing.
Ski Club in Whistler is about making memories for our kids, creating friendships and learning skills that they will have for life!… And in the summer time? I become a Bike Mom. Or an MTB Mom. The fun just never ends!
I want to know – are you a sports mom? What sport do your kids play?