SnowSports School

Make Kids Happy:  Just Add Snow

Children and snow go together like milk and cookies. From the wonder of huge spiraling flakes melting on the tongue, to snow angels, to rolling three giant snowballs that transform into a snowman, kids simply love a white winter. In Sun Valley, the wonder of the season is amplified for children with limitless ways to play in the snow available on Dollar and Bald Mountains. Beginners step onto the magic carpet to experience their first thrill of downhill skiing. More experienced shredders explore the rails, jibs, and jumps of the terrain park, Adventure Trails that wind through the trees on Baldy, new gladed terrain, moguls, powder parks, and so much more. No matter what, the experience of skiing or riding in Sun Valley is likely to plant the seed for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Want to make children happy?  Just add snow! And there’s no better place to play outside in the winter than Sun Valley

The best way to get the most of children’s time on their skis or on board is to enlist the help of the highly trained professionals at the Sun Valley SnowSports School.  Whether your family is visiting for a long weekend, staying a few weeks, or if you are lucky enough to live here, there are lessons and specialty programs that will help your child gain the skills he or she needs to be safe and to have the time of their lives on the slopes.

If you are planning a Sun Valley vacation, be sure to book ski or snowboarding lessons when you arrange your air travel and accommodations. There is no better way to start a trip off on the right foot. This is especially true for children. Lessons will not only teach them proper technique, it is a great way to explore new terrain, get to the know the mountains, and enjoy time with other like-minded athletes who are all about exploring places that mom and dad may not want to go! Having tried the Adventure Trails with my children a few times, I can honestly say, I will leave that up to SnowSports coaches from now on.

Private lessons are an excellent way to get exactly what you are looking for out of a day on the slopes. And private doesn’t necessarily mean one-on-one. Up to four family members can enjoy individualized attention during a private lesson. This instruction provides the perfect way to quickly refresh skills and move up to the next level or to learn the basics if your child is new to the sport. Specialized private instruction is also available for the littlest shredders. Tiny Tracks is tailored to children ages 2 to 4, either with or without a parent. The emphasis is on fun and creating a love for skiing.

Let the pros at the Sun Valley SnowSports School to teach your children great skills and instill in them a lifelong love for skiing or boarding

Another great lesson option is available for families who wish to plan their own day on the mountain, the so-called Family Private. This allows every family member to get what they need and want out of a lesson while still skiing or snowboarding as a family. “Most of our instructors are pretty darn versatile, so the Family Private is a great way for everyone to get what they want and have a great time,” said Tony Parkhill, Director of SnowSports.  “It’s very flexible. People really love this choice.”

Skiing or riding is even more fun with friends

Many children prefer to ski or ride with friends and enjoy the camaraderie of a group lesson. The SunStart program, for instance, is perfect for beginners. This popular option includes the lesson, Dollar lift ticket, and equipment. Also on Dollar for children is Fun in the Sun, offered in two half-day sessions. On Baldy, there are Classic Group Lessons, offering training on more challenging terrain in a relaxed, supportive, and fun environment. Discounted lift tickets are available with these lessons, too. Ready for the next step up? Then try the Elevate program that explores Baldy’s varied and vast terrain, from groomers to bumps. This offers the best in skills improvement in a pressure-free environment.  There are some blackout dates for some group lessons, so be sure to call ahead and find the best option for you during your stay. Group lessons are available for skiers ages 4 – 12 and snowboarders ages 6 – 12.  There is also kinderCubs for two to four year olds; a program that includes both daycare and lessons, Dollar Cubs for 4 – 5 year olds, Dollar Bears for kids ages 6 – 11, and Dollar Challenge for youth 12 – 17 years old. Instructors are specially hand-picked and trained in special techniques for teaching children.

Children love to ski or ride with friends and group lessons or specialty programs provide the perfect way to make that happen

Specialty programs for children also abound and are the best way to get the most from the entire season. One of the most popular, Free Ride, is a fantastic way to get your kids on the slopes with top instruction and a good dose of fun and keeping things as fresh as the snow! Kiddos between 6 and 17 years old hit the slopes every Saturday on Baldy for 3 ½ hours. The focus is on high quality, high-energy skill development and the children love it. There is a discount package with student season pass available as well as a payment program.

Young snowboarders who imagine being the next Kaitlyn Farrington or skiers whose hero is Picabo Street, can get the right start at the Spuds Alpine and Snowboard program. Children in kindergarten through sixth grade can choose from three sessions, or sign up for all of them, for either morning or afternoon sessions.  Spuds runs Saturday and Sundays starting in January and will be the highlight of your child’s weekend. This is appropriate for all levels and is offered on both Baldy and Dollar. Discount packages with lift tickets or passes are available.

My favorite specialty program is LittleSpuds, for children aged two to Kindergarten.  There is nothing sweeter than seeing the two to five year olds in their colorful ski suits, smiling from ear to ear as they explore Dollar. This is a perfect introduction to skiing and meets after school two days a week. Children must be potty trained and ready to learn! All LittleSpuds receive a complimentary Dollar Pass.

Let the amazing professionals at Sun Valley SnowSports make every day a great day for your child

Registration for specialty programs and the reservation book for private and group lessons are open and now is the time to secure your child’s spot in the option that works best for your family. Please call 208-622-2289 or 888-490- 5950, email snowsports@sunvalley.com, or book online.

When my children were little and we visited Sun Valley on vacations, my first stop was the desk at Dollar to enroll them in the SnowSports School. I knew that they would have the best time with friends old and new while learning skills they would build on in the coming years.  At pick up each day, getting them off the slopes was never easy. Their teachers were their new best friends and schussing down Quarter Dollar was much more fun that going home. It was during these weeks that my children came to see themselves as skiers, capable, and able to take advantage of Sun Valley’s winter wonderland.

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