Family winter activity vacations

I can never usually persuade my son to go for a walk in the mountains. Give him a pair of cool, high tech snowshoes and a wonderful mountain guide to lead the way, and suddenly he's Chris Bonington
Winter activity vacations are a big pull on the family budget, especially on the back of Christmas. Although, if you choose wisely, they can often be the most memorable escapes you will have together. Most importantly, frosty, family fun doesn’t have to mean downhill skiing. Try hiking through the snow dusted Grand Canyon, snowshoeing and jumping into thermal pools in Slovakia, or reindeer/husky sledding in Lapland. There are many carefully crafted and expertly guided winter vacations for families out there, which go way off piste and way off the tourist trail too. Leave the chair lifts queues behind and lift your snow angels’ spirits in a completely new and exciting way.

Winter activities for families

Meet Sámi in Lapland

Spending time with these indigenous people will open your children’s eyes to traditions that they won’t believe still exist. Reindeer herding, ice fishing, felt making, igloo building, husky sledding, music and storytelling. Some Sámi experiences can feel a bit fake, so travel with a local expert who understands and supports the culture in a sustainable and non cynical way.


For families who like to hike, there are plenty of snowshoeing opportunities out there, often thrown into activity vacations that include other fun snowy stuff, such as tobogganing, sleigh rides, husky sledding and so on.

But snowshoeing in Slovakia or Sweden, Lapland or the Pyrenees will show them what slow travel, in the snow travel, is all about.

Winter wildlife

Children’s adrenaline will be pumping on a winter activities vacation, but nothing will stop them in their tracks, or have their heart beating quite as hard as when they see an elk standing proud in the Finnish wilderness. Or a chamois leaping from one icy rock to another in the Alps, an Arctic hare dashing across Lappish snow or a polar bear crossing the tundra.


No lions or witches in Transylvania. But opportunities to break out your winter wardrobe, and take magical Narnia-like horse-and-cart rides through snowy forests. Low-key ski resorts, animal-tracking, ice caves and of course the obligatory vampire folklore, make for magically alternative family winter vacations in Romania.

Our top Winter family Vacation

Winter vacation in Finnish Lapland

Winter vacation in Finnish Lapland

Winter Cottage vacations, Finnish Lapland.

From £2410 to £2445 8 days inc UK flights
Small group travel:
2024: 7 Jan, 14 Jan, 21 Jan, 28 Jan, 4 Feb, 11 Feb, 18 Feb, 25 Feb, 3 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Winter or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Winter vacations for families tips

No-no to in/out Lapland vacations

Riitta Kiukas, founder of our specialist Lapland partner Skafur Tour, on 24-hour Lapland vacations:
“I remember when Rovaniemi was little more than a couple of gas stations. Now it’s so commercialised, it’s pretty awful. Occasionally our groups will spend a day there, but for the most part it’s very inauthentic. We get them elsewhere as soon as we can. Experiences like that are not what winter in Lapland is about.” 

High Tatras vacations

Petr Ivanek from our partner Slovakia Explorer on why the High Tatras is becoming such a popular family destination:
“The High Tatras region is a simply stunning place for family winter sports vacations. These are the highest mountains in Central-Eastern Europe, and vacations here offer a wide selection of activities for the whole family, not just skiing. In the mornings you play in the snow, in the afternoons you relax in outdoor thermal pools. It’s only a two-hour flight from London and very affordable too – you can find pretty much everything here that you’d get in the Alps, but for less.”
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters] [Meet Sami in Lapland: Craig Matthews] [Transylvania: kirandulo] [High Tatras: Govisity / Tip na Trip /]