This French resort is so child-friendly that it has actually won awards for it, so you can rest assured that, as well as the extensive skiing on offer in the Three Valleys, there will be plenty to keep all the family entertained in Les Menuires. Ski the excellent beginnersâ€™ slopes, progress to the harder reds, or spend your days enjoying the extensive off-the-slopes entertainment and activities… the choice is yours.
Having won the World Snow Awardâ€™s â€˜Family Resort of the Yearâ€™ in 2015, Les Menuires is not resting on its laurels. In an on-going effort to cater to its family market the resort has a great ski school (including nursery service for the very young) and bargain discount family ski passes, which cover either the local area or the whole Three Valleys. It has even adapted its main chairlifts to be more child-friendly.
But thereâ€™s more to attracting the family market than just good facilities, and this is where the resort really excels: in the number and quality of childrenâ€™s activities on offer in Les Menuires. Ski or snowboard during the day, but be sure to leave some time for all the other types of fun available during your stay.
From special fun parks in the resort centre and snow parks on the slopes to a 4km toboggan run and night-time sledging, children are at the centre of all the action. Nowhere is this more true than on the big-thrills family ride of Speed Mountain.
The Need For Speed
If your kids enjoy tobogganing (and Iâ€™ve yet to meet a child who doesnâ€™t) then they will love the toboggan-inspired Speed Mountain. Open to children from five and over â€“ little ones will need to be accompanied by an adult â€“ this rollercoaster toboggan ride puts you in your own sledge, attached to a rail like a rollercoaster.
The 1000m course is a twisting, turning bobsleigh-like run through a wonderful snowy landscape complete with stone huts and Christmas trees. Each sledge has its own break so itâ€™s up to the kids how fast (or slow) they go, but if they enjoy a bit of speed they can race against the clock with times set by the resort mascot Boukty. As you travel down the course there are three check points which show your time compared to Bouktyâ€™s so if youâ€™re trailing behind it might be time to let go of the brake and race for victory.
The course is open Monday to Friday and Sunday from 1-8pm (night time runs are particularly exhilarating). It costs â‚¬8 for one ride, â‚¬34 for five, â‚¬51 for 10 and â‚¬89 for 20 rides. This is a popular attraction with the kids so expect them to want to ride more than once!
If this sounds like the kind of high-octane fun that your family would enjoy then itâ€™s worth considering staying in one of the excellent family chalets in the Chalets de Bruyeres development, located next to Speed Mountain in Les Menuires. Ski to your door and youâ€™ll be back out ready for a high speed descent in no time.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. With a team that has years of experience planning Les Menuires ski breaks, as well as holidays in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy and Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans looking for the experience of a lifetime.
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