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The ideal day on the slopes...you wake refreshed from a good night's sleep, meet the family in the kitchen for a good breakfast and hop in the already-packed car for the drive to Holiday Valley. Your kids occupy themselves quietly and never once ask, "Are we there yet? You arrive in plenty of time for Ski School, with all of your gear in order. Your kids happily meet their instructor and the other kids in class and wave you off saying, "Thanks and have a great day on the slopes!"

No, this is not a chapter from the "Stepford Children". With some good planning, preparation and practice, it really could happen! Here's a few FAQ's to help you on your way...

Q: What should my kids wear for Ski School?                                       

A:  All that really matters is that they are comfortable. That means warm, but not too warm, and dry.

  • The outside layer should be an insulated waterproof, wind resistant material top and bottom.
  • One pair of good quality wool or synthetic material socks is enough to keep feet warm.
  • Mittens are much warmer than gloves, and make sure they are waterproof and have a good cuff to keep out the snow.
  • Goggles are important because they keep faces warm and shade the eyes from snow and sun.
  • A neckwarmer helps keep heat in and snow out.
  • A helmet or hat...that is your decision, just be sure it fits properly and covers the ears.
  • Your kids can be creative with the inside layers...spiderman pj's or ballet tutu, as long as they are comfortable and happy.

Q: How do we prepare for a trip to the slopes?

A: This topic covers physical as well as mental preparation. If your kids are excited about skiing and taking a lesson (that means being away from you), the rest is easy. Remember, everyone is different, and some kids are ready before others.

  • No reservations necessary!
  • Make a check list of all the necessities (mitts, goggles, hat, etc.) and don't forget car toys and food. Each child can have their own special bag that they prepare and load in the car the night before.
  • Get plenty of rest, and wake up in time to have a full breakfast. Fuel in the body is key to staying warm!
  • If you're staying overnight at Holiday Valley, you (or Dad) can pick up the lift tickets and class materials as early as 8 AM at Creekside.
  • Plan to arrive at Holiday Valley about an hour before class time so you have time to park the car, have a bathroom break and register without a last minute rush. There is a 5 minute drop off zone at the top of the steps above the Creekside Lodge.
  • When it's time to say good by, be cheerful and confident knowing that your kids are about to learn a lifetime sport in the hands of well trained and caring instructors.

Q: Should I borrow a neighbor's ski equipment for my child?

A: It is really important to have properly fitted boots, well tuned skis or snowboards and properly adjusted bindings, not only for comfort but also for safety. The newest equipment also makes it easier to learn, so make it easy on yourself and your child and rent equipment here. For kids in Mountain Adventures, the rental shop is conveniently located in the Creekside Lodge. You can rent a helmet at Creekside too.

Q: What about lunch?

A: Lunch is included in the all-day sessions. Hot lunches are served Monday through Friday. Sandwiches are served weekends and holidays. Special dietary needs can be accommodated. Please let us know when you register.

Q: What can I do while my kids are in Mt. Adventures?

A: Enjoy! This is your time to have fun. Here are some suggestions...

  • Meet your friends at McCarty Cafe (next door to the Creekside) for a latte, then hit the slopes...you get to ski where you want!
  • Sign yourself up for a lesson while at Creekside. You'll want to be able to keep up with your kids!  First timers can take a Learn-to-ski class right at the Creekside Lodge. There are also Learn-to-Ski Better packages and private lessons.
  • Indulge yourself with a massage or spa treatment at the spectacular Falling Waters Spa at the Tamarack Club. You deserve it!
  • You can sneak a peek at your child in class, but our experience says that you should keep out of his or her sight, so you don't distract them.

Q: When and how do I pick up my kids from Mountain Adventure Class?

A: The pick up zone is at the base of the School Haus area, just outside the Creekside Lodge. Allow some extra time to go over your child's progress card with the instructor and find what they learned and what they can practice.

  • Morning sessions end at 12:00.
  • All day and afternoon sessions end at 3:00.

Q: Can we drop off our child before class begins or pick him/her up later?

A: Yes, you can drop your child off at the Holiday Valley Day Care Center, and our Mountain Adventures staff will pick them up when it is time for class to begin. After class we can deliver your child to the Day Care Center. The cost for a total of 2 hours is $28.

Q: What can we do with our equipment overnight?

A: You don't have to load everything back in your car! Here are some options.

  • If you plan to be here a lot, rent a seasonal locker in the Clubhouse Chalet. Depending on location the rates are $135 or $225.
  • There is an overnight ski check adjacent to the Creekside Lodge that operates weekends and holidays.
  • Inn guests have a special ski closet located right outside your room.
  • Tamarack Guests have a ski locker room.

Q: Is evening child care available?

A: After a full day in Mountain Adventures, your kids will need some rest, but you're ready for a nice dinner and some fun in Ellicottville! We can provide you with a list of experienced babysitters who will come to your room. Call 716-699-2345, ext. 4418.

For information on helmets and safety go to Lids on Kids
Ideas about keeping teens happy on the slopes