The best family ski resorts in France: Skiing La Plagne

La Plagne ski resort in France

Skiing in France is a great family break, but choosing the best family ski resort in France can be difficult. It not only depends on the location and accommodation. You also have to factor in your family’s skiing style, the ages of your children, how you like to après-ski and more. Skiing La Plagne is popular — it has been named the most popular ski resort in the world and is in the heart of the Paradiski ski area. It’s a sprawling ski and snowboarding area, with 11 villages linked by more than 110 lifts. (Wondering which village and elevation is right for you? See our post about the best family-friendly areas at the La Plagne resort.)

But what is there to do in La Plagne with children? The answer is: Plenty! From dog sledding and ziplines to staying in an igloo and hurtling down an Olympic bobsleigh track, you’ll find fun and excitement to suit children from babies to teenagers. (As parents, we love these ideas too!) Here, we explore La Plagne and what it offers families with babies, children and teens! #FamilySkiLaPlagne

Want make sure your trip goes well? Check out these 14 tips for planning the perfect family ski holiday.

Why choose La Plagne ski resort in France?

The French Alps offer an amazing variety of resorts and La Plagne is one of the most popular if not the most popular ski destination in the country. It ranges over 100 square kilometres and is made up of 11 individual ski resorts. It hosted the bobsled competition in the 1992 Winter Olympics hosting the bobsled. Plus, it offers ski in-ski out options for all budgets. That means that skiing on a budget won’t have you relegated to an hour-long slog to the slopes every morning, arriving sweaty and tired before you’ve even strapped on your skis or board.

La Plagne’s variety of resorts also means you can pick the kind of character you’d like from your ski holiday. Choose a traditional farming village or a modern mini-city, with accommodation ranging from hotels to self-catering residences to luxury chalets. There are options to suit all budgets!

Family skiing in La Plagne

Of course there is skiing galore (see more about the lessons below). In addition to the slopes across La Plagne, you can take the double-decker Vanoise-Express gondola to access even more runs in the Les Arcs and Paisey Vallandry ski areas.

More things to do with kids in La Plagne

Beyond the skiing, La Plagne has so much family-friendly fun it practically piles up in drifts. There are loads of cool ways to go downhill fast or enjoy the mountain setting. Here, we break out some of our favourite family activities in La Plagne. (Be sure to check the suggested ages and heights with each.)

Visiting La Plagne with a baby

Parents will find nurseries spread across La Plagne, which take babies from 3 months old to 2 years and older, offering hourly or a la carte childcare, giving you the flexibility to do some runs then pick up your little one for lunch or family time. Check out the closest nursery to the accommodation you’re looking at to make sure its age range suits you.

Great for young children and school-age kids

Coolski – We love this option for beginners. La Plagne’s Coolski programme takes the fear out of learning, with centrally located pistes designed and designated for beginners only. The Coolski pass for these slopes is great value and you can also hire a colourful bib so other skiers know you or your children are just starting (or restarting). Learning to ski without others whizzing past your elbow? C’est superbe! See the full list of La Plagne locations that feature the Coolski programme.

Dog sled rides – Children as young as two can join in these delightful rides. You nestle into the sled and get pulled around by a team of 7 to 10 dogs. Older visitors from age 11 can actually learn the basics of mushing and drive a team of 2 or 3. Woof woof!

The Coolski programme makes things fun even for absolute beginners

Piou Piou Club – A fun way for children aged 3 to 6 can start to learn to ski with instructors, a mini drag lift, fun structures and figurines.

ESF ski/snowboard lessons – For beginners and improvers, these lessons teach skills beginning at snowplough turns up to timed giant slalom and high-speed turns, available in Plagne Centre, Plagne Villages, Plagne 1800, Plagne Soleil, MMV Plagne 2000.

For slightly older kids and teens

Ice climbing – Climb every mountain or rather, ice tower at La Plagne in the Champagny en Vanoise resort. The 24m ice tower welcomes all including beginners from age 10 years and older, so strap on the crampons.

Tobogganing – There are family-friendly toboganning areas for all ages, but more confident sledgers can book an evening run when you head downhill (fast) illuminated by your own headlamp. https://www.elpro-la-plagne.com/outdoor/sledging/sledging The descent from Aime 2000 to La Roche is quite technical, so will be sure to please seasoned tobogganers! You can even combine your run with an aperitif or Savoyard meal.

Sledging – Indulge in good old-fashioned sledging in an exciting go-fast fashion at the Colorado Park – it has a sledge track for anyone taller than 1.40m. Fancy a go? Check it out here.

Zip lines – 10 zip lines stretch from 50m to 110m integrated into the mountain landscape. Emerge from the trees to sail over the snowy valley far, far below.

Especially great for teens

Bobsleigh – Whiz down France’s only 1500m bobsleigh and skeleton track, used in the 1992 Olympics, in Plagne 1800. Exciting…and possibly a little scary! There are 3 ways to do it:

BobRaft – This a great introduction to the course. It’s a self-driving, self-braking vehicle that  holds 4 people and reaches 80km/hour. Wheeeee! (1.4m minimum height)

Speed Luge – Go down on your own in this specially designed luge where you’ll reach up to 90km/hour (16 years or older; 16-18 year olds need written parental authorisation or be accompanied by parent or guardian)

Father and child riding a bobsleigh in La Plagne ski resort France

Bob Racing – Talk about a major adrenaline rush! It fits up to 3 people, is piloted by a professional pilot and tops 120km/hour. It’s not advised for people with heart, vascular or back problems or pregnant women…which tells you something. (16 years or older; 16-18 year olds need written parental authorisation or be accompanied by parent or guardian)

Gliss ‘N’ Co ski package – The instructors at ESF have 2 questions for teens aged 13 to 18:

  1. ‘Are you fed up with group lessons?’
  2. ‘Do your parents ski too slow for you?’

If the answer for your teenager is yes (obvs), they can do one of these packages where they ski with friends, learn new techniques and go on organised evening trips to the ice rink, tobogganing or zip wire. They get some freedom to roam, and you can relax knowing they’re having supervised fun.

Family-friendly activities in La Plagne to do together when not skiing

Stay in an igloo – We know, we know: Technically this is not an activity but honestly, how cool (literally) will it be to turn up to your ski holiday and check into your own igloo? Your rep as a parent will be legend. You snuggle down cosily on a bed of ice after a Savoyard meal including a warming fondue. You can also visit the ice hotel just for a drink and a tasting of cheeses. We’re getting chills just thinking about it. Visit Blacksheep Village Igloo for more information.

Dogsledding in La Plagne France
Dogsledding in La Plagne, France

The Funslope – This blue piste is the longest obstacle-course slope in Europe. It features jumps, moguls, banked turns, a tunnel to ski through and a high-five at the end! Have lunch in the fresh air at the top of the Arpette piste, which is kitted out with picnic tables and loungers. While there is free Wifi up there, you probably just want to sit back and enjoy the view of Mont Blanc.

Les Bains and Spa de La Plagne – A delightful spa amid with heated outdoor pools, saunas, Turkish baths and a family area. They even have special treatments for children, including a parent-child tandem massage and a child’s facial. See all the treatments at Deep Nature Spa.

Escape Room – Do an escape room challenge on the slopes! It’s a thrilling way to bond and work together as a team, and you can book a slot throughout the day. (Check age requirements when booking.)

Torchlit descents – If you’re going during February and March French school holidays, do a Thursday evening ‘torchlit ski down’ organised on the mountain with other families.

Wondering where to stay in La Plagne’s 11 resorts when you’re not skiing? Check out our guide to Best family-friendly resorts in La Plagne!


More family-friendly skiing advice

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Planning a France skiing trip? Read more about some of the best ski resorts for families in the French alps, including La Plagne. Stay in an igloo, Dog sled rides, Ice climbing, tobogganing, sledging and more!
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