Kid's Camp at Alpine Meadows offers group and private ski and snowboard lessons for kids ages 3 to 12 programs. There are full or half day sessions that include lift ticket, lesson, rental equipment and the flaik GPS system. Lunch is included in the all day programs. Children participating in this program must be able to use the bathroom independently. This is an educational ski and snowboard program, not a day care. Reservations highly advised for weekends and holidays and can be made online.
Kids Camp also offers camp spring camp. Check website for dates.
Just lesson option is also available for those who have their own equipment and don't need lunch.
I took my son midweek to Alpine Meadows for a kids ski class. For parents who aren't sure how their kids will behave, midweek is a great time to go! Let me just start by saying that on the day of our visit, my preschooler was not having a good day. However, since my son was the only kid in class that day, his instructor Steve went above and beyond the call of duty, rolling with his punches and doling out lots of undivided attention. For example, when my son dropped to the ground to throw a tantrum, Steve dropped to the ground too and made a game of it, causing my son to laugh.
Even though my child was not feeling cooperative, our experience at Alpine was a positive one. When my son didn’t want to stand on his skis in the snow, Steve took him inside kids camp and invited him to stand on his skis on the carpeted floor. When my son didn’t want to listen, Steve spoke in only whispers! Steve, if you’re reading this—YOU ROCK!
Prior to class I was so nervous! I had so many questions running through my head such as:
• Will I be able to see my son during class?
• Will he enjoy the experience?
• Will I be able to go my own way during his class?
• Will Alpine provide the equipment he'll need for his
The answer is yes.
My son (age 4) was enrolled in the Pioneers half-day class. For parents who wish to observe their kids in class, a staircase near the registration desk leads to an outdoor upper deck in the Main Lodge near the cafeteria. The upper deck is a stone's throw from class.
Kids full-day and half-day programs include lift ticket, lesson, rental equipment, and helmet. Sunglasses or goggles are required, but not provided. Families are allowed to keep their rental equipment until the end of the day. There was a table with discounted kids goggles near the registration desk. I picked up a pair of sweet $10 goggles for my son. The goggles rock because they also fit my small face. Looking back, I wish I would have purchased two pair.
From the parking lot, head to the Main Lodge, Kids Camp is easy to find once inside and its decor is unintimidating and inviting (like a preschool classroom). After you check-in and fill out the necessary paperwork, a staff member will take your child to be fitted for equipment behind the registration desk. Parents aren’t allowed to accompany children during this part of the process and do not need to remain present. If you choose to stay, the area for fittings is an open floor plan, so it doesn’t feel as if a stranger is whisking your child away behind closed doors.
After your child is fitted, a friendly staff member will walk them outside to begin their lesson. Parents looking to get a better view can stand on the outdoor deck with coffee to observe their kids in class. You’ll be close enough where you can hear and see your child clearly.
Alpine Meadows Grommets snowboard class is for kids ages 5-7. The half-day Grommets class involves two hours of learning and a chair lift. For children who aren't ready for the chair lift, there's a Magic Carpet Learning Area.
TIP: Children who ride the chair must be responsible for themselves. Don’t assume an adult will be riding the chair with them. Knowing this, I advise scoping out the chair in action before sending your child on it.
I definitely recommend Alpine Meadows kids programs and will be enrolling my son again. Here are some helpful tips:
• Kids must be potty trained
• Allow for traffic when arriving for the morning class
• Dress your child in something bright to help them
stand out in the crowd so you can identify them
from a distance
• A shuttle runs from Alpine to Squaw Valley Ski Resort every
Disclosure: To help facilitate this review, my experience was complimentary. I was not asked to express any particular opinion. My review is my unbiased opinion.
Kids Camp at Alpine Meadows is a top class ski school. The staff is friendly and warm. The facilities are kid-friendly and clean. Best of all, the price is right. Don't be fooled when you see that Alpine charges about 20% less than other ski resorts for full or half day kid lessons. You won't be getting anything less for the discount.
Although we arrived late for registration, the staff at Kid's Camp quickly got us registered and found a spot for our 4 and 6 year olds. I was excited that while there is a "no parents zone", parents and kids were easily able to see what kids club looks like from the registration table. The facilities were pretty large with separate rooms for different aged kids. The happy colors and decor helped kids ease up because Kids Camp felt like a fun place. The staff was friendly and casual setting a comfortable tone.
The instructors seemed very experienced with working with young children. This was the first time that our 4 year old was going to participate in a full day ski program. I was half expecting a protest at drop off. However, the instructors were very skilled in keeping things positive. When our 4 year old who is positively obsessed with the color green kept insisting that he didn't want to wear an orange vest like the rest his group, I was really grateful that the instructors were flexible and allowed him to wear the green one. It went a long way in keeping him happy to go along with this new experience.
The beginning bunny slope is serviced by a magic carpet and is located right outside the doors of the kids camp area. It was a breeze to get the kids out the door and onto the snow. The adult to child ratio was no more than 1:4 at any time. Although the area is fenced off, it was located between a couple of chair lifts. This made it easy for parents to stop by regularly to catch a peek at how their kids are doing. The instructors were incredibly patient and upbeat all day. The only complaint that I have is the person operating the magic carpet wasn't as attentive as I would have liked. There were a couple of times that a kid would fall on the chair lift and no one would notice for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, the skier was laying awkwardly blocking the magic carpet. This caused other kids to trip up if the little fallen over skier was not able to scoot over to the side.
Kids who are turning well on the bunny slopes move on up to the subway chair which is a bit of a hike away. I don't know how a 4 year old would carry all their gear over, but our 6 year old was surprisingly happy to make the trip out there.
Lunch at Kids Camp was a corn dog. I really wish that they could have served something more healthy. I'm not one of those "everything must be organic" types of moms, but it is a shame to feed kids corn dogs when there is an opportunity to get some healthy food into these little bodies that are so hungry from all that physical activity. Our 4 year love all the hot cocoa breaks though.
At the end of the day the instructors go through what your child has accomplished during the day and what they should be working on next. Our kids were so excited for moms and dads to hear about all their accomplishments. Our 6 year old was beaming that he made it on a chair lift and was feeling so much more comfortable making turns.
Alpine Meadows Kids Camp is an excellent full day ski school at a reasonable price.