There's no doubt about it, at this time of year, Hanmer Springs is definitely an alpine resort! And that means there's snow - and sometimes plenty of it!
A holiday with snow, even if you're not into skiing, can be a lot of fun with your family, as long as everyone is well prepared for the freezing temperatures.
First of all, it might seem obvious but snow is cold so make sure you prepare your children for it!
It might look pretty and fun, but snow is also freezing cold so you and the kids all need to be dressed appropriately in warm, waterproof clothing. Jeans are a definite no for the snow, as they will just get wet and freeze! Layers are the best idea, as it can certainly get warm when lots of physical activity is going on. Start with thermals or polypropylene close to the skin, then add layers, including wool if you can, before topping with ski jacket and snow pants. One or two layers of woollen (ideally merino) socks on the feet is also a good idea, plus of course waterproof footwear or ski boots.
Protect hands from the cold
Make sure everyone has at least one pair of waterproof ski gloves, and perhaps a spare pair of woollen gloves or mittens for the ride home. They will be falling in the snow, making snow balls and snowmen and keeping hands warm and dry is important for the comfort of everyone.
Shade those eyes
Often forgotten about if you are just messing around in the snow is the importance of wearting sunglasses or goggles. Goggles are great as they protect eyes and keep the warmth in as well. If you need to buy some, make sure they are well fitted for each child to maximise protection.
If goggles aren't in the budget, make sure your kids are wearing sunglasses with high UV Radiation because if they don’t protect their eyes, there's a risk of snow blindness – a temporary damage to the eyes caused by the snow reflecting UV light.
Warm up again in the pools!
There's no point in staying in Hanmer Springs if you are not going to enjoy a long soak (or two) in the thermal pools, and this is especially great after time spent on the ski field or playing in the snow. Warm up, thaw out and relax - it's the perfect way for the whole family to wind down, even when the pools are surrounded by snow. It's a very special atmosphere.
Take Enough Breaks
It might not feel like a lot of work, but while your kids are tobboganing, throwing snowballs, making snowmen, or whizzing down the learners slopes on that tiny pair of skis, they will be burning a load of energy. Make sure you are well prepared for the day with plenty of snacks, including a thermos of two of hot soup, hot chocolate or whatever will really keep the nutrition and energy levels going for the day. Keeping warm, hydrated and well fed is important to avoid the affects of the cold, especially if that sun disappears.
Don’t forget to slip, slop, and slap on that sunscreen
Yes it's winter, but the sun's rays can still reflect off that dazzling white snow and cause nasty sunburn. Make sure you and the kids have a SPF30+ sunscreen to avoid a painful end to the day!
In this day and age it might seem a little redundant, but make sure you get lots of snaps of the kids in the snow - there will be plenty of insta, FB and snapchat moments to record! And don't forget to get some with yourself in the picture too! Family memories are precious and you don't want to miss a thing.