We’ve just spent a great afternoon at the London Ski and Snowboard Show, which had loads of cool activities for kids – plus snow, ice and even a visit from Santa!
We’ve never been to the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show before, but we love skiing and plenty of people have been telling me for years that it’s a cool event to visit as a family, so off we went last weekend. We were also keen to quiz some industry experts on what would be a good age to get our 2-year-old son/nutcase on the slopes. And it was a chance to meet the founders of Isbjorn of Sweden – Maria and Camilla – who recently signed Sonny up as their UK brand ambassador!
Held in London’s Battersea Park, the show was probably a bit smaller than we expected, but still packed with cool things to do. You walk through a big outdoor section when you first arrive, complete with giant ferris wheel and a pop-up ski run called Mount Battersea with jumps that hosted some fantastic ‘big air’ competitions and exhibitions over the weekend. There were also loads of food vans and stalls selling everything from funky animal helmet covers to brand new skiing gear and overseas holidays.
There was a dedicated kids zone at the 2018 Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show, but I have to confess we never actually found it. Sonny was having too much fun on the fairground rides and having a virtual snowball fight (chucking real snowballs at a giant interactive screen) that we just never got there. Apparently there were magic shows, face painting, children’s entertainers, and loads more – so we messed up! There was also a climbing wall for slightly bigger kids, virtual reality winter sports experiences and games, husky dogs to pet, hundreds of cool competitions to enter, live demos from the UK’s top skiers and snowboarders, full-sized bobsleighs to clamber around in, and a brilliant little ice skating rink.
As usual we hadn’t planned ahead, and had forgotten to book a slot on the free ice skating rink before we arrived. But we managed to convince the helpful staff to let us sneak on for 30 minutes with Sonny, and he absolutely loved it. Armed with the brilliant new Isbjorn Toddler Hardshell Jumpsuit that he’d been zipped into for the very first at the Isbjorn stand (complete with full-sized polar bear) just a few minutes earlier, we hit the ice with one of those daft penguins that young kids use to balance on the ice. As always, Sonny surprised us with how quickly he took to the new activity and loved every second of his first ice skating experience. In the end we had to take it in turns to keep going round the rink with him, because we were both so knackered!
Tons of freebies
We came home with bag-loads of free stuff from energy drinks and discount cards for ski gear to Swiss chocolate and the offer of some free skiing lessons. Even better, Sonny got to meet Santa for the first time (even though he was terrified of him) and got a cute little cuddly snowman toy (which he slept in bed with that night when we got home).
Great for grown-ups
You definitely don’t need a family to enjoy the London Ski and Snowboard Show. There were artificial ski slopes to practice on, live bands to listen to, Winter Olympians to meet, ski academies dishing out expert tips, film premieres, an ice bar (and parties that went on until 10pm each night), mountain safety masterclasses, and info and discounts on all the best gear and destinations for the coming ski season. Basically, it’s great!
Outdoor dad verdict: London Ski & Snowboard show with kids
If you’re winter sports fans, this is a great way to spend a few hours as a family. Tickets are cheap and there’s so much going on that your kids will be totally entertained – plus there’s loads of cool stuff for adults too. I probably wouldn’t travel too far for it, but if you live in or around London then go for it.