Winter holidays with children in St. Moritz

St. Moritz has established itself as a glamorous and luxurious ski resort, with an exciting gastronomic scene, a selection of top designer boutiques, art galleries and world-famous events. For most, St. Moritz is primarily an ideal choice for adults, but if you're looking for a winter holiday for the whole family, we're happy to share a list of places and ideas that will definitely appeal to the younger generation.

Snow “pizza” and “pasta”

No, we’re not talking here about restaurants, but about young children first ski descents, starting in “pizza”-style and slowly progressing to parallel “spaghetti”-like skiing. We recommend choosing a ski school closer to your chalet or apartment. This could be Suvretta Ski School, whose beginner slope is conveniently located in the Suvretta area. For families living in the centre of St Moritz, booking one of the Red Legends instructors who train beginners on the Salastrains slope, might be a good idea. This slope is located directly in the Corviglia ski area, and it is comfortable to watch the children’s first successes from the terraces of the nearby restaurants. There are also wonderful beginner slopes in Surlej near the Corvatsch ski area, in Celerina and in Pontresina. If your child is already a confident skier or snowboarder and would like to learn new tricks, we recommend the freestyle Fresk Academy, whose training sessions also take place in the Snow Park in the Corvatsch ski area.

Mini gourmets

As mentioned, St Moritz is well deserving its title as a high-altitude gourmet mecca. Children are welcome in absolutely all restaurants, but some may be better suited for families in terms of menu, space and restaurant design. Our kids love: Salastrains, Glünetta and Trutz in the Corviglia ski area, Alpetta and Kuhstall in the Corvatsch ski area, the pizzerias in the historic Chesa Veglia and at the Hotel Kulm, the Chesa Al Parc restaurant with a figure skating rink and curling area (more on this below), the Bellavista in Surlej, Chasellas in the Suvretta area, the Trattoria at the Walther Hotel and Le Pavillon with its own ice rink at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, as well as the panoramic mountain Muottas Muragl restaurant or the Dorta restaurant in Zuoz. And all children love the mini sandwiches and sweets served with the traditional afternoon tea at Badrutt’s Palace and Suvretta House.

Pirouettes on ice

In the high season the choice of places for ice skating is large! In case of favourable weather conditions at the beginning of the season (when the lakes are getting frozen during the snowfall-free period), skating on the “black” ice of the lakes from Maloja to Champfer or on Lago Bianco on the Bernina Pass is an unparalleled experience. The 400-metre ice track on Lake Staz usually opens in December, and St. Moritz lake ones in January. If your children are already confident on skates, you can go on the 2.5-kilometre ice track from Madulain to Zuoz. If not, professional instructors will be happy to give lessons on the ice rinks near the Chesa Al Parc restaurant, in Celerina, Silvaplana or on the artificial ice of the Ludains ice arena in St. Moritz. For little hockey players or families who would like to try their hand at curling, there are also many suitable ice rinks located throughout the Engadin Valley.

Sledding

The most famous sledding run in the St Moritz area starts from Muottas Muragl, which can be reached by a classic funicular railway. This track is suitable for older children, while families with young ones will find the Preda-Bergün track a marvelous choice for a full day trip. You can get to the start of the 6-kilometre run by train from St. Moritz and rent a sled at the Preda station. The best place for lunch is the Weisses Kreuz restaurant in Bergün, and children might enjoy a visit as well to the Albula Train Museum before returning. There are also small toboggan runs scattered throughout the Engadin Valley: the forest track in Sils Maria, the Languard slope in Pontresina, the small slopes near the Bellavista restaurant and Сrap da Sass castle in Surlej-Silvaplana, the children’s snow tubing track in Maloja, and the night sledging track in Celerina, which only welcomes visitors for a few days in February.

Picturesque walks

Of course, the main thing families come to Engadin for is sport in all its winter forms. But sometimes you want to slow down and just make an easy hike with your family, play snowballs, build a snowman. There are several routes that are perfect for kids. For example, from the village of Sils, you can take a horse-drawn carriage to the valley of Fex, have lunch at the cosy Sonne restaurant, and walk back on foot, or take a toboggan ride on the forest toboggan track. Another wonderful option is to take the funicular up to Muottas Muragl, walk along the prepared walking route, play on the playground, admire the breathtaking panoramic views and paragliders, and then, descending into the valley, have lunch in the cozy restaurant La Terra. Incidentally, if your kids are old enough, they can try their hand at tandem paragliding themselves. Other favorite routes include the Schellenursli Weg, which takes you from the Salastrains ski area directly to St. Moritz, or a walk through the snowy Staz forest.

What if there’s a snowstorm?

If inclement weather has suddenly altered your outdoor plans, here are a few ideas for keeping the kids busy indoors. Firstly, swimming. Kids love Ovaverva for its waterslides and a wide choice of swimming pools. Secondly, tennis or paddle: indoor courts are located in lower St Moritz part. If your children speak German, a good plan for the afternoon might be a visit to the restored Scala cinema. There is also a slide for children and a Bobsleigh and Cresta museum in the cinema building. Another interesting museum for children is the house of the artist Milly Weber, located near Lake St Moritz. A 30-minute drive away, in the village of Zernez, we recommend visiting the National Park Centre, which will introduce children to the fauna and flora of the region in an interesting way. On the way back, don’t forget to stop at the indoor Serlas Park, where children can enjoy rock climbing or mini-bowling.

Christmas trees and skijöring

And what is St Moritz without its famous events? In December, be sure to plan a family visit to the Christmas markets, the grand Christmas tree lighting ceremony with music and mulled wine at Badrutt’s Palace and don’t forget to book a table for the children’s Christmas party at the same hotel. February Saturdays are for White Turf family days, where kids can try their hand at skijoring, watch pony rides or enjoy a tasty snack right on St Moritz’s frozen lake.

Photos courtesy of: Engadin St. Moritz, White Turf St. Moritz, Suvretta Ski School

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