With its famous powder snow, Niseko has staked its claim as a premier ski destination that ranks among some of the best in the world. This is why it comes as no surprise that more and more vacationers would like to visit the Aspen of the East and experience its offerings which includes not just skiing, but as well indulging in Niseko’s luxury chalets, first-class resorts, steaming onsens, and much more.
For families traveling with kids, it may seem that the little ones would only be stuck waiting for the grown-ups to finish skiing in the slopes. Truth is, that doesn’t have to be the case at all. There are actually a lot of activities in Niseko that are specially made for kids so that they too can make the most of their snowy vacation.
Here are some of the child-friendly activities in Niseko that young adventurers will surely love and enjoy while you hit the slopes.
1. Skiing & Snowboarding Lessons
Youngsters taking ski lessons from an instructor at Niseko Base. Photo: nisekobase.com
There is a good number of ski resorts that provide special programs tailor-made for kids. This is a perfect activity for the little ones who would like to develop their skiing and snowboarding skills early on. Having your kids join these lessons will allow them to learn the basics so they can enjoy the slopes with you as soon as possible.
Niseko Base offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for all levels, including lessons for the little ones. The resort’s Kid’s Club accepts children 3 to 14 years old, grouped in specific age ranges to allow better communication and pacing that works best for their age and capability.
Hanazono Resort in Hokkaido is home to the Niseko International Snowsports School (NISS). The school aims to inspire passion for snow sports among the young ones by teaching them skiing fundamentals. The NISS offers learning programs in two age brackets, a skiing program for younger children from 3 to 6 years old, and a skiing and snowboarding program for 7 to 14-year-olds. All their programs are specially designed to provide a safe and engaging learning environment for kids of different skill levels.
2. Daycare Centers
Engaging activities with the professional caregivers and teachers of Niseko Kid’s Club’s daycare center. Photo: nisekokidsclub.com
When you want peace of mind that your kids are taken care of while you hit the slopes, you can take them to daycare centers and kids’ clubs in Niseko. There is a good selection of daycare centers in Niseko, some of which are already within ski resorts so that parents and their children alike can fully enjoy their resort experience.
One of the most trusted childcare service providers in this ski destination is Niseko’s Kid’s Club. Their international daycare centers in Hirafu and Hanazono allow children to discover new skills and build their confidence through fun and engaging activities. There’s also the Kids Room which is Grand Hirafu’s dedicated center for kids. This daycare center is located within the Hotel Niseko Aspen and is fully equipped with toys, snacks, and refreshments that kids will surely love.
3. Indoor Playgrounds
A toddler on a climbing wall at Hanazono’s all-new Galaxy of Kidz. Photo: hanazononiseko.com
When your kids find it too cold outside but still want more excitement, you can also take them to indoor playgrounds. These massive playgrounds will surely thrill the young ones and keep them busy while you’re away. These are also the perfect chill-out spots for parents with kids who are still too eager for some playtime.
The Kids Garden at Niseko Adventure Centre (NAC) is a huge indoor jungle maze that energetic youngsters will surely enjoy exploring. NAC Kids Garden is also conveniently located inside JoJo’s restaurant so that parents can spend some time off the slopes and relax over enjoy good food and coffee while their child is busy having fun interacting with other kids. There’s also the all-new Galaxy of Kidz at Hanazono where children can play and challenge themselves through exciting activities in a safe environment. Featuring climbing walls, floating adventure trails, netball pits, and more, Galaxy of Kidz will surely keep little explorers entertained even while indoors.
4. Snowshoe Tours
A family taking a leisurely hike and exploring the surrounding nature in snowshoes. Photo: wetravelhappy.com
When you’d rather enjoy as a whole family, you can go on fun snowshoe tours. Enjoy an extraordinary snow hiking experience with the kids as you explore the snow-covered forest of Niseko. This is an enjoyable activity that is easier and much safer than skiing, making it perfect for families with little ones.
Grand Hirafu offers a Nature Hiking Program where families can hike and explore the wonderful winter scenery. The hiking program offers Snowshoe Tours that children 7 years old and up can enjoy, and a Snow Rambler Tour for kids ages 10 and above.
5. Snow Tubing
Kids enjoying an exhilarating downhill tube ride at the Hanazono Tube Park. Photo: hanazononiseko.com
Another popular winter activity is snow tubing. This is an adventure for all ages that families traveling to Niseko should definitely try. Ideal for young thrill-seekers, this activity is a kid-friendly alternative to skiing.
The Hanazono Tube Park is one of the best spots for snow tubing. It is a safe and dedicated area where the entire family can play and have fun in the snow. They also have magic carpets to take you back to the top so you can spend less time walking and more time sliding. The Tube Park is open to kids as young as 3 years old. Another snow tubing area is the Kids Park at Grand Hirafu. It is the resort’s dedicated outdoor activity area specially made for kids where they can take part in activities such as tubing, sledding, and igloos.