We took our family to the ski show
– by Jim Duncombe
In preparation for our first family ski holiday we thought a good warm up would be to take them to the precursor to the ski season the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard show in Battersea. As the show was being held during the Autumn half term the show was promising plenty for young ones to do my children are 2 and 4 years old so I was still unsure how entertained they would be while I looked around. Spoiler Alert: My children were more than entertained for the time we were there but not for the reason you would expect.
The show, which goes on until Sunday the 30th of October, has made an effort to attract families and make sure it is good value for money, a family ticket is £40 and under 11’s are free. They have also put on a few activities that will appeal to the younger generation.
This year they have installed a real ice rink that is free to have a go on and all you need to do is book a time online or when you arrive. I am no John Curry but that didn’t stop me attempting to teach my 4 year old how to skate. For me it was like a 20 minute weight lifting session as she held on to my arm while doing her best to look as she had been to the Acme Loony Toons ice skating school. We walked away uninjured and very entertained.
Normally KidZania can be found in the London Westerfield and is a giant role-play city for kids. A small section of this was transported to the back of the ski show and we had a go at being pro golfers and surgeons which everyone taking part looked like they were really enjoying it. Our 2 year old got giveen a hat for taking part in the golf tournment, which as you will find out opened the flood gates for free stuff.
Skiing and boarding
Despite all the ski chat that goes on in our house my children have never seen real life ski people. During the demos on the kicker and RailJam area they were totally engrossed and it could well be the moment that they start to develop an interest for the mountain lifestyle. Which I hope they do as a family ski holiday is a holiday that spans the generations and continues even when other holidays have been abandons or snubed… athough I may soon learn that this is because “mum and dad are paying”.
Talking & Shopping
Normally the show is about chatting and catching up with people. Not this year. If you want to research, shop and relax don’t take two under 4’s they aren’t interested. I managed one full conversation with Andrew an inventor who had designed the PolePod, an adaptor that turns your ski pole into a selfie stick, and can be found in the innovation area. An area where I would have liked to spent a bit more time.
As it is Halloween week, on the way in we were given a bag of sweets for the children which set a precedent for what was to come. It has always been a tradition of trade shows to give away free marketing stuff, as an adult I have learn’t that I don’t need 100’s of ski resort stickers, out of date ski pass holders or badly made pens. A 2 year old, hyper on jelly beans, has yet to learn this. Once he had been gifted a hat and the initial shyness had subsided it was assumed that everything on any stand was fair game. I had to put a lot of things back.
A glimpse of the future
We had a good time. We didn’t learn much new about the development of the sport. We did find out what it will be like taking our family unit skiing. If your in a similar situation to us and at the ski show then I suggest that you head to the photo booth, tell everyone to get kitted up with ski gear and have their photo taken… this may give you an insight into what it would be like with all that kit and all those children in a ski resort.