Ten of the best family activities
Husky-dog sled ridesWhere: Hemsedal, Geilo, Beitostølen, Trysil, Hovden
True, these days you can even get dog sled rides in the Alps, but there is something uniquely Scandinavian about this activity. The enthusiasm of the dogs as their handler hitches them to the sleds is a joy to behold, but it’s once you get out onto the forest or fell trails that Norway’s landscape exerts its real magic. Wrapped up against the cold, and snuggled into furs you race through a white wonderland that could have come straight out of Narnia.
Dine in a tepeeWhere: Beitostølen
Enjoy a traditional Norwegian meal in a lavo – a traditional Norwegian tent that’s like a tepee. It makes a change from steak hâché and chips!
Don’t expect to just turn up and be turned loose on these snowmachines. Norwegians love rugged, but take their safety seriously, so in resort you get a full briefing on how to handle the snowmobile before tackling a course with enough twists and turns to get the adrenalin flowing. And the children get to drive their own minisnowmobiles around their own course.
It’s like a mix of white-water rafting (but without the flowing water!) and tubing. After a safety demo, you launch yourself down a carefully-prepared gully run in a giant inflatable raft. What’s not to like?
Horsedrawn sleigh ridesWhere: Hemsedal, Beitostølen, Geilo
Pull the blankets around you and watch the frosty breath – yours and the horse’s – dissipating into the night air, as your sleigh is pulled through a wintery wonderland. This is winter as it should be enjoyed and will guarantee some lovely family memories.
Nature ParkWhere: Geilo
Landegrag Nature Park is a firm family favourite in Geilo. On a nature and trollspotting safari you will likely see elk and may also meet wolves, lynx, reindeer, mountain foxes and many other animals. But most of all, kids will love looking for signs of trolls!
Treetop WalkWhere: Geilo
Geilo’s Treetop Walk high ropes course is one of the largest in Norway, and offers 29 different challenges with varying degrees of difficulty. It includes zip lines (aerial runways), and the last one is an exhilarating 150m long!
TobogganingWhere: Hemsedal, Geilo, Beitostølen, Hovden
The family fun way to enjoy the slopes. Whizzing down a snowy slope on a toboggan is a great leveller and great way for families to relax, especially if the kids have been learning to ski.
SnowshoeingWhere: Beitostolen, Geilo, Hemsedal, Trysil, Hovden
The perfect way for everyone to enjoy powder! Strap on a pair of snowshoes and join a guided walk that will take you to the places skiers just can’t reach. Enjoy the total silence of snowy woods and fields, broken only by the crunch of your own footsteps.
Ice climbingWhere: Geilo, Hemsedal
Whether it’s a frozen waterfall, or a man-made ice wall, ice climbing will stretch muscles that even skiing doesn’t challenge. With special crampons strapped to your boots, you’ll wield the ice picks and hack and chop your way to the top.