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Top 10 Winter Activities for Families with Kids in Gstaad Area: Ultimate Guide

Discover the Winter Gstaad Family Guide to making the most of the area with kids, both on and off the snow. Canton of Bern, Switzerland.


The it factor


Beautiful range of mountain villages, each offering an impressive mix of activities with a fun factor.




Download a map showcasing all activities and start planning your journey.



 

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The fun factor


Gstaad is renowned for its prestige and authentic Alpine charm. Described as the "last paradise in a crazy world" by Julie Andrews, the region includes nine villages. Legend has it that the landscape took shape when God paused during the world's creation, imprinting the valleys and placing Gstaad in their midst. Personally, I find the villages in this region to be among the most beautiful in Switzerland.


Gstaad isn't just about skiing and pretty chalets. We recently checked out the main villages (Gstaad, Saanen, Saanenmöser, or Zweisimmen) and found tons of fun activities for families, whether you're on the slopes or not. From hanging out in an igloo village to trekking with llamas, riding ponies, playing indoors, or exploring the town by horse-drawn carriage, Gstaad has loads of options. Here are nine things to do in the main villages that'll add a fun factor to your trip.


 

- SNOW FUN | GSTAAD & SAANENMÖSER -

Skiing, sledging, and igloo village

1. Learn to ski


Gstaad is renowned for its commitment to excellence, boasting 200 km of slopes and five dedicated kids' learning areas with magic carpets and engaging activities and four ski schools. Whether you're staying near Gstaad, Saanen, Saanenmöser, or Zweisimmen, you'll find a nearby kids' learning village for added convenience. During our visit, we tried the Gstaad School private class near Wispile and were impressed by the teachers' dedication and the quality of lessons.- There are two conveyor belts available—one for ski school and another for private lessons and public use—along with fun elements designed to assist kids in their learning process. Note that this school isn't directly connected to the main ski area. For dropping off the kids at school and hitting the slopes, Saanenmöser ski village may be your best option, and it's often open even in low snow conditions.


From beginner-friendly slopes to exciting fun parks and challenging runs, there's something for every skill level. In this blog, we won't delve into detailed slope reviews, as there are other websites dedicated to this topic. We're all about family fun and will instead focus on the other enjoyable activities available in the area.



You can check which learning area is currently open here.


The value factor (2023/2024 season)


Kids group ski classes:


  • Two hour introduction from 44 CHF (in Zweisimmen) to 70 CHF (in Saanenmöser)

  • Half a day class from 56 CHF (in Saanen) to 85 CHF  (in Saanenmöser)

  • More info: Saanenmöser | Gstaad | Zweisimmen | Saanen


 

2. Sledge in the winter wonderland


With an impressive 30 km of sledging runs, Tobogganing fans are in for a treat. However, many of these runs are in the lower parts and may not have artificial snow, so be sure to check openings before planning your trip.


Among the recommended easy options for families are Eggli Run and Wispile Run in Gstaad, Saanersloch Run bottom part in Saanenmöser, and Sparenmoos Run in Zweisimmen (accessible by bus).


For more advanced sledgers, Horneggli Run, Horneggli Run Süd in Schönried, Saanersloch Run top part, and Hornberg Run in Saanenmöser are recommended.



During our visit, only two Saanenmöser runs (Saanersloch bottom part and Hornberg) were open, so we decided to give them a try. To access the Saanersloch easy run, you'll need to take a gondola, while the Hornberg run, which is more challenging, requires an additional chairlift.


Despite encountering some steeper and narrower sections on the Hornberg Run, our four-year-old still enjoyed the adventure. It's worth noting that while the Hornberg Run is marked as easy on the slope, it's rated as more difficult on the website and we would recommend it more for experienced sledgers. For families, the Saanersloch bottom part is an easy and suitable option.  


You can check our map for details on the location of each run.



The value factor (2023/2024 season):


Full day Sledging pass:


  • Adults: From 20 CHF to 40 CHF

  • Children (6 - 15 years old): From 13 CHF to 20 CHF


Single sledging ticket:


  • Adults: From 6 CHF to 34 CHF

  • Children (6 - 15 years old): From 3 CHF to 17 CHF



 

3. Explore the Igloo Village


Situated near the Saanerslochgrat gondola station, high up at 2,000 meters and easily accessible from Saanenmöser, lies the magical Igloo Village (Iglu-dorf). Here, you can

drop by for a visit (free of charge) or stay overnight in an igloo room adorned with beautiful ice wall decorations.


During our visit, we strolled through the corridors, admiring the rooms as if we were exploring an art exhibition. The intricate designs left us mesmerized, feeling as though we had wandered into an icy wonderland. The kids, especially taken with the unicorn-themed decor, added an extra sprinkle of magic to our adventure.



You don't have to spend the night to experience the charm of Iglu-dorf. You can simply unwind at the bar and soak in the breathtaking view while your kids play in the snow. The village also features a fondue restaurant and various games to keep everyone entertained. Just be aware, there's a short but steep snowy pass to navigate to reach the village.

Opening hours are limited, so be sure to check before your visit.



Add more excitement to your winter getaway, especially if you have older kids, with a thrilling Mystery Igloo adventure game in the snow. Work together as a family to solve puzzles and uncover hidden secrets. You can book your adventure here.

The value factor (2023/2024 season):



 

- OFF THE SLOPE FUN | GSTAAD -


4. Experience the village by horse carriage


Upon entering the village center, you'll find horse carriages awaiting passengers, offering an experience we highly recommend. We suggest opting for a ride with the Grünigen family, who offer various tour options ranging from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, including fondue rides. During our excursion, we strolled along the river and through town, much to the delight of our eager children who relished the horse-drawn journey.


After our ride, the friendly carriage driver Johann allowed the kids to sit on the horses and up front, pretending to steer the carriage—an experience they described as truly magical and a highlight of the day.


The value factor (2023/2024 season):


  • Carriage ride: From 90 CHF for 30 minutes ride

  • Booking & More info


 

5. Hit the ice rink


Near the Gstaad village center, there's a charming ice skating rink with amazing views. Equipped with rented ice skates, our little one took to the ice, supported by one of the available ice skating chairs for both kids and adults.


The well-maintained rink let us enjoy skating with a backdrop of majestic mountains.



The value factor (2023/2024 season):


Tickets:



 

6. Take a break in the Arc-en-ciel restaurant & hotel


For a delightful dining experience with an added touch of fun, we highly recommend the Arc-en-ciel restaurant & hotel, conveniently located just a short stroll from the kids ski area. The restaurant's name, which means rainbow in French, sets the tone for a colorful and enjoyable visit. Upon arrival, you're greeted by a playful outdoor playground, complete with a charming gondola for kids to explore. In the summer, guests can also take advantage of the outdoor pool.



Inside, the fun continues with two indoor playrooms available to both hotel and restaurant guests. One room is specially designed for younger children, featuring slides and climbing structures, while the other caters to older kids with play tables, computer games, and driving simulators. These indoor playrooms provide endless entertainment for the kids, allowing parents to enjoy their meal in peace. It's a perfect combination of delicious dining and family-friendly fun.



The food factor: Arc-en-ciel


I generally avoid commenting on food quality, as tastes differ among individuals. However, during our visit to Arc-en-ciel, we were all impressed with the cuisine. The menu featured a diverse selection of dishes that were both flavorful and creatively prepared. Additionally, the kids' menu is excellent, and the two 4-year-olds accompanying us thoroughly enjoyed their pasta dishes. If we have the chance to return, we'll definitely revisit this wonderful spot.



The value factor (2023/2024 season):


 

Seasonal Bonus Activity: Jump like a crazy kangaroo!


During our visit in February 2024, we stumbled upon a temporary addition: Gigi Trampolino, featuring four giant trampolines that offered endless fun for kids and adults alike (ranging from 10 to 80 kg). Participants could jump as high as they wanted while safely strapped into a harness. Our 4-year-old eagerly seized the opportunity to bounce around and have some fun.

And it seems our little daredevil wasn't the only one getting a bounce out of it; even A-listers like Natalie Portman and Salma Hayek were spotted bouncing around in Gstaad last year. Who knew trampolining was the latest celebrity trend?



The value factor (2023/2024 season): 10 CHF per person

 

- OFF THE SLOPE FUN | SAANEN -


7. Gallop into a horseback adventure


Calling all pony ride enthusiasts! We certainly have one in our household. So when we discovered that in Saanen, there's a stable offering pony and horse rides, we jumped at the chance. We booked a half-hour pony ride and were thoroughly impressed by the professionalism of the staff. Safety was paramount, with riding hats mandatory for all riders. Even our four-year-olds were treated like seasoned equestrians, which they absolutely adored. While pony rides are typically offered outdoors in the summer, during the winter, they're hosted in the safety of the riding hall. After the ride, we took a brief walk outside for some memorable photo opportunities. If your little ones share our passion for horses, this experience will be a delightful addition to your trip.


The value factor (2023/2024 season):



 

8. Get a dose of indoor fun at Station Saanen


Situated in a former fire station and spread across two floors, Station Saanen is a fantastic space for kids to unwind, unleash their creativity and have fun. Upstairs, they can dive into various creative activities like painting, crafting, practice knot skills, enjoy a fun ball pit and more. But our absolute favorite? The cozy gondolas filled with books, twinkling lights, and even tonies for listening to stories – the perfect way to relax after a busy day of play.



After exploring the creative space upstairs, kids can slide down into the world of wheels, rolling balls, and mechanics downstairs. Here, they can engage in hands-on activities like pulling strings, rolling balls, turning knobs, and unleashing their inner engineer. It's a space where curiosity meets creativity, and endless fun awaits!



Outside, there's a small play area featuring a snow plow and swings, perfect for some outdoor fun and fresh air after all the indoor excitement.



Tip: Station Saanen is open only on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.


The value factor (2023/2024 season):


 

9. Elevate your family stay: Huus Hotel


We're discerning when it comes to recommending accommodations, and Huus Hotel Saanen truly stands out. While not strictly a kids' hotel, it embodies the essence of family-friendly hospitality. Here, you'll find numerous amenities catering to children, including daycare, animations, and a special touch - a delightful dog toy gift and shark slippers as a welcome treat for each child. Our four-year-old was absolutely enthralled with them. Despite its focus on families, the hotel maintains an upscale and chic ambiance, ensuring that you still enjoy a premium experience. It's the perfect blend of luxury and family-friendly convenience.



The hotel offers three indoor playrooms, with one open to all guests and two exclusively for children enrolled in the daycare program (complimentary for hotel guests). Alongside these spaces, there's a dedicated game room equipped with arcade games, pool tables, and more, catering to older kids seeking entertainment during their stay. Additionally, children can enjoy exploring the hotel grounds on bobby cars, adding an extra dimension of fun to their experience.



The food factor: Huus hotel


Three restaurants await with an eclectic mix of cuisines, including sushi and a cozy fondue hut illuminated by green lights. The kids' menu offers a delightful array of options, and we were thrilled to discover a poke bowl on the menu - my favourite! And don't miss the DJ nights - our two little ones boogied down like tiny rockstars!



Plus, there's a swimming pool (no slides, sorry thrill-seekers!) to splash around in after a day of conquering adventures - or to unwind before tackling them!


The value factor (2023/2024 season):



 

- OFF THE SLOPE FUN | ZWEISIMMEN -


10. Embark on a Llama Trek with Lama&Co


Honestly, we weren't quite sure what to expect from llama trekking, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience! The adventure began even before we arrived, navigating a narrow mountain road with breathtaking views. Upon reaching the destination, we were greeted by a small army of llamas, their curious faces peering from behind the fence. Their adorable faces were simply irresistible!


There were various adventure options available, from a 1.5-hour walk to a trek with a fondue break or even an overnight stay in tents or huts. If you have specific preferences, you can always discuss them with the organizer, who is flexible and accommodating.


We opted for a one-hour walk, starting gently on a paved road before venturing into the mountain fields and forest, adding an extra layer of excitement to the experience. At first, our 4-year-old was a bit apprehensive, unsure of what to expect from the llamas, but she quickly overcame her fears and walked confidently, referring to them as her "giant dogs" on leashes. The highlight of the trek was when the llamas started making the most unexpected and hilarious sounds. Even days after our adventure one of us would burst into a spontaneous llama impression, much to the amusement of everyone around. It's an experience you have to witness for yourself!



Quick Tip: Don't forget good walking boots!



 

The food factor


With 164 restaurants in the area, there's something for every taste bud. Our favorites, as always, are those that combine delicious food with entertainment for the kids.


In Saanen, La Vue at Huus Hotel steals the show, offering an authentic taste of the Alps with straightforward, honest, and contemporary cuisine.

Meanwhile, in Gstaad, La Sarine at Arc-en-ciel is a paradise for lovers of regional and seasonal specialties.


Both offer kids' menus and come with a built-in play area to keep the little ones entertained while you enjoy your meal.


 

The comfort factor


Accommodations in the area cater to every budget, ranging from camping sites and farm stays to hostels and luxury hotels.


During our stay, we opted for the Huus Family Hotel in Saanen, which has excellent kids facilities, daycare services, and an indoor pool. We had a fantastic experience and highly recommend it.



 

Winter Family Wonderland of Gstaad, Saanenn and Zweisimmen - Practical Info


  • Arrival by car

    • Check at your accommodation for parking options

  • Arrival by public transport

    • There is a direct train from major Swiss cities to Zweisimmen. You can change there and take a train to Gstaad, Saanenmöser or Saanen.

  • More info


 

Download our 2024 Family Fun Factor map, complete with clickable links to Google Maps for each location.


Gstaad with a Family Fun Factor Winter map 2024
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