Your next snow holiday doesn't just have to involve skiing or snowboarding. The world's most popular slopes, and some of the lesser known ones, host exciting events throughout the year.
Ranging from sport and music, to onesie weekends and family-friendly festivals, here are the major events to keep in mind when next planning a snow holiday.
World Ski & Snowboard Festival
8-17 April, Whistler
Named as 2016's best ski resort, Whistler is also home to the biggest annual gathering of winter sports, music, arts and culture in North America.
The festival boasts 10 days of free entertainment, competitions and non-stop parties. Don’t stick too close to the schedule – impromptu shows pop up all the time!
Mum’s Mountain Classic
14 April, Whistler
Open to all mums, stepmums, grandmums and girlfriends of mums, this fun race day includes morning coffee, lunch and apres festivities. This year’s theme is metallic, so get some bling to make the day unforgettable.
Thredbo Opening Weekend
Come along to one of Thredbo’s famous season-opening parties and enjoy poolside bashes, fireworks, live music from some of Australia’s hottest acts and access to one of Thredbo’s longest runs. There’s no better time to go!
10-13 June, Perisher
Celebrate the opening of Australia’s ski season with a huge music festival at one of the country’s best ski resorts. The festival showcases some of the best Australian artists, but make sure you catch the fireworks, themed concerts and poetry nights – and don’t forget to get your skiing in!
24 June - 3 July, Queenstown
If you love skiing, the arrival of winter is probably your favourite time of the year. Celebrate in style with everything winter and everything fun.
Roll off the ice-rink and straight into a pop-up cafe before wandering the markets and capping the day off with live music and comedy.
NZ Mountain Film Festival
1-9 July, Wanaka, Cromwell & Queenstown
Some of the best adventure and adrenaline films are screened here, and you can join in activities such as film-making and editing competitions, snow safety courses, and and presentations by renowned guest speakers.
More ski holiday inspiration
Sled Dog Classic
6-8 August, Falls Creek
If you’re feeling ski-ed out, there’s plenty more to do on the snow in Australia. This annual race is an exhilarating spectacle, pitting teams of dogs and their mushers against one another and the harsh alpine elements. Spectators can watch from the finish line to catch each dash to glory!
Perisher X-Country Ski Week
Head to Perisher for a week-long celebration of cross-country skiing. With a huge variety of races and trails, it’s perfect for skiers of all levels – as long as you love all things cross-country!
There’s also horse riding, mountain biking, and lots of cafes and vineyards for non-skiers and anyone wanting a rest day.
Gay Ski Week
27 August - 3 September, Queenstown
The largest gay and lesbian Winter Pride in the Southern Hemisphere is one big five-day party for skiers and non-skiers alike.
The opening night is a must-do, but every day brings something new, from foam parties to karaoke.
Light The Night
3 September, Falls Creek
Falls Creek will host this year’s Light the Night in support of the Leukaemia Foundation. Feel extra good tearing up the slopes knowing that you’re also helping to fund research to improve treatments for cancer.
9-11 September, Falls Creek
Who says you can’t stay snuggly warm on the snow? Wear your onesie with pride for this weekend of fun-filled skiing action and take advantage of all the discounts available to those in proper attire.
Kids Snow Festival
19-26 September, Thredbo
Face painting, pizza nights, fireworks, movie nights and more will make this every kid’s perfect Aussie school holiday.
December, Les Deux Alps, France
Voted as the 2015 European resort of the year, Les Deux Alps puts on a killer week-long party of DJs and snow.
Award-winning venues stretch along the whole mountain so you’re always close to beer and the countless apres-ski events. Ice discos, cinemas, and some of the best skiing in Europe make this festival unmissable.