I was intending to write a guide of activities to do during a toddler’s summer in St Anton am Arlberg. But actually the great thing about summertime in the mountains is the chance to unwind. We took it as a great chance to slow down and not schedule any activities. “Isn’t that boring?” I hear you say. Or “didn’t your toddler drive you crazy?” Not at all. So here is my guide to doing nothing in the mountains…
A chance to breathe…
Firstly, don’t make any plans. It was very refreshing to have nothing planned beyond travel arrangements and accommodation. So often I am trying to maximise how much I can cram into the time available. It was lovely to be able to drift. And do whatever you felt like doing at the time. Or do nothing but sit and gaze at the scenery. If that was what you felt like doing. For the latter it helps if you are well equipped with toys for the toddler. Anything to keep them entertained while you get a chance to sit for a while.
Second, take full advantage of the great outdoors. If you are primarily a city dweller, I am fast coming to the conclusion that there is nothing better than a walk where you don’t have to pick your way through rubbish and broken glass. What once looked like reasonably clean city streets become remarkably hazardous once I had a little person trying to pick everything up. Here we were blessed with strolls through the clean and quiet village. These little things made me happy.
Third, discover increasingly picturesque playgrounds. Overlooking a lake or at the top of a mountain definitely beats the local park. I’m not sure it made that much difference to Daisy; a swing is exciting wherever it is. But gazing at a mountain panorama while pushing a swing is certainly more interesting for the adult than yet another featureless inner city park.
…but lots to do if you want to
And finally, there are actually lots of things to do if you start to get itchy feet. Many are the same as you might do in the winter in St Anton am Arlberg with a toddler. But without the snow and hopefully in the warm sunshine. Although being the mountains, the weather can be changeable, so make sure you are prepared if going too far afield. There are many more opportunities for walks in the summer, as more and more paths become accessible with the melting snow.
A trip on a cable car or chairlift is much more pleasant with a toddler in summer. It is really quiet compared with the winter. This also applies to the cafes and restaurants. Your toddler can happily run around places you would never dream of taking them in the winter ski season. And of course the wellness centre is available for a swim. Come rain or shine, due to its choice of indoor and outdoor pools.
If all the greenery and fresh air gets too much, sightseeing and museum opportunities are not far away. For example, Innsbruck is around an hour away, as is Dornbirn, which have toddler-friendly activities such as the alpine zoo or nature museum.
However, I fully recommend just kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the mountain scenery. And letting your toddler run around free, just being a toddler.