For many, the word winter is synonymous with skiing. As soon as the first snowflake hits the ground, they are hitting the slopes. Although skiing is an exciting way to enjoy the outdoors, it can be quite pricey making this sport out of reach for many families. I am here to tell you that skiing doesn’t have to be out of your budget this season. All across the country are Ski for FREE programs that allow children to be introduced to this amazing sport as well as perfect their skills. I have put together a list of programs that allow kids to ski for FREE. The list is in alphabetical order by state. Happy skiing!
Ski for FREE Programs for Kids
5th Grade Passport: Colorado
Children in 5th grade can ski for FREE at 22 locations across Colorado. The Colorado Ski Country 5th Grade Passport offers kids 3 FREE days of skiing at each participating ski mountain, and NO parent purchase is necessary. The 6th Grade Passport is also available but costs $125. For more information, visit the Colorado Ski Country USA website.
Ski Free Passport Program: Idaho
This winter, 5th and 6th graders can ski for FREE at select mountains across the great state of Idaho. The Ski Free Passport for 5th graders provides 3 FREE days of skiing at each of the 18 participating locations, while the 6th grade program offers 2 FREE days at 16 locations. The processing fee is only $15. To learn more, visit the Ski Idaho website.
WinterKids Passport: Maine
The WinterKids Passport is celebrating its 20th Anniversary by selling the Passport for only $20! Kids in 5th, 6th and 7th grade that live in Maine, can ski for FREE at select mountains. The Passport also provides significant discounts for rentals and lessons. For kids in preschool through 4th grade, there is the WinterKids FunPass that offers FREE cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at over 20 locations across Maine! Visit the WinterKids Passport website for more information.
Ski & Ride Passport: Michigan
Kids in 4th and 5th grade can get the Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport that offers 3 FREE lift tickets at over 25 participating ski areas throughout Michigan. The program is sponsored by Michigan Snowsports Industries Association and McDonald’s. The processing free for the passport is just $20. To learn more and to sign up, visit the Go Ski Michigan website.
4th and 5th Grade Snowsports Passports: New Hampshire
Explore New Hampshire with your kids this winter where your 4th and 5th graders can ski for FREE! Each passport offers one free lift ticket or trail pass at over 30 resorts/mountains. The passport is only $30 and can be purchased on the Ski New Hampshire website.
Ski or Ride for FREE : New York
New York offers 2 FREE skiing program for kids. Learn to Ski or Ride is for beginner skiers and snowboarders in 3rd and 4th grade. It includes a lift ticket, rentals and one lesson at over 20 ski mountains throughout NY. Participants can use their pass once at each location. The Ski or Ride for FREE program is for 3rd and 4th graders who already know how to ski or snowboard. The passport provides kids with 3 FREE lift tickets at participating ski mountains when accompanied by a paying adult. Each program has a $27 application fee. To learn more and apply, visit the I Ski NY website.
4th and 5th Grade Snowpass Program: Pennsylvania
When accompanied by a paying adult, 4th and 5th graders can ski for FREE at 19 participating Pennsylvania ski mountains. Participants will get a First Time Ski/Board package that includes lift ticket, rentals and lesson as well as 3 FREE lift tickets for participating locations. There is an application fee of $40. To learn more and to apply, visit the Ski PA website.
5th and 6th Grade Passport Program: Utah
Hitting the slopes in gorgeous Utah this winter? Well if you have a 5th or 6th grader then you have to sign them up for the Passport Program that allows them to ski for FREE at 14 participating resorts. Fifth graders receive 3 lift tickets per resort while 6th graders receive 1 lift ticket per resort. There is a $35 application fee if completed before January 31 (it increases to $45 after that date). To learn more, visit the Ski Utah website.
5th Grade Passport Program: Vermont
Both of my boys learned to ski in Vermont, and I have to say, it is one of the best places to learn! This winter, get your 5th grader the Ski Vermont Passport that allows them to ski for FREE at select resorts throughout Vermont. Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult. The processing fee for the passport is only $10 making it an amazing deal! Learn more at the Ski Vermont website.
Children that are in 5th and 6th grade AND reside in Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., North Carolina or West Virginia, can get a snowLICENSE to Wintergreen Resort in Virginia. License holders will get up to 3 FREE lift tickets but they must be accompanied by an adult. The program runs from January 2-February 28, 2018. For more information, visit the Wintergreen Resort website.
In addition to the passport programs listed above, many resorts around the country offer Kids Ski FREE programs. These often require a vacation package in order to participate so make sure to research each resort carefully before booking your winter getaway.
Know of another Ski for FREE program near you? Put it in the comments section below, and we will add it to the list!