Found a place where kids ski free, read these tips for a fun family ski trip.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live near a good mountain, ski vacations are expensive. Gear rentals, lift tickets and lessons for a family—on top of hotel, food and transportation—add up. FamiliesGo! is helping you to make the expense a little more manageable with its updated round-up of resorts across the U.S. where kids ski free.
At most resorts the phrase “kids ski free” means they get their lift tickets comped when an adult also buys a lift ticket. Some resorts might offer other family discounts, too. Pay attention to the age ranges, minimum stays and blackout dates. Not all deals are created equal.
And remember, sometimes the best hill is the one closest to home, because it’s the one that gets your kids out there skiing or snowboarding the most.
Here are the kids-ski-free deals:
At Arizona Snowbowl everyone ski free on their birthdays (lucky winter babies). Kids ages 7 and younger get a free lift ticket any day an adult skis and kids 12 and under do, too, on select days. This year, select hotels are offering free stays with two adult lift-ticket purchases.
June Mountain (left) offers free lift tickets to kids 12 and under all season long; you don’t even need an adult lift ticket. It’s in the Eastern Sierra, east of San Jose. Kids lift tickets can be picked up at the mountain.
At Aspen Snowmass, book select lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass teens and kids age 7-12 ski free with equipment rentals. There are blackout dates, which of course coincide with school breaks. Kids under 7 get free lift tickets through the season.
At the unfortunately named Purgatory Resort parents who book a 2-night stay get 25% off lodging and a free kid’s lift ticket for each adult ticket through April 4. Some hotels are also offering a free second night’s stay and free second-day lift tickets with one night’s stay and the purchase of two or four one-day passes.
At PlatteKill Mountain in the New York Catskills, stay at select local hotels and receive either a free lift ticket for kids 17 and younger (1 kid’s ticket per adult ticket) or free Sunday lift tickets with the purchase of Saturday lift tickets. Also, lift tickets are always free for kids 7 and under. At most other mountains the age for free skiing seems to be either 5 or 6 and under.
Mount Abram in the southwest part of the state has partnered with the nearby Bethel Inn on a $600 package that includes two nights lodging, two days if lift tickets for two adults and two kids, one four-course dinner and breakfast on both mornings. Plus you get 10% off lessons and rentals. Available weekends through March 19.
At Moonlight Basin Resort in Big Sky, Montana (below) kids ski free if they are 10 years and under if either they also take a ski lesson or their parents book their lodging through Big Sky Central Reservations. Kids 5 and under always ski for free.
Angel Fire Resort (below) in the southern Rockies of Northern New Mexico is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year. It’s selling 550 tickets for Saturday, January 21 and 550 more for January 22 at $5.50 each. Half of those tickets are available online now as part of a lodging package. The remainder will be available at the ticket window on those mornings on a first-come, first-served basis. The resort also gives free lift tickets to 5th Graders (with a report card) when an adult buys a lift ticket. And it offers a Parenting Pass, which allows two parents to take turns using throughout the day; a great option for parents with kids too small to ski.
At Mount Bachelor, which is inland, east of Eugene, kids can ski free for as many days as their parents do when the parents buy lift tickets for three or more consecutive days. There are no posted black-out dates, which means this is actually a winter-break option. But the adult ticket need to be booked online at least four days in advance.
Brighton ski resort, outside of Salt Lake City, offers two free lift tickets per paying adult for kids 10 and under. That’s one of the better deals of this type that we’ve seen and handy for larger families.
Every year Mount Snow, in the lower part of the state, offers a Kids Pay Their Age Day. This year on Sunday, January 8th. Kids aged 18 and under pay only their age for a full day lift ticket. These lift tickets have to be bought at the mountain on the day of the event.
Stay for three nights at the lodge at Snowshoe Mountain and one kid (ages 6-12) per adult skis free each day an adult does. Kids also get free admission to the Split Rock pool area and Big Top Activity Center, which offers bunny bouncing, rock climbing and bouncy houses. Kids 5 and under can get $10 lift tickets and kids 6 can use Split Rock and Big Top for free.
Sleeping Giant Ski Area near Yellowstone National Park offers free lift tickets to local fifth graders.
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