Family ski vacations are hugely popular, but nobody ever said they were cheap—especially when you start shelling out for lift tickets, lodging, food, equipment, and lessons.
For families who love the white stuff, there is nothing better than a resort that lets you save some green. While a great many ski resorts offer free lift tickets for very young children (typically under age 5 or 6), some of the most family-friendly resorts also offer packages that include free lift tickets for older children in elementary or middle school.
In addition, many states offer ski passports that let grade-school students ski and ride for free. Kids can apply online or through the mail and must provide proof of their current school grade. Typically, each passport is good for several free lift tickets at each participating ski resort.
Here’s where to find “kids ski free” offers at ski destinations in North America for 2017-2018 season. As always, be sure to read the fine print about qualifying kids’ ages, booking deadlines, minimum stays, and blackout dates.
Kids Ski Free in California
Kids 12 and under always ski free, all season long.
Kids Ski Free in Colorado
Colorado Ski Country offers 5th--grade and 6th-grade passports for free skiing and snowboarding at 22 participating resorts.
Early season special: Kids age 6 to 12 ski free any two days during the ski season. Sign up ends Dec. 18, 2017.
Spring ski vacation, anyone?
Book lodging and rent ski equipment from Aspen-Snowmass and kids age 7 to 12 receive free lift tickets for each day of rental. Book at least one month before arrival. Travel January 1 through mid-April. Some blackout dates apply.
With the One! Two! Free! deal, save up to 33 percent when you book a two-night stay and receive a third night free.
Kids ski free with the purchase of an adult two-day lift ticket. The deal includes a third day of rentals and group lessons free plus a secret pass to skip the lines.
Take advantage of the Kid Ski Free at Crested Butte offer when you plan an early- or late-season ski getaway (Nov 23-Dec 15, 2017 and April 1-8, 2018)
More than 25,000 kids have skied for free at Keystone, whose deal is as straightforward as could be, with no blackout dates: stay two nights at your choice of lodgings and two kids 12 and under ski and ride for free.
Kids 12 and under ski free when you stay 2 nights and buy adult lift tickets. Get 40 percent off resort lodging too. Available through April 1, 2018. Some blackout dates apply.
Kids 12 years of age and under can ski free the same number of days as an accompanying adult who purchases a 5-days-or-more lift ticket.
Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible for four free days of skiing with the Epic SchoolKids initiative from Vail Resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone Kids.
Kids Ski Free in Idaho
Ski Idaho offers free ski-and-ride passports for 5th and 6th graders.
Fifth graders are eligible for three free days at 18 mountains, and 6th graders are eligible for two free days at 16 participating locations.
Ski the Northwest Rockies offers a 5th-grade passport for free skiing and snowboarding at seven ski resorts in Idaho and Washington State.
Kids Ski Free in Maine
WinterKids offers free ski-and-ride passports for Maine 5th- 6th-, and 7th graders for free skiing at 14 locations.
Sugar Loaf Mountain
Book an earlybird ski-and-stay package for two or more nights and get free kids lift tickets for ages 12 and under. Book by Nov. 30, 2017.
Kids Ski Free in Michigan
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association offers a 4th-grade “Cold is Cool” passport for free skiing and snowboarding at 21 resorts. Available only to Michigan residents.
Kids Ski Free in Montana
Big Sky Resort
Book a stay through Big Sky Reservations and kids 5 and under ski free.
Kids Ski Free in New Hampshire
Ski NH offers free ski-and-ride passports for 4th and 5th graders at 34 locations.
Kids Ski Free in New York State
I Ski NY offers 3rd-grade and 4th-grade passports for free skiing and snowboarding at 30 locations.
Kids Ski Free in North Carolina
Cataloochee Ski Area
With the Kids Stay Free, Kids Ski Free program, kids 17 and under stay free midweek (Sunday-Thursday) at participating local hotels and ski free on any non-holiday weekday.
Kids Ski Free in Oregon
This ski resort is a fabulous place for beginners and its “Ski or Ride in 5” program has been voted the best in the nation for novices. Kids 12 and under ski free when you buy adult lift tickets for a miminum of three days. Must be booked online at least four days in advance.
Kids Ski Free in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Ski Area Association offers 4rd-grade and 5th-grade passports for free skiing and snowboarding at 19 locations.
Kids Ski Free in Utah
Ski Utah offers 5th- and 6th-grade passports for free skiing and snowboarding for students from any state or country. 5th graders ski free or at deep discounts at all Utah resorts for three days and 6th graders ski free or at deep discounts at 16 participating resorts for two days. An application must be completed in advance.
Book an early season Family Value Package of at least three nights of lodging, you’ll save 20 percent on lodging, lift tickets, and kids’ ski rentals—plus kids 12 and under ski free.
Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible for five free days of skiing thanks to the new Epic SchoolKids initiative from Vail Resorts.
Kids 6 and under always ski free.
Kids Ski Free in Washington State
Ski the Northwest Rockies offers a 5th-grade passport for free skiing and snowboarding at several ski resorts in Idaho and Washington State.
Kids Ski Free in Vermont
Ski Vermont offers free ski-and-ride passports for 5th graders valid at 17 locations.
Kids 6 and under always ski free at Killington when accompanied by an adult, and a special offer lets kids ages 7-12 get in on the free fun, too. The Ski & Stay Package bundles lodging and lift tickets. With every 5-day adult lift ticket, you’ll get a complimentary ticket for a child aged 7-12. Available through 2017-2018 season; blackout dates apply.
Kids Ski Free in Virginia
The resort offers a Snow License to 5th and 6th graders that’s good for free lift tickets. Available only to residents of Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, North Carolina and West Virginia.
Kids Ski Free in West Virginia
Stay for three nights at the lodge at Snowshoe Mountain and kids age 6-12 ski free (one child per paying adult). Available during select school break periods.
Kids Ski Free in Wyoming
Jackson Hole Resort
Stay at any JHRL home rental for four nights or more and for each paying adult, kids 14 and under ski and rent free. Also, save 10 percent off lodging. Valid for stays Nov. 25, 2017-Apr 9, 2018.