Virtually every ski area in the land offers free skiing for youngsters up to age 5 or 6, but only a handful extend free skiing to older offspring. In many cases, children also stay free when bunking with their parents. This is, of course, of significance to families with youngsters in that age group. Alas, many of these deals are in effect only during non-holiday periods and/or midweek, but they offer big savings for flexible families.
Steamboat, a mammoth Colorado ski resort known for its trademark Champagne Powder, was the pioneer in free skiing for children. The resort launched its Kids Ski Free program in 1982 and it is still going strong. In recognition of inter-generational travel, Kids Ski Free has spawned Grandkids Ski Free. In both programs, children 12 and younger ski free, stay free and rent equipment free for the same number of days as their parents/grandparents. It requires the purchase of a five-day or longer adult lift ticket. Seniors (ages 70-plus) must purchase an adult ticket. Each qualifying purchase allows one free child per paid adult. Call 970-871-5375 or email email@example.com for more information.
Keystone, also in Colorado, requires only a minimum two-night stay at a Keystone-owned and -operated property for youngsters 12 and younger to ski free. Keystone runs most of the lodging at the base of the lifts, always a convenience for families. The deal is valid every day of the season, with no blackout dates.
Another bonus is Keystone’s massive night skiing operation, with lifts running until 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays. This is great for energetic youngsters who simply don’t want to get off the mountain.
Kids Ski Free perks are automatically added to all qualifying lodging reservations. Upon check-in, you will receive applicable vouchers.
Call a reservations agent at 855-525-9524 or go to Keystone’s Vacation Deals page for their best offers.
Purgatory Resort near Durango in Colorado’s southwest corner has a totally free Power Kids season lift pass good at Purgatory and seven other resorts as well as Spider Mountain Bike Park in Burnet, Texas. Reserve by calling 800-525-0892.
In neighboring Utah, Snowbird allows youngsters to age 12 to ski free with most lodging packages. For instance, the five-day “Ski Free 5th Night Free” package includes the fifth day of skiing and fifth night of lodging free for adults, plus free skiing for youngsters every day. The Mountain Vacation features four nights or more of lodging, four Snowbird lift tickets per adult, one complimentary half-day group lesson per adult (13 and older) and ground transportation to and from the Salt Lake International Airport. Kids 12 and younger ski free for every night of their stay. The deals can be booked between Dec. 15. 2022, and April 7, 2023. Book online or call 800-232-9542.
The Idaho 5th and 6th Grade Peak Season Passport isn’t totally free, but it’s the next best thing. It costs $18 and covers skiing for fifth graders three days at each of the 18 locations (that’s a total of 54 ski days!). For sixth graders, it covers two visits to each of the 17 participating locations. The passport is available to residents and nonresidents alike. Check blackout dates before you go.
Killington in central Vermont is a resort so huge and complex that it is nicknamed “the Beast of the East.” Kids Ski Free applies to youngsters 12 and younger when guests book a Ski & Stay lodging package including a five-day or longer lift ticket. One child skis free per adult for the same number of days. The offer is not valid when the ticket duration includes any of the following peak days: Nov. 24-27, 2022; Dec. 24, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023; Jan. 14-16, 2023; Feb. 18-20, 2023. Book online.
North Carolina resorts
At Cataloochee, in North Carolina, “Kids Ski Free” doesn’t stop at age 12. There, youngsters 17 and younger staying with their parents at a participating accommodation during any non-holiday Sunday through Thursday evening can ski free on any non-holiday Monday through Friday when accompanied by a paying adult. Make reservations and see all the rules here.
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