Virtually every ski area in the land offers free skiing for youngsters 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. Book on the website or call 877-783-2628.
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., Wednesday through Sunday for most of the season and nightly in March. This is great for energetic youngsters who simply don’t want to get off the mountain. Book online or call 800-323-1312.
Purgatory Resort near Durango in Colorado’s southwest corner has a totally free Power Kids season lift pass good at Purgatory and six other resorts as well as Spider Mountain Bike Park in Burnet, Texas. Mom and Dad, you can get 30% off four nights of lodging if you hurry and book before Oct. 31. Ticket deals are available if you book by Nov. 13. 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, 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. 22, 2021, and April 7, 2022. Book online or call 800-232-9542.
Up at storied Sun Valley, Idaho, families booking their vacations through InIdaho.com not only get 20% off adult ski tickets for the resort’s main ski area, Bald Mountain (click on Prices & Products), but kids 12 and younger ski free with each paid adult ticket for the same number of days. A minimum three-night stay is required. Click here for participating lodging properties or call 800-844-3246.
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 to age 12 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. 25-28, 2021; Dec. 25, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022; Jan. 15-17, 2022; and Feb. 12-20, 2022. Book online.
North Carolina resorts
At Cataloochee, in North Carolina, “Kids Stay Free Kids Ski Free” doesn’t stop at age 12. There, youngsters 17 and younger stay free at a participating Haywood County accommodation during any non-holiday Sunday through Thursday evening — and they also ski free on any non-holiday Monday through Friday when accompanied by a paying adult. Make reservations directly with the lodging property.
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