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Skiing with the family can get expensive fast. But tons of great ski resorts have realized this and come up with a great idea to keep you and your crew hitting the slopes – letting your kids ski for free! Here’s our roundup of the best spots for this great deal.
Before You Take the Kids Skiing
Before we chat kids ski free, let’s cover some basics. Whether you’re whooshing down Black Diamonds or tentatively tackling the bunny hill, it’s always a good idea to review best practices before each ski season. Here at SheBuysTravel, we’ve got a wealth of skiing information and tips to help you plan that ski vacation. Have a question that we don’t answer? Feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and we’ll get you an answer!
Looking to put the kids in ski school? This can be a great option to both build confidence and give you some adult time. Make sure you know what to ask about ski school. Not sure what to expect on your first family trip skiing? Check out these tips for first time skiers. Wondering what to pack? We’ve got that covered too, including what you need to look for in a great kids’ ski helmet.
Where Kids Ski Free By State
We’ve conveniently organized your “kids ski free” options by state – plus Canada. Be sure to click through on the offers for more details and any blackout dates that may apply. Happy trails!
There are several ways for your kids to ski free at Snowbowl in Flagstaff. Kids 12 and under ski free every day. Your child just needs to be 12 when they apply, they can turn 13 during the season and still be free. Just sign up for your free Power Kids Pass. The pass covers free skiing for kids at Snowbowl, Purgatory, Brian Head, Hesperus, Sipapu, Pajarito, Nordic Valley, Willamette Pass and Spider Mountain.
Best part? Seniors age 75 and older also ski free. Talk about the perfect family outing for kids and grandparents.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Looking to make the most of your summer budget while maximizing the fun? With a wide range of deals on local activities, dining, and experiences, Groupon helps you stretch your budget by offering discounted options near you.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort
Kids 6 and under always ski for free. Same for skiers age 80+. Quick heads up: Season pass eligibility is based on your kiddo’s age on December 1. Here’s what one of our writers thought about Diamond Peak Resort.
June Mountain Ski Resort
Kids 12 and under ski & ride free! Just show up in person to pick up your kiddos’ free lift ticket. Some blackout dates do apply so we recommend checking their site before you go.
Sugar Bowl Resort
Heading to Colorado? Check out these tips for choosing a family-friendly Colorado ski resort.
Live in Colorado? Have a kiddo in kindergarten through fifth grade? Head into your local Front Range Epic Mountain Gear location to register your child for an Epic SchoolKids pass. If you’ve had one in the past there is a way to renew by email. You can check here for details on deadlines to sign up.
The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack includes 4 days of skiing or snowboarding at each of these 5 Colorado resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Crested Butte, Keystone and Breckenridge. (Note: There are some blackout dates, so check before you go!)
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Also worth mentioning: Crested Butte runs a really cool military program called Operation Rise and Conquer at the Adaptive Sports Center. At just $50 for a full day lesson, these instructors are experienced at working with active military, veterans or their children with disabilities to ensure everyone has the chance to experience skiing.
Free skiing to kids 12 and younger all season long with no blackout dates when families book two or more nights is a typical Keystone special. Currently this option is not showing for us yet. Kids 4 and under ski free at Keystone Resort.
Kids 4 and under always ski for free at Copper Mountain. You can also receive one free season pass for a child 5-12 years old when you purchase one adult season ticket.
Kids 6 and under always ski free at Aspen Snowmass. In addition, Aspen Snowmass offers free lift tickets for kids ages 7-12 when they stay in approved accommodations and add a kid’s equipment rental. Receive a kid’s complimentary lift ticket for each day of your rental. This promotion requires a 2-day minimum stay and is valid from January 1-April 17, 2023. Read full details here, as there are some cut-off dates for booking.
Kids 6 and under always ski free at Monarch Mountain. We love that this resort is ideal for first time skiers, so don’t hesitate to bring your littles here to learn. Plus, grandparents 69 and older also ski free. An initial $5 fee for the RFID lift card is required, but the cards are reusable.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Kids 6 and under ski free all season long. Still skiing at 80+? You’ll ski free too!
Idaho Fifth & Sixth Grade Peak Season Passport
This passport program costs $18 in processing fees but covers skiing for fifth graders 3 times at each of the 18 locations. For sixth graders, it covers 2 visits to each of the 17 participating locations. The passport is available to residents and non-residents alike. There are some blackout dates to support social distancing so be sure to check them before you plan your trip.
The 18 locations are:
- Bald Mountain
- Bogus Basin
- Brundage Mountain
- Cottonwood Butte
- Grand Targhee
- Kelly Canyon
- Little Ski Hill
- Lookout Pass
- Lost Trail
- Magic Mountain
- Pebble Creek
- Pomerelle (fifth grade only)
- Silver Mountain
- Snow Haven
- Soldier Mountain
- Sun Valley
Maine runs an app called WinterKids (formerly known as WinterKids Passport) which is open to Maine and New Hampshire. There is a $40 membership fee per family of 5. While this makes it technically not free, we’re including it for informational purposes. The offers cover more than just skiing and extend to other snow sports. You can view a list of included deals here.
Kids 5 and under always ski free at Sunday River. Sunday River also has a Kids’ Week from January 9-13, 2023, which includes savings on tickets for older kids.
Have a fourth or fifth grader in Michigan? Apply for a Cold is Cool Passport and receive up to 3 free lift tickets for your kiddo from a list of more than 28 resort options. There is a $25 fee for the passport. The passport operates through an app, and you will need to upload a photo of your child. The passport is good through April 30, 2023 or the end of ski season, whichever comes first. Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Kids 5 and under ski free with the purchase of a regular priced ticket. Child must be present at window.
Kids 6 and under ski free every day except Sunday nights.
Kids 9 and under ski free on Sundays at Ski Brule. Lift tickets are free for kids 9 and under every day. Become a Friends & Neighbors member (free program) to get $15 equipment rentals for kids on Sundays with a ticketed adult (blacked out from December 24, 2022-January 2, 2023). More freebies at Ski Brule include Sunday specials of free lunch and free snow tubing.
Big Sky Resort
Big Sky used to offer free skiing for kids 6 and under; now it costs just $1. Be aware that the Lone Peak Tram will no longer be included with lift tickets. You can either pay or use one of the other lifts.
Update: The NH Fourth & Fifth Grade Ski Passport is unfortunately sold out for the 2022-2023 season.
This program gives kids access to 33 vouchers. Each voucher is good for one day of skiing at each of Ski New Hampshire’s 32 member locations for $59. You’ll just need to show proof that your child is a fourth or fifth grader in any state.
Because there is no residency requirement, this deal makes New Hampshire a great place to look into for your family ski vacation. Even if your kiddo skis for 1 or 2 days, it’s cheaper than individual lift tickets. Be sure to check blackout dates and rules.
Also, scroll up to check out the app listed under Maine’s ski free section. They’ve opened availability to NH this year as well.
At Bretton Woods, kids 4 and under always ski free with a paying adult. Seniors 80+ also ski free.
Gunstock Mountain Resort
Free skiing for kids 5 and under has returned this year at Gunstock Mountain after a few years’ absence!
Kids 6 and under ski free every day. You’ll still need to grab them a ticket, but it will be free of charge.
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult at Pats Peak except on Fridays, weekends, and holidays, when the cost is $15.
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult at Ragged Mountain. However, there is a one-time $29 annual processing fee.
Red River Ski Area
Want to avoid crowds? One of our writers had a great crowd-free experience at Red River Ski Area in New Mexico.
Kids 6 and under ski free with a paying adult. The option to add on a free child appears during online checkout. Be sure to bring proof of age with you when you go to pick up the pass. It is required.
The Kids Learn to Ski or Ride Passport allows third and fourth graders to ski free (there is a processing fee) at participating ski areas. The Learn to Ski Passport includes a group lesson, lift ticket and equipment rental. There is also a Ski & Ride passport that allows up to 3 free lift tickets per participating resort with the purchase of an adult ticket.
The littles are no longer free at Belleayre. A one day lift ticket will run you $10 per kid age 6 and under. One way to save is to purchase a season pass for $60. You then have the option to add on two additional mountains (Gore & Whiteface) for free.
Kids 6 and under always ski free at Holiday Valley. Juniors, ages 7-11, seniors ages 70+ and military members ski at a discount. Save money by buying lift tickets online at least 14 days in advance.
Considered the “family mountain,” lift tickets at Mount Peter are free for the under 5 crowd daily when accompanied by a paying adult. For $110 you can sign your 3-5 year old kiddo up for a 1 1/2 hour lesson designed for beginners. For skiers 5 and up and snowboarders 6 and up, free lessons are available with the purchase of a lift ticket. It’s a great mountain to learn on.
Kids 6 and under used to ski free; tickets are now $10 for that age group.
Rocking Horse Ranch
This spot deserves an honorable mention. As an all-inclusive resort, your room rate will include meals, activities, and nightly entertainment. Winter activities include tubing, ice skating, horse drawn carriage rides and of course skiing. If you’re looking for a getaway, especially if the grownups aren’t big skiers, this is a fantastic option. Ski rentals are included as well.
Cataloochee Ski Area
Kids 4 and under ski free at Cataloochee with a paying adult. Every non-holiday Wednesday is family day, when one child 17 and under receives a free lift ticket when accompanied by a parent purchasing a full price adult day lift ticket. North Carolina is one of the best places to find snow in the south.
Located in Central Oregon, kids 5 and under always ski free at Mt. Bachelor. Kids 12 and under can ski for free for the same number of days as their paying parents. Valid on three-day-plus tickets. This deal must be purchased online in advance.
Kids under 5 receive a free lift ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Hidden Valley Resort
Explore 3 resorts in one with Hidden Valley Resort. Kids under 5 ski free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Shawnee Mountain, located in the Poconos area, has introduced a substitute for the former statewide Snowpass. Fourth graders from any state can register on their site for three free visits with a paid adult for midweek and nonholiday dates. Registration requires a one-time $5 fee, but also includes rentals and a helmet.
Spring Mountain has also decided to run their own version of Snowpass. Fourth graders can apply in person (by January 31, 2023) during the week for a season pass. There is a $25 processing fee, but it covers the whole season! There do not appear to be residency restrictions.
Have a fourth, fifth or sixth grader? Utah’s passport program is for you. With no residency requirement, your student gets three free days of skiing or snowboarding at any of Utah’s 15 resorts. However, this program is a bit more expensive – registration costs $55 plus tax. Be sure to check out FAQ/rules/blackout dates here. Also check for parking reservation rules. Resorts participating are: Alta Ski Area, Brighton Resort, Beaver Mountain, Brian Head Resort, Cherry Peak Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Eagle Point, Nordic Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird, Solitude, Sundance Resort and Woodward Park City.
Kids 5 and under no longer ski free – season passes are $100. However, children of military personnel under age 5 can still ski free.
Up to two kids 6 and under ski free when they’re with a passholder or an adult purchasing a lift ticket. There is a one-time fee of $5 for the reloadable card.
Kids 5 and under ski free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Book a lodging package and receive one free lift ticket for kids 12 and under per paying adult per day, and up to two children’s equipment rental discount vouchers. The package is valid from December 2-15, 2022, January 24-February 16, 2023, and March 26-April 16, 2023.
Kids 12 and under get a FREE Power Kids season pass that’s good at all Power Pass mountains!
Residency in Vermont is NOT required. There are blackout dates (mostly school vacations), so check out the full details here.
Located less than 30 minutes from Burlington, Bolton Valley is independently owned. Kids 6 and under can obtain a season pass for $30.74 including tax (which covers the cost of producing the pass) so that you don’t need to hit the ticket booth every time.
Kids 5 and under always ski free at Bromley.
The 5 and under crowd ski free all season long at Burke. One deal that parents with older kids should look into is Wicked Wednesdays (buy 1 ticket at $77 and receive 2 same day admissions free). If you are active military (US or Canada) you and your family can receive free non-holiday lift tickets Monday-Friday.
Toddler season passes for kids 5 and under are free when purchased at the same time as a adult pass (otherwise they’re $50-$70 depending on the date of purchase).
Kids 6 and under ski free every day. If you’re looking for somewhere to do a full ski vacation, buy a 5+ day adult ticket and get one kids ticket (12 and under) for the same days. Tickets cannot start on a peak day.
Mad River Glen
Kids 5 and under ski free every day. Children 12 and under who have a season pass holder or shareholder parent receive a free season pass. Active military ski free at Mad River Glen. I feel like I have to mention here just how special Mad River Glen is. It is the only major mountain that is skier-owned. A corporation doesn’t own the mountain, it is run through a buy-in cooperative.
Kids 6 and under ski free every day at Pico.
The Queechee Club
Kids 6 and under ski free every day.
Located off of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Wintergreen Resort has solid ski lesson offerings for kids of all ages. Kids 5 and under ski free with a ticketed adult (one free ticket per paid adult).
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paid adult ticket. Looking for season tickets to skip the booth? You receive a free kiddo pass for the 5 and under set with the purchase of an adult pass (but there is a $19 processing fee).
Several Washington state ski areas participate in the Fifth Grade Ski and Ride Passport. Ski the Northwest Rockies participants include 49 Degrees North, Mt. Spokane, and Loup Loup Ski Bowl. There are also several Idaho mountains that participate in this program. Head here to fill out an online application. Once you complete the application and pay a $20 service fee, your kid’s passport will be emailed. It includes three free days at all participating locations. This program is open to residents and non-residents.
Best Ski Resorts in the USA for Families
Looking to get a feel for different regions before settling on a mountain? Read our regional ski roundups: