Where Kids Ski Free this Season: A State By State Guide

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Family fun can start with free lift tickets when you read about where Kids Ski Free!

If you’re in the season of your life where saving money is important (and honestly who isn’t?), you’ll love these kids ski free deals for the 2023/2024 season. Some ski resorts offer totally free lift tickets to kids while others participate in special programs with reduced rates. Either way these savings will help you and your crew hit the slopes this winter. Here’s our roundup of the best spots for kids ski free deals.

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.

Looking to get the best deal on Ski Tickets, Rentals and Lodging? Save 10%-80% off your next winter vacation from GetSkiTickets.com

Beautiful views at a ski resort in New Mexico
First time skiers might like this smaller ski resort in New Mexico. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

Where Kids Ski Free By State

We’ve conveniently organized your “kids ski free” options by state (and Canada). Be sure to click through on the offers for more details and any blackout dates that may apply. Happy trails!

Arizona

Snowbowl

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 unlimited skiing for kids at Snowbowl, Purgatory, Brian Head, Hesperus, Sipapu, Pajarito, Sandia Peak, Nordic Valley, Lee Canyon, Willamette Pass, Spider Mountain and Valle Nevado with no purchase necessary.

Best part? Seniors age 75 and older also ski free. Talk about the perfect family outing for kids and grandparents.

California

California has multiple ski options for families, including many choices near Lake Tahoe.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Kids 6 and under always ski for free. Same for skiers age 80+. We round up some of the best Lake Tahoe area ski resorts in this article.

June Mountain Ski Resort

Kids 12 and under ski & ride free! You can apply for the pass online. Please note that the free kids season pass has replaced daily lift tickets for kids. Either way, if your kids want to ski, you’ll need to sign up for the pass.

Sugar Bowl Resort

After a brief experiment last season where they started charging $10 a lift ticket for kids under 5 they’re returned to a cost of $0. We think it was a smart choice for this Tahoe area resort.

Homewood Mountain Resort

In the past Homewood Mountain Resort offered free skiing for those 4 and under. This option is no longer listed on their website and there is no option to purchase a ticket for those under the age of 5. We attempted to contact the resort multiple times with the calls for guest services always ringing until voicemail picked up. It is strongly recommended to contact the resort directly before visiting with children under 5 to have clarity on pricing.

Canada

Banff/Lake Louise

At this resort, kids 5 and under (called Tigers) ski free. We found this to be a great deal for child beginners!

Colorado

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? The Epic SchoolKids pass is an option for you but only if you know about it in advance. The passes for 2023/2024 are already gone. Start checking their site in the spring 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.

Read More: 11 Best Family-Friendly Ski Resorts in Colorado

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Kids 4 and under ski free at Crested Butte all season long. In order to get the free lift ticket just head to the ticket booth. The child must be present. In the past there were also special events where kids 12 and under could ski free during certain dates, but that promotion has been absent in the last few years.

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.

Keystone Resort

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. With a two night booking families receive one day of free skiing for the kiddos. For each additional night they receive an additional day of skiing. Passes can be picked up from the front desk when you check-in. We suggest calling to verify the number of lift ticket days when booking. Kids 4 and under also ski free at Keystone Resort.

Copper Mountain

Kids 4 and under always ski for free at Copper Mountain. You can also receive one free season pass for a child 15 and under when you purchase one adult season ticket.

Aspen Snowmass

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 14, 2024. Read full details here paying close attention to cut off dates for booking. In general, to receive the special you need to book by the 15th of the month prior to arrival.

Monarch Mountain

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. Season passes (Monarch only) are available for $25.

Steamboat Springs

While they usually run a lodging special where kids under 12 ski free with the purchase of an adult 5-day lift ticket for the same number of days, we aren’t seeing that option this year. We love that cowboy culture meets ski culture in Steamboat Springs. Kids 4 and under ski for $10 daily here.

Idaho

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Kids 6 and under ski free all season long. Still skiing at 80+? You’ll ski free too! Just stop by a ticket window to grab a pass that can be scanned on the day you’ll be skiing.

Idaho Fifth & Sixth Grade Peak Season Passport

This passport program costs $29 in processing fees but covers skiing for fifth graders 3 times at each of the 17 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 specific to individual mountains during peak times so be sure to check them before you plan your trip.

New this year is a free family membership for all passport holders to Airflare, a ski safety location app.

The 17 locations are:

  • Bald Mountain
  • Bogus Basin
  • Brundage Mountain
  • Cottonwood Butte
  • Grand Targhee
  • Little Ski Hill
  • Lookout Pass
  • Lost Trail
  • Magic Mountain
  • Pebble Creek
  • Pomerelle
  • Schweitzer
  • Silver Mountain
  • Snow Haven
  • Soldier Mountain
  • Sun Valley
  • Tamarack

Maine

Maine runs an app called WinterKids (formerly known as WinterKids Passport) which offers deals in 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. Please note many require paid adult admission.

Sunday River

Kids 5 and under always ski free at Sunday River. Please note that Sunday River has joined scores of other resorts in attaching a $5 fee for an RFID card to lift tickets for those 5 and under. When adding more days to the first day the cost goes up by roughly $1-2 a day. Sunday River historically offered a Kids’ Week annually, which offered savings on tickets for older kids. It is noticeably absent from this years lineup.

Michigan

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 29 participating ski areas. There is a $30 fee for the passport. This year you’ll receive a coupon for 20% off of a ski helmet and a coupon for $20 off of a $100 purchase at select local ski gear shops.

The passport operates through an app, and you will need to upload a photo of your child. The passport is good through the end of the 2023/2024 ski season. Dates vary by ski area. Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult. The adult may not utilize a discounted ticket of any type. Many of the participating resorts also exclude a season pass being utilized for the adult ticket. A paying adult can only admit two Cold is Cool Passport with them daily.

Alpine Valley

Kids 5 and under ski free with the purchase of a regularly priced adult ticket. Child must be present at window.

Boyne Mountain

Kids 5 and under used to ski free with a paying adult – now there is a $1 fee per day. Resort guests 80+ also ski for $1. Our writer found family fun everywhere she turned at Boyne Mountain.

Cannonsburg

Kids 6 and under ski free every day except Sunday nights.

Ski Brule

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-January 7). More freebies at Ski Brule include Sunday specials of free lunch and free snow tubing.

Montana

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 by enabling autocharge or use one of the other lifts. Rates run around $20.

Read More: An Insider Look at Montana’s Best Ski Resorts

Take the kids outside this winter with free ski and ride options.
Take the kids outside this winter with free ski and ride options. Photo credit: Diana Rowe

New Hampshire

This program gives kids one ticket to over 30 participating ski areas. Each voucher is good for one day of skiing the Ski New Hampshire’s member location. The program now runs through an app, WinterKids, with a cost of $59. You’ll just need to show proof that your child is a fourth or fifth grader in any state. The program is now run through the WinterKids app.

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.

Bretton Woods

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 to Gunstock Mountain. In addition, adults 70+ can also ski for free.

Loon Mountain

Kids 6 and under ski free every day as do adults 80+. You’ll still need to grab them a ticket at the resort, but it will be free of charge.

Pats Peak

Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult Monday through Thursday at Pats Peak. On Fridays, weekends, and holidays their lift ticket will run $18.

Ragged Mountain

Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult at Ragged Mountain. There is a one-time $5 cost for an RFID card per day. If your child will be skiing regularly you can pay $29 for the season plus the $5 RFID card fee.

Waterville Valley Resort

Under 5 ski free with a tyke lift ticket! Another great deal is that adults who purchase an Adult Season Pass Plus will receive a voucher for a Junior Season Pass (for ages 6-12) free.

Every member of the family can ski at the Angel Fire Resort ski resort in New Mexico
Skiing with little ones is possible when choosing the right ski resort! Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

New Mexico

Red River Ski Area

Kids 5 and under and seniors 70+ ski free every day. Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult to ski free. If there is no paying adult the cost is $18 for their lift ticket. With the free ticket there is an initial $5 fee for a Red Card. You need to go to guest services each day to receive their complimentary lift ticket. If you’ll be visiting multiple times ,you may want to do the $25 season pass so that you can skip guest services. Under 5 and senior season passes can only be purchased in person with proof of age.

New Jersey

Mountain Creek

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. Season Pass purchasers can also register for a free child’s season pass for their 6 and under kiddo when they check out.

New York

The Kids Learn to Ski or Ride Passport allows third and fourth graders to ski free at participating ski areas with an adult ticket purchase (season tickets count). While there is a $41 processing free, there are no residency requirements. Participants can ski at each of the 28 participating ski areas twice during the season.

The passport application is available all season long with no deadline. You will receive a digital card that you show on your phone to resorts.

Belleayre

The littles are no longer free at Belleayre. A one-day lift ticket will run you $10 per kid age 6 and under. They have also eliminated the option to purchase a special season pass for those 6 and under.

Holiday Valley

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.

Mount Peter

Considered the “family mountain,” lift tickets at Mount Peter are free for the under 5 crowd when accompanied by a paying adult during the week. Weekend and holiday rates are $35. For skiers 5 and up and snowboarders 6 and up, free one hour lessons are available with the purchase of a lift ticket. It’s a great mountain to learn on.

Plattekill Mountain

Kids 6 and under used to ski free; tickets are now $10 for that age group. Be sure to purchase online. The cost at the ticket window is $15.

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.

North Carolina

Cataloochee Ski Area

Kids 4 and under ski free at Cataloochee with a paying adult. These free tickets can only be secured in person. Every non-holiday Wednesday starting January 10th through the end of the season is family day. 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.

Oregon

Mt. Bachelor

Located in Central Oregon, kids 5 and under always ski free at Mt. Bachelor. You can pick up a free child ticket at the ticket window on the day you plan to ski or ride. 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.

Take time to bring the family outdoors this winter with great free skiing offers!
Take time to bring the family outdoors this winter with great free skiing offers! Photo credit: The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association (Ski PA)/Shawnee Mountain

Pennsylvania

Elk Mountain

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, an Epic pass property. Kids 4 and under ski free with the purchase of an adult ticket. These tickets must be obtained on the day you’ll be skiing at the ticket window. The child must be present.

Shawnee Mountain

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. The paying adult can use a season pass. Registration requires a one-time $5 fee, but also includes rentals and a helmet. Please note: You MUST enroll a minimum of 72 hours in advance. You cannot enroll same day. Sales end March 1, 2024.

Spring Mountain

Spring Mountain has also decided to run their own version of Snowpass. Fourth graders can apply in person (by January 31, 2024) during the week (non-holiday) for a season pass. There is a $25 processing fee, but it covers the whole season! Your pass comes with one free Learn to Ski/Board package that includes a rental and lessons. There do not appear to be residency restrictions.

Utah

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 participating resorts. However, this online program is a bit more expensive – registration costs $89 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.

Be sure to check redemption requirements for each resort. Some require the purchase of an adult ticket to redeem.

Beaver Mountain

Kids 5 and under can receive a free season pass through November 30, 2023. After that date the price is $100. Day passes for kids run around $40 so if you’ll visit for more than 2 days we recommend signing up for the season pass.

Children of military personnel under age 5 can still ski free by signing up for the military child season pass.

Brighton

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.

Cherry Peak

Kids 5 and under ski free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Deer Valley

Book a lodging package and receive one free lift ticket for kids 12 and under per paying adult per day. See site for terms and dates.

Nordic Valley

Kids 12 and under get a FREE Power Kids season pass that’s good at all Power Pass mountains!

Vermont

Vermont runs a fifth grade passport program. There is a $30 processing fee, and you must show proof that your child is a fifth grader. In return, your kiddo gets access to three free days of alpine skiing per participating mountain and up to 3 days of cross-country skiing per participating location. The child must have an adult with a pass or paid ticket with them.

Residency in Vermont is NOT required. There are blackout dates (mostly school vacations), so check out the full details here.

Bolton Valley

Located less than 30 minutes from Burlington, Bolton Valley is independently owned. Kids 5 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. Age is determined by how old the child is on December 1, 2023.

Bromley Mountain

Kids 5 and under are eligible for a $49 season pass at Bromley. Age is determined by how old the child is on January 1, 2024.

Burke Mountain

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 $45 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.

Jay Peak

Toddler season passes for kids 5 and under are free when purchased at the same time as a adult pass (otherwise they’re $59-$89 depending on the date of purchase).

Killington

Kids 6 and under ski free every day. There is a one-time $5 charge for the card. Tickets can be confirmed online and brought to the ticket booth the day of your visit to validate.

Mad River Glen

Kids 5 and under ski free every day. Children 12 and under (as of January 1st of the current season) 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.

Pico Mountain

Kids 6 and under ski free at Pico.

The Queechee Club

Kids 6 and under ski free every day.

Smugglers’ Notch

Kids 5 and under ski free all season long with no blackout dates. Smuggs is a family favorite in New England.

Virginia

Wintergreen Resort

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).

Massanutten Resort

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 6 and under set with the purchase of an adult pass (but there is a $19 processing fee).

Washington

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 $23 processing 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. Be sure to check blackout dates before heading to the mountains.

Wyoming

Grand Targhee Resort

Kids 5 and under ski free, however a $5 Targhee card is required. You’ll need to visit the Ticket Booth or Activity Center to purchase. There often is a lodging-related kids ski free special – check their site for more details.

Jackson Hole Resort

Kids 4 and under ski free at this resort.

Nasreen’s adventures started out as business travel. Working as a territory sales manager she covered 21 states during her tenure, traveling 3-5 nights a week. As she visited new cities and states, she always worked in a quick stop at a unique or iconic site. A travel writing career was born. When her father-in-law’s cancer came back she started writing and consulting full-time around his chemotherapy schedule. Traveling with her firefighter/paramedic husband, kids, friends and solo allows her to cover a variety of situations and topics. Her four kids (19 year old boy, 13 year old girl, 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy) are professionals at the cross country road trip. After 10 years in Texas, their family is back in the Northeast exploring both familiar and new destinations. There she runs her own business providing go-to-market, sales strategy, podcast, and content marketing consulting for websites and B2B businesses. Whenever possible she writes for a variety of publications in the podcast, travel, and business space. Connect with her on LinkedIn to chat about travel, content, sales, and podcasts!
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One response


  1. What significant research—-you certainly saved ski-traveling families a ton of work. Thank you.

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