Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Before You Take the Kids Skiing
- What You Need to Know about Skiing Now
- Arizona Kids Ski Free Deals
- Where Kids Ski Free in California
- Canadian Ski Free Locations for Kids
- Colorado Kids Ski Free Offerings
- Idaho Kids Ski Free Deals
- Maine Kids Youth Ski Specials
- Michigan Kids Ski Free Locations
- New Hampshire Free Kids Skiing Locations
- Mountain Creek
- Holiday Valley
- Mount Peter
- Plattekill Mountain
- Rocking Horse Ranch
- Cataloochee Ski Area
- Mt. Bachelor
- Elk Mountain
- Hidden Valley Resort
- Shawnee Mountain
- Spring Mountain
- Beaver Mountain
- Cherry Peak
- Deer Valley
- Bolton Valley
- Bromley Mountain
- Burke Mountain
- Jay Peak
- Mad River Glen
- Pico Mountain
- The Queechee Club
- Smugglers' Notch
- Vermont Ski Free Deals
- Washington State Locations
- Wyoming Kids Free Ski Locations
- Best Ski Resorts in the USA for Families
Let’s be honest: a family ski trip can be expensive. But there’s a way to save when you’re taking the kids: Choose a ski resort where kids ski free. It’s a great option for families with a new skier who might not take to the sport as well as ski enthusiasts who want to visit more ski slopes this winter. Here is a full list of spots where kids ski free across the US (plus a few extra spots in Canada). Where will your family ski first?
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.
What You Need to Know about Skiing Now
Like so much right now, skiing in 2022 looks a little different. Thanks to the pandemic, worker shortages and the rapid transmission of the omicron variant, resorts, restaurants, hotels and just about every business is short-handed right now. it’s important to pack your patience before heading to the mountain.
Here are our other tips:
- Have a plan A, B and maybe even C. Be prepared to be flexible.
- Buy travel insurance and know your cancellation policies.
- Make reservations for anything that is important to you, including your favorite restaurants.
- Rent ski gear in advance.
- Book lessons in advance.
- Keep your face mask and vaccination card handy. Depending on the resort, you may need them to access certain areas. For example, all Vail Resorts cafeteria style restaurants require proof of vaccination to dine.
- Be kind to the people who did show up to work. Your order may take longer but it’s not the waiter’s fault if she’s working an area usually served by three waiters!
- If you’re not used to driving in snow and ice, check out our winter driving tips to stay safe on the road.
So, what’s the good news? Ski towns tend to be the forerunners in getting hit with Covid. They have a national and international influx (yes, even these days) and people need to go indoors to warm up. This means that the omicrom variant arrived earlier and is petering out in these areas first. Look to Eagle, Summit and Pitkin Counties in Colorado where the larger ski resorts are based to see how this has played out.
We love sharing tips and stories with our fellow Traveling Grandparents. Join our private Facebook Group to become part of our community!
SheBuysTravel Tip: Covid-19 pandemic rules may mean limited capacity on the mountain, closed warming huts, no apres ski options, masks on the ski lifts and other changes this year. Always call the ski resort or check the website for the latest developments before heading out for your family ski vacation.
Where Kids Ski Free By State
We’ve conveniently organized your “kids ski free” options by state. Be sure to click through on the offers for more details and any blackout dates that may apply. Happy trails!
Arizona Kids Ski Free Deals
Snowbowl: There are several ways for your kids to ski free at Snowbowl in Flagstaff. The deal actually got even better in 2021. The age was raised from 10 to 12. Power 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 kids Power Pass. The Power Pass covers free skiing for kids at Snowbowl, Purgatory, Brian Head, Hesperus, Sipapu, Pajarito, Nordic Valley and Spider Mountain.
Best part? Seniors age 75 and older also ski free. Talk about the perfect family outing for kids and grandparents.
Where Kids Ski Free in California
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.
Canadian Ski Free Locations for Kids
Colorado Kids Ski Free Offerings
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 black out dates, so check before you go!)
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Kids Ski Free at Keystone Resort
Copper Mountain Free Kids Skiing
Stay Aspen Snowmass
Idaho Kids Ski Free Deals
Schweitzer Mountain Resort: Kids 6 and under ski free all season long. Still skiing at 80+? You’ll ski free too!
Idaho 5th and 6th Grade Peak Season Passport: This passport program costs $18 in processing fees but covers skiing for 5th graders 3 times at each of the 18 locations. For 6th 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 (5th grade only)
- Silver Mountain
- Snow Haven
- Soldier Mountain
- Sun Valley
Maine Kids Youth Ski Specials
Maine used to run a program called the WinterKids Passport. That program now operates through an app called WinterKids and is open to Maine and New Hampshire. There is a $40 membership fee per family of 5. While this makes it not free technically, we’re including it for informational purposes. In 2021 membership opened on November 11th. The offers cover more than just skiing and extend to other snow sports. You can view a list of included deals here.
Sunday River: Kids 5 and under always ski free at Sunday River. Sunday River usually runs a Children’s Festival special, however, we don’t see it on their 2021/2022 events calendar yet.
Michigan Kids Ski Free Locations
Have a 4th or 5th 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. Introduced for the 2020/2021 ski season the passport now operates through an app making it contactless as passes are redeemed. New this year you will need to upload a photo of your child. The passport is good through April 30, 2022 or the end of ski season- whichever comes first. Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Boyne Mountain: Kids 5 and under ski free every day at Boyne Mountain with a paying adult. Resort guests 80+ also ski for free. Our writer found family fun everywhere she turned at Boyne Mountain.
Ski Brule: Kids 9 and under ski free every day at Ski Brule. Become a Friends & Neighbors member (free program) to get $15 equipment rentals for kids on Sundays with a ticketed adult (blacked out from 12/24-1/2). More freebies at Ski Brule include Sunday specials of free lunch and free snow tubing.
Montana Kids Ski Free Deals
Big Sky Resort: Kids 6 and under ski for $1. Yes, it used to be free, but the $1 allows them to get a reservation in the system for your kiddo in the time of Covid-19. New in 2021/2022 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.
New Hampshire Free Kids Skiing Locations
The NH 4th & 5th Grade Ski Passport was suspended for the 2020-2021 season. Currently, their site says that it is running. They’re working to create a contactless app. There will only be a limited number of passes available.
This program gives kids access to 33 vouchers. Each voucher was 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 4th or 5th 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. Other special events take place in January historically. At this time none are scheduled for 2021/2022. We will update as they become available.
Gunstock Mountain Resort
Kids 5 and under have historically skied for free at Gunstock. However this is the second year that Gunstock is selling a Buckeroo pass for Winter Prime skiing for kids 0-5 for $49 so it looks like that may have ended.
Kids 6 and under ski free every day. You’ll still need to grab them a ticket but it will be free.
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult at Pats Peak except for on Fridays, weekends, and holidays when the cost is $15. Pats Peak holds a bit of nostalgia, personally, for me. It’s the resort our elementary school visited on ski trips when I was little. The COVID policies are very clearly spelled out for the 2021/2022 season. Pats Peak will be adding additional restrooms near the lifts to avoid lines in the lodge, as well as more outdoor seating and heaters. Be aware that all tickets will be sold online and touch-free redemption kiosks will be available.
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult during the 2021/2022 season at Ragged Mountain. It looks like some new fees have been added including a one time $20 processing fee and a $5 RFID card one time fee.
New Mexico Kids Ski Free Deals
Red River Ski Area
New Jersey Spots for Kids to Ski Free
New York Kids Ski Free Locations
The Kids Learn to Ski or Ride Passport allows 3rd and 4th 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 2021/2022 program will run through 5/1/2022. Passports are not available yet at the time of this writing, late October 2021. Be sure to check for blackout dates.
The littles are no longer free at Belleayre. A one day lift ticket will run you $10 for your 0-6 year old. 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 those 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. Lessons are run every half hour from 10 am and 2:30 pm. Each group 1-hour lesson happens at the base of the mountain.
Kids 6 and under used to ski free. Tickets are now $10.
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 Kids Ski Free Spots
Cataloochee Ski Area
Kids 4 and under ski free at Cataloochee with a paying adult. Every non-holiday Wednesday was family day. A child 17 and 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 Kids Ski Free Locations
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.
Pennsylvania Kids Ski Specials
We love Pennsylvania for free skiing because it’s so close to multiple metro areas!
Unfortunately the Snowpass has been discontinued in 2021/2022 after being suspended in 2020. In previous years, it meant that 4th and 5th graders could ski in Pennsylvania at participating ski areas for just a $40 processing fee. There are still good deals to be found individually at Pennsylvania ski resorts.
Kids under 5 will 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 5 and under ski free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Shawnee Mountain, located in the Poconos area, has introduced a substitute for the 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.
Spring Mountain has also decided to run their own version of Snowpass. Fourth and fifth graders can apply in person (by January 31st 2022) 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. You can check out all the details here.
Utah Locations with Kids Ski Specials
Have a 5th or 6th grader? Utah’s passport program is for you. With no residency requirement, your 5th grader can ski or ride 3 times at each of Utah’s 15 resorts. Your 6th grader can ski or go snowboarding 1 time at each of Utah’s 15 participating resorts. There is a $45 (plus tax) processing fee associated with both options. If you apply after December 1, 2021 the fee goes up to $49 (plus tax). Participated last year? You can use your old login. The 2021/2022 season program is fully digital. 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 ski free can get a free season pass until 11/30/21. After 12/1/2021 the price will be $100 for the full season.
Up to 2 kids 10 and under ski free when they’re with a passholder or an adult purchasing a lift ticket. There is a one time $5 fee to cover the cost of the reloadable cardstock.
Book a lodging package and receive a free lift ticket for kids 12 and under per paying adult per day and up to two children’s equipment rental discount vouchers. Package is valid January 25 – February 17, 2022; and March 27 – April 17, 2022.
Vermont Ski Free Deals
Mad River Glen
The Queechee Club
Virginia Kids Ski Locales
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.
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. Processing fees will run $19.
Washington State Locations
Several Washington state ski areas participate in the 5th 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: