Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Before You Take the Kids Skiing
- Where Kids Ski Free By State
- 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
- Montana Kids Ski Free Deals
- New Mexico Kids Ski Free Deals
- North Carolina Kids Ski Free Spots
- Oregon Kids Ski Free Locations
- Pennsylvania Kids Ski Specials
- Utah Locations with Kids Ski Specials
- Vermont Ski Free Deals
- Virginia Kids Ski Locales
- Washington State Locations
- Wyoming Kids Free Ski Locations
- Best Ski Resorts in the USA for Families
Maybe you’re looking to teach your kids to ski and don’t want to sink too much cash into it until you know they’re interested. Or your family is the definition of ski enthusiasts and you’re on the mountain whenever the chance arises and want to save some dough. Either way, we love these spots where kids ski free across the US (with a few bonus ones in Canada). Where will you 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 TravelingMom, we’ve got a wealth of skiing articles 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. Want to be sure that the resort is kid friendly? We have tips to spot that too.
Join our NEW Facebook Community: Making Travel Easier. We promise to always tell you what we would tell our best friend -- what works for kids, what doesn’t and what you need to know before you go to have the Best. Family. Vacation. Ever. Our group of travel experts are ready to answer your travel questions!
Wondering what to look for in a ski resort? We’ve compiled a list of things to consider before booking that ski resort 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!
TravelingMom 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.
Arizona Kids Ski Free Deals
Snowbowl: There are several ways for your kids to ski free at Snowbowl in Flagstaff. Kids 10 and under ski free every day. Same for all fourth graders — free lift tickets every day. The Power Pass covers free skiing for kids at Snowbowl, Purgatory, Brian Head, Hesperus, Sipapu, Pajarito, Nordic Valley, and Spider Mountain. Everyone skis free on their birthday.
Best part? Grandparents age 70 and older also ski free. Talk about the perfect family outing.
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.
TravelingMom Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we're traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.
June Mountain Ski Resort: Kids 12 and under always ski & ride free! Just show up in person to pick up your kiddos’ free lift ticket.
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.
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
- 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. There is a $35 membership fee per family of 5. While this makes it not free technically, we’re including it for informational purposes. In 2020 you must sign up by October 31st to take advantage, so don’t delay. The offers cover more than just skiing and extend to other snow sports. You can view a list of included deals here.
Sunday River: During Children’s Festival from January 4-8, kids 2.5-12 ski free, stay free and get free rentals and lessons when staying three nights or longer in a participating hotel with an eligible adult. Kids 5 and under always ski free at Sunday River.
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. New for the 2020/2021 ski season the passport now operates through an app making it contactless as passes are redeemed. You will need a photo of your child to attach to the printable ID card. It’s a great way to use up that second passport photo!
Boyne Mountain: Kids 5 and under ski free every day at Boyne Mountain. Have some late blooming skiers? They also offer a free beginners area for all ages. Just pick up a free ticket at the ticket window. 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 $10 equipment rentals for kids on Sundays. More freebies at Ski Brule include Sunday specials of free mac and cheese 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 Hampshire Free Kids Skiing Locations
The NH 4th & 5th Grade Ski Passport will be suspended for the 2020-2021 season.
In the past, it gave kids access to 32 vouchers. Each voucher was good for one day of skiing at each of Ski New Hampshire’s 32 member locations for only $30. A portion of the fee goes to the Make A Wish Foundation. 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.
At Bretton Woods kids 4 and under always ski free with a paying adult. Other special events take place in January historically. At this time none are scheduled for 2021. We will update as they become available.
Gunstock Mountain Resort
Kids 5 and under have always skied for free at Gunstock. It is unclear whether that will continue. Currently a Buckeroo pass for Winter Prime skiing is being sold for kids 0-5 for $49.
Kids 5 and under ski free every day. You’ll still need to grab them a ticket but it will be free. Lift tickets will go on sale in November.
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult every day at Pats Peak. 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 2020/2021 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 2020/2021 season at Ragged Mountain.
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. Information about the 2020/2021 program has not been released yet.
While daily ticket prices haven’t been released yet, season passes are available. A pass for your 0-6 year old will cost $50 but allows you the option to add on two additional mountains (Gore & Whiteface) for free.
Considered the “family mountain,” lift tickets at Mount Peter are free for the under 5 crowd daily when accompanied by a paying adult. For $99 you can sign your 4 and under kiddo up for a 1 1/2 hour lesson with rental costs included. 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 ski free every day.
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. This past season every non-holiday Wednesday was family day. A child 17 and under received 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
Mt. Bachelor: 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. Best part? No blackout dates!
Pennsylvania Kids Ski Specials
We love Pennsylvania for free skiing because it’s so close to multiple metro areas!
The Snowpass has been suspended for 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. The pass included one First Time Ski/Snowboard package and up to 3 lift tickets at each of the participating resorts with the purchase of an adult lift ticket. And there was no residency requirement, so it was great for families traveling to Pennsylvania.
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.
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 processing fee associated with both options. Participated last year? You can use your old login. The 2020/2021 season program is fully digital. Be sure to check out FAQ/rules/blackout dates here.
Beaver Mountain: Kids 5 and under ski free can get a free season pass until 11/30. After 12/1/2020 the price will be $100 for the full season.
Brighton: Up to 2 kids 10 and under ski free when they’re with a passholder or an adult purchasing a lift ticket.
Deer Valley: Book a lodging package and receive a free lift ticket for kids 12 and under per paying adult per day and up to two equipment rental discount vouchers. Deal runs from 12/2/2020-4/12/2021. Must be booked by 4/10/2021.
Vermont Ski Free Deals
Mad River Glen
The Queechee Club
Virginia Kids Ski Locales
Wintergreen Resort: Located off of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Wintergreen Resort has solid ski lesson offerings for kids of all ages and kids 5 and under ski free with a ticketed 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 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 six participating locations. This program is open to residents and non-residents.
Wyoming Kids Free Ski Locations
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: