Ski or Ride Free Passport Programs

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most enjoyable winter sports there are! The problem is – they can be pricey! After buying gear, apparel, lift, tickets, and lessons for a whole family, it can really add up. Luckily, WinterKids is here to make the expense manageable by providing a summary of passport programs around the country that offer discounted and FREE skiing for 3rd through 7th graders!

Yes, we said FREE – do we have your attention yet!? A lot of ski resorts provide free skiing for children under a certain age such as 4-years old and under, but these programs are aimed specially at grade-school kids who may have never tried skiing or snowboarding before, and provides them with a great opportunity to try out a fun new winter activity. It targets kids at an age where they have already developed the coordination and muscle memory to be able to pick up and excel at the sport, which is remarkable because kids are the future of skiing and snowboarding!

So, what are you waiting for? Check out more specific information below about the ski passport programs available in different regions of the U.S. to take advantage of this incredible opportunity for your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and/or 7th grader. Most of the programs require you to fill out an application for your child, and submit a report card, progress report, or letter from the school stating that your child is in the specific grade, as well as a small processing fee.

Northeast

New Hampshire – Information coming soon for the 2014/2015 season; however, last year every New Hampshire downhill and cross country ski area contributed at least one FREE lift ticket, and many of them two or three FREE lift tickets for your 4th or 5th grader. Every area also included one additional offer, such as savings on first-time and beginner lessons or equipment rentals, savings on lift tickets and passes for parents and siblings, and more. Coupons from the 4th & 5th grade passbook were valid everyday of the 2013/2014 season, except for a few blackout dates.

Cost: The 2013/2014 4th & 5th Grade Snowsports Passport cost $35, and a percentage of sales were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire.

Maine – The WinterKids Passport helps 5th, 6th, and 7th grade children in Maine stay fit and healthy during the winter by providing FREE and reduced-price outdoor recreation (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and dog sledding) at 50 locations across the state. Promotions for each mountain vary, but may include things such as a FREE lift ticket with the purchase of an all-day adult lift ticket, FREE rentals, FREE skating, FREE tubing, half-off dog-sledding, as well as discounts for your siblings. To see which Maine resorts are included and what awesome discounts they entail, click here.

Cost: The WinterKids Passport requires a $25 processing and handling fee.

ski4free-girl-colorNew York – The ISKINY Free for Kids Passport program is available to 3rd and 4th graders from anywhere. 3rd and 4th graders can ski or ride for FREE at the majority of New York resorts this winter when accompanied by a paying adult. Once you have registered your child for the program, they will receive a booklet of coupons good for FREE lift tickets when an adult purchases a lift ticket. Three coupons per ski area are included, as well as one FREE learn to ski or snowboard package for the child. Also included are coupons for a 20% discount on a future visit for the 3rd or 4th grader, as well as a discount for the adult; 3 per participating ski area. Ski area participation may vary – see Ski Areas for more information.

Cost: The ISKINY Free for Kids Passport requires a $25 processing fee.

Vermont – The Fifth Grade Passport Program offers participating 5th graders up to 88 FREE days of skiing and riding at Vermont’s alpine and Nordic resorts. Passport holders receive a booklet containing coupons for FREE alpine lift tickets or cross-country trail passes at each resort (they’ll receive three coupons for alpine resorts and either one or three coupons for Nordic centers, depending on the resort).  Passport holders need to be accompanied by a ticket or pass holding adult and each adult may bring up to two Passport holders. Passports are valid Dec. 1 – May 1, excluding blackout dates. Visit here to find out participating resorts and blackout dates.

Cost: The Fifth Grade Passport Program costs $11. The program will also enrich the community by donating proceeds to Keep Local Farms, an education and contribution program that connects consumers with local dairy farmers and encourages the purchase of healthy, local foods.

Massachusetts – Fifth Graders Ski FREE Sunday through Friday at Ski Butternut. This offer is not available on any Saturdays or in conjunction with a season pass or any other discount voucher. It is also not available over any of holiday periods.  Each 5th grader must be accompanied by an adult purchasing a full-price, regular-rate, lift ticket. Prior to coming to the mountain you must fill in the online 5th Grader form, then bring a printed copy of the completed 5th Graders form with you to the mountain. This is your coupon. Give this form/coupon, and a copy of your child’s 5th grade report card, to the cashier, at the same time the parent purchases their regular price lift ticket. You will need to bring a new form/coupon and a copy of your child’s report card every time you come to the mountain to take advantage of this amazing offer.

Cost: FREE with the purchase of a full-price, regular-rate adult lift ticket.

Northwest

Washington & Idaho – If you’re in the 5th grade, no matter where you live, you can ski or ride for FREE at any participating Ski the NW Rockies area with5th_Grade_Passport_Logo the 5th Grade Ski Free Passport Program. The passport allows you to ski or snowboard three days FREE at each of participating ski areas with some blackout dates. The passport also includes special deals on equipment rentals, lessons, and other activities, and some ski areas even offer specials for your parents or siblings! Participating ski areas include 49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, Silver Mountain, and others, to-be-determined.

Cost: $20 processing fee.

Idaho – Idaho LOVES 5th and 6th Graders with the 5th and 6th Grade Ski and Ride FREE Passport. 5th graders ski or ride FREE 3 times at each Ski Idaho participating resorts with the 5th grade passport. 6th graders ski or ride FREE 2 times at each Ski Idaho participating resorts with the 6th grade passport. Idaho Ski Areas Association (Ski Idaho) is a non-profit association representing the Idaho snowsports industry, which includes eighteen ski areas. Their mission is to raise awareness of Idaho Skiing and Snowboarding opportunities.

Cost: $20 processing fee.

Southwest & Rockies

Utah – The 5th and 6th Grade Passport offers 5th graders three days of skiing or riding FREE at each of Utah’s 15 resorts and offers 6th graders one time FREE at each resort. The Passport is also full of special deals for ski and snowboard rentals, lessons, PowerAde, and other cool stuff that will help them shred the Utah Power! To view all the passport coupons, click here.

Cost: Processing Fee is $35 (price increased after January 31, 2015 to $45).

Colorado – Colorado Ski Country USA believes every child who grows up in Colorado should have the opportunity to enjoy the state’s signature winter sport. The 5th and 6th Grade Passport allows 5th graders three FREE days of skiing or snowboarding at each of CSCUSA 20 member resorts, and 6th graders are allowed four days at each. Colorado Ski Country USA’s First Class Program offers 5th graders who have never skied nor snowboarded the chance to receive one free beginner lesson with rental equipment.

Cost: For 5th graders, it’s FREE. For 6th graders the price of $99 will be good while passes are offered.

SadiePASSColorado – Vail Resorts offers the 2014/2015 School of Shred Program to Colorado 5th and 6th graders. It is a FREE program that provides skiing/riding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin. It also includes a FREE first-timer lesson & rental. The School of Shred pass provides 4 days of skiing or snowboarding at each resort with no blackout dates. First-timer lessons and rentals will be provided from 01/05/15 – 01/31/15 as a part of “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.” The free rental and first-timer lesson must be redeemed at the same time and are only valid one time.

Cost: FREE.

Southeast

Virginia – 5th and 6th graders are eligible to receive three FREE lift tickets at Wintergreen Resort! Designed to encourage all 5th and 6th graders to become skiers and snowboarders, the Snow License program is open to all currently enrolled 5th and 6th graders in VA, MD, DC, NC and WV. The child must be accompanied by a paying adult. There is a limit of 3 additional people per snow license and no more than two snow license participants per paying adult. The student will need to bring an entry form and report card to validate their enrollment and can visit one time per week. The program runs from January 6, 2014 through March 16, 2014 and is not valid on Saturdays and January 19 or February 16, 2014.

Cost: FREE with the purchase of an adult lift ticket. The adult will receive $15 off a full-day ticket or $10 off a half-day ticket of their own.

Midwest

Michigan – The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) has established a state-wide program that provides 4th graders in Michigan the opportunity to ski for FREE. Fourth graders can obtain a Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport that gives them up to three FREE lift tickets or trail passes at 21 participating ski areas. In addition, the passport includes discounts such as a coupon for 20% off a helmet purchase and $15 off the purchase of $100 at over 50 participating ski shops. To view all the available coupons and discounts, click here.

Cost: MSIA charges a $15 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered. Child must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Have we missed any? Please let us know of any additional ski free deals for school-aged children that you know of in the comments below!

Originally from Massachusetts, Lora came out to coLORAdo for college and decided she had found her permanent home (who can blame her since her name is in the state name)! She loves the outdoors and exploring all it has to offer by way of her favorite activities which include snowboarding, ATVing, hiking, and camping. Recently married, Lora lives with her husband and 2 dogs and hopes to expand her happy little family in the near future.

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