There’s no better place to bond with your kids outdoors than on the ski slopes. Thankfully, it’s easier and more affordable than ever now thanks to the following top 10 states, from Vermont to C0lorado, involved in Learn to Ski and Snowboard’s Kids Ski Free program…
A number of states offer school children special opportunities called “Passport” Programs. These enable youngsters an affordable way to ski and snowboard at resorts in the respective states. The programs vary. Typically, parents pay a small administrative fee for the “passport” booklet that includes many free offers. Here are some examples provided by several state.
1. Ski New Hampshire
Ski NH’s 4th and 5th grade Snowsports Passport includes one, two or three free lift tickets and cross country trail passes from each of Ski NH’s 33 ski areas, as well as savings on lessons and equipment for 4th and 5th graders, and savings on lift tickets and trail passes for parents and siblings. To receive a Snowsports Passport, mail the application, a copy of your fourth/fifth and grade report card, to Ski NH. Passport fee is $30 until November 30, 2013 and $35 starting December 1, 2013. Not only will you and your family be on your way to enjoying New Hampshire’s winter resorts, but you’ll also be helping kids suffering from serious illness; Ski NH donates a percentage of sales to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of NH. Details are available on the SkiNH web site.
2. Ski Vermont
Ski Vermont believes that winter in Vermont is a way of life, an opportunity to get outdoors, to be healthy and active, and to share amazing experiences with friends and family. That philosophy has led Ski Vermont to develop the Fifth Grade Passport, a program that lets fifth graders ski and ride for free, and fall in love with the experience of sliding on snow. The 2012-13 ski season begins the 13th year of enriching families’ winters with this program. It also marks the third year in which the program benefits the agriculture community by donating proceeds to Keep Local Farms, learn more at www.keeplocalfarms.org. Ski Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport – http://www.skivermont.com/love-winter/news-notes/fifth-graders-ski-free
3. The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) wants to give kids an opportunity to get out, have fun and get healthy this winter. This is why MSIA has established a statewide program, which provides every fourth grader 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 20 participating ski areas.
In order for fourth graders to use the free lift or trail pass coupons, a paying adult must accompany them. “We feel that fourth graders should be supervised by an adult while on the slopes and trails. Our intention is to make this a fun, affordable activity for the entire family,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA executive director. With the Passport, up to two fourth graders can ski free with each paying adult.
Applications are available at participating MSIA ski shops and online at goskimichigan.com. Although the skiing is free, MSIA charges a $15 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered. Here is the link to our page: http://www.goskimichigan.com/michigan-ski-programs/michigan-ski-cold-is-cool
4. Colorado Ski Country
Colorado Ski Country USA’s 5th Grade Passport Program provides participants with three free days of skiing or snowboarding at each of our 20 member resorts. Ski all 60 days or just a few. Colorado Ski Country USA’s 6th Grade Passport Program provides participants with four days of skiing or snowboarding at each of our 20 member resorts for a mere $99. That amounts to 80 awesome days on the slopes for a mere $1.25 per day.
The First Class Program allows 5th graders can learn to ski or snowboard throughout the month of January. Children who have neither experienced skiing nor snowboarding, and are enrolled in the 5th Grade Passport Program, have the opportunity to receive one free beginner lesson and rental package. In our experience, 5th graders who complete a full beginner lesson emerge as confident advanced beginners who can comfortably use their passport to ski or ride with friends or family.
5. Ski Areas of New York
The ISKINY 3rd & 4th Grade Ski & Ride Passport program entitles children in grade 3 or 4 or equivalent (homeschoolers too) to ski and ride for free with an adult lift ticket purchase. A fourth grader can also choose learn to ski or snowboard too! There is also discounts for adults to learn to ski or ride. A $22 processing fee does apply and full details with area participation is available online at www.iskiny.com.
6. Maine’s Winter Kids Programs
This program helps 5th, 6th, and 7th grade children in Maine stay fit and healthy during the winter, by providing free and reduced outdoor recreation (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and dog sledding) at 50 locations across the state. WinterKids is the nonprofit organization that helps children develop healthy lifelong habits through fun, outdoor winter activity. Check out the WinterKids site for additional programs for families and schools to get outside, get active and have fun! To learn more about these programs visit WinterKids.org.
7. Ski Utah
The Ski Utah Fifth Grade Passport is the best way for you to experience The Greatest Snow on Earth®. The Passport allows you to ski or snowboard three days FREE* and includes special deals on equipment rentals and lessons at each of Utah’s 14 participating resorts. The Ski Utah Sixth Grade Passport allows you to ski or snowboard one day FREE* at each of Utah’s 14 participating resorts. The Passport not only provides one day of skiing or snowboarding at each Utah resort also includes special deals on equipment rentals, lessons and other activities. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about either of the Passport programs, or call us at 801-534-1779. Also, visit SkiUtah.com.
8. Ski Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Ski Area Association is offering the Snowpass program to children in the 4th and 5th grade. Participants get a passport booklet with their picture, plus coupons valid for three FREE lift tickets at each of the 21 participating resorts when they ski or board with a paying adult. The booklet also includes a Learn to Ski or Snowboard package at 50% for the participating adult. Participants may sign up at www.skipa.com, or by downloading an application form. You must provide a report card or other proof that the child is in 4th or 5th grade, a 1.5” X 2” school photo and a $30 processing fee. The office will mail the Snowpass to the participant. Last year’s Snowpass program was the second biggest in the country, with only Colorado issuing more passes.
9. Ski NW Rockies
Ski NW Rockies and Ski Idaho is offering the 5th Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport Program to children in the 5th grade from any state. The Passport allows students to ski or ride three days FREE and includes special deals on equipment rentals and lessons at each of Ski NW Rockies and Ski Idaho participating resorts. Learn more and sign up at www.5thgradeskipassport.com.
10. Ski Idaho
Ski Idaho is offering the 6th Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport Program to children in the 6th grade from any state. The Passport allows students to ski or ride two days FREE and includes special deals on equipment rentals and lessons at each of the Ski Idaho participating resorts. Learn more and sign up at www.6thgradeskipassport.com.