The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and Minnesota Ski Areas Association offer passport programs allowing elementary age kids the chance to try skiing and snowboarding for free. In Michigan it covers both fourth and fifth graders, and Minnesota’s program covers fourth graders.
Michigan’s Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport program offers students’ three free lift tickets at 25 participating ski areas scattered throughout the state and additional discounts at participating ski shops. There is a $20 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered, which is nominal compared to the cost of three lift tickets. It also helps sponsor additional school field trips. MSIA helps underprivileged kids get out on the slopes and trails through grants to schools.
You can go online for an application or pick up one at participating ski shops. To use the free lift tickets a paying adult must accompany fourth and fifth graders on the slopes. One adult can accompany two students. The Passport is valid through April 30, 2018. It also includes a coupon for $20 off a helmet purchase and $20 off the purchase of $100 at participating Michigan ski shops. Some ski areas also include coupons for equipment rental and free or discounted lessons.
Minnesota Ski Areas Association offers a statewide program that provides every fourth grader a passport that allows them to ski or snowboard for free during the winter. The cost is $24.95 to cover printing and shipping. They receive a special pass and a minimum of two free lift tickets at every member area. You order it online and allow two weeks for mailing.