Skiing and riding are magical sports and that can change lives, supporting healthier decisions and bonding experiences that can last a lifetime. There is no better time to fall in love with snow-covered mountains than during the carefree years of childhood.
Across the Northeast, state ski associations are offering free lift tickets to introduce kids to the joys of being outside in winter. Details vary by state, but most programs offer skiing as well as discounts on lessons and rentals for third, fourth, or fifth grade students for a nominal application fee. Some blackout dates apply.
Every Ski New Hampshire downhill and cross country ski area is contributing one free lift ticket for fourth or fifth graders. Every area is also including one additional offer, including savings on first-time and beginner lessons and equipment rentals, savings on lift tickets and trail passes for parents and siblings, and more.
Ski NH donates a percentage of sales of the Snowsports Passport to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire. This organization has brought joy to more than 500 children who have a life threatening medical condition.
To help youth get to the hills, Ski Vermont offers participating fifth graders up to 88 free days of skiing and riding at Vermont’s alpine and Nordic resorts.
This season marks the fourth year in which the program will donate proceeds to Keep Local Farms, an education and contribution program that encourages the purchase of healthy, local foods which sustain the working landscape for future generations. Ski Vermont has donated nearly $40,000 to local farmers through the Must be the Milk campaign.
In addition to receiving deeply discounted tickets, lessons, and rentals at 50 of Maine’s best winter sports areas, WinterKids Passport families also enjoy special Passport events throughout the season. The popular WinterKids Family Days offer immediate family members accompanying the Passport holder deep discounts on lift tickets and rentals.
Third and fourth graders from anywhere can ski or ride free at the majority of New York Resorts this winter when accompanied by a paying adult. If you are a third or fourth grader and you've never skied before, the Learn To Ski or Ride Passport is available for free.
Pennsylvania’s fourth and fifth grade Snowpass booklet offers over 64 days of free skiing and boarding at 21 Pennsylvania resorts.
Photo: Kids learn to love skiing for free at Cranmore Resort (Brooks Dodge)
With a background as an English teacher, Martha Wilson has sought out opportunities to combine her passion for reading and writing with her love of outdoor pursuits. She has served the ski industry experience in public relations at Bretton Woods, N.H. After realizing what a different game getting on to the snow would be after having kids, she started blogging about winter adventures with growing rippers as the Outdoor Mom. Those blog posts have appeared in SnoCountry.com. She is currently SnoCountry.com Editorial Director.