The end of summer brings about a certain amount of sadness. As kids begrudgingly head back to school, days get shorter and temperatures drop toward freezing. Luckily, the approaching ski season provides some silver lining for the long winter months ahead.
In an effort to encourage more youth participation, many ski resorts across the country are offering passport programs.
These programs provide free or discounted skiing to elementary and middle school-aged children, though each resort has a different selection of qualifying grades. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of which resorts will be participating.
There’s so much skiing and snowboarding in Colorado they had to offer two programs. The most comprehensive is the Colorado Ski Country USA 5th & 6th Grade Passport. The 5th grade version provides three free days of skiing and snowboarding at each of the 20 different resorts, while the 6th Grade Passport offers four days for just $99. Participating resorts include:
Coloradans can also take advantage of the 5th and 6th Grade School of Shred Program. It includes four free days at each of several resorts for both 5th and 6th graders. The Program also includes one free lesson and equipment rental. Eligible resorts include:
Not everyone thinks of Idaho and Washington as great ski states, but their mountains are filled with awesome terrain. The 5th Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport provides three free days at each participating area, while the 6th Grade version provides two free days at each location. There’s also a $20 processing fee. Participants include:
Many consider the snow in Utah to be the best around. With Ski Utah’s Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport, 5th graders ski free three times at each of 14 resorts, and 6th graders may ski free once at each resort. A $35 processing fee is required for the Passport and it can be used at the following locations:
In New Hampshire they start young with the 4th Grade Earn Your Turns Passbook. Fourth graders who research and summarize an aspect of skiing history in New Hampshire receive a lift ticket and trail pass to each of the 37 resorts in New Hampshire. A 5th Grade Snowsports Passport is also offered, which includes similar benefits as well as a few additional days at select resorts. Both passes require a $20 processing fee. Some popular destinations include:
Vermont has a tradition of developing Olympic athletes, and they want to keep it alive with their 5th Grade Passport. After a $10 processing fee, 5th graders can ski and ride for free across the state as long as they’re accompanied by an adult who has paid for a full-day lift ticket. For more details on participating resorts in Vermont, click here.
New York offers a program for 4th graders which is very similar to that of Vermont. With a $19 processing fee, young riders receive a free day at most NY resorts with a paid adult ticket. Participating resorts have yet to be announced, but this list will be updated as soon as they are.
Maine provides their WinterKids Passport program to 5th, 6th and 7th graders. With a $25 processing fee, participants receive two days of free or discounted skiing at 50 locations throughout the state. In some cases, a paid adult ticket is required. The most popular locations include:
In Michigan they cater to 4th graders with the Cold is Cool program. Participants receive as many as three free lift tickets or trail passes to 20 different ski areas. A $15 processing fee is required, and kids must be accompanied by a paid adult. Participating locations include:
With the Pennsylvania 4th & 5th Grade Snowpass, kids will have access to free skiing at 22 different resorts. A $30 processing fee is required, and in some cases a paid adult ticket is also required. Popular participants include:
Who could forget about our snowsport-loving neighbors to the north? Canadian students in grades four and five are eligible for the Grade 4 & 5 Snowpass. The pass can be used for three free lift tickets at each participating resort. Applications require a $29.95 processing fee. With around 150 ski areas participating, this list is sure to have something near you.