The ski industry’s “Passport Programs” offer affordable ways for kids to learn to ski and get outdoors in the winter time. The national Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative provides a way to search for these programs, many of which allow students from 4th to 7th grade to ski or snowboard for free.
Here is an example of Passport Programs across the country.
- Colorado: Colorado Ski Country USA offers two Passport programs, for 5th and 6th graders. The 5th grade Passport Program provides participants with three free days of skiing or snowboarding at 20 resorts. The 6th grade Passport Program provides participants with four days of skiing or snowboarding at 20 resorts.
- Idaho: The "5th and 6th Grade Ski Free Passport" program is honored at about 20 ski areas, with most offering three free full-day lift tickets for 5th Grade Passports and two full-day lift tickets for 6th Grade Passports.
- Maine: The "Winter Kids Passport" helps 5th, 6th, and 7th grade children in Maine by providing free and reduced outdoor recreation (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and dog sledding) at 50 locations.
- Michigan: The "Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport" for 4th and 5th graders provides up to three free lift tickets at about 30 participating ski areas (when accompanied by a paying adult). Many Michigan ski shops and areas offer coupons for equipment purchase and rental and free or discounted lessons. Most ski areas have a few blackout dates
- New Hampshire: The "4th & 5th Grade Snowsports Passport" program offers one free lift ticket or trail pass to participants at 16 downhill and nearly 20 cross country ski areas. Ski area also provides additional offers, some of which include savings on beginner lessons or equipment rentals for fourth or fifth graders, as well as deals on lift tickets and trail passes for parents and siblings, and more.
- New York: The "Free For Kids Passport" program provides 3rd and 4th Grade students three free lift tickets with an adult purchase at over 20 participating ski resorts – up to two children per adult. Several areas have no blackout dates. The “Learn To Ski/Snowboard Package Passport" provides at all participating ski resorts one free beginner lesson, rental and beginner lift ticket package for skiing or snowboarding without an adult purchase.
- Northwest: The "Ski The Northwest Rockies 5th Grade Passport" provides three days free at each participating ski area, including Mt. Spokane and 49 Degrees North near Spokane, Lookout Pass on I-90 at the Idaho/Montana border, and Silver Mountain in Kellogg, ID. The passport also includes special deals on equipment rentals, lessons and other activities.
- Pennsylvania: The "4th and 5th Grade Snowpass" allows students to ski and snowboard for free with a paying adult at 19 participating resorts. In addition, it offers a First Time ski/snowboard package that includes a beginner lift ticket, lesson and rental equipment to each participant.
- Utah: The "Ski Utah 5th & 6th Grade Passport Program" provides 5th Graders with three free lift tickets at each of Utah's 14 resorts and 6th Graders with one free lift ticket at each resort.
- Vermont: Ski Vermont's "Fifth Grade Passport" is a program that lets fifth graders ski and ride for free up to 88 days a year.
Find more discounted beginner programs, read Learn to Ski Month Across the Country.