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  • Parent Interchangeable Lift Tickets Offer Easy and Affordable Day on the Slopes

    By Tammie Thompson

    Alpine Meadows; Photo by Tammie Thompson OK. Here's the scenario. The ski resort is predicting eight inches of fresh snow. You've been locked up in the office or stranded at home with a colicky baby or whiny toddler. The family vacation is coming up and the thought of staying in a rustic cabin or miniature hotel room with that colicky baby or whiny toddler is just too much to handle.

    What would you give for a few moments of gliding through fresh powder? Getting a dose of cold air, fresh wind in your face? Just a moment to relish nature, to interact with grown ups again? A fleeting moment of freedom....

    You don't have to pay a king's ransom for this indulgence. Enter the Parent Interchangeable lift ticket. The concept is simple: you and your partner buy one ticket, and take turns tending to baby or toddler, while the other parent or caregiver makes some turns.

    Sounds easy... but is it?

    We caught up with some parents who were taking advantage of the Parent Interchangeable Ticket at Alpine Meadows at Lake Tahoe. Here's what they had to say:

    "I love it! I can't ski the whole day anyway, so this gives me a chance to take a few runs, come inside and hang out with Julia, then go do some more", says Karen Johansen from Berkeley, CA.

    Alpine Meadows; Photo by Tammie Thompson "Alpine has a great place to chill with the kids while my wife is out snowboarding. Kelly plays on the big slide or sometimes even settles down for a nap," reports Brian Conover from Los Angeles, CA.

    "The biggest problem is deciding who gets to go out first. We do a coin toss. I'm 0-for-4. We just need some more powder days to level the field", retorts Kevin Sealy of Sacramento, CA.

    Alpine Meadows offers the Parent Interchangeable ticket for the same price as a regular ticket. Attached to elastic, to be worn around the neck, the ticket is easy to exchange. Already a family friendly resort, the interchangeable ticket makes juggling that much easier and affordable. Factor in their Kids Zone area in the main lodge, and hanging out is actually fun. The Kids Zone is just off of the main lodge area - complete with games and indoor jungle gyms for small children, and a dining area for a relaxing lunch or apr├Ęs-ski spot. Crowded on weekends, the space provides instant playmates and non-snow diversions for little ones.

    Alpine Meadows is not the only Tahoe resort to offer the interchangeable ticket. Most resorts offer their own version including Northstar and Sierra's Parent Predicament ticket; Tahoe Donner's Interchangeable ticket; Diamond Peak's Interchangeable Parent's Pass; and Homewood's Parent Interchangeable ticket. For the most part the ticket price is the same as an all day adult ticket, with Sierra-at-Tahoe being the exception, charging a few dollars more than the regular price for the convenience.

    Tahoe seems to have a lock on the interchangeable option, with the exception of New Hampshire's Bretton Woods. Their Family Interchangeable ticket actually gives each parent a ticket, with one being used at a time.

    A wonderful alternative for parents who both like to ski or ride, a day of hanging out is also good for the kids. It exposes them to the snow life at an early age and gets them pumped for a future on snow. Suit up!

    For more on Alpine Meadows see their website at .

    Want more on winter family fun? Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to get the latest on winter family travel & gear deals, plus tips to make your life easier! Ollie in!

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