School-Aged Children Can Ski/Ride for Free 2011/2012
They’re spreading like wildfire - more and more ski states and resorts are offering elementary school students, and in some cases middle schoolers, too, the chance to ski free. It's a great deal - for the kids and for parents. Here's what's out there for 2011/2012
Ski Maine 5th Grade Program - Plus 6th & 7th Grade, Too!
Info: firstname.lastname@example.org; 207-871-5700.
Maine 5th, 6th, or 7th graders may apply for a WinterKids Passport by clicking here. Applications are also sent to all schools in Maine in the fall. There is no deadline to apply.
Passport booklets are mailed directly to Passport holders' homes, beginning in November.
When accompanied by one paying adult, WinterKids Passport holders receive free and discounted tickets, rentals, and lessons at over 50 outdoor recreation centers across the state.
5th graders get three tickets for each area; 6th graders get two tickets for each area; and 7th graders get one ticket for each area. There are no blackout dates.
Many areas offer additional discounts for members of the Passport holder's party (sibings and adults).
The WinterKids Passport can be used throughout the entire 2010-2011 season, until the areas close for spring/summer.
Ski New Hampshire 4th & 5th Grade Programs
Ski NH offers two "Kids Ski Free" programs to encourage kids to adopt a healthy lifestyleand go outside and enjoy winter in New Hampshire.
4th Grade Earn Your Turns Program
To participate in the program, fourth graders simply complete an assignment or extra credit project related to the history of skiing and riding in New Hampshire. The teacher then submits their names and they receive a coupon book with a lift ticket and trail pass to every Ski NH member area, along with other discounts. Click here for more information on the Earn Your Turns program for 4th graders.
5th Grade Snowsports Passport
To receive the 5th grade coupon book, complete the application, submit with a copy of your fifth graders' report card, and include a $20 processing fee ($5 of it is donated to the Make a Wish Foundation of NH) . The book consists of 1-3 lift tickets and trail passes to every Ski NH member area, along with other discounts.
Ski New York 4th Grade Program
Info: email@example.com; 315-396-6550 x104
$19 processing fee
4th Graders from anywhere - New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Canada, the Bahama's - really - can ski or ride free at the majority of New York Resorts (list coming soon!) this Winter (when accompanied by a paying adult) or choose the Learn To Ski or Ride Passport for those who never skied before.
The program works like this. When you fill out the application form and send it in with a copy of your 4th Grade report card, progress report or letter from the school stating that your child is in 4th grade along with the $19 processing fee, you will receive a booklet of coupons for free lift tickets when an adult purchases a lift ticket, 3 coupons per ski area are in the booklet.
New this year you can choose for the Learn to Ski or Snowboard package booklet which contains one free learn to ski or snowboard package for the child and coupons for a 20% discount on a future visit for the 4th grader and a discount for thei adult , 3 per participating ski area.
Passport applications through March 1, 2011.
* $19 processing fee applies.
Ski Utah 5th & 6th Grade Programs
5th grade—$25 processing fee; $35 after Jan. 31, 2011
6th grade—$20 processing fee; $30 after Jan. 31, 2010
The Passport not only provides three days of skiing or snowboarding at each Utah resort, but it also includes special deals on equipment rentals, lessons and other activities.
New this year... each Passport participant will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Transworld Snowboarding or SKI magazine.
The 6th Grade Passport is the same, but it allows one day free at each of Utah’s 13 participating resorts.
Colorado 5th Grade Passport Program
Good at 21 resorts, with restrictions on use varying by resort, this program is not restricted to Colorado residents. Any kid from any state or country who is in 5th grade can get one. Nor is an adult lift ticket purchase required, although all children must have adult supervision during their visit to member resorts. Applications are available on-line.
The Passport may be used to obtain no more than three complimentary one-day child lift tickets at each participating resort. Any blackout dates are indicated on the back of the coupon.
The 6th Grade Passport is available for $99. Sixth graders get four days of skiing/riding at each of the participating resorts. What a deal!
The 2010/11 Colorado Passports are not valid at Vail Resorts ski areas.
Vail Resorts Grade School of Shred
The School of Shred program provides 4 FREE days of skiing or riding at each of Vail Resorts - Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin for all Colorado fifth and sixth grade students and is only available until November 7th, 2010. New this year, it also includes one beginner complimentary ski lesson, including rental equipment, for School of Shred pass holders (Arapahoe Basin excluded).
The 5th or 6th grade class that registers the most students into the School of Shred program before November 7, 2010 can win a Ski Field Trip to Vail with Warren Miller film star, Chris Anthony.
Canada Grade 5 Snowpass
$15 administration fee (includes GST)
Open to Canadian children in grades four and five or who are nine or 10 years old (born in 2000 or 2001), the "SnowPass" includes three free lift/trail tickets at each of the participating resorts. Plus, SnowPass Holders receive discounted and/or free lessons and rentals at many ski hills.
The program is for Canadian residents, and allows one SnowPass per child, available on a first-come first-serve basis while supplies last.
Ski Vermont 5th Grade Passport
$10 processing fee
The Vermont 5th Grade Passport allows skiing or riding three times each of Vermont’s 19 participating alpine ski areas and 23 Nordic ski areas.
Passport holders get a booklet containing three coupons for a complimentary alpine lift ticket or cross country trail pass at each participating area. Passport holders must be accompanied by a paying adult. Each adult may bring up to two Passport holders. Some restrictions and blackout dates may apply. This season marks the first year in which the program will also enrich the community by donating proceeds to Keep Local Farms.
INSA 5th Grade Passport
$15 processing fee
The 5th Grade Free Passport Program offers free skiing and/or snowboarding to every 5th grader in the Inland Northwest at the organization’s resorts in Washington and Idaho. 5th graders receive three free tickets at each of the 5 participating Inland Northwest Ski Association Mountains and participating Idaho Ski Areas. Participating sites also offer free or discounted lessons and rentals for 5th graders, and some provide parents and siblings with discounted lessons. Resorts include INSA Ski Areas, 49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, Schweitzer and Silver - Mission Ridge and White Pass are also participating along with the Idaho Ski Area Association participating ski areas: Brundage, Bogus Basin, Tamarack, Sun Valley, Mission Ridge, Pebble Creek, Soldier Mt, Kelly Canyon and Lost Trail.
Fifth graders receive three free tickets at each of the participating mountains. The passport must be presented by the fifth grader to obtain a free one-day lift ticket, and each child or group of students must have adult supervision while at the ski area. The supervising adult is not required to ski. Groups larger than four must contact each individual mountain before arriving.
Applications are available in schools, on the Web site or by mail: Inland Northwest Ski Association, PO Box 3184, Post Falls, ID 83877-3184.
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association "Cold is Cool" 4th Grade Ski and Snowboard Passport
Info: 248-620-4448; firstname.lastname@example.org
$15 processing fee
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) has established a state-wide program which provides every fourth grader in Michigan the opportunity to ski for free. Fourth graders can apply for a "Cold is Cool" Ski and Snowboard Passport that gives them up to three free lift tickets or trail passes at each of the 20 participating alpine and Nordic ski areas. Application forms were sent to Michigan elementary school principals to distribute to fourth graders. Kids can also pick up "Cold is Cool" Ski and Snowboard Passport applications at participating MSIA ski shops, online or by calling 248-620-4448.
In order for fourth graders to use the free lift or trail pass coupons, a paying adult must accompany them. With the Passport, up to two fourth graders can ski free with each paying adult. The Cold is Cool Fourth Grade Ski & Snowboard Passport is not valid during some vacations periods at certain participating resorts, as noted for individual ski areas on the application.
Ski Pennsylvania 4th & 5th Grade Snowpass www.skipa.com
$15 processing fee
The Pennsylvania 4th & 5th Grade Snowpass booklet offers free skiing and boarding at 22 Pennsylvania Ski Resorts, more than 67 days of skiing and boarding. Applicants send an application with a photo, with a copy of a report card or school ID.
Some resorts require a paying adult accompanying passport participants. A maximum of two 4th & 5th Grade Snowpass holders per paying adult may obtain a complimentary one-day lift ticket using their Snowpass. Kids do not have to live in Pennsylvania to qualify; 4th & 5th graders from any state are eligible.
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...... Mitch Kaplan
is the author of The Unofficial Guide to the Mid-Atlantic with Kids, The Cheapskate’s Guide to Myrtle Beach and The Golf Book of Lists. He is a contributor to The Unofficial Guide to New England & New York with Kids and to the annual guide Ski America & Canada.