Family ski deals make a winter trip affordable


Taking a family to the slopes can be a pricey endeavor. We've rounded up some of the best deals from around the country, including stops in California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Idaho.



Up to two children 12 and under per guest room at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe can ski, skate and sled for free Jan. 6-April 6. Prices start at $299 per night for a deluxe forest view room. Use promo code KIDPLAYRSC when booking. The Kids Ski, Skate, Sled Free package includes lift tickets to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, skate rentals and ice skating on the resort's ice rink, and sledding on the resort's groomed sled hill.




Kids under 12 ski free all winter at Keystone Resort as long as your family stays two or more nights at one of the resort properties, which range from luxury hotels to cozy condos. There is no limit on the number of children per adult and no blackout dates-the free skiing deal includes weekends and holidays, a rarity in the ski industry.

Beaver Creek and Vail

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, with ski-in, ski-out access to Beaver Creek's 146 runs on 1,805 acres of skiable terrain, is offering a fourth night free to travelers who book a three-night stay before Nov. 30. Deal includes free daily breakfast for two at 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, and a 2 p.m. checkout to give guests an extra day of skiing. Beaver Creek lift tickets also can be used at the nearby Vail Ski Resort.

Four Seasons Resort

In Vail, the Four Seasons Resort & Residences has a buy one night, get one free deal, along with a Ski Free Package that includes three-day lift tickets for up to two adults and two children, three-day ski or snowboard rentals for up to two adults and two children, and kids 5 and under eat free.



Northern Michigan is a picturesque summer destination with its stunning Sleeping Bear Dunes and blue Lake Michigan waters. The area is equally picturesque dressed in winter white.

Two of my favorite resorts, Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville and Traverse City's Shanty Creek Resort, offer skiing and plenty of other family fun in the snow-snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snow biking, paintball, even dog sledding-at rates much more affordable than you'll find in Colorado... Read more in our article from Going Places.


New Mexico

La Posada de Santa Fe, 16 miles north of Sante Fe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is offering a ski package that includes a room for two, two lift tickets to Ski Santa Fe and a breakfast credit of $40. Rates start at $199 for a weekday and $219 for a weekend with a two-night minimum.



Park City is perfect for a long ski weekend with plenty of direct flights to Salt Lake City from Chicago and an easy 35-minute drive to the slopes. To show just how easy, Park City came up with the Quick Start promotion-trade in your boarding pass for a lift ticket, good for that day at any of the major ski resorts. You can fly in the morning and be on the slopes in the afternoon... Read more in our article from Going Places.



Smugglers Notch

The family-friendly Smugglers Notch resort in Vermont has several winter deals that include mountainside condominium lodging, lift tickets, snow tubing, use of the indoor pool and hot tub, Nordic and snowshoe terrain, indoor FunZone with climbing inflatables, and teen centers for nightly prices starting at $85 for children and $115 for adults. Add daily ski instruction for kids 3-17 and the price is $105 for kids. Or add the "Snow Sport University" instructional programs for the entire family, which includes all-day ski or snowboard camp for kids 3-5 and two-hour group lessons for ages 6 and up, and the price is $105 for kids and $145 for adults per night.


The Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock offers free skiing at the Inn's Nordic Center and free lift tickets to the Suicide Six Family Ski Area for all guests who stay Sunday-Thursday. Kids 14 and under ski free all of the time. Rates at the 142-room resort start at $240 per night.



Alpine Valley Resort

Alpine Valley Resort in Elkhorn is the largest ski area in southern Wisconsin. It offers 20 trails ranging from bunny hills to mogul runs, 11 lifts, a terrain park for snowboarders and a ski school for newbies. The longest run is 2,500 feet and the vertical drop is 388 feet. Weekday lift tickets are $41 for beginners and $48 for access to all areas. Weekend and holiday rates are $52 and $58. Season passes are $858 for a family of two, and $150 for each additional family member.

Cascade Mountain Ski Area

Cascade Mountain Ski Area in Portage boasts 34 trails ranging from steep and challenging to long and relaxing. The ski area has 10 lifts, including a high-speed Mountain Express quad chairlift. The 30-acre terrain park has the only super-pipe in the Midwest, according to (Check the website for 2012-2013 lift ticket prices, which were not available at press time.)

Devil's Head Resort

Devil's Head Resort near Baraboo is listed as one of the Midwest's 10 Best Ski Destinations by Ski Magazine. The area has 28 trails, a half-pipe, terrain park, 16 lifts, and a program for skiers with disabilities. Weekday lift tickets are $37 for kids 6-12 and $44 for ages 13 and up. Weekend and holiday lift tickets are $42 and $49. Season passes are $399 for kids 6-12, $449 for ages 13-59 and $175 for ages 60 and over. Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult.

Mountain Top Ski Area

Mountain Top Ski Area at Grand Geneva Resort has 18 runs, a terrain park, 10 kilometers of cross country trails and snowshoeing. A season pass for a family (two parents and up to four children, including full-time college students) is $1,199. Each additional child is $99. Friday-Monday and holiday lift tickets are $38 for kids 7-11 and $47 ages 12 and older. Tuesday-Thursday lift tickets are $23 and $28. Seniors 65 and up pay half price and kids 6 and under ski free with a paid adult.

Tyrol Basin

Tyrol Basin, just west of Madison, is known nationally for its world-class half-pipe. The area has added a second half-pipe in addition to its 16 downhill runs supported by six lifts. Weekday lift tickets are just $12 for skiing from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. All-day lift tickets on weekends and holidays are $37 for kids 6-12 and 60 and over and $42 for ages 13-59. Kids 5 and under are free.

Wilmot Mountain

Wilmot Mountain is the closest ski area to Chicago, located just west of Kenosha. It has 25 trails, a half-pipe, terrain park and 11 lifts. For kids 4-8, Wilmot offers the Pied Piper Children's Program. (Check the website for 2012-2013 lift ticket prices, which were not available at press time.)



Idaho ski resorts allow fifth-graders to ski free three times and sixth-graders to ski free two times. Depending on where you ski and when, that deal could save you as much as $70 a day. Fill out the application at now-the deal is not available once you arrive in Idaho and it takes at least two weeks for the pass to be delivered. There's a $20 processing fee, but most resorts include deals on equipment rentals and specials for parents and siblings.

The kids' ski free deal is available at most of the state's 18 ski areas (see the website for the full list), including the state's premier resort, Sun Valley.

Read more in our article from Going Places

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