Sweet Family Ski Deals

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.

Good times for all in the Whistler high country [Photo: Paul Morrison]

Now that the snow is finally falling in the Pacific Northwest, Rockies, and Northeast, it’s time to start chasing powder. Given the steep costs and major schlep factor, family ski trips can tip just that side of “worth it”—especially when you’re forking over major moula. But thanks to a new crop of up-to-the-minute deals, you can go where the snow is and still save a bundle, especially if you don’t mind booking at the last minute, are flexible with your travel dates, and can steer (mostly) clear of peak holiday weeks. 

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Kids are free for the whole month of March at this BC behemoth, which has gotten 18 feet of freshies to date and boasts a 76-inch base. No, not free for the taking, but free for the skiing: Your littles’ lift tickets, lodging, rental, and airport transfers won’t cost you a dime when you reserve a three-day lift and lodging package (including the 5th Night Free deal) before January 31. Kids’ ski and snowboard lessons start as young as three, and the two-day Roxy Jr Snow Camp for girls age 13-18 runs March 24-25.

Mount Bachelor, Oregon
The powder gods dumped 74 inches on Bachelor in the last 72 hours. Three day family ski-and-stay packages at Mount Bachelor Village, just outside of Bend and 18 miles from the mountain start at a bargain-basement $671 for a one bedroom ski house (put the kids on the pullout couch) and three days of ski passes for adults and kids. Upgrade to a two-bedroom for $1063, but not over President’s Day weekend—it’s blacked out. Even if you don’t stay at the Village, kids ski free with the purchase of an adult’s multi-day pass any day of the season, no restrictions. Bonus: A single day lift ticket gets you free entry to the resort’s 56 km of groomed Nordic ski trails, where kids five and under are always free and youths 6 to 18 are a mere $9.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Twenty five inches of fresh snow in the last 24 hours is making up for a lean early season in the Tetons. Now through February 3rd and again from March 5-April 8, kids fly and stay free at J Hole when you, their doting parents, fork over for a regular fare. The Cowboy Package is a sweet deal, too, with 7 nights lodging in a two-bedroom condo in Teton Village and a five-day lift pass. Here’s the hitch: these offers cannot be combined.

Deer Valley, Utah
This week’s storms dumped 10 inches at this family-friendly resort, with its own trail map just for kids and ski school starting at age three. Cash in on the Exceptional Value Family Package and you’ll shave 25 percent off a minimum three-night stay at the Lodges at Deer Valley; parents save 25 percent on lift tickets, and kids under 12 score two days’ worth of lift tickets and rentals with the purchase of an adult ticket. Other than several blackout weeks over President’s Day and spring break in March, the offer’s on through April 8. Catch the last week of the season, April 8-15, and they’ll throw in a free night’s stay and a free adult lift ticket.

Steamboat, Colorado
Skiing’s a multigenerational sport at Steamboat, where kids 12 and under ski free with their grandparents or parents on a 5-day late seasons lift pass, April 8-15. Youth rentals are free, too, when their grandparents or parents on 3-day rentals during the same time period. Two words: spring skiing!

Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
The snow’s been good from the get-go in northern New Mexico this season, and Taos rolls out the red carpet with its killer Family Value Package: four nights of lodging for the cost of three, plus four days of kids’ ski lessons with Junior Elites, one of the best ski schools in the country, for a discounted rate of $400. Blackouts over President’s Weekend and spring break apply. Put the kid in ski school and sign up for one of Taos’s legendary ski weeks: six days on the mountain, with including two hours of lessons each morning and ski psychology sessions in the evening. Ski weeks are discounted to a shocking $99 for the weeks beginning January 29, February 5, March 25, and April 1.

Sugarloaf, Maine
Today’s 10 inches of powder means a solid base for next month’s holiday crush. If President’s Week is your only window for a family vacay, the largest ski resort east of the Rockies is making it easy to hit the slopes February 17-26, with ski/stay packages starting at $109 per person per night for a condo and $139 for a slope side room at the Sugarloaf Inn. The deal includes free access to the fitness center’s heated pool and a 90-minute Perfect Turn clinic for adults 19 and over (your reward for taking the kids). Even better, the snow is guaranteed: If you don’t like the conditions, return your ticket to guest services by 10 AM for a refund.

Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont
Join the Smuggs Club at this kid-centric resort and score three nights of mountainside lodging and lift tickets, plus free access to heated pools, snow tubing, 30 km of cross-country trails, outdoor ice skating rink, two teen centers, and nightly family entertainment. And that’s just the “base” package; upgrade to the “classic,” and kids 6-17 get a free two-hour lesson on the house while you land free day care for ski babies age 6 months to 3 years. Base packages start at $109 per night per adult and $79/night for kids three and up, depending on the week (you’ll pay a premium for President’s Week). Earlier this season, the resort teamed up with VT-based Burton Snowboards to create Riglet Park, an on-snow terrain park specifically for kids (ranked best terrain for young jibbers in Outside's November 2011 issue), with a mini half-pipe and a ride-through tree house.

Whiteface, New York
With two Olympics ('32 and '80) to its credit, Lake Placid is America’s original winter-sports capital, and while it has some serious retro flair, Whiteface’s 2012 ski deals are as fresh as they come. Ski and stay packages at The Ledge at Whiteface start at $97 per person midweek and $119 on weekends. Once a month, on “Super Sundays,” the price drops to $70 per person for a Sunday stay—a good reason to take Monday off. North Pole Resorts, at the base of Whiteface, is getting in on the action with its 3rd Night (and ski day) free. No matter where you stay, buy a 3-day peak season lift ticket, and you’ll get an Ultimate Winter Passport for free. Host your own Winter Games with ice skating on the Olympic Speed Skating oval, a free elevator ride to the top of the 120m ski jumping tower, and 20% off bobsledding and skeleton rides. Or hang on for a trip down the Toboggan Chute, a reinvented 1930s ski jump on frozen Mirror Lake.

— Katie Arnold 



Filed to:

promo logo