Colorado is a long-time favorite winter destination for families from near and far looking to enjoy some quality family time in the mountains. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts offer dozens of family-friendly offers, discounts and deals on everything from lodging and lift tickets to gear rentals and lessons. Below are some tips for life-long ski families and first-timers alike to have a successful day on the slopes and family friendly deals across Colorado’s world-class ski areas. Families should visit individual ski area websites and social media for promotions and use www.coloradoski.com as a resource for information across the state.
By booking a ski day or ski vacation early, families can take advantage of the lowest prices and bundled deals. For guests traveling internationally or from across the country, booking lodging and lift ticket deals in advance can mean significant savings. Even for Coloradans who are new to the state or new to the sport, booking a day of skiing or riding in advance can unlock great deals for the whole family. The Gems Card, which provides either two buy-one-get-one or two 30 percent off adult lift tickets at 11 ski areas in Colorado for just $25, provides families a great chance to visit multiple ski areas across the state.
Take a Lesson
Professional instruction is a great idea for everyone, from first-time skiers or riders who want to learn the basics to long-time snowsport veterans who want to brush up on their skills or refresh after some time away from the slopes. Luckily, Colorado ski areas offer a wide variety of lesson options, including both full-day and half-day group lessons, private lessons and multi-day lesson packages.
Dress Appropriately for the Conditions
Colorado is home to ever changing weather conditions. Make sure everyone in the family is prepared. Base layers, a helmet and water-resistant pants, jackets and gloves are a must. Check out used clothing outlets for great deals or base area options and don’t forget the sunscreen and lip balm.
Keep the Emphasis on Fun
For members of the family who aren’t keen on skiing or snowboarding or want some time off from the slopes, Colorado ski areas offer dozens of family-friendly non-skiing activities. In addition to skiing and riding, families can spend their days ice skating, snow shoeing, riding mountain coasters, tubing, shopping and more. A full list of activities is available here: www.coloradoski.com/non-skiing-activities.
Let Your Kids Lead the Way
Some little ones are ready for the slopes earlier than others. Let your child’s sense of adventure and fun be your guide. Remember, learning to ski or snowboard can tire out young and older legs alike. Take breaks, refuel and be realistic about how much time on the hill is needed to keep everyone smiling.
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month
For families who are ready to explore skiing and riding for the first time, January is a great time to learn. In honor of National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM), Colorado ski areas offer some of the best deals of the season on lift tickets, rentals and beginner lessons. Keep an eye out for deals and discounts available to first-timers in January.
Below are some of the best deals available for families at CSCUSA member ski areas:
WOLF CREEK SKI AREA
Wolf Creek offers family season passes, offering families with two or more members a special rate per family member for Wolf Creek Season Passes. Season Pass holders with little ones learning to ski or snowboard can enroll their little shredders into Wolf Pups or Wolf Riders at a discounted rate. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.
WINTER PARK RESORT
Winter Park offers a special vacation package that includes $200 in resort credit. Any family that stays in WPR properties for at least four nights gets a $200 resort credit good for everything but lift access, including food and beverage, lessons, retail and more. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.
TELLURIDE SKI RESORT
For families who want dedicated and specialized instruction, Telluride offers private lessons, available for up to five friends or family members to learn skiing, snowboarding, telemark or cross country. Lessons are available in full-day or half-day increments. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.
SUNLIGHT MOUNTAIN RESORT
Sunlight offers a family ski pass for discounted rates on all-season access. The Sunlight Family Pass pairs well with Sunlight’s Ski School, which offers a wide variety of lessons available to all members of the family, including half-day, full-day and multi-week lessons. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
Steamboat offers lessons and guided tours for families, which allow skiers and riders of similar ability levels to learn, develop their skills and achieve their goals as a unit. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
New this winter, Silverton Mountain will host the Women’s International Ski Day Celebration January 11-13, 2019. This family-friendly event for advanced and expert skiers and boarders will include guided skiing/boarding, demos, and parties celebrating women and girl skiers and snowboarders. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.
Purgatory keeps skiing fun and affordable for families by offering all kids who ages 10 and younger a free season pass. No adult season pass purchase required. For more information, visit www.purgatoryresort.com.
As part of Powderhorn’s Mission: Affordable program, the ski area will offer Learn to Ski Free lessons this season. These lessons will be available to brand-new skiers & snowboarders ages eight and older and will be held every Sunday morning after the holiday season. The lessons will also include a free rental and a free Easy Rider lift ticket. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
Monarch offers families bundled discounts on lift tickets, rentals and lesson packages. Families should visit the Rental and Lesson Center for details. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.
LOVELAND SKI AREA
Loveland offers a Family Private Lesson package for up to four family members ages seven and older to learn to ski or snowboard together with the same instructor. Family lessons are for first-time skiers and riders and available in the morning or afternoon. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.
To help families get out and enjoy the slopes this season, Kendall offers a Family Season Pass for two adults and two children over six years old, with an optional add-on for additional children. For more information, visit www.skikendall.com.
Families can enjoy the slopes for free at North America's oldest operating ski area with Ski Free Sundays. For more information, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/131/Howelsen-Hill-Ski-Area.
Granby Ranch’s Friends and Family Private Lesson is a great opportunity for up to four family members to ski together with specialized, private instructor. Private group lessons are available in full-day and half-day increments. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.
To introduce guests and families to skiing and snowboarding, Echo Mountain Ambassadors are a new on-mountain offering this season. In the beginner area and throughout the mountain, ambassadors offer coaching, tips and suggestions to help guests and families progress their skills. For more information, visit www.echomntn.com.
Families at Copper Mountain can enroll their children in Youth Seasonal Programs, available for kids ages 3 to 18 to focus on different areas of skiing or riding. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
All of Cooper’s ski lessons for adults and children are affordably priced, the ski area offers an extra 10 percent off when lessons are booked online. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.
Aspen Snowmass offers a comprehensive Family Guide with information and tips on how to save on lodging, lift tickets, rentals, lessons and more. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREA
Arapahoe Basin’s best deals for families include a Private Lesson, which can include up to four family members, or the Flex 4 Lesson pack which offers four fully transferable half-day lessons for adults or kids. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.