Ski areas across Oregon are making it affordable for families to ski together all winter long. Little ones love the experience of playing in the snow and warming up with hot cocoa in the lodge. These early experiences are the building blocks for making lifetime skiers and snowboarders.
Youngsters don’t have the stamina of bigger kids, so ski areas are rolling out special offers for children — from discounted pricing on lessons to altogether free lift tickets — providing families that extra bit of motivation to head to the mountains. Resorts are also making it easier for families to spend a day at the mountain with new parent swap lift tickets and season passes as well as discounted slopeside childcare offers. These deals are in addition to already great learn to ski and snowboard packages for adults and children. Many of these offers require advanced purchase, so be sure to plan ahead!
Anthony Lakes Ski Area
At $40, adult lift tickets are affordable at Anthony Lakes Ski Area in Eastern Oregon. Last season the resort made skiing and snowboarding even more affordable for new parents with the introduction of the parent swap lift ticket. This $45-per-day lift ticket can be shared by parents of children not of skiing age. So one parent wrangles the kiddos in the lodge while the other skis, then you swap out. In addition, children ages 6 and under ski free at Anthony Lakes, no catch.
Anthony Lakes also has a long-standing fifth- and sixth-grade Sundays program, a free program to get kids skiing. All registered fifth and sixth graders receive free rental gear, a free lift ticket and a (mandatory) lesson on Sundays for eight consecutive weeks.
Mt. Bachelor offers free lift tickets to kids 12 and under for the same number of days as their parents with the advanced purchase of a three-or-more day adult lift ticket. This offer includes one free kids’ ticket per paid parent. There are no blackout dates, so this deal is even valid during holidays, but you must purchase the package tickets during the promotional period from Nov. 25, 2019 through Dec. 15, 2019. The resort also offers free lift tickets to children 5 and under. Visitors can pick up a free child ticket at any open ticket window.
Mt. Bachelor recently expanded the learning terrain in the Sunrise Lodge base area a new chairlift in addition to the existing Carrousel chair, plus two covered conveyor carpets. The resort also offers free public access for beginners on the new 70-foot covered carpet conveyor lift open seven days a week. This surface lift will access the new Woodward Mountain Start Park learning zone for first-timers. Visitors can get a free ticket from Sunrise Lodge before loading the carpet.
Mt. Bachelor offers state-licensed childcare for children aged 6 weeks to 10 years old. The resort is offering a discounted Any 5 childcare pass package featuring five days of childcare for the price of four days. The resort also offers a discounted Any 3 signature start package, which combines a 2-hour small group kids lesson with a half day of daycare.
Mt. Hood Meadows
Meadows offers daily Kid Ski and Kids Ride lessons for ages 3 to 6 and more advanced options for ages 7 to 12. With Meadows’ new dynamic ticketing and lessons, a kids’ 2-hour lesson can be purchased for as little as $59 with a lift ticket added on for $12 and equipment rentals for $20. These packages must be purchased in advance online. As always, children ages 6 and under can ski for $12. Little ones are also welcome at Mt. Hood Meadows state-certified daycare for infants to age 6 with special midweek packages. All day daycare, plus a 7-hour ticket for an adult is just $129; you can add a spouse ticket for $50.
The resort is also offering families the perfect beginner experience with the Toyota learn to ski and ride nights on Saturday evenings. The beginner package includes a 2-hour group lesson, beginner lift ticket and equipment rentals for $40 each for age 7 and older (children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult). These special nights are offered Jan. 25, 2020; Feb. 1, 8, 22, 29 and March 7, 2020. Purchase in advance online since there there is limited availability.
Timberline Lodge and Summit Ski Area
If you have kids who are too young to ski, but still want to get on the mountain this winter Timberline Lodge has the new parenthood pass. This transferable season pass allows parents to alternate throughout the day or the season between skiing and watching the kids in the lodge or at home. The pass is transferable between two parents and starts at $559 to $749 depending on date of purchase. This pass also includes unlimited access to Summit Ski Area in Government Camp, plus a 25% discount on an additional day ticket for the parent not using pass (if you both want to ski together on the same day), a 25% discount on Bruno’s-only lift tickets for children (including access to Summit Ski Area), and a 10% discount on all ski and ride school services.
Timberline also offers the all ages discover pass, made for ski and snowboarding beginners for $159. This pass includes unlimited Bruno’s Chair access at Timberline, unlimited access to Summit Ski Area, and unlimited beginner rentals for the 2019-20 season. As always, Timberline Lodge and Ski Area offers free tickets for children 6 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. Summit Ski Area in Government Camp also offers free lift tickets to kids 5 and under with a paid adult.
Mt. Hood Skibowl
Children ages 4 through 13 can take ski classes through Mogul Busters on weekends at Mt. Hood Skibowl. Mogul Busters has been in operation for over 60 years. Book by November 30, 2019 to get the best deal on the Four Lesson Package for $400 (regularly $480). Students will enjoy four full days of lessons (16 hours total) and four full day, all mountain access lift tickets.
Mt. Hood Skibowl also offers free skiing for kids 6 and under from open to close, including night skiing.
Mt. Ashland’s First Tracks Program is an affordable, structured three-day program for ages 3.5 through 12-year-old first time skiers or snowboarders (snowboard instruction starts at age 5). The $149 package includes a Sonnet beginner lift ticket on day 1, then days 2 and 3 include an all-mountain lift ticket. Each day includes 2 hours of group instruction beginning at either 10:00am or 1:00pm with rental equipment included. Program graduation benefits include 50-percent off a current season pass, lift tickets, equipment rentals, and 25-percent off private lessons for the duration of the season. Mt. Ashland also offers kids 6 and under free skiing.
More Kids Ski Deals
There are plenty of other deals and discounts for kids. Hoodoo offers free skiing for kids 7 and under, the resort also offers daycare for ages 18 months to 4 years, Friday through Sunday by reservation only. Willamette Pass offers $10 tickets for kids 5 and under.
If You Go
Winter in Oregon can be chilly and wet, or crystal-clear and sunny — so wear waterproof layers, appropriate snow boots and don’t forget your sunglasses. Learn how to come prepared by brushing up on tips at How to Winter Like an Oregonian. Wherever you hit the slopes, follow Leave No Trace principals, including packing in and out, leaving what you find where it’s at, and respecting wildlife and other visitors. Be sure when adventuring to carry plenty of water along with your 10 Essentials and know that cell service may be spotty, so download maps and trail directions.
There are many ways to take a car-free getaway in Oregon to avoid driving in wintry conditions and parking at popular destinations. If you are traveling by car, be sure to check road and weather conditions before heading out and carry snow chains or traction tires when advised.