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. 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 $50, adult lift tickets are always affordable at Anthony Lakes Ski Area in Eastern Oregon, even more so with free lift tickets to all kids 6 and under. For older kids, Anthony Lakes 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. Bonus: one accompanying adult receives a $25 lift ticket on lesson days.
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 a minimum of seven days in advance. The resort also always 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, with the new Early Riser chairlift in addition to the existing Alpenglow chair, plus the Lava Tube covered conveyor carpet. Beginners of all ages can ski free on Early Riser, the carpet lift and in the Woodward Start Park.
Mt. Bachelor offers state-licensed childcare for children aged 6 weeks to 10 years old, with full or half day rates starting at $110. The childcare center is in the West Village base area.
Mt. Hood Meadows
Meadows offers daily Kid Ski and Kids Ride lessons for ages 4 to 14. Beginner Progression lessons for ages 4-and-up can be purchased for as little as $59 in advance online (lift ticket and equipment rentals are an additional charge). 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 6-weeks-old to age 6 with special Preschool Camps also offered. All day daycare ranges from $89 to $129.
The resort also offers 2-hour Parent & Me lessons for kids ages 3–6, which includes parents in their kids ski lessons for continued learning after the lesson.
Timberline and Summit Pass
Kids 6 and under can get a free Timberline Season Pass for lift access to Summit and Timberline. Parents can take advantage of Timberline’s parenthood pass. This transferable season pass allows parents of kids 10 and under to alternate throughout the day or the season between skiing and watching the kids. The pass is transferable between two parents for $1,399. This pass also includes unlimited access to Summit Pass 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).
Timberline Ski School offers Kids Club lessons on weekends and holidays, for kids ages 4–6 starting at $115 and kids ages 7–12 starting at $105. The resort also offers the multi-week Mountain Masters program for ages 7-12 starting at $599.
Summit Pass offers kids lessons for ages 4–17 on weekends and holidays for $80, with rentals available for $20. The resort in Government Camp also has a new 200-foot covered conveyor carpet adding to the beginner terrain.
Mt. Hood Skibowl
Children ages 5 through 13 can take ski classes through Mogul Busters ski school on weekends at Mt. Hood Skibowl. Mogul Busters has been in operation for over 60 years. The resort also offers Parent Pal beginner ski and snowboard classes, $150 for half-day classes. The resort also offers snow tubing by reservation for those three and older.
Mt. Ashland’ offers lessons for kids ages 4–12 starting at $45, and kids 13 and up can join group lessons for $35 (lift tickets and rental equipment are not included). Rental equipment may be added to a lesson package at the time of purchase at a 20-percent discount.
Children 6 and under lift tickets are free at Mt. Ashland.
Hoodoo offers free skiing for kids 7 and under, the resort recently installed Blackstrap’s Magic
Willamette Pass offers a FREE Power Kid Pass for kids 12 and under. Advanced online enrollment is needed to take advantage of the free season pass. Then sign them up for Kids Camp, these kids group lessons are for ages 4–6 and ages 7–12, and include a two hour lesson for $60 on weekends or $70 during holiday periods. The resort also offers affordable kids rentals (12 and under) from $15 midweek to $30 on holidays.
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.