Michigan Ski Blog – Skiing and Snowboarding in Michigan

Michigan Slopes Win Over Families with Kid-Friendly Specials – News From MSIA

Clarkston, MI (Winter, 2007-2008) – Michigan ski areas want families to enjoy the sport of skiing and snowboarding, and they do their share to offer kid-friendly programs and discounts. Most ski areas offer reduced lift tickets for children and some even offer free skiing for certain ages. They also provide learn-to-ski programs, daycare and NASTAR racing. “Skiing is a great activity for kids, it gets them outside for fresh air and exercise,” says Steve Kershner, Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, (MSIA) chairman and director of skiing for Shanty Creek.

MSIA offers statewide programs that cater to kids, including Discover Michigan Skiing, the association’s discounted learn-to-ski program and the “Cold is Cool” Ski & Snowboard Passport, which allows all fourth graders to ski free. (For more information on MSIA’s programs, visit www.goskimichigan.com.) Here’s a list of ski incentives offered for kids at Michigan ski areas:

At Alpine Valley in White Lake, (248) 887-2180, children 5 years and under receive free beginner area tow tickets anytime and free lift tickets Monday through Friday, (non-holiday). On weekends and holidays, their lift tickets are $12. Alpine Valley offers Ski Carvers ski lessons and Snow Riders snowboard lessons on weekends and holidays. These sessions include a 1-1/2 hour lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment for $50 for Jr. Ski Carvers, (ages 4-5), and $60 for Ski Carvers, (ages 6-12) and Snow Riders, (ages 7-12). For an additional $20, kids get a second session the same day with lunch included. www.skialpinevalley.com

Apple Mountain in Freeland, (989) 781-6789, allows children 6 and under to ski free and receive reduced rates on rental equipment when accompanied by a paying adult. The area also offers several programs every Saturday beginning in January: Apple Seeds Learn-to-Ski program, for youngsters ages 4 to 6, at 10 a.m. It costs $42 and includes a two-hour group lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. For children 7 to 8 years old with demonstrated ability to ski or snowboard and ride the chairlift, Apple Mountain offers the Trailblazers’ Ski Program at 1 p.m. at a cost of $46 and the Trailblazers’ Snowboard program at 10 a.m. for $48. Both classes include a two-hour group lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. Youngsters 7-10 with basic boarding skills can take Introduction to Terrain Park Boarding at 1 p.m. It is a 2-hour group lesson that costs $30, not including lift ticket and rental pass. Class sizes are limited and pre-registration is required for the classes. www.applemountain.com

At Big Powderhorn of Bessemer in the Upper Peninsula, (906) 932-4838, kids 9 years and under ski free with a paying adult. This offer is limited to one child per adult. www.bigpowderhorn.net

At Bittersweet of Otsego, (269) 694-2820, kids 6 years old and under receive half-price lift tickets with the purchase of adult lift and rental passes. www.skibittersweet.com

Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, 1-800-GO-BOYNE, have designated areas that are free of charge for beginner skiers and snowboarders of all ages, equipped with chairlifts and Wonder Carpet conveyor lifts. Boyne Highlands has the longest Wonder Carpet in the Midwest. Kids 8 and under ski and ride free and children ages 9 to 15 have reduced lift ticket rates at both resorts. www.boyne.com

At Cadillac’s, Caberfae Peaks Ski and Golf Resort, (231) 862-3000, kids 8 years old and under ski and ride free with a paying adult. www.caberfaepeaks.com

At Cannonsburg Ski Area in Cannonsburg, (616) 874-6711, kids 6 years old and under receive free lift tickets and children ages 7 to 10 receive reduced lift tickets. Cannonsburg also offers the Mighty Mite program for kids ages 4 through 12 on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program costs $60 and includes a ski/snowboard lesson, lift ticket, lunch and snack. Rental equipment is an extra $15. www.cannonsburg.com

Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, 1-800-832-2663, offers kids 16 years and younger a special $3 day pass anytime. www.cross-country-ski.com

At Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, (231) 378-2000, children ages 8 and under ski and/or sleep free, when accompanied by a full-paying adult. www.crystalmountain.com

Hanson Hills in Grayling, (989) 348-9266, has a free learn-to-ski program for 3rd through 4th grade students. The local youth booster club sponsors the program which includes rental equipment and lessons and bussing after school to the ski area once a week for six weeks. www.hansonhills.org

The Homestead of Glen Arbor, (231) 334-5000, offers free lift tickets to kids 8 years and younger when accompanied by a paying adult. thehomesteadresort.com

At Indianhead of Wakefield, (906) 229-5181, children ages 9 and under ski free with a paying adult. www.indianheadmtn.com

At Marquette Mountain in Marquette, (906) 225-1155, kids 6 and under ski free in the beginner area or pay $12.50 for an all area pass. Marquette Mountain offers Ski Wee Kid’s Club twice a day on weekends. It’s $25 for children ages 3 to 6 and $30 for kids 6 to 10. The Clubs includes a lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. www.marquettemountain.com

At Mt. Brighton in Brighton, (810) 229-9581, children 5 years of age and under, ski free with a full-paying adult. www.mtbrighton.com

Mt. Holiday of Traverse City, (231) 938-2500, has a scholarship program providing a pre-arranged free lift ticket, lesson and rental for low-income children in the Traverse City and surrounding five county area. It is a community-based program funded by donations. www.mt-holiday.com

Mt. Holly Ski Resort of Holly, (248) 634-8269, provides half-price lift tickets and ski rental equipment to kids six and under. Mt. Holly has a student discount program (3 p.m. to closing, Mon. through Fri., non-holiday) in combination with graduated lessons. During this time, student lift tickets and ski rentals are $15 and snowboard rentals are $18. On Saturday afternoons in January and February, Mt. Holly offers the Kinder Sparks program for children 5-10 years old. Children must be signed up by 12:30 p.m. for the group lesson which costs $30. Daytime lift tickets for Kinder Sparks are $13 and rental equipment is $13. www.skimtholly.com

Norway Mountain of Norway, (906) 563-9700, lets kids 9 and under ski free with a paying adult. www.norwaymountain.com

At Nubs Nob in Harbor Springs, (231) 526-2131, children 8 years and under ski free with a paying adult anytime and kids 9-12 ski free with a paying adult, midweek, non holiday. www.nubsnob.com

Pando Winter Sports Park of Rockford, (616) 874-8343, lets kids under 6 ski free with a paying adult. www.pandopark.com

Pine Knob Ski Resort of Clarkston, (248) 625-0800, offers half price lift tickets, season passes and rental equipment to children 6 years and under. www.skipineknob.com

Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain, (906) 774-2747, allows children 12 and under to ski free with a paying adult. www.PineMountainResort.com

At Shanty Creek in Bellaire, (231) 533-7066, children 8 years and under ski free while juniors ages 9-12 ski at reduced rates. Value Season Lodging packages include free lift tickets for children. www.shantycreek.com

Ski Brule in Iron River, (906) 265-6754, allows children 9 years old and under to ski and stay free with a paying adult. www.skibrule.com

At Snow Snake Mountain in Harrison, (989) 539-6583, children 6 years old and under receive free lift tickets with a paying adult. www.snowsnake.net

At Swiss Valley Ski Area in Jones, (269) 244-8016, children ages 5 and under receive a free lift ticket when accompanied by a paying adult. Swiss Valley has its Junior Development Race Team, (JDT) for children 5 to 14 years of age, open to all levels of ability. Swiss Valley also offers Valley Kids learn to ski and snowboard program on weekends and holidays. www.SkiSwissValley.com

Timber Ridge in Gobles, (269) 694-9449, allows children 7 years old and under to ski free with a full-paying adult. timberridgeski.com

At Treetops Resort in Gaylord (989) 732-6711, children 8 and under ski free with a paying adult and children 9-12 ski free midweek with the purchase of an adult all-day ticket. www.treetops.com

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