Fifth graders across the state of Colorado have an opportunity to ski or snowboard for free this season, thanks to a Colorado Ski Country USA program.

Kids have a chance to ski for free all over the state, and first-timers to the slopes can even get a full day of free lessons.

Colorado Ski Country USA's 5th Grade Passport program gives any fifth-grader who registers for the program three free days of skiing or snowboarding at 21 different ski areas across the state. Kids can ski for one day or take advantage of all three of the free days available.

Kids who have never skied or snowboarded before can also get one free day of lessons, including an individual and group lesson, and a full-day equipment rental. Lessons usually take place in January and are limited in availability, so early registration is important.

Registration has already started; parents will need a digital photo of their child and documentation that they are in fifth grade to get registered. The program has been updated to digital this year so there are no cards to carry or lose. Deadline to register is January 21, 2020. Those wanting lessons are encouraged to register early—participants who are eligible for lessons will be notified in November.

While an adult lift ticket is not required, children must always be supervised while at the ski areas, so this is not a "drop-the-kids-off" situation. Only the child registered for the program may use the ski pass. There will be coupons and other discounts offered to Passport holders including rentals and discounts on parent and friend lift tickets.

Sixth graders can also ski on the cheap this season, as there is a 6th Grade Passport available for $110 that allows participants to ski free for four days at each ski area.

The Ski Passport program has been around since 1996 and has gotten over 200,000 young skiers out on the slopes ever since. Ski areas participating in the Passport program this year include:

  • Arapahoe Basin
  • Aspen Highlands
  • Aspen Mountain
  • Buttermilk, Cooper
  • Copper Mountain
  • Echo Mountain
  • Eldora
  • Granby Ranch
  • Hesperus
  • Howelsen Hill
  • Kendall Mountain
  • Loveland Ski Area
  • Monarch Mountain
  • Powderhorn
  • Purgatory
  • Snowmass
  • Steamboat
  • Sunlight
  • Telluride
  • Winter Park
  • Wolf Creek Ski Area

Questions about the program can be emailed to passport@coloradoski.com, or parents can call (303)-866-9707.

This is a fantastic opportunity for kids in Colorado who love to ski or snowboard and those who have never tried! And if skiing isn't really your thing, we've got a list of four Colorado winter activities that you can do instead!

Have you heard of the ski Passport Program? Do you know of any other ways to get kids out on the slopes this ski season? Give us the scoop in the comments.