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Taking the Kids: Having fun in the snow during Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month

By Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

And don't forget that many snowy states, including New York, Vermont, Colorado and Utah, offer special kids-free passports for those in certain grades. You don't necessarily need to live in these states, but you must apply before your trip!

Look for packages like Ski Vermont’s Learn-to-Turn Programs. The Take 3 Beginner Package offers three days of lessons for $129, ski and snowboard rentals, a beginner lesson and a beginner lift ticket. You can opt to redeem at three different resorts, too.

Mt. Bachelor’s SKI OR RIDE IN 5 is a five-lesson program for those new to snow sports. For just $229 you get five days of lessons, ski or snowboard rentals and lift tickets. Kids (ages 6 and over) and adults are welcome. (Enroll by Jan. 31, and you have until March 23 to complete the program.) Need an extra incentive to finish sooner? Ski or Ride in 5 offers a free rest-of-the-season pass for kids and a 12-day pass for adults.

If your kids are fans of the Winter X Games, five of you can take full-day private lessons together for $420 (Jan. 13 to Feb. 2) at Buttermilk, one of Aspen Skiing Company’s four mountains, as the resort gets ready to host the 2018 Winter X Games Aspen.

Many Utah resorts have special deeply discounted learn to ski and snowboard packages, including what's being billed as the "World's largest Ski/Snowboard Lesson for Utah residents and first-time skiers and snowboarders on Jan. 27.

Especially for those new to snow sports, take time to enjoy your surroundings -- those amazing mountain views! The clean air! The historic mountain towns!

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What I especially love about Breck, as locals call it, is that it's a real mountain town, founded in 1859 by a group of prospectors. There is plenty to do, if you don't want to spend all your time on the slopes. There are more than 200 restaurants, bars, shops and, especially if you are traveling with grown kids, the expanded Breckenridge Distillery, which offers tours, tastings and a restaurant that endeavors to pair your artisanal cocktails (think Blinker with Breckenridge Bourbon, grapefruit juice with berry syrup) with eats ... maybe truffle fritters?

There is also Nordic skiing, snowmobiling in the national forest, dog sledding and snowshoeing, historic tours and the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre with year-round productions. Come the last week in January, as I did one year, for the International Snow Sculpture Championships.

Still snowing? Time for another ride on the Alpine Coaster!


(For more Taking the Kids, visit and also follow "taking the kids" on, where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments.)



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