3rd and 4th Graders Ski or Ride For FREE in New York State with passport program

UPDATED: The program now includes 3rd and 4th graders! 

By Diane Chase

I always think that I have stumbled upon the deal of the century, only to find that everyone is already in the know. So just in case I am not the last person to find out that New York State is once again offering the Ski and Ride Passport Program to all 3rd and 4th grade children, I’m here to let you in on the secret.

The program was first established in 2000 to introduce children to skiing and promote a healthy lifestyle choice. The passport offers free lift tickets and other discounts like soft drink coupons. Personally, the beverage option seems to cancel out the healthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps it may help encourage a child to get off the couch and onto the slopes.

There are two different types of passports: Learn to Ski/Snowboard or Ski and Ride. The Ski and Ride Passport is a booklet of coupons for free lift tickets (with adult purchase) for 31 listed ski mountains including Gore, Whiteface, Titus, Hickory, Oak, Big Tupper and McCauley. For each paying adult, the child gets to use one coupon up to three times per participating ski area.

The Learn to Ski/Snowboard program includes one free lesson, rental and lift ticket, one 20% discount on a Learn to Ski/Snowboard package and one 20% discount on an Adult Learn to Ski/Snowboard package.

The 4th grader does not need to reside in New York State or be enrolled in traditional school. Home-schooled children just need to present a birth certificate or a letter on letterhead from the school district. For proof of grade either supply a copy of a current school report card, birth certificate or letter on letterhead from the school district along with the application.


As it may seem too good to be true, there is a $26.00 processing fee but for those parents planning on either trying a ski program or perhaps only going a few times, this could add up to big savings. It is only helpful if a 3rd or 4th grader is in the house. 

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