Free [or practically free] Skiing/Snowboarding in Colorado for ALL 5th and 6th Graders

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Skiing/Snowboarding Is Free [or almost free] in Colorado! Calling all 5th and 6th graders – you can ski 60+ days this winter for free [or close to free] at 20 Colorado resorts! If you are thinking of skiing/snowboarding in Colorado AND you have a 5th or 6th grader, you are in luck!

The Colorado Passport program is for you – even if you don’t live in Colorado. Live in Massachusetts and want to ski/board in Colorado – your 5th grader skis free. Live in California and you want to ski/board in Colorado – your 6th grader skis almost free. As long as you can prove your child is a 5th or 6th grader they qualify for the 5th & 6th Grade Passport Program! 

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Here is how the 5th & 6th Grade Colorado Passport Program works:

5th GRADE PASSPORT

  1. Register your 5th grader at Colorado Passport for their pass. You need a photo and proof of grade that you can upload. They will mail you the pass once approved. You DON’T need to be a Colorado resident.
  2. Ski up to 60 days. That’s right your 5th grader can ski 3 times at all of 20 resorts including: Winter Park, Copper Mountain, A Basin, Aspen, Eldora, Crested Butte, Loveland, Snowmass, and more [see below for full list]!

6th GRADE PASSPORT

  1. Register your 6th grader at Colorado Passport for their pass. You need a photo and proof of grade that you can upload. They will mail you the pass once approved. You DON’T need to be a Colorado resident.
  2. Register by November 30, 2016 and pay $105 to ski 80 days. That’s right, your 6th grader can ski 4 times at all of the 20 resorts including: Winter ParkCopper Mountain, A Basin, Aspen, Eldora, Crested Butte, Loveland, Snowmass, and more [see below for full list]! You can still register through January 31, 2017, but the cost goes up to $125. This is still a screaming deal if your child qualifies!

PARENTS/ADULTS/KIDS [Not 5th & 6th graders]

The best way to get a deal on skiing in Colorado [if you aren’t a 5th or 6th grader] is to purchase a pass at any of the mountains at which you plan to ski. People in Colorado know, it makes sense to get a pass. The walk up prices at some of our amazing mountains can easily be over $150/day. I am not kidding! Here are some ideas of passes that might work in conjunction with the Colorado Passport:

Aspen/Snowmass/Buttermilk: Get a Classic Pass which give you 4-7 days at a serious discount with no blackouts from $199+

Winterpark: Get a Season Pass ahead of time for $429/adults and $249/kids. This also gives you 10 family/friend passes at $69 – $89/day, so maybe you just buy one pass and use the benefits to purchase cheap tickets for other adults skiing with you.

Copper Mountain: Try a Copper 4 Pack for $169/kids & adults. It’s a deal!

PASSPORT PROGRAM MOUNTAINS

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-10-40-38-amNeed more ideas for how to get your family skiing in Colorado for cheap? Give me a shout – I’m happy to help! -Amanda

Colorado Elementary School Kids: Get 16 free days of skiing at Vail Mountains with their Epic School Kids program

#Skiing #Free #Kids #Families #Colorado #Winter #Snowboarding

Kids Deserve The Good Stuff Too! A Review of Zeal Goggles

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Wearing his Zeal Dominator goggles!

 

Zeal Optics is a local Boulder company making quality goggles and glasses. I love their products! They are innovative and eco-conscious including some really forward thinking options in their lineups [learn more]. My favorite sunglasses ever came from Zeal – but they are long gone at this point!. I wondered if a company like Zeal would make sunglasses or goggles suitable for kids.

My questions about Zeal products for kids:

Would they fit kids?  Would they be comfortable on a smaller face?  Would they hold up to tough kid behavior?  Would quality make a difference?

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.51.00 PMWe reviewed a pair of Zeal Dominator goggles. They are great looking, so both of my kids immediately wanted to wear them. Good start! The issue was that they both like to wear their goggle under the helmet. Not a good thing for this particular pair. The plastic part on the side is too long to fit comfortably under the helmet. This issue didn’t dissuade my younger son from trying them over his helmet. The fit was perfect! They were extremely comfortable. And the best part is that the lenses on these goggles make a big difference! He loves them in all light – flat, bright, fog, etc… He likes to sing their praises a lot! He will say things like, “If I had my old goggles I wouldn’t be able to see here.”

Answers to my questions about Zeal products for kids above:

Will Zeal products fit kids? YES!

Will they be comfortable on a smaller face? YES, they love them!

Will they hold up to tough kid behavior? YES & NO, the lenses did pop out once, but they were easy to put back in and they have not scratched after a half dozen uses [that’s great for my hard living kids]. The goggle strap stays in place all the time too because there is some sticky stuff on the band in just the right place, so no more goggles sliding over the helmet when it’s off and dropping to the ground or being endlessly frustrating.

Will quality make a difference for my child? YES, he loves that they adjust well to light changes and fit really comfortably.

Kids’ Revew [1-5]

Overall: 4

Liked: “The way they made it easier to see when I ski!”

Didn’t Like: “I cannot put them under my helmet.”

Parents’ Review [1-5]

Overall: 4

Liked: They seem sturdy, flexible and good quality. The lenses make a big difference for kids skiing. My child felt more confident than when they wore their old goggles.

Didn’t Like: I think it’s important that goggles fit over or under a helmet – especially for kids since under the helmet is the style now. I also am conscious that these goggles can be expensive and a big investment – especially for families – so I know the price tag of over $100 could be unaffordable for some families.

Thanks to Zeal Optics for allowing Boulder Families to review your products! We really enjoyed testing and reviewing these goggles!

#Skiing #Kids #Families #Gear #GearReview #Getoutside

Time to Start Thinking Skiing! Get Free Ski Passes for Your 5th and 6th Graders!

IMG_0070If you have a 5th or 6th grader it is time to start thinking about getting them their Free/Cheap Ski/Snowboard passes. The way it works is that there are two different programs: School of Shred & Colorado Ski Country USA. They both offer 5th graders free skiing, but at different locations, so you want to get both! They offer 6th graders cheap or free skiing depending on the program. More details below.

5th Graders: You get 4 days of free skiing at all Colorado Vail Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin [School of Shred]. In addition you get 3 days of free skiing at 20 other Colorado ski resorts including Aspen, Buttermilk, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and many more [Colorado Ski Country USA]. And you also get one free ski/snowboard lesson and equipment rental through both programs – so essentially you could take 2 free lessons with rental gear if you are new to skiing or snowboardng. They really want you to get good!

6th Graders: You can purchase a pass for 4 days at all 20 Ski Country USA resorts for $99 [these are the smaller resorts]. This is a screaming good deal! School of Shred on the other hand is offering the same deal for 6th graders as they did for 5th graders–4 free days of skiing at their resorts.

It is time to get your child[ren] registered! Don’t forget to register for both programs – especially if you have a 5th grader!

School of Shred Passport – Sign Up

Colorado Ski Country USA Passport – Sign Up

Have fun skiing/snowboarding!

Kids Love Extreme Sports? Looking for a Summer Camp? Check Out Woodward at Copper!

photo copy 2Recently my family took a trip to Copper Mountain to check out Woodward at Copper. Have you heard of it? If not, you’re not alone. Their facilities blew us away! I thought of Woodward as a winter weather program, but when I found out that they have to offer this summer, well my kids were ready to sign up and move right in! We busted a move. Signed up. Here are the details… photo

At Woodward at Copper you walk into what they call – The Barn. The space is relatively unassuming until you enter. But your senses are quickly overwhelmed with this amazing space chock full of ramps, jumps, trampolines, half-pipes, pump tracks, bowls, and foam pits! Got extreme sports enthusiasts? Woodward may be the place for them!

Woodward at Copper Summer Programs

Got tweens, teens, or groms [younger kids – ages 8 – 12] with X-Games dreams or just thephoto copy interest in going big? Maybe they are just not ready to give up skiing or snowboarding OR want to take their extreme sports to the next level – this place rocks! Where else can our kids jump and flip and learn in the safety of the Woodward Barn AND get outside with professional instruction? It’s not easy to find this combo! Woodward at Copper offers week long camps for kids throughout the summer.

In the summer camps kids get an opportunity to explore and train in their favorite extreme sports. They get coaching in their sport in and out of the Barn daily, but they also get to work with pros in their field! There are also amazing sponsors for each summer camp week – a lot of them are the leaders in the extreme sports world! Have younger kids? There is also a Grom camp option which is a shorter program for kids ages 8 to 12. You can choose either the overnight or day option for your child. If you are from Boulder I’m guessing your are going for the overnight option. Copper really isn’t that far but it’s not an easy commute!

Woodward at Copper Camp Options

Details on summer camp options and costs can be found here.

  • Ski Camp – They get to ski in the terrain park with a new surface lift!
  • Snowboard Camp – They get to snowboard in the terrain park with a new surface lift!
  • Skateboard Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • BMX Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • Mountain Bike Camp – Take your mountain biking to new heights!
  • Scooter Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • Cheer Camp – Play it safe by practicing those tough tricks in the Barn!
  • Digital Media Camp – Kids have a great opportunity to take extreme sports shots!

What Does a Woodward at Copper Camp Cost? Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 2.31.20 PMI had to take a deep breath when I saw the prices. But I still signed them up! My kids have never done an overnight camp like this so I did some research to see if the prices at Woodward were far off the mark. The deciding factor – there really is nothing like this for my skiing-crazy sons besides in Oregon and that was a lot more expensive & complicated! The camp prices start at $999 and go up.  It looks like until April 20, 2014 they are offering $100 off a bunch of different camp options. A special thanks to Copper Mountain and Woodward at Copper for letting my family review your facility. We are excited about summer camps! 

Vail Offers Families More Than Skiing and Snowboarding! Here is what Skyler and I found when we took off our skis

The crew is ready!

The crew is ready!

Recently I was asked to attend a media day at Vail. Gladly I accepted. My family has loved skiing Vail since our kids were young and we feel like the area is our second winter home. It really is. So I boldly took Skyler, my 4th grader, out of school [TCAPs happening and all] and we headed up the mountain. This was going to be a day of experiential education! 

We pulled up to the Arrabelle and valet parked our car [Thanks, Vail and yes, I would love to stay with my family at the Arrabelle one day!]. All the little touches that ensure you know you are at a high end resort were present and made this space subtly magnificent. But alas we were not checking in so we gave our keys over to parking attendant, poured ourselves some hot chocolate and coffee, and headed out to our Vail playground destination.

We made our way to the gondola [right around the corner] and met up with our media day crew. Many of these writers brought their kids along too which made it even more fun! We immediately headed up to Adventure Ridge with the intention of trying out their zipline, tubing, & snowmobiles. We wanted to know what families with kids who don’t ski, or families wanting to take a day off, can expect from the on-mountain activity center. It turns out Adventure Ridge is a great option!

Tubing

I have to be honest. I am scared of heights and going too fast. I ski fast only to keep up with my family at this point. But I was not going out there with a bunch of kids and parents and not getting on the activities. I had to save face at all costs. So Skyler and I grabbed our tubes and got on the sort of odd conveyor belt that took us to our destination at the top of the hill. The other option was walking up, so we were fine with the ride. Skyler went first. He plopped the tube down, asked the attendant a few questions [he likes to make sure he does things the right way], and off he went. So quickly I almost missed his ride.

Me on the other hand, I slowly and cautiously got in my tube trying not to make eye contact with the ride organizer. But I didn’t go unnoticed so she made her way over and gave me a gentle shove off the edge. It was really fast! So fast.  But it was exhilarating and awesome at the same time. I was sold. I jumped off my tube and ran to catch up with Skyler to take another run. This time we went together. He wanted a spin. We settled on just going down forward this time. Next time we spun. And spun. And spun. Smiles!!!!

Snowmobiling

Then we headed over to the snowmobiles because the kids were ready for the ride of their lives. The kids donned extra cool helmets and got on their steads. These snowmobiles are super cool and the kids clearly felt like rock stars as they took off around the track. At times the scene looked like bumper cars, but the Vail staff had it fully under control. Deep breath for us helicopter parents…

Ziplining

IMG_4673 To top the morning off we got back on the conveyor belt and headed up to zip down the mountain. This is a highly technical activity! You get to put on cool harnesses, weigh in, and fly over the ski slopes on a wire. On a wire! Once again I let Skyler go first. I hung back and checked this one out. I watched as Skyler happily put on the harness and was prepped for his flight. He was methodical and careful as he got ready [his style]. But then before I knew it he had his feet up on the gate, hanging in mid-air, ready to fly. Then he was off… At the end I checked in and all he could say was, “I wish it went faster!”

More Family-Friendly Vail Options

Adventure Ridge offers amazing on-mountain family-friendly things to do in Vail when you are not skiing.  But depending on how old your kids are, if they ski yet, or you just don’t want them in ski school yet, you can check out ice skating at Lionshead, the Pirate Boat Playground and the water fountain at the base of the mountain in Vail Village, head to Fuzziwigs for a sweet old fashioned treat, or downstairs to Joe’s Famous Deli and Ice Cream for some delicious ice cream. These are all things my kids still love to do in Vail when the skis are off and have for a long time!

Thanks to the Vail Communications Crew for letting us experience Adventure Ridge! We will be back to play with the whole family again. What are your favorite non-skiing/boarding family-friendly options in Vail?

#Vail #LikeNothingOnEarth #AdventureRidge #family #familyfriendly #kids

5th and 6th Graders: Get Your Free/Cheap Ski Passes!

If you have a 5th or 6th grader it is time to start thinking about getting them their Free/Cheap Ski/Snowboard passes. The way it works is that there are two different programs: School of Shred & Colorado Ski Country USA. They both offer 5th graders free skiing, but at different locations, so you want to get both! They offer 6th graders cheap or free skiing depending on the program. More details below.

5th Graders: You get 4 days of free skiing at all Colorado Vail Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin [School of Shred]. In addition you get 3 days of free skiing at 20 other Colorado ski resorts including Aspen, Buttermilk, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and many more [Colorado Ski Country USA]. In addition you also get one free ski/snowboard lesson and equipment rental through both programs. They really want you to get good!

6th Graders: You can purchase a pass for 4 days at the Ski Country USA resorts for $99. This is a screaming good deal! The School of Shred is offering the same deal for 6th graders as they did for 5th graders–4 free days of skiing at their resorts. Woohooo!!!!

How To Apply: Don’t forget to apply to both!

School of Shred Passport Sign Up: Starting now you can bring your child’s 5th or 6th grade report card to Boulder Ski Deals or other Front Range locations to get a pass.

Colorado Ski Country USA Passport Sign Up: Sign up online at the link to the left. Deadline to sign up is January 31, 2013.

Have fun skiing/snowboarding!

#getoutdoors #skiing #vailresorts #snowboard #free #colorado

5th and 6th Graders: Get Your Free/Cheap Ski Passes!

If you have a 5th or 6th grader it is time to start thinking about getting them their Free/Cheap Ski/Snowboard passes. The way it works is that there are two different programs: School of Shred & Colorado Ski Country USA. They both offer 5th graders free skiing, but at different locations, so you want to get both! They offer 6th graders cheap or free skiing depending on the program. More details below.

5th Graders: You get 4 days of free skiing at all Colorado Vail Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin [School of Shred]. In addition you get 3 days of free skiing at 20 other Colorado ski resorts including Aspen, Buttermilk, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and many more [Colorado Ski Country USA]. In addition you also get one free ski/snowboard lesson and equipment rental through both programs. They really want you to get good!

6th Graders: You can purchase a pass for 4 days at the Ski Country USA resorts for $99. This is a screaming good deal! The School of Shred is offering the same deal for 6th graders as they did for 5th graders–4 free days of skiing at their resorts. Woohooo!!!!

How To Apply: Don’t forget to apply to both!

School of Shred Passport Sign Up: Starting now you can bring your child’s 5th or 6th grade report card to Boulder Ski Deals or other Front Range locations to get a pass.

Colorado Ski Country USA Passport Sign Up: Sign up online at the link to the left. Deadline to sign up is January 31, 2013.

Have fun skiing/snowboarding!

#getoutdoors #skiing #vailresorts #snowboard #free #colorado