The Ski Idaho association’s 5th/6th Grade Passport program provides free skiing and riding at Schweitzer, Silver Mountain, Lookout Pass, and other Idaho ski areas. The program is available to kids from Washington and Idaho. Apply at skiidaho.us with an $18 processing fee. Be sure to understand use restrictions, like blackout dates, and COVID-related updates.

Schweitzer Mountain ResortSandpoint, Idaho

Families can register for lessons with the Ski & Ride Center, whether it’s a private one-hour lesson for a child up to age 6 or a semi-private 2-hour group lesson for ages 4-6. For ages 3 and under, private lessons are available, and parent participation is strongly encouraged. Schweitzer’s Ski & Ride Center has 2-hour group lessons for ages 4-6. Schweitzer’s on-mountain day care, The Children’s Center, has limited availability this winter—call or email before arrival.

A limited number of day lift tickets will be available, sold in advance online, in order for local season-passholders to have priority access.

For full details, visit schweitzer.com.

PHOTOS: (TOP ROW) Landon McCaffree with 6th grade Passport skiers (and twin sisters) Ava and Zoey Lewis, off Schweitzer’s Basin Express chair (left); Skiing down the bunny hill (upper right) // Photos: Amy McCaffree; Night skiing on Basin Express at Schweitzer. (left) // Photo: Shallan Knowles; (BOTTOM ROW) Photo courtesy Schweitzer Mountain Resort (left); Family Go-Pro selfie on Stella. (right) // Photo: Judd McCaffree.

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area—Mullan, Idaho

Private lessons for individuals, families, and self-organized small groups of family and friends are available with advance reservations. Call (208) 744-1234 and ask for the Ski School Desk.

“If a family or friends group is comfortable taking lessons together or having their children take lessons together, we will happily accommodate them,” says Lookout Marketing Director Matt Sawyer.

Because the Free Ski School is not part of Lookout’s professional instruction program, and taught by volunteers, the planning process is still being figured out for 2021. But according to Sawyer there will be a free lesson program this winter.

Check for updates and make reservations at Skilookout.com.

PHOTOS: (LEFT) Photos courtesy Lookout Pass; (RIGHT) Little Ripper Erin McElgunn. // Photo courtesy Stacy McElgunn.

Silver Mountain Resort—Kellogg, Idaho

Families can schedule private or semi-private lessons for all ability levels with 24-hour advance reservations required. Lessons for weekends and holiday periods must also be booked online, at least 24 hours in advance.

The Silver Kids lesson program, for ages 7-12, offers group sessions for “Never-Ever” (Level 1) and Beginners (Level 2) this season. Because the on-mountain daycare is closed, the Prospectors programs for kids age 6 and younger is cancelled. Plans have not yet been announced for Silver’s ALL Mountain Kids Club.

Find complete program details and updates at Silvermt.com

PHOTOS: (LEFT) The Heston family at Silver Mountain. // Photo courtesy of Mary Heston; (RIGHT) Silver Mountain season passholders and three generations of the Lukes family. // Photo courtesy Janell Lukes.

To learn more about children’s snow sports and winter recreation opportunities in the Inland Northwest, click here: Family Winter Sports Guide 2020.