Don't Leave the Kids at Home

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Steamboat Kids
Steamboat offers free skiing for kids. (Steamboat)
Steamboat, Colorado, pioneered Kids Ski Free in 1982, and some 10,000 vacationing youngsters a season get gratis skiing, lodging, and even rental gear. The huge slopeside Kid's Vacation Center contains daycare and launches small-fry skiing careers on a protected teaching hill right outside the door. Kiddie Corral, for ages six months to six years, is daycare, while kids take to the slopes in Buckaroos (ages two through kindergarten, with childcare plus a one-hour private lesson), Sundance Kids (ages three-and-a-half and four), Sundance Kids (four and five), and Jackalopes (five and six). Regular ski class for ages six and up and snowboard lessons for ages eight and up, plus special teen classes during the holidays (from December 26 through January 3 and again February 13 to April 3) round out the roster.

In addition to Kids Ski Free, reduced rate lift tickets for 13- to 15-year-olds make family skiing more affordable. Snowboarders love the Dude Ranch, a 450-foot halfpipe, and a terrain park called the Beehive. Kids' Night Out is an evening of supervised fun for two-and-a-half- to 12-year-olds nightly except Sunday and Monday through much of the season, while Night Owls is available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during peak periods. Families can meander around Ski Team Square and the old downtown, go night-skiing, skate at Howelson, or hit the rec center and its wonderful water slide.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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