Family Skiing’s Best Kept Secret!

It’s no secret that skiing is an elite sport. The financial investment and know-how required to even try it are high. I was lucky enough to have been taught to ski by my sweet grandpa who loved the sport so much that he shopped thrift stores for a year to acquire enough second hand skis for all his grandchildren, and then gave all of us a good lesson that got us on the slopes. I’m so grateful for that, because although I’m not a great skier by any means, the experience of gliding down a snowy mountain is pretty exhilarating. Magical, even.

My husband was also fortunate to have skiing as a tradition in his family. He grew up skiing every winter, and is much more confident than I am.

Jon skiing with his family, circa 1998

He’s always hoped to raise skiers, but it’s been tricky to make it happen. We haven’t always lived in an area where skiing is available, and the cost to get a family of seven on the slopes can be prohibitive. We’ve taken our older ones a handful of times over the years, but not as much as we would have liked.

Jon skiing with our two oldest 3 years ago

We were so excited to finally take a ski trip as an entire family last spring after my sister told me what a great time they had skiing with their kids at a resort with one of Utah’s best bunny hills.

Our oldest skiing for the first time, at age 4

When she told me how much it cost, I almost flipped. Not because it was so expensive, but because of how (relatively) AFFORDABLE it was! We planned our ski trip for spring break last March, and as you could probably guess, it never happened. We quarantined instead. A year later it’s hard to believe the pandemic is still going strong, but with much more information available and vaccines rolling out every day, ski resorts are open, and it feels like one of the safer vacation activities we could do.

We are headed to central Utah’s Brian Head Resort later this month, and we cannot wait! I just had to share all the details, because I would love to see more families and more kids experiencing the thrill of the slopes!

For our family of seven (six of us will be skiing), the price tag for two full days on the slopes comes in at under $1,000! That includes lift tickets, ski rentals, AND a half-day group lesson for our three girls.

My actual receipt (with some personal info removed) for our booking.

We decided to put our four-year-old son in a private lesson (he’s too young for the group lesson) which was an additional $250, and our biggest splurge, but I think it will be well worth it. (Teaching little kids to ski isn’t my idea of a good time. I’m happy to leave it to the pros.)

The most amazing part is that ALL kids 10 and under ski FREE…we were able to register all but our oldest for season passes for a grand total of $0! Of course, we’re paying for rentals and lessons, but removing the cost of lift tickets is a game changer. And unlike other resorts that offer similar programs, you do not need to be local to take advantage of this offer. We live out of state, and it was no problem!

FREE Season Passes for kids 10 and under

We are within a day’s drive from the resort, so driving will keep our travel costs down, and we are sharing an affordable airbnb with my sister and her family. I’m estimating the entire cost including food will be under $2,000 for a four-day vacation for seven. I know it’s not exactly pocket change, but compared to other ski trips, it’s an incredible deal. And it’s well under what a family our size would spend for two days at Disneyland!

It’s not too late to book a spring ski trip to Brian Head! Their season runs through mid-April, and it is just the best place to learn! (In college I taught several first time skier friends on the bunny hill there, so I can attest to it being niiiice and easy for beginners. Of course they have a lot more to offer if you have advanced skiers in your group as well!)

I hope you get out there with your family! Especially if you are within driving distance of central Utah, you will not find a better deal!

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