It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the time of year when ski resorts across the country catch the holiday spirit and off er free or steeply discounted lift tickets for one or more days of early-season riding. What’s the catch? You may need to sport a round belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Here are some of the best lift ticket deals for those willing to get creative this December.
N.Y.’s Whiteface Mountain is handing out free lift tickets to all Santas and Mrs. Clauses on Dec. 9. Can’t scrounge up a Santa suit? Bring a gently worn winter coat or brand-new toy to donate and get a half-price ticket. On Dec. 24, Snowbird, Utah is also giving out free lift tickets to the first 75 people dressed like Santa or one of his elves. Snowshoe Mountain is doling out free lift tickets on Dec. 9 to all West Virginia residents—bring proof of residency. Michiganites, head up to Boyne Mountain on Dec. 14 for the resort’s annual 6-for-1 day, when the resort sells six lift tickets for the price of one in honor of the nation’s first six-person high-speed chairlift. Finally, give the ultimate gift to your kiddos: Register kids ages 6 to 12 for Arapahoe Basin, Colo.’s Kids Free 2 Ski Pass online by Dec. 17, and the groms ski free any two days of the 2018-’19 season. Happy holiday skiing!
Other December Events Worth Checking Out
Telluride Fire Festival, Telluride, Colo.
This Burning Man-inspired festival gives the public a free, interactive experience with fire art installations and performances that light up Main Street and the Mountain Village Plaza from dusk to late evening. [telluridefirefestival.org]
Dew Tour; Breckenridge, Colo.
Mountain Dew’s epic ski and snowboard freestyle event returns to Breck to showcase incredible slopestyle, streetstyle, and halfpipe feats performed by the world’s best skiers and riders. [dewtour.com]
Night of Lights; Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
The Night of Lights is one of the more impressive resort holiday extravaganzas. Complete with a torchlight parade, fireworks, snowmobile rides, and music, this free show is full of holiday magic. [mammothmountain.com]