Free learn-to-ski programs help entice young kids to hit the slopes

Kids 5-8 can take advantage of free lessons being offered by a nonprofit group representing all ski resorts in the province.



When kids are between 5 and 8, it’s the perfect time to learn to ski — but it’s also a fickle age. Sometimes the kids are enthusiastic about trying new activities, but cold toes, itchy feet, a bad mood, or a full moon can make our otherwise delightful children turn suddenly, frustratingly, stubborn. It’s no big deal when you’re playing at the local park, but if you’re splurging on a ski day, you want to be sure your kids are going to seize their poles and join you on the slopes — no pouting please!

If the steep cost of tickets and rentals for the whole family is holding your family back from giving skiing a try, you’ll definitely want to read on.

Ski hills around Quebec are participating in several learn-to-ski programs for young kids, offering lessons, rentals and lift tickets at a big discount to encourage parents and kids to try skiing or snowboarding together. The programs are funded by the Quebec Ski Areas Association, a nonprofit group representing all ski resorts in the province.

The Mysnow Experience program is a free introductory session in urban settings for children aged 5 to 8. Full ski or snowboard equipment is provided, including helmets. Children will learn the essential techniques they need to feel confident on the slopes.  These programs take place on weekends until March 24 at the Centre de la Nature in Laval (ski and snowboard), Parc Michel-Chartrand in Longueuil (ski only), Domaine de Maizerets in Québec (ski only) and Parc Jacques-Cartier in Gatineau (ski and snowboard). Also, all participants will receive a Mountain Experience Package, which offers one free lift ticket and equipment rental at a participating mountain.

For more information and details for the dates, locations and these introductory programs, visit mysnow.ski.

Those with older children in Grades 4 or 5 can sign the kids up for the SnowPass, offered by the Canadian Ski Council. For $29.95, 9- and 10-year-old kids can ski or snowboard up to three times at mountains across Canada, including a number of ski hills near Montreal such as Mont Rigaud, St. Bruno, Morin Heights and Mont Tremblant. More information is available at skicanada.org/grade-4-5-snowpass.

Through programs like these, the Quebec Ski Areas Association estimates it entices more than 40,000 kids per year to get off the couch and hit the slopes. It’s as good an excuse as any to give winter sports a try. 

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