Do you remember, before you had children, going skiing for the day? Lift tickets were expensive at $40-$50+ each! But what a great time we had skiing with family and friends.
Now, we have a 9 year-old and a 5 year-old and we want to share this activity with them. You could imagine our surprise when we saw lift tickets for $70+ for 1 day!! Plus, add in rental equipment for the kids and lessons, OH MY!
So we did some investigating. We were able to find a used pair of skis for our oldest son from a ski shop. Fire on the Mountain in Dover, NH also offers an affordable boot club. You rent a pair of boots each ski season instead of purchasing a pair. This way you have a new pair each year that fits your child.
We live on the seacoast of New Hampshire so there is not a lot of ski areas near by. I took my son to Powderhouse Hill in South Berwick, ME on a Friday night. It cost us $5 each for our lift ticket. Powderhouse Hill has a rope tow lift, and three trails (one big trail divided by the rope tow and some glade trails). This was perfect for my son to start learning to ski. This experience reminded me of growing up in Claremont, NH and learning how to ski at Arrowhead Ski Area. Another town ski area with ticket prices running at $3 and $5.
This weekend we are going to McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester, New Hampshire. The ticket prices are $29 for an adult ticket and $26 for children, which is cheaper than an adult ticket at Gunstock. I am also hoping to get a lesson for him for $35, which is the same cost as Gunstock. Now, I know that these small areas do not have the vertical height, high-speed quad chair lifts, fancy lodges or even (in some cases) snow making, but these quickly disappearing ski gems are great for teaching the young ones how to ski.
We will still visit the traditional ski areas, because after all we have some of the best skiing right here in good ol’ New Hampshire.
The following is a list of some inexpensive local ski areas: