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There's no denying the high-energy thrill of hitting the slopes, but between skis, boots, and poles—not to mention lift passes—the sport can get expensive. (Rental packages start at $23 for kids, $25 for adults; lift tickets from $35 for kids, $50 for adults.) Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep a day on the mountain fun and affordable.
—Purchase half-day lift tickets at reduced prices. (An afternoon may be plenty of ski time for your family.) Spend the other half of the day taking a sleigh ride, ice skating, or visiting other area attractions.
—Consider smaller resorts, which are typically less expensive.
—Go late in the ski season, when resorts slash prices—sometimes by as much as 50 percent.
—Visit resort websites for midweek specials, "ski free" days, and discounts for reserving equipment online (which can also save your family time).