Here’s a closely guarded secret: In the days leading up to Christmas and those following the New Year, ski slopes are less crowded. Idaho’s Schweitzer Mountain Resort is running pre- and post-holiday packages for families to take advantage of these times when lift lines are smaller and you can find elbow room on runs.

The resort’s two pre- and post-holiday packages combine three nights of slopeside lodging with three days of lift tickets for the family. In addition, the whole family can fuel up for the slopes with a hot breakfast buffet and enjoy the evening with movies, board games, and wifi. Parents also get complimentary quick tip clinics. The packages cover two adults and all children in the family younger than 18 years old.

The pre-Christmas package, called the Grandest Christmas Ever, is available Dec. 14-23, 2012. Rates start at $995. The pre-Christmas package also includes a surprise holiday gift waiting in the room.

To get Schweitzer’s New Year Package, you must have an arrival date of Jan. 1 or 2, 2013. Rates start at $1,109.

Lodging for both packages is in the Selkirk or White Pine Lodges. Amenities include a swimming pool and hot tub. The European-style Selkirk Lodge offers hotel rooms and suites. The White Pine Lodge contains upscale condos with full kitchens.

For more information, go here. Reservations can be booked online or by calling 877-487-4643.