Chances are that if you are reading this, you already know how to ski or ride. But, if you know someone who doesn’t and wants to learn, please read on. Michigan ski areas across the state have teamed up with McDonald’s restaurants to offer a popular and very affordable introduction to skiing and snowboarding, called Discover Michigan Skiing.

The program includes: a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner-area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass. Twenty-four ski facilities are offering the package, which will be honored from January 2 through January 31, 2014. The prices for the Discover Michigan Skiing program are: $20 for Cross-Country Skiing; $30 for Downhill Skiing; and $40 for Snowboarding. The program is open to everyone 7 years and older. “This is a substantial discount off the typical price of a lift ticket, beginner lesson and rental equipment,” says Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, the group that coordinates the effort.

The lesson normally covers basic maneuvering on skis or snowboards, including stopping, turning, riding the lifts, and getting up from a fall. Discover Michigan Skiing is part of the national “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” campaign, which is designed to provide a way for people all across the country to learn to ski or snowboard correctly, with proper equipment and qualified instruction.

To sign up, interested beginners must have a Discover Michigan Skiing Value Voucher. They are available at participating Michigan McDonald’s restaurants and MSIA retail ski stores while quantities last. A printable voucher is also available online at goskimichigan.com. Participants choose the ski area they wish to visit and then must call to pre-register. Program times differ from ski area to ski area.

Participating ski areas include: Apple Mountain in Freeland; Big Powderhorn in Bessemer, Blackjack Ski Resort also in Bessemer, Bittersweet in Otsego; Boyne Highlands of Harbor Springs; Boyne Mountain of Boyne Falls; Caberfae Peaks of Cadillac; Cross Country Ski Headquarters of Roscommon; Hanson Hills of Grayling; Mont Ripley in Houghton; Mt. Brighton of Brighton; Mt. Holiday of Traverse City; Mt. Holly in Holly; Mt. Zion in Ironwood; Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex in Muskegon; Nub's Nob in Harbor Springs; Pine Knob in Clarkston; Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain, Shanty Creek of Bellaire; Ski Brule of Iron River; Swiss Valley Ski Area of Jones; The Homestead of Glen Arbor; Timber Ridge Ski Area of Gobles; and Treetops Resort of Gaylord.

For more information, go to goskimichigan.com and click on Discover Michigan Skiing–or call MSIA at (248) 620-4448.

Discover Michigan Skiing has been approved as an “advocate” for The President’s Challenge, the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The Challenge encourages regular activity among children and adults. For more information, or to sign up for the challenge, visit goskimichigan.com, and click on the President’s Challenge link.