Although, the Ski Beech resort is an especially fantastic value this year, as it starts out this season with freshly refurbished facilities and a wide array of special discounts throughout the winter season, You can still get out in the snow with the kids, even if the budget will not allow for lift tickets every single day you're on the mountain!
Free Sledding (at 5065 feet) is provided by the Town of Beech for kids under 12 (of course, parents may accompany the little ones down the hill). It's located right by the Beech Mountain Town Hall (inside of which, there are also nice clean and warm public restrooms). My family took two excited 4-year-olds to to try out the hill last winter, and we all had an absolute blast! The town does an excellent job maintaining the hill - with its own snowmaking machines, no less! - and keeping things orderly and safe (only plastic sleds are allowed on the hill, for example). And when it gets dark, the area is lit up so that sledding can continue well into the evening. As we were passing by at dusk, the scene of all those sledders frolicking in that glowing nimbus of snow looked like a giant snow globe left by the side of the road.
No room in the family jalopy to pack a sled? No problem! We provide two "saucer" sleds at our condo for our guests to use - and, if you need more than our two, you can buy inexpensive ones up on the Mountain - or stop by the Lowes or Dollar General in nearby Banner Elk.