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Everything You Need To Know – Snow Tubing With The Kids

Snow tubing is a fun and exhilarating winter sport that invites individuals of all ages to experience the thrill of sliding down snowy hills on large, inflatable tubes. Unlike many winter sports that require specialized skills or equipment, snow tubing is remarkably accessible, requiring no prior experience or training. 

snow tubing with kids

Participants simply sit in the center of a snow tube, often equipped with handles for added security, and let gravity do the work as they glide down specially groomed tubing hills. This activity captures the essence of sledding but with an added layer of comfort and safety, thanks to the cushioning of the tube. 

Choosing The Right Snow Tubing Location

Choosing the right snow tubing location is crucial for ensuring a fun and safe experience for the whole family. When selecting a tubing park, look for family-friendly venues prioritizing safety standards, such as well-maintained tubing lanes, clear signage, and trained staff to guide and assist visitors. These parks often provide additional amenities, including conveyor belts or lifts to take you back to the top of the hill, warming areas, and snack bars, enhancing the overall experience.

Consider the accessibility of the location. A tubing park that is easy to reach by car, with ample parking and possibly public transport options, will make your trip smoother and more enjoyable.

Pay attention to the age and height requirements set by the park. These are in place for the safety of all participants and can vary from location to location. Some parks offer special tubing areas for younger children, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience for the little ones.

ski resorts

10 Ski Resorts That Have Snow Tubing

Snow tubing has become a popular winter activity at many ski resorts, offering a fun and exhilarating experience for those not interested in skiing or snowboarding. Here’s a list of 10 ski resorts known to offer snow tubing facilities, providing a mix of thrilling slides and family-friendly fun:

  1. Keystone Resort, Colorado – Known for its scenic beauty and family-oriented activities, Keystone offers a dedicated snow tubing area at Adventure Point, complete with a lift to take you back up the hill.
  2. Camelback Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania – Boasting one of the largest snow tubing parks in the United States, Camelback offers up to 42 lanes and two magic carpet lifts, making it a premier destination for tubing enthusiasts.
  3. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah – Park City provides a dynamic tubing experience at Gorgoza Park, featuring seven lighted tubing lanes for evening fun.
  4. Snowmass, Colorado – The multiple lanes at The Meadows at Elk Camp offer tubing fun for the whole family, with lift service available for an easy ride back to the top.
  5. Wintergreen Resort, Virginia – The Plunge is Wintergreen’s tubing park, touted as the largest in Virginia, offering a thrilling 900-foot-long descent.
  6. Hawksnest Snow Tubing, North Carolina – Known for being one of the largest snow tubing parks in the Southeast, Hawksnest features over 30 lanes and four different areas to tube, each offering a unique experience.
  7. Mt. Hood Skibowl, Oregon – With Cosmic Tubing® in the evening, featuring vibrant LED lights, lasers, and music, Skibowl’s Snow Tube & Adventure Park offers a unique and family-friendly experience.
  8. Killington Resort, Vermont – Alongside its renowned skiing, Killington offers a multi-lane snow tubing park for visitors looking for a different kind of slope-side excitement.
  9. Copper Mountain, Colorado – The Critterland and Tubing Hill at Copper Mountain provide a family-oriented tubing experience with smaller hills for kids and larger ones for the more adventurous.
  10. Sunburst Winter Sports Park, Wisconsin – Claiming the title of the world’s largest tubing park, Sunburst offers over 40 lanes and a variety of experiences, including special tubing nights.

Each resort offers a unique snow tubing experience, with various amenities and attractions to complement a day on the tubes. It’s always a good idea to check the resort’s official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on availability, hours, and any specific requirements or restrictions they may have for their tubing facilities. Ultimately, this family-friendly activity promises a great time for young and older kids alike. 

single ride tubing

Common Questions Asked About Snow Tubing At Ski Resorts

​Snow tubing at ski resorts is a popular winter activity, and it’s common for first-timers and even seasoned tubers to have questions about the experience. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about snow tubing at ski resorts, along with answers to help guide your adventure:

1. Do I need any previous experience or skills to go snow tubing?

  • Answer: No, snow tubing requires no previous experience or special skills. It suits all ages and abilities, making it a great family activity.

2. Do I need to bring my own tube?

  • Answer: No, the resort typically provides specially designed tubes for snow tubing. Personal sleds or tubes are usually not allowed for safety reasons.

3. How long is a typical snow tubing session?

  • Answer: Session lengths can vary by resort but typically range from 1 to 2 hours. Some resorts offer extended session times or all-day passes. You will find that most tubing times will reserve two-hour sessions. That’s why getting to your snow tubing lanes at your specific arrival time is important. A team member will guide you from there. 

4. Can I tube down the hill with my child in the same tube?

  • Answer: Policies on double tubing vary by resort. Some allow small children to ride with an adult, while others require each person to have their own tube. Check the resort’s policies in advance if they offer a double tube or just supply a single tube. 

5. Is snow tubing safe? What safety measures are in place?

  • Answer: Snow tubing is generally safe, and resorts implement various safety measures, such as supervised tubing lanes, designated walking areas, and rules about how to sit in the tube. Always follow the resort’s guidelines and staff instructions.

6. Are there any weight or physical restrictions for snow tubing?

  • Answer: Some resorts may have weight limits or physical restrictions for safety reasons on their snow tubing sessions and tickets. It’s important to check with the resort if you have any concerns.

7. Can I choose the speed or direction of my tube?

  • Answer: The speed and direction of the tube are primarily controlled by gravity and the slope of the hill. Some steering is possible by shifting your weight, but control is limited.

8. What happens if the weather is bad? Do tubing sessions still go ahead?

  • Answer: Tubing operations may be affected by extreme weather conditions for safety reasons. It’s best to check with the resort for any weather-related updates or cancellations on an advance ticket purchase. 

These questions cover the basics that most people wonder about when planning a snow tubing trip to a ski resort. Always consult the specific resort’s website or contact them directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

magic carpet ride

What is the magic carpet lift?

​A magic carpet lift is a type of conveyor belt used at ski resorts and tubing parks to transport skiers, snowboarders, and snow tubers up the slope with ease. It operates similarly to a moving walkway found in airports but is designed to withstand cold temperatures and snowy conditions.

Users simply step onto the moving belt at the base of the hill and stand still as it gently carries them to the top of the slope. This type of lift is especially beneficial for beginners and children as it provides a simple and safe way to ascend the hill without the need to navigate more complex lift systems like chairlifts or T-bars.

Magic carpet lifts are often used in learning areas, tubing parks, and small beginner slopes, making them an integral part of the snow sports experience for newcomers and families.

weather appropriate clothing

What should you wear while snow tubing?

Dressing appropriately for snow tubing is essential to ensure both comfort and safety during your adventure. Loose clothing is always suggested and often lifted on your signed waiver along with the age requirement. Here’s what you should consider wearing during your next tubing visit:

1. Waterproof Outerwear

  • Jacket and Pants: Opt for waterproof and windproof jackets and pants to keep you dry and protect against the elements. Snow can get onto your clothing during tubing, and waterproof gear will prevent moisture from seeping through.

2. Layers

  • Base Layer: Start with moisture-wicking thermal underwear to keep sweat away from your skin, keeping you warm and dry.
  • Mid Layer: Add a fleece or wool sweater or a down vest for insulation, especially on colder days.

3. Head and Face Protection

  • Hat or Helmet: A warm hat that covers your ears or a helmet if you prefer extra safety. Helmets are particularly recommended for children.
  • Face Mask or Neck Gaiter: Protect your face from windburn and keep warm with a face mask or neck gaiter.

4. Hand Protection

  • Gloves or Mittens: Waterproof and insulated gloves or mittens are crucial to keep your hands warm and dry. Mittens tend to be warmer but offer less dexterity than gloves.

5. Footwear

  • Boots: Wear waterproof snow boots with good traction to keep your feet dry and provide stability on snowy and icy surfaces. Avoid bulky boots / hard shell boots that may not fit securely in the tubing handles. Proper footwear will make your right much more enjoyable. 

6. Eye Protection

  • Goggles or Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from glare and UV rays with UV-protected goggles or sunglasses, especially on sunny days or if the tubing area is particularly bright and reflective.

7. Optional Accessories

  • Socks: Wear warm, moisture-wicking socks, preferably wool or a synthetic blend, to keep your feet warm and dry.
  • Hand and Foot Warmers: For extra cold days, consider using disposable hand and foot warmers inside your gloves and boots.

Remember, while snow tubing, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed, as you can always remove layers if you get too warm. Ensuring your clothing is suitable for the conditions will make your snow tubing experience much more enjoyable and comfortable.

mountain height requirements

What is the minimum height to snow tube?

​The minimum height requirement for snow tubing can vary from one tubing park or ski resort to another, as each establishment sets its own safety guidelines based on the design of their tubing runs and the equipment they use. Typically, these height requirements are in place to ensure that riders can safely fit within the tube and have the ability to control their motion to some extent.

Commonly, the minimum height for snow tubing participants is between 36 to 42 inches (about 91 to 107 centimeters). However, some places may have different requirements or offer special tubing areas for younger children who don’t meet the height requirement for the main tubing lanes. These areas are designed to provide a safer and more controlled environment suitable for smaller children.

night tubing

What can you expect from night tubing?

Night tubing offers a unique and exhilarating twist on traditional snow tubing, providing an adventurous way to experience the slopes under the stars. You will still need a valid snow tubing ticket to participate in the event. No special equipment is needed for evening hours. Here’s what you can expect from a night tubing session:

  1. Illuminated Slopes – Tubing lanes are often lit with colorful lights, creating a vibrant and magical atmosphere that’s quite different from the daytime experience. Some places use LED lights, lasers, and even light shows to enhance the excitement.
  2. Chilly Temperatures – Expect colder temperatures after dark. Dressing in warm, layered clothing, including a waterproof outer layer, gloves, and a hat, is essential to stay comfortable throughout the night.
  3. Different Crowd – Night tubing might attract a different crowd, including more adults and groups looking for a fun evening activity. The atmosphere can be more festive and lively, with music and laughter echoing.
  4. Special Events – Some resorts host themed nights or special events in conjunction with night tubing, such as holiday celebrations, music nights, or glow tubing, where participants use glow sticks or wear neon clothing.
  5. Reduced Visibility – While the lanes are lit, visibility is generally lower than during the day. Be mindful of your surroundings and follow all instructions and safety guidelines provided by the resort.
  6. Unique Experience – Gliding down a brightly lit lane with the night sky above you offers a unique sensory experience. The contrast of the cold air and the rush of sliding down the hill can be thrilling.
  7. Potentially Faster Lanes – On colder nights, the snow can become icier and faster, potentially thrilling your tubing experience. Resorts manage the lanes to keep them safe, but the ride might feel quicker than during the day. Fast lanes and optional tubing chutes might also become part of the experience. 
  8. Facility Availability – Not all daytime amenities, such as full food service or other activities, may be available at night. Check in advance what facilities will be open.
  9. Advance Booking – Night tubing sessions can be popular, especially on weekends or holidays, so booking your spot in advance is wise to avoid disappointment.

Night tubing is a fun and memorable activity for families, friends, and couples, offering a different perspective on snow tubing with an added element of adventure and spectacle.

ski resort food truck

Will there always be a food truck near tubing experiences?

The availability of food trucks near tubing experiences can vary widely depending on the location, the size of the tubing park or ski resort, and the specific amenities they offer. While some larger resorts or popular tubing destinations might have food trucks, concession stands, or other food services nearby to cater to guests, smaller or more remote tubing areas may not offer such amenities.

In places where tubing is a significant attraction, resorts often aim to enhance the guest experience by providing a variety of amenities at the bottom of the hill, including food and beverage options. This could range from permanent food establishments to mobile food trucks offering hot drinks, snacks, and meals convenient for visitors looking for a quick bite between tubing sessions. The best places typically have food on the premise because the snow tubing hill is often far away from the main mountain. 

However, it’s not a guarantee that there will always be a food truck or similar food service at every tubing location. It’s a good idea to check the amenities of the tubing park or resort in advance.

Before you head out on your next snow tubing adventure, be sure to check this article for everything you need to prepare for the trip. This winter activity is a great way to spend time with the kids and the current season promises big snow! Enjoy the snowy slopes.

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