Winter is here! One of our favorite things about winter is all of the marvelous snow sports that the Twin Cities area has to offer. We love skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling as much as the next guy, but our absolute favorite is snow tubing.
Sledding or snow tubing in Minneapolis is some of the most family-friendly fun you can have. Adults and kids of all ages can partake in this winter recreation. It’s something the whole family can do together regardless of skill level.
Many other snow sports are dependant on skill or expertise. When your family goes skiing, you will most likely end up splitting up into groups of different skill levels. And while you will all have fun on your own, you would be missing out on the bonding experience that spending time together can be for your family.
At Twin Cities Kids Club, we want to encourage you to take your family snow tubing in Minneapolis this winter. Before we get to our list of the best places to enjoy this pastime with your family, let us give you some of our tips to ensure your winter adventure is a success.
Dress for the weather
Keep your family warm and dry with the appropriate attire. That includes:
- Long underwear
- Warm socks
- Waterproof outerwear
- Snow boots
- Waterproof gloves
- Goggles or sunglasses
Tubing is usually sold in two hour periods. If you are like most people, you will want to push yourself to get your money’s worth. If you have small children, you know that trying to push them too far will end in tears; theirs and possibly even yours.
Brings snacks, take breaks when you need to, but, most of all, remember that you are here to have fun. Don’t stress.
Magic carpet ride, anyone?
The worst part about snow tubing? That moment when you land at the bottom of the hill, and you realize you have to carry your tube back up. Some snow tubing parks have this amazing thing they call a magic carpet.
This conveyor belt carries your tube up the hill for you. If you have small children, you might make a tubing place with a magic carpet a necessity.
Plan a meet-up area
If you are snow tubing with older teenagers, they will probably want some alone time with their friends, out from under your eye. Plan ahead for this inevitability, and plan a place to meet when you split up.
Remember, it is easy to lose track of time when you are having fun. Also, there are likely to be only a few clocks posted. Give your older kids a fifteen-minute grace period before losing your cool.
Bring a change of clothes
Snow tubing is fun, sure, but it is also wet and a little messy. But hey, if you don’t get a little slushy, you’re not doing it right.
We recommend you bring a change of clothes, especially if you plan to go anywhere after your tubing adventure. Even if you are going straight home, no one will enjoy a wet and stinky car ride.
At the very least, bring an extra pair of socks. Your feet will be grateful.
Reserve your spot
It would be a pure tragedy if you get your kids all ready, drive all the way out to the tubing place only to find that it is completely booked. How sad will your car full of kids be when you have to turn around and go home instead.
All that heartache can be avoided if you plan ahead and make advance reservations.
When you are making your reservation, be sure to find out if the place you are going has a mandatory orientation. You don’t want to miss out on precious tubing time.
To wear a helmet or not to wear a helmet
It is practically common practice these days to wear a helmet when you are skiing or snowboarding. While not quite as necessary with snow tubing, it is, nevertheless, still a good idea.
Some parks will make helmets for small children mandatory. That is another question you should ask when you are making your reservation. Check out our tips for sledding (and tubing) safety.
Alright, now that we have got all that covered, let’s get snow tubing! What follows is a list of some of our favorite snow tubing parks in the Minneapolis area.
- 15400 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville
- $17- 2-hour session before 4 pm
- $15- 2-hour session after 4 pm
- The rate drops to $10 an hour before close
This first entry on our list is a ski resort that also grooms chutes for tubing. Children are required to be over 42 inches tall and four years of age.
- 12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove
- $15- 2-hour session, $3 each additional hour
If you need a magic carpet, Elm Creek has one. They have multiple chutes of varying speeds. Tubers must be at least 36 inches tall or four years old.
- 8989 55th St. N., Lake Elmo
- $16- 2-hour session, 13 and up
- $13- under 12
- $5- under 42 inches
Green acres is currently only accepting reservations for parties of 30 or more. Grab your friends and make a day of it.
- 2232 100th Ave, Desser, Wisconsin
- 651-433-5141, 715-755-2955
- $12- 2-hour session, $3 each additional hour
Here we have another ski resort that pulls double duty. Trollhaugen has a conveyor belt that leads to 10 lanes that are wide enough to accommodate groups and chains.
- 37200 Wild Mountain Road, Taylors Falls
- $15- 2-hour session, $3 each additional hour
This one is recommended for older kids. They allow groups on their groomed chutes.
Thomas Wirth Winter Recreation Area
- 1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis
- $12- 18 and older
- $8- ages 4-17
You will find a tow rope and a fun hill. The highlight is the elegant 1920s stone chalet. Stop for food and drink and stay for the free wi-fi.
Join Twin Cities Kids Club today for exclusive membership deals and discounts. Have fun out there!