By Anna Berend
Snow tubing is one of the reasons I look forward to the winter months each year. The adrenaline rush and uncontained laughter while shooting down a slick, snowy hill make this winter activity well worth the time spent out in the frigid air. The thrill of the ride will keep the blood pumping through your veins and warm you, but if that doesn’t do the trick, there’s always hot chocolate in the chalet or warming house.
Whether you want to travel only a few minutes away for some impromptu fun or whether you go outside of the Twin Cities for a weekend adventure, there are a number of options for snow tubing.
Wirth Winter Recreation Area
Hours: Mon-Sun, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
This winter recreation area is smack in the middle of the metro and is a great place to spend a few hours or the whole day. Simply purchase a tow ticket in the Chalet and have fun tubing the rest of the day. Tubers must be at least 4 years old or 42 inches tall. Call for dates and pricing.
Hours: Thursday, 4:30p.m. – 9:30p.m. Fri/Sat/Holidays 10a.m. – 10p.m.; Sun 10a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
There are six tubing chutes in the Meadows Area Tubing Center at Afton Alps for non-stop fun. There is also a Wonder Carpet conveyor lift that conveniently pulls you and your tube back up the hill. Tubers must be at least 42 inches tall to participate.
Wild Chutes at Wild Mountain
Hours: Mon – Fri 10a.m. – 8p.m.; Sat 11a.m. – 9p.m.; Sun 12p.m. – 6p.m.
Cost: First two hours $15; $3 for each additional hour
Wild Chutes is just one hour away in scenic Taylors Falls. There are a number of chutes for tubing and a lift that pulls the tubers to the top of the hill. Tubers should be at least 42 inches tall. Come to ski, tube, hike and play for the weekend. Call for holiday hours and group rates.
Hours: Thurs 4p.m. – 9:30p.m. Fri 4p.m. – 10p.m.; Sat-Sun 10a.m. – 10p.m.;
Weekday Holidays 10a.m. – 9:30p.m.
Cost: 2 Hour Day Sessions $16; 2 Hour Night Session $14; Late Night Special (1 hour prior to close) $10
This tubing location can be seen from I-35 and is just minutes from most locations in the metro. At Buck Hill there are a number of tubing chutes to choose from. There’s a lift that pulls you and your tube up to the top after each happy trip down the hill. Tubers must be 5 years and at least 42 inches tall. Monday thru Wednesday is reserved for group reservations. Call for pricing.
Hours: Friday, 5:30p.m. – 9:30p.m. Sat 11a.m. – 10p.m.; Sun 11a.m. – 6p.m.
Cost: Three hour sessions; $14 for 13 years and older, $11 for 4 – 12 years and 3 and under, free
These chutes are groomed, well-lit and divided into expert, intermediate and bunny hills. This location is perfect for all ages and skill levels. However, those 46 inches tall and under are allowed to use the family slide only. There are two rope tows to carry you back up to the top after each trip down. Call for special hours, pricing and group rates.
Green Acres Recreation
Cost: $15 for 13 years and older; $10 12 years and under; $5 under 42 inches tall
This family owned business, open since 1974, has two big tubing hills: a Family Hill and Big Hill. The Big Hill opens mid-January and is for the more adventurous, thrill-seeking tubers. There are towropes that send you back to the top of the hill in no time at all. Tubers must be at least 42 inches tall to tube alone. Check website for hours.
Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law.You can find Anna at www.motherlylaw.com, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.