I wanted to take my kids to Stone Mountain Park so they could snow tube at Snow Mountain from the moment Stone Mountain Park introduced this new winter attraction. Unfortunately, I had to wait until they met the height requirements (36 inches tall for family tubing; 42 inches tall for individual tubing). This year, they both measured up, so we headed out for some fun in the snow.
I made sure everyone in the family was bundled up for snow conditions. Heavy jackets, mittens, wind pants to keep the underlying jeans dry, hats–basically, a lot of clothing. As it turns out, though, you don’t really need all of that stuff if you’re just tubing. The way the tube runs are set up, you don’t even touch the snow. You climb in the tube at the top platform, and climb out at the bottom platform, neither of which have snow on them.
But that’s OK. With the wind in your face as you race down the tubing run, you don’t have time to think about touching snow. You just try to soak in the exhilaration of the ride. And when you reach the bottom, you grab your tube and see how quickly you can get back to the top again.
There are two ways to do this. For both family and individual tubers, you can go around on one side and ride the conveyor belt to the top. However, it does move at a slow pace, so it can take some time. Family tubers who want to make the most of their time should head up the other side, taking the path up the hill to the top platform. My 6-year-old daughter and I liked the path because we quickly returned to wait our turn in line to tube. In our experience, the line was much shorter, and we were back to tubing in no time. NOTE: The walking path uphill is a bit strenuous, so be prepared for a mini workout, especially if you opt for this route more than once.
When purchasing your pass for snow tubing, it’s important to note that it comes with a two-hour session for tubing. This is the only time you will be allowed to snow tube, so plan accordingly to take full advantage of it. Your pass will allow full access to all other snow play areas.
“What play areas?” you ask. That would be the SnowZone and the Little Angels areas. In the SnowZone, kids 54 inches and shorter can explore Fort Snow, a castle with turrets, mini slides and tunnels. There’s also a mini snow tube run alongside Fort Snow. My 3-year-old son loved having the chance to snow tube on his own since he couldn’t do so on the larger, individual snow tube run.
The SnowZone also has a large area where kids can build snowmen, which my daughter really enjoyed. In addition, children can practice their aim with snowballs by firing at a series of moving targets. Even the littlest guests can get in on the action at the Little Angels section. Specifically for children 3 and younger (and shorter than 42 inches tall), Little Angels welcome babies and toddlers to experience the snow without getting run over by bigger kids. There’s even SnoBoggans, mini sleds so little ones can try snow tubing.
When visiting the SnowZone, you’ll want to don the aforementioned snow gear that was not necessary for tubing. The mittens, hats, snow or wind pants–you going to want this stuff to keep fingers warm and clothes dry.
If you are interested in exploring other areas of Stone Mountain Park, be sure to check the website for a list of attractions open during your visit. The park also offers a combo family value pass that features access to Snow Mountain, three specified attractions and a meal for a family of four. Tickets for additional family members can be purchased for an extra fee.
At the end of our visit, my kids (and their parents!) were thoroughly exhausted but very happy with their experience at Snow Mountain. This is definitely a family activity we will turn into an annual family tradition.
Snow Mountain is open at Stone Mountain Park through Feb. 18. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.stonemountainpark.com.
Disclosure: Karon’s family visited Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park as a guest of Stone Mountain Park. However, the opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author.