What: Snow Mountain Snow Park
Where: Stone Mountain Park, Ga.
When: Dec. 11 – March 6, 2011 Fri. – Sun. and Holidays
Cost: $27 (get $4 coupons from Kroger), Other Special Offers
Stay the night too! Rates start at $199
Parking Fee $10 per vehicle
Photos: Visit the Field Trips with Sue Facebook page
At Snow Mountain, where every day is a snow day, you don’t have to wait for mother nature to enjoy some wintertime fun. Snow Mountain is especially fun for younger kids or those who have never seen snow. It’s also fun for those Southerners who don’t normally get to play in the snow. There are lots of different activities from tubing to building snowmen to s’mores.
Tickets to Snow Mountain are sold on a timed basis. The time reflects your two hour access to the snow tubing, but the other attractions are open all day. It’s a good idea to reserve your tickets online prior to going. Only a limited number of tickets are available for each session. They can, and do sell out. In addition, there is a kiosk for reserved tickets, so you won’t have to wait in the ticket booth line. If you want to avoid crowds, Fridays are a best bet, also the first and last session times each day.
It may go without saying, but dress warmly and wear waterproof clothing – not water resistant. We went on a warm day, but even then, the snow is cold and wet. Winter activities are never fun when you are wet and cold. Here’s the lowdown on activities and some suggestions too. Feel free to add your own experiences and thoughts.
Snow Tubing: As I mentioned, the time on your ticket is for the tubing. We went from 1 – 3 pm and found the last 15 minutes of every hour the line got a lot shorter. Every hour a new group comes on the mountain and another goes off, plus those hitting their second hour may decide to head to the play area or Avalanche Alley. This transition time is the best time to get in a few quicker runs. We also found the magic carpet on the left moved faster. The one of the right fits more people, but if you just want to get up the hill, take the left conveyor. All that said, we only waited about 10 minutes in line before tubing and easily went 5 – 6 times in our two hours. There are 10 runs, and the staff is pretty efficient, so the lines move. I was told the runs are slowest during mid-day, when the sun is at full strength. If you’re going for speed, go early in the morning or late in the evening when the shade covers the hill. Children must be 46 inches tall and able to ride in their own tube, they cannot sit on your lap.
Avalanche Alley: This is the new family tubing run. If you’re pressed for time, skip this. You have to walk around the entire tubing hill and the line was much slower than the tube runs, even though there are three shoots. It was fun to go down with the entire family at the same time, but the run was so slow, we weren’t sure we’d make it all the way. If we hadn’t waited here, I’m sure we’d have gotten quite a few more runs in on the regular tube shoots. If you must try this, go here first. Children must be 36 inches tall to ride.
Snow Zone: There are several attractions here. My 6-year-old loved the snowball targets and the 11-year-old liked the blowing snow. I enjoyed looking at all the different snowmen and loved the snowman closet where you can grab everything you need for snowy fun including fort molds, buckets, shovels, hats, scarfs, wigs and eyes . I was impressed with the creativity in the Snow Zone. A few girls were topping an inherited snow fort with a scarf roof, and the snowmen were as varied as the guests.
Fort Snow: This is a mini tube run for the younger set. Perfect if you have young children who aren’t ready for the larger runs, as the maximum height is 54 inches. There are also tunnels in Fort Snow to crawl through.
Little Angels: This area is for the littlest snow babies and offers a slight hill for sledding. The maximum height here is 42 inches.
Snodeck and SnoFire: Winter fun can make you hungry. There is a cable car called Snodeck where you can get hot dogs or snacks, or roast a marshmallow at the SnoFire. Smore kits are $5 (fixings for 3 smores), marshmallows for $3 (about 10) and hot chocolate for $3 or $4 for the deluxe version with whipped cream.
Bonus: Not only does a Snow Mountain ticket allow you to experience lots of outdoor fun, the ticket is also good for the Summit Skyride, Journey to the Center of the Earth 4D Theater and Memorial Hall Museum. All great places to get out of the cold or take a break from the snow.