More Outside! Because We’re Still Embracing Winter!

We went sledding today, and I have to tell you:  I am not good at sledding. You would think that there’s not a great deal of skill involved.  I mean, children do it quite successfully.  Not me.  I always get nervous and start wiggling around, and that throws the sled off course, and next thing you know we’ve managed to turn around and we are going backwards.  Or we’re pitching over to the side.  Or we’re running into a tree.  All of which happened this afternoon, once on the same run downhill.

I was particularly nervous today because the sleds were fast.  The last few times we’d gone, our scratched-up plastic sleds barely moved, so we’d be chugga-chugga-chugging to get started.  So this time I decided to be clever and utilize some simple household items.  First, I rubbed the sled bottoms with a votive candle (unlit), and then, in case that didn’t help, I sprayed the bottoms with Pam cooking spray.  In retrospect, if I had wanted to use the scientific method, I should have given each sled only one of the two treatments so that I could compare and contrast and, possibly, produce a bar graph.  But we all know that if I’d done that, there would be fights over who got which sled.  Whichever item did the trick, the sleds were frighteningly fast.  We were just at the local school, where the brick and concrete are not too terribly far from the bottom of the hill, and I’d always thought it was safe.  Until today.  Today I was so relieved that no one was hemorrhaging that I even pulled the girls on the sleds for most of the way home.

Anyway, the fresh snow the other day inspired me to look into local tubing possibilities.  I found a few, although they’re more of a trip than I’d hoped (of course, you can always bring your own tube anywhere).  And then, while I was at it, I realized that I might as well create a section for skiing/snowboarding/tubing day trips on the Big Ol’ List of Links for You.  If you click, scroll down to the bottom for Winter Day Trips.  Here are some tubing spots:

  • Glimmerglass State Park (Cooperstown) has tubing on weekends Jan. 9th to Feb. 28th from 11 am to 4 pm.  $5/day, but you’ve got to walk up the hill.
  • Gore Mountain in North Creek (northwest of Lake George) has tubing at $16/2 hours.  Children must be 36 inches or taller to use the lifts.
  • Sawkill Family Ski Center in Kingston has tubing at $15/1 hour or $20/2 hours.  There’s a 42-inch height minimum.
  • Tubby Tubes Co. in Lake Luzerne (near Lake George).  Rates weren’t posted  online, but I have  heard that the slopes are mellow/small kid friendly.
  • West Mountain in Queensbury, near Glens Falls has tubing that’s $16/adults and $8 for kids under 6 for two hours.  Kids are not permitted to ride with an adult.
  • Willard Mountain in Greenwich (east of Saratoga) has tubing for 2 hours for $15.
  • Windham Mountain is west of Hudson (a good 90 minutes from me near Schenectady), and it has tubing at $20/2 hours.

Considering how inept I am with mere sledding, we’ve thus far skipped out on snow tubing, ourselves.  But I’d love opinions, if anyone’s been to these places or others.

And finally, for still more outdoor fun, those oh-so-helpful folks at All Over Albany have created a list of places to ice skate outdoors.  Hooray!  This is one of those things that was on my list of things to do, so I am particularly grateful to them.  Go check it out.

I know this seems crazy, but February break has flown by for us.  Tomorrow I’ll have weekend activities, and then we’ll all be back to the old routine.


  1. Cheri

    Ha! Ha! We should have come back just to see all those mishaps! I’m guessing the wax and the grease helped you out quite a bit but the hill was fast today!!!

  2. Cheri

    The prices for Tubby Tubes are $14.95/person (2hr.)
    ALL DAY PASS – $19.95/person. My friend’s brother in law owns this place, so I’m all for giving them some business. They also have a Facebook fan page where they have video of the actual hill. If I knew how, I’d post the link but just go and become a fan!

  3. Kelly

    The West Mountain Tubing Report:
    Took the kids today (two 4 year olds and a 6 year old) and they were great ages for a two hour pass. I’m a bit of a slacker mom, so I’d likely take a three year old, but my husband felt three would have been too young.

    I’d recommend getting there when they open at 10. We got there at 11, and had to wait an hour to get tickets, since they’d sold out and we had to wait for people to leave. However, it was a great day, and we could sit outside and watch the skiiers and snowboarders, which was vastly entertaining, and felt like a glimpse into my future.

    I was also pleasantly surprised to get there in just 40 minutes, from Colonie. I’d thought it would take much longer.

    Overall, thumbs up for a great way to spend half a day.

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