If you think mountain resorts are only for skiing and snowboarding, think again. All Mountain Mama Rachel and daughter Aria recently got to experience the fun and excitement of tubing at Stratton’s Coca-Cola Tubing Park. Tubing is a fantastic way for those new to the ski resort scene to get their bearings and develop some comfort with the mountain and the world of snow sports. It’s also ridiculously fun!
Tubing as an Intro to Snowsports
As someone who didn’t grow up on a mountain and whose childhood narrative was something akin to “ski mountains are for people with lots of money,” it was great to see tubing is an affordable introduction to snowsports at just $35 for an hour. Plus, upon our arrival at Stratton, Aria and I were able to go and play in the snow without the heavy lift of navigating boots, boards, bindings, skis, or poles. All we needed was our cold-weather gear and a sense of adventure.
The Coca-Cola Tube Park at Stratton Mountain is located in the Sun Bowl, just behind the Sun Bowl Lodge. After a short safety briefing from the friendly and helpful staff, we picked out our tubes and got a lesson on navigating the rope tow lift. The lift puts a whole new spin on tubing with the family. If you’re like us and used to old-school sledding or tubing, you can say goodbye to the long trudge up the hill thanks to the rope tow. Different from a traditional chair lift, staff members at Stratton attached our individual tubes to the tow rope – with us in the tubes! Aria, the resident 7-year-old, had such fun picking out her favorite tube and riding it up the hill. Without much preamble, we were on our way to the top.
The staff at Stratton was also helpful in teaching us how to gracefully exit the tubes at the top of the hill. They are an absolute dream when it comes to supporting young kids. Once at the top of the tubing hill, we discovered multiple rolling lanes of highspeed goodness. This meant that we could ride side by side and race each other to the bottom of the hill. Then back up on the lift we rode. Tubing at the Coca-Cola Park was an absolute blast from top to bottom.
Pro Tubing Tips
Book in advance. Tubing sessions go out every hour, so there’s never too long of a wait. That said, you’ll want to book your tickets in advance, as they sell out fast. Note the tubing park is closed 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. for grooming for planning purposes.
Grab a fireside seat and treat. The Coca-Cola Tube Park boasts a sweet little snack shack with everything you could possibly need to feed, hydrate, and warm up those cold fingers. Grab a spot by the fire and enjoy some hot cocoa, popcorn, and a juice box with the little ones while you watch tubers race by.
Know the rules. Kids must be five years old and 42″ tall to ride. These regulations are typically part of a larger insurance policy, so don’t try to skirt the limits! Note that age and height are both requirements. If your 5-year-old is on the petite side, get out the measuring tape and see if they meet the height requirement before booking. Double-checking could save yourself from a tough conversation and tears at the mountain.
Check your footwear. Ski boots are not permitted, but snowboarding boots are accepted. Ski and snowboarding boots are very different animals. The toe lip on a ski boot can be particularly damaging to the tubes, so switch out your footwear to regular winter boots.
Add Tubing to Your Stratton Visit
Tubing was a great way to kick off our visit to Stratton Mountain. Next time you’re planning a family trip to Vermont, consider adding this great activity to the list. After tubing, we checked into our room at the Black Bear Lodge and prepared for our morning snowboarding lessons.
Learn about the Stratton One Nighter Package (and our snowboard lessons in upcoming posts)!
Rachel is the Owner/Transformationalist at Rachel Hailey & Associates Consulting, a firm which deals directly with the outdoor industry to foster DEI in organizations. Her main objective is to transform the outdoor industry into a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible space. Rachel is committed to creating an industry where anyone can experience, thrive, and lead in the out of doors no matter their circumstances, and has a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities. She has served and inspired over 100 organizations in the creation of actionable systems aligned with creating diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor spaces. She is a frequent writer for industry publications like Adventure Park Insider and Ski Area Management, and has given talks on DEI & Social Justice on international platforms.Outside of her endeavor to bridge the gap between racial and ethnic diversity in the outdoors and social justice, Rachel can be found hunting fairies in the woods with her daughter.