Wintertime is almost upon us in the great plains, and with snow comes the opportunity for plenty of outdoor fun with your family. If high-speed thrills are what you and your kids crave, however, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! Tubing can give your kids all the excitement and adrenaline of skiing and snowboarding, but at a fraction of the cost of equipment and lessons. Here we’ve compiled our top 5 tubing destinations across Minnesota, where a great snow day is just a short trip away.
Giants Ridge Snow Tubing
Situated in Biwabik, Giants Ridge consists of three main tubing lanes and an easy-access tow lift to keep you and your family going as quickly as possible. Time blocks are offered at a standard two hours, with hours of operation depending on the date and weather. When it’s time to make a pit stop, Burnt Onion Kitchen & Brews has you covered, with crowd-pleaser pizzas and a handful of other dining options.
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Green Acres Snow Tubing
Just a stone’s toss outside the Twin Cities in Lake Elmo, Green Acres Recreation Area has facilitated family tubing fun for nearly 50 years. Two main runs are split between one for the whole family and another for older kids, with tow ropes to ease your ride back to the tops of both. Time blocks are available in increments of two hours, with daily hours depending on the day. Tickets can be pre-registered online, and it’s highly recommended to do so, as it’s otherwise on a first come, first served basis.
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Spirit Mountain Snow Tubing
Way up in Duluth, Spirit Mountain offers 5 lanes of family tubing fun both day and night. 2-hour tickets are available throughout the day, with options for Glow Tubing available on Friday and Saturday nights! An assisted tow will effortlessly help bring you and your family back to the top, and if need be, extra time can always be added on for an additional fee per rider. When you’re on your way out, be sure to hit either the Riverside Bar and Grill or the Moosehead Saloon to leave with great memories and full stomachs.
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Wild Mountain Snow Tubing
Up along the Wisconsin border in Taylor Falls is where you’ll find Wild Mountain and its Wild Chutes tube runs. Two-hour blocks are available throughout the week, along with Starlight Tubing options on Friday and Saturday nights. Magic carpets will painlessly bring you and your family topside whenever you need them, and closing things out at the Corduroy Club will have everyone leaving happy and full. Riders who have birthdays coming up, keep Wild Mountain in mind – your ticket will be refunded on arrival if you can prove it’s your birthday!
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Wirth Park Snow Tubing
Occupying the northwest side of Minneapolis, the tubing hill at Wirth Park offers easy-access fun while still not having to go too far across the city. Equipped with a lift tow and plenty of lights to keep the fun going after dark, Wirth Park has no set blocks on weekdays to limit how long your outing lasts – but be aware, it’s still on a first come, first served basis. Serving three squares a day, the Mill Valley Market in the nearby trailhead building will keep the whole family going with food that’s not just nourishing, but filling to boot.
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Travel tip – Check out Groupon for tubing discounts.