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Time to Go Play in the Snow!

We’ve had plenty of rain lately, and you know what that means.  Time to go play in the snow!

Sliding in the Snow

Sliding in the Snow

Of course this means different things to different families.  If you have toddlers, just drive up to the snow, stop to play almost anywhere, and call it a day.  If you’re an active family with older kids, snowboarding is the hottest thing.

So where do you go?  Well the closest snow is up towards Big Bear. Travel-Watch has a complete rundown on all of the ski areas, including prices and what they offer (ski school, play area, etc.),

Watching the Budget

Prices are lower and everything is less crowded on a weekday.  If you can get away during the week, that’s ideal.  The schools really frown on kids missing school when it’s not necessary, but maybe your district is having an in-service day soon.  That would get the kids out of school on a non-holiday.

Ski Resorts are like Disneyland – everything costs twice as much there.  So try to get whatever you can before you go.  Start with snow chains. They’re going to be less expensive at Pep Boys than they will be on the side of the road.  And if you go on a weekday, there may not be anyone on the side of the road at all.

They're Old Enough to Ski!

They're Old Enough to Ski!

Next are skis and other snow toys.  If you can transport them up the mountain, it’s much better to rent them at Sports Chalet or another sporting goods store down here.  Reserve your equipment and pick it up the night before you go. This will also save time in the rental equipment line at the ski resort.

Tickets are next. There are several ski areas, and Travel-Watch has a complete rundown on their prices and where to get discounted tickets. You’re much better off to buy the tickets down here before you go. Also, Discount Tires ran a promotion recently where customers got 4 Snow Valley tickets for spending $500 or more on tires.  See if anyone you know has any they’re not using.  It might even be worth placing a Craigslist ad.

What about food? You may decide to splurge on a hot meal at the lodge, but at least take snacks and water. Skiing and playing in the snow are tired and hungry endeavors.

Don’t forget all those miscellaneous items that you’ll end up buying at the ski shop if you forget them: an extra pair of mittens, sunglasses, sunblock, dry socks for the ride home. Are you going to build a snowman?  Bring along a carrot and a scarf.  Have you seen those little charcoal handwarmers? Those make a fun treat for kids who are thawing out after an afternoon of snowy fun.

Oh!  I almost forgot the most important item of all: the camera!

A Masterpiece!

A Masterpiece!