Monday, November 30, 2015

Snow Tubing at The Beach Mountain

Last winter I purchased a Groupon for four snow tubing passes and four hot chocolates (a $68 value) at The Beach Mountain in Cincinnati.  Unfortunately due to a variety of different circumstances, we never made it, and our Groupon expired.  Though I could still redeem the Groupon for the $68 I paid, I was bummed to learn that we could not use the money over the summer at The Beach Waterpark.  I held onto that voucher, and my daughters and I had a chance to use it last week.

Prior to pulling out the snow pants and making the thirty-minute drive to Mason, Ohio, I decided to learn as much about Beach Mountain as I could.  I discovered I could not find answers to some of my questions on their website.  Since a snow tubing trip could be fun for Girl Scout troops, I thought I'd answer some of those questions by posting a review of our experience here.
We visited Beach Mountain on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I didn't realize they considered this day a holiday and charged an additional $5 per person.  Oops.  Not only did I have to fork over the $68 Groupon at the gate, I had to pay an additional $7 to cover the cost of our three admissions (this did not include hot chocolate).  They told me I had to pay this difference in cash.  Thankfully I had a few bucks in my wallet.  They do require participants to sign a waiver release form.  These forms are available at the gate, though it is much easier to print it out and complete it at home.  We were the only people in line, and we spent about 10 or 15 minutes at the gate paying and getting our passes. Tubing times start on the hour, and a pass is good for two hours.  More time can be added to your pass for an additional charge.  

The tubes sit in piles at the bottom of the hill, and a "magic carpet" transports you to top of the hill.  It was unseasonably warm that morning, so we were surprised we were alone on the 400-foot run for an entire hour.  We spent about an hour and 15 minutes tubing, and we went down the hill 15 times.  My kids were a bit worn out and hungry at this point, so we decided to head out to lunch.  I will say the three young men working the top of the hill did everything they could to ensure we had a great time.  We did have a blast, and the girls have asked to go again next year!

While we didn't use any of the facilities, and we didn't enjoy any of the food or beverages available for purchase at Beach Mountain, I did snap a few photos to

"All participants are required to be 42” tall in order to snow tube. The Play Area is included with your purchase of a tubing ticket, if you would like to purchase the Play Area only, there is a $3.00 charge per person. Everyone in the play area and on Beach Mountain must have a ticket visible. A small tubing area is provided for anyone under 42” in the Play Area, which all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian the entire time."

The menu.  There is a heated pavilion near the ticket gate and plenty of picnic tables.  The ticket gate, concession stand, and pavilion are a short walk from the tubing area, but you couldn't hang out in that area and still see your kids while they're tubing.  

The picture below shows standing heaters and fire pits near additional picnic tables.  I did not see any permanent bathrooms available for use, but there were Port-o-lets adjacent to the tubing area.  Though I usually prefer to be in on the action, I would feel comfortable allowing the girls to tube while watching from a picnic table (depending on the ages and maturity level of the girls in our troop, of course).

While this outing did cost a little more than I anticipated, we had a great time together.  It wasn't crowded, and it was relatively close to home.  I would recommend purchasing a Groupon or gathering enough people together to take advantage of the group rate.  

Another option for snow tubing and skiing in our area is Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.  According to their website, Perfect North has 23 lanes and 1200 foot runs.  I have not been snow tubing there, but I know several Girl Scout troops from our Service Unit have planned day trips to Perfect North.  While the cost of admission is comparable to Beach Mountain, it's a longer drive from our neck of the woods.  Perfect North has been open since 1980 and is well-established.  There may be larger crowds and longer wait times, but I imagine it's worth it.  Have fun with the kids this winter and stay safe!

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