KILLINGTON-It was a new experience for this grandmother as well
as for her grandson.
And I have to admit it was a lot more fun that we expected!
My son and grandson arrived from New Hampshire on a cold and
windy Feb. 20 and met me in Killington to go tubing.
Although there was a lot of sliding in our years of raising
three boys, this was different and much more thrilling. The groomed
lanes with snow walls meant I didn't end up in a ditch like I
usually do when sliding on our driveway with my grandson.
At first I felt a little trepidation at seeing my four-year-old
grandson in his own tube. With a steepish drop-off, you get going
fairly fast, and then there are three good size bumps to sail
But Grandson Julius was totally unafraid, and when his dad said
to hold on to the handles, he knew what to do. So with his dad,
Jonathan, in the lane next to him, I sent him off at the same time
and lo and behold, he loved it!
Then it was my turn. The take-off was a thrill but the ride
turned out to be a piece of cake although faster than I expected.
The bumps were fun and on some of them I caught air, which was
Sometimes the tube spins around quite a bit. I think that
happened when I touch the snow walls, but other times it felt
uncontrollable. Jonathan mentioned being dizzy one time from
spinning for half the course. I managed a backward sail over a jump
or two from the spinning motion - a hoot really!
I lost count on the number of runs, but with Julius enjoying it
so much, we just had to keep taking another "four runs." (You know
kids, you ask one more time, and they say "four more.")
A few times we walked up the hill instead of riding on the tubes
- it's a short walk and only uphill at the top so doable when there
is a line for the tow and it's good exercise to boot.
When you choose to ride up, an attendant clips the tube's
tow-rope handle on to a handle tow and you sit on the tube for a
"pull" up the hill.
At the top there are eight to 11 lanes so groups can line up and
go at the same time. The rule is that you must wait for the person
who went in your lane to be up and off the lane before you go.
If you try different lanes, I think you get a different ride - I
know one time I passed my son who has 40 pounds on me and should
technically have been faster.
They groom the lanes nightly and the walls make for smooth and
safe sailing. At the end, rubber mats slow you down so you come to
a safe stop.
I enjoyed going down at the same time as my grandson.
When we arrived, Jonathan had seen lots of teenagers (the
"British invasion" had two large groups tubing when we were there
during President's Week) wearing their helmets so he and Julius
wore theirs also. That is a wise move if you have a helmet, as they
are far warmer than a wool hat if windy and/or cold.
The lights were coming on when we left, and I can imagine it
would be lots of fun at night for an adult party. There's also the
Parkside Pizza Pub inside the clubhouse where you can enjoy pasta,
hand-tossed pizzas, and other hearty warm snacks and drinks to make
a social evening out of a fun time. Food is served from 3 p.m. on
Thursdays and Fridays and from 12-noon on weekends until one hour
after the tubing closes on all nights.
School groups, clubs, friends, families, and even corporate
groups are known to make reservations together and receive special
The Killington Tubing Park is located on East Mountain Road
across from the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. Take a left at the
Mountain Inn where the signs are for the Grand Hotel and Tubing
Park. The clubhouse and tubing park are on your left and you get
tickets inside the clubhouse. There is a warm up area inside and
restrooms as well.
Children are not allowed to ride with adults. They must be 42
inches tall and capable of holding on to the handles of their own
pint-sized tube (and be accompanied by an adult).
There is a tubing carousel for tiny tots who are shorter. They
sit on tubes and get pulled around like on a merry-go-round.
It's a good idea to make reservations in advance if possible as
they only have tubes for 100 people, and it does get busy at
For a scheduled session or more info, call 800-621-6867.
Regular tubing hours are Thursdays and Fridays 4 - 8:30 p.m.;
Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
through March 24, 2013, conditions permitting. Tickets are sold for
Vermont residents (with I.D.) can tube on Thursday nights under
the lights for $12 per person.
Regular rates are $17 for adults 18 and up and $15 for 17 and
under. Kids under 42 inches are $5 for the carousel.