Looking for some fun outdoor winter activities for kids in the Catskills?
Located in the quaint town of Windham, just a quarter-mile down the road from the ski mountain, Windham Mountain Adventure Park is the ideal destination for ski bum families looking for a new snowy-day activity. It makes a great day-trip destination for non-skiers, too.
Snow-tubing and little Arctic Cat snowmobiles are exhilarating activities awaiting you at Windham. Read on!
Your family day at Windham Mountain Adventure Park could start with tubing. The 650-foot snow-covered tubing hill welcomes all visitors without height or age limits. Riders just have to be tall enough to sit up in a tube by themselves. It’s important to note that only one rider per tube is allowed. You can’t put a small child on your lap, but you can link tubes together by holding onto the strings attached to your partner’s tube.
When we visited, there were definitely some scrappy little toddlers enjoying the ride. But I don’t think our indoorsy, risk-adverse city kids would’ve sat in tube by themselves before the age of 5. It’s also worth mentioning that some of the little ones were wearing ski helmets, which seemed like a smart idea. After the park’s friendly employees see you safely in your tube they ask if you’d like to spin or go straight down, before hurling you down the mountain. It doesn’t look terribly steep, but it feels like a long, fast, and wild ride.
For parents, the best part of this hill might be the conveyor lift that gently carries you back up for another round. At ages 5 and 8, my children had no trouble standing on it. My husband and I could fully enjoy barreling down the mountain without the worry that we’d had to trudge back up, carrying our lazy children in their slippery snowsuits, with giant canvas tubs trailing behind us. In truth, the conveyor lift brought me just as much joy as the tubing ride itself!
Zoom Around on Kid-Sized Snowmobiles
Mini-snowmobiles are also available for kids aged 6 and up, who weigh less than 120 pounds. There’s a short, circular course, and the snowmobiles don’t race too fast, so you can watch your kids as they safely loop around and around. A parent or guardian needs to sign a waiver before the ride (which did worry me a little bit!) but I’d say it’s totally appropriate for kids as young as 6 years old. It’s an easy-peazy ride for any kid who is already comfortable on a two-wheeler.
I was a little nervous about our 8-year-old city kid who doesn’t have much experience riding a bike, but he loved it! All shared items should be sanitized between uses. For injury prevention, as well as COVID safety, you may want to bring your own helmet. The snowmobile ride costs an extra $10, and my son says it was absolutely worth it.
This winter, a family day at Windham Mountain the Adventure Park is selling tickets for 3-hour sessions, priced at $25 per person, on a first-come, first-serve basis . Tickets are not available to be pre-purchased, so be prepared for a bit of a wait on a crowded day. Your time block starts upon your arrival time. After buying tickets, you’ll need to wait in another line before you get in a snow-tube, but that one moves pretty quickly, since the hill has 6 lanes. Plus, many tubers choose to be grouped together, and sending multiple tubes down the hill at a time keeps the line moving fast.
The park is generally open on Fridays from 5pm to 8pm, on Saturdays from 11am to 8pm, and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm. They offer extended hours for holidays and school vacations. If you’re planning ahead for winter break 2021, the Adventure Park will be open February 14 through 20 from 11am to 8pm daily.
Snowmaking equipment keeps the hill set with the best conditions possible. Still, both the snow-tubing and snowmobile activities are dependent on the temperature, wind, and precipitation. You can check the weather at the Mountain Report [https://www.windhammountain.com/mountain/mountain-report/], which is updated twice daily. Or call 518-734-4300 and select Option #3.
Where to Eat Nearby
On our pre-Covid family day at Windham Mountain Adventure Park, getting hot cocoa, mozzarella sticks, soft pretzels, and pizza in the cozy on-site lodge was one of the highlights of our day. This winter, we’re trying to avoid indoor dining, so we’d be more likely to grab some food to-go.
If you’re looking to make it a day-trip
Start your family day at Windham Mountain Adventure Park at Windham Local, a nearby café. They offer up excellent coffee, breakfast sandwiches, steak burritos, and basics like bagels and muffins for the little ones. During ski season, they’re open 6 days per week (closed Tuesdays) from 8am to 2pm. Call ahead for take-out (518-750-8300), so you can get to snow tubes ASAP.
And after a few hours of snow-tubing and snowmobile rides, you may be looking for a heartier meal than the snacks offered at the lodge. When you have a big appetite and kids in tow, it’s good to know about the Chicken Run. This family restaurant and steak house is located just a mile from the Adventure Park. Their portions are huge, they serve milkshakes, and their kids’ menu includes all the favorites—chicken tenders, hot dogs, pasta with butter or tomato sauce, grilled, cheese, mac and cheese, and even an 8-ounce steak or BBQ ribs for hungry little carnivores. Somehow, though, you’ll want to save room for their daily desserts. Even if you’re eating in your car, you’ll want to run back in after dinner to grab a brownie sundae, a warm chocolate chip lava cookie with vanilla ice cream, or a slice of their delicious home-style pie.
Connect with Windham Mountain Adventure Park
Written by: By Kara Zuaro of Brooklyn DoubleWide
Exploring the less traveled (and less expensive!) Catskills, in and around Greene County. Farms, drive-in movies, kids, food, beer, shopping, home design, and real estate.