Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But most importantly, there is such a thing as "fun for the whole family."
Since Christmastime is synonymous with snow, we decided to make a day of it and spent 10 hours of tubing, lobbing snowballs and holiday magic. Yes, I said 10 hours.
Stone Mountain Park’s Snow Mountain is a winter wonderland complete with tubing, snowball fights and a family favorite, S’MORES! Since Snow Mountain assigns its guests a two-hour window to enjoy Avalanche Alley and Tube Runners we decided to play in the white fluffy stuff in the SnowZone area.
Tip: Take full advantage of your time while waiting for your reservation to begin on the tubing lanes by playing in the SnowZone.
Employee-manned closets allow guests to grab everything they need to build a snowman including: faux carrot noses, scarves, funky hats and buckets and shovels. You can also snag a brick mold to construct the perfect snow fort. The SnowZone is a good place for younger snow bunnies to enjoy pint-sized fun on tubes designed for children under 42 inches tall since the Tube Runners are off limits to toddlers and tots.
This is the first year that BOTH my children have been able to experience Avalanche Alley and the Tube Runners. And we took full advantage during our reservation window. In total, we rode the Tube Runners 10 times and Avalanche Alley four times. Avalanche Alley’s height requirement is only 36 inches tall, but the incline (which we loved) was steeper than the Tube Runners.
Tip: Snow Mountain reservations are required. Maximize your snow day by picking a Snow Mountain reservation time that is less crowded such as the 4-6 p.m. window.
Our reservations ended around 4 p.m. so we headed over to The Great Barn-a three-level indoor play area where kids and parents can gather and shoot soft foam balls and enjoy large tube slides.
There are many live musical shows that you can catch at Stone Mountain Christmas including (new this year) Forever Christmas, a Crossroads Christmas Carol and Toyriffic. However, my five-year-old daughter was eager to meet the Snow Angel at Memorial Hall before catching the nightly Christmas Parade featuring Santa himself!
Tip: Don’t forget to make a list for Santa while waiting to see The Snow Angel or decorate cookies in the same area.
Located in Memorial Hall, the Snow Angel could be considered Stone Mountain Christmas’ mascot. Dressed in all white complete with wings, she is a favorite among little girls and she makes many appearances during the parade and ends the evening by making it snow in Crossroads followed by spectacular fireworks.
Tip: Miss Katie’s is the perfect place for a sit-down meal with some of the best fried chicken I've had. However, The Marketplace has sandwiches and sundries that you can grab on-the-go.
For my eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter, the Singalong Christmas Train with The Gift is a holiday favorite. With just enough time to spare, we boarded another train except this time it was powered by our imaginations and some technological magic-The Polar Express 4-D Experience. Inspired, it was time to visit Santa himself at the Christmas Corner.
Our night ended with the Snow Angel flying over our heads via a zip line (I hope she is getting hazard pay) and making it rain soft soapy flakes that fell gently over Crossroads.
Stone Mountain Christmas is happening now through January 1, 2013.
Snow Mountain is open now through February 18, 2013. To purchase tickets or learn more visit www.stonemountainpark.com