Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kids say Falls Snow Park is Cool!

Sneak Peek of Snow Park

Mrs. Tour Guide (TG) and our four TGs in training accompanied me to a special sneak peek of the new Snow Park in Niagara Falls, NY. It’s a tremendous concept—an outdoor winter park that can be used all year round.

Snow Park Niagara Falls features a 12 lane tubing hill, a NHL regulation size skating rink and a snow play area. The attraction uses new technology to create surfaces and artificial snow that are just like the real thing. The snow has a granular rather than a flaky feel to it—but you can slide on it and make snow forts just like that natural white stuff that falls from the sky.

The crown jewel of the park is the 50 foot high tubing hill. You are given a tube (1 or 2 man) at the bottom of the hill. You are propelled uphill by an innovative moving sidewalk that takes all the exhaustion out of gravity. The downhill ride is thrilling. As a native of Buffalo, NY I’ve done a fair share of sledding down snowy hills. This ride is much faster, even a little scary. Hold on tight and raise your butt off the tube’s bottom when you head downhill!

The skating rink has everything you’d expect from a rink, minus the snow. Skate rental is part of the admission charge, although you can bring your own hockey skates if you wish. The surface is a synthetic material that is permeated with oils. These oils constantly lubricate the surface and make for a realistic skating experience.

You might think that you’d tear the surface material or cut into it—but you don’t. In fact the m
ore it is used, the better the surface becomes. One advantage to regular ice is that this surface is a lot easier on you should you fall. The rink received a positive endorsement from my 12 year old daughter who is an avid hockey player and full time cynic.

The younger TGs were entertained by the snow play area. This is exactly what it sounds like, a play space covered in snow with toys for the kids to use. Attendants are constantly refreshing the snow with a large pipe that blasts out the man made snow (think bazooka + snow cone machine).

The kids were able to build a large snow castle with the sun out and the temperature at about 70 degrees. A fun and refreshing way to spend the day.
Overall this attraction looks like a real winner, especially for international guest who’ve never experienced snow. The staff is extremely helpful and polite. You can tell they are happy to work at the Snow Park and it shows.

Our visit occurred when the park was not open to the public, so I cannot comment on the
experience you’ll find when the place is crowded. I can say that the park is well staffed to respond to a higher volume.

If you are coming to visit Niagara Falls and are looking for an unusual experience, the Snow Park is a must-do. The activities are appealing to kids and adults. More information including business hours and rates is available by clicking here. I believe the park will open to the public later this month (June 2009).


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