July 10, 2012
Tobogganing at Lake Mountain
Today we took the kids to see snow for the first time. Lake Mountain is only 90 minutes from our place, so that seemed the obvious place to go and chains are not required as with other ski resorts.
The kids were super excited and it was so lovely to see their faces at the first glimpse of snow. It is definitely one of my favourite activities we have done as a family.
Lake Mountain is a cross country ski resort and is the closest resort to Melbourne, making it perfect for tobogganing and snow play with young kids. Furthermore, Lake Mountain tourism supports the bushfire recovery effort.
Today there were two slopes open for tobogganing. The snow was quite icy but not too slippery and the slopes were gentle and short enough for our five and three year olds to manage on their own. Its certainly not the soft pure white snow cover you get at Bulla or Hotham, but the kids are none the wiser yet and they loved making us run up and down pushing them faster and faster - exhausting work, so a few hours on the mountain is probably ample with under fives.
Vehicle Entry is $40 midweek ($30 online) and $49 weekends/public holidays/school holidays ($40 online).
Chains - these are only required in certain conditions. Its worth ringing the hotline on the morning of your visit and checking the snow report and road conditions - 03 5957 7232
Hire - The best deals are in Buxton,Narbethong and Marysville where you can get overpants, boots & toboggan hire for $16 per child. The same thing is $30 on the mountain.
Food - There is a restaurant on the mountain that has hot food and drinks, and plenty of bakeries and cafes along the way. For a nice sit-down lunch, Innocent Bystander in Healesville is kid friendly and has fantastic pizza and tapas. The York on Lilydale is a good dinner option with kids as it has an indoor playroom and kids meal deals.
Ways to save money
Op Shop Ski Gear - Knowing we would probably visit the snow this season, I have been trawling the op shops for a few weeks, stocking up on warm and wet gear. They may not be the most attractive options, but they did the trick and the kids will outgrow them by next season. There are some good op shops in Healesville if you haven't got everything you need, plus the $2 shop have cheap kids snow gloves.
Self catering - we stocked up at the IGA in Coldstream on snacks, drinks and sandwich things and these kept the kids entertained in the car on the way up, plus the treats proved useful up the mountain.
Hardware Stores - I've seen a few hardware stores that sell toboggans for $20-30, This could be worthwhile if you will use them again - great for the slipperly slide in summer.
For further information, visit the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort website.
A fun way to warm up after a day at the snow is with a Glow Stick Bath.