Amused for the holidays: Go sledding

December 22, 2018

For those who aren’t adamant skiers or snowboarders, being stuck in Santa Fe over the holidays often can make people feel bored and trapped in their homes. So what to do when it’s below freezing outside? There may not be enough snow at the park to build a snowman, but sledding can be an easy and fun way to get outside and spend time with family.

Here’s how to make the most of your sledding experience:

First and most importantly, find a good place to sled. Preferably a park with big hills. Some of the best ones in Santa Fe include Hyde Memorial State Park, Dale Ball Trails and Patrick Smith Park, all of which are relatively close to downtown and great for kids.

If you want to get a little farther out of town and have an adventure, sledding at Big Tesuque Campground in the Santa Fe National Forest is free, and it’s fun for kids as well as adults.

If you’re looking for further adventure, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, about three hours away in Mosca, Colo., is an enjoyable and interesting visit. Of course, these dunes are made of sand, not snow, so sledding requires special equipment. No snow sleds, snowboards or saucers are allowed on the dunes, according to the National Park Service website, but sandboards can be rented at the Oasis store near the park entrance or at other mountain sports stores nearby.

When it comes to choosing a sled, there are plenty of options out there. Stores such as Target and Walmart sell inexpensive plastic sleds and discs for around $10 to $20. Alpine Sports in Santa Fe carries higher-end sleds for those who want them. And tubing, using plastic inner tubes, also can be a fun option, as you are less likely to hit bumps on the way down.

Get creative! Racing, making ramps in the snow and doing tricks on the sledding hills can make an exciting activity for friends and family alike. There doesn’t have to be a blizzard for sledding to be a cool option. Just remember to be safe, have fun and dress warmly.

Natalia Payne is a sophomore at Santa Fe High School. Contact her at nataliapayne@icloud.com.

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