Snow Tubing in Virginia: Taking the Plunge at Wintergreen Resort

Have you taken your kids skiing or snow tubing? Some kids are on the slopes soon after they start to walk. However, I am decidedly not a skier. I wish I was. I’ve been skiing at some cool places, like Northstar in California and Vail in Colorado. It just hasn’t stuck.

We do, however, like to get outside for winter sports, so we look to snow tubing in Virginia. Wintergreen Resort is less than three hours from Washington, DC. It’s a very easy drive from Northern Virginia. It’s also home to Virginia’s largest snow tubing park, The Plunge.

The Plunge

snow tubing

The Plunge is a massive snow tubing park in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. As you can imagine, the views are spectacular, especially when you’re at the top of the tubing hill, ready to race the length of three football fields at this family adventure park.

There are 10 lanes at The Plunge snow tubing park. Thrill-seekers, get ready. You go really, really fast. The first time I ever went snow tubing was at Wintergreen Resort. I screamed the entire way down my first run at this tube park. Like, really loud.

Snow tubing tickets are $34 per person for a 90-minute window starting at 9 am on weekends. At first, I thought that wasn’t very long, but tubing wears you out, particularly getting back up the hill with your tube, even with the magic carpet to guide you back up the hill.

The Plunge Tubing Park for Snow Tubing in Virginia

The Plunge is also open on Wed-Fri afternoons starting at 1:30 pm, so there are plenty of opportunities for snow tubing at Wintergreen Resort. Depending on how crowded it is the day you go, you should be able to get in at least six to eight runs, which you may find is plenty. On weekends, they have night tubing, with plenty of lights to guide your way down the runs.

My kids loved hooking up with another person’s tube in the “doubles” lanes so they didn’t need to go down the runs alone each time. This is especially good for small children. The first time we went my youngest daughter was just five (the tubing park at this mountain resort is now recommended for kids ages 6 and up).

The first time we went snow tubing at The Plunge was over a holiday weekend. Snow tubing was sold out, but we never felt like we had to wait an exorbitant amount of time for a tubing lane. It was busy, but organized, and everyone in our group was having fun.

Ridgely’s Fun Park

Sledding at Ridgely's Fun Park at Wintergreen Resort

One great thing about Wintergreen Resort is that small children (as in, those under age 6) don’t need to miss out on snow tube fun. Ridgely’s Fun Park is open winter weekends and is just right for snow-loving littles.

Small children ages 3 to 5 will most enjoy this snow-covered area that’s about half the size of a football field. Here they can enjoy a gentle snow tubing hill, ride on a merry-go-round with tubes, play in a soft blocks play area or use plastic tools to make snow balls and blocks.

On our visit, they also had a large teepee with a fire pit inside (a metal grate covered the fire). The kids loved making snowballs, then going inside and throwing them at the fire. There was plenty of bench seating inside the teepee too.

Tickets to Ridgely’s Fun Park are $18 per one-hour session for a “Little Buckaroo & You” pass. This is a ticket for one child (age 3 to 11) and one parent. Extra kids are $10 each and extra parents are $5 each. They do sell out, so keep this in mind before you go.

Helpful Tips Before You Go

10 Tubing Lanes at The Plunge

There’s a lot of fun to be had at ski resorts, but you’ll want to stay organized in order to keep up the smiles all day long. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you go to Wintergreen.

Buy Your Snow Tubing Passes Online

Tubing often sells out, even on non-holiday weekends, so it’s highly recommended that you buy your tickets online. Passes are released for sale every Sunday morning for the upcoming week. You do not want to find out they are sold out and no longer available when you arrive.

Arrive One Hour in Advance

It’s a short walk to The Plunge from the parking lot, but you’ll want to factor in time to gear everyone up in snow pants and boots. You’ll also need time to pick up pre-ordered passes at the ticket window and add the tags to everyone’s coats.

Tubers line up early for the next session. That noted, you’ll want to be in line at least 30 minutes before the start time if you want to make the most of your 90-minute session.

Consider a Learn-to-Ski Class

Once you’ve tackled the tubing lanes, why not take on the slopes on skis or a snowboard. Wintergreen Resort is offering a Discover Skiing and Riding program that includes an eight-hour rental (skis, poles and boots), eight-hour lift ticket and a 75-minute lesson.

Rates start at $79 per child (ages 8-12) and $94 per adults on weekdays. You’ll need to take a short shuttle bus ride from The Plunge to the Learn-to-Ski area, but it’s a great way to make the most of your day. The equipment rental process takes 20 minutes with no crowds, so plan on arriving 60-90 minutes ahead of the lesson.

Pre-Register for Rentals

You don’t need to sign up ahead of time for lessons, but you should pre-register for ski and snowboard rentals to speed up the process. This way when you arrive you can get out on the slopes much more quickly and keep the fun and momentum moving.

Eat at Off-Times

If your tubing session ends at noon, for example, try to leave The Plunge about 15 minutes early. Or, hang out and watch other tubers until around 12:30, then eat lunch. There are a couple of fast food-style food spots at the top of The Plunge that sell the basics, like chili, chicken tenders and hot dogs, but the lines get very long right at session end times.

There are seven restaurants across Wintergreen Resort, so you should be able to find just what you want at meal time. The Edge boasts some of the best burgers around, while Devil’s Grill features upscale dining at the top of the mountain. Terrace Café is where to go for coffee.

A Few “Good to Know” Tips

snow tubing in virginia at The Plunge

Here are a few items that fall into the “good to know” category from someone who’s been snow tubing at Wintergreen Resort.

  • The hot chocolates they sell are huge, so you can easily split one between two kids. I split one hot chocolate with my two youngest (who were 3 and 5 at the time) and that was perfect.
  • There is a gas station at Wintergreen and the prices are very reasonable. Naturally, as we were heading up to Wintergreen the gas light came on, so the station was a welcome sight.
  • As you drive up to Wintergreen and reach the top of the hill, don’t turn right when you see a sign for “The Plunge.” The sign is next to the gas station. We did that and got all turned around. Turn left for tubing. It’s probably obvious, but we were kind of bumbling.

For more snow in Virginia – snow tubing in Virginia, that is – look to Massanutten Resort or Bryce Resort. Both are in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and offer plenty of snow tubing adventures.

Have you been to Wintergreen or taken your kids snow tubing in VA? I’d love to hear your feedback or get some tips from you in the comments section below.