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Published: January 09, 2017

Fun in the snow

Have you taken your kids to play in the snow? Being from the South, I assumed that winters in Oregon would include blustery piles of snow and we would spend hours building snow people and igloos in between hot cocoa breaks. While that is rare in Salem, we are just a couple hours from some super snow fun! My family recently visited Government Camp, which is just under a two-hour drive from Salem. There are plenty of snow parks and attractions for families in this cute little village. Many of the parks are free with a Sno Park Permit. You could stay the weekend like we did, but it’s close enough that if you left early enough, you could make a day out of it and sleep in your own bed!

  • Little John Sno Park is part of Mt. Hood National Forest. This park’s admission is free with a Sno Park Permit.

  • Ski-Bowl offers ski and snowboarding lessons. They have a lift you can ride for tubing and night activities with lights and music!
  • Summit Ski Area has a tub hill and a lodge restaurant open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays, as well as Holidays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. They also offer ski and snowboarding lessons.
  • Teacup Lake Sno Park is located 36.5 miles south of Hood River on Oregon Highway 35. This park is for those who enjoy skiing groomed backcountry trails. The park is maintained by the Oregon Nordic Club, which asks for an $8.00 donation from is regular grooming of the trail.
  • Timberline Lodge – If you are really into the snow sports or have older children that would enjoy learning then check out Timberline Lodge. They offer lessons, areas for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. You can also hang out in the lodge and enjoy delicious hot cocoa by the fire.
  • White River Snow Park, our family’s favorite park over looks the White River. There are rocky areas so do be careful and don’t let your kids slide out into the river. They will try. J The park is located on Oregon Highway 35 for miles north US Highway 26. This park only requires the Sno Park Permit.

So pack up your inner tubes and snow discs and get going! What is your family’s favorite local winter playground?