If you are planning a trip to the snow with your kids...
The question started not five minutes from home: “Are we at the snow yet?”
Two hours (of questioning) later my daughter was straight up the mountain, no sign of hesitation as she jumped on a toboggan with her dad. Finally the answer was yes - here we are at the snow.
It’s safe to say she took to her first snow experience with little persuasion - and a lot of fun. But behind the scenes, a lot of planning and preparation went into the day.
The first decision was where to go. There are lots of options for visiting the snow in Victoria, many of which require at least a full weekend and plenty of cash. We opted for a simpler option for her first time; just two hours drive from the Melbourne CBD, Lake Mountain is easy to access and is known for its snow play rather than skiing or boarding, making it very popular with families.
After choosing our spot, it was all about the gear - what would she need? And how much was this going to set us back? We scoured eBay for a second-hand snowsuit and, at a total of $26 versus $17 to hire one, it only needs two wears before it’s paid for itself. Aside from that, we put her in winter clothing she already had: trackies and a top plus mittens, scarf, beanie and gumboots. (Other costs were the toboggan - purple, very important - which was $10 to hire, and entry to the mountain was $49 for a carload - all in all, a well-priced day trip.)
We chose our day carefully, cancelling our planned outing the previous weekend when a snowstorm was forecast, knowing that being atop a mountain on such a day can be wet, freezing and miserable. We held off for a clear day - and were rewarded for our patience with blue sky and sunshine. Perfection.
The rest of the preparation was packing things like food (of the energy-boosting variety) and drinks to avoid inflated mountaintop prices, as well as a dry change of clothes for the drive home. Not to mention a quick dash back inside to grab a carrot nose for the inevitable snowman making session. Finally, we were ready to hit the white stuff.
On the day it was all about knowing our limits. The day was filled with exploration, play, snowball fights, creating a snowman and helping our girl be comfortable with the snow, as well as leaving before tiredness of the meltdown variety hit. Perfect for a young first-timer.
Quite simply, it was winter fun at its best.
And it didn’t take long before our little daredevil was insisting we all wait at the bottom of the hill for her, rather than sharing a toboggan.
“Wooooooo!” she shouted as she was given a little push and slid down the hill, weaving her way around before a small crash had her tumbling into the snow.
“I cried when I crashed,” she told her dad as he reached her. “But I had fun!”
“Are you okay?” he asked.
She nodded. “Can I do it again?”
A trip to the snow always takes great effort, but the planning was worth it just to see my little girl gain the confidence to whiz down the toboggan runs all by herself. Even in the freezing cold, my heart may have melted a little.