West Mountain (25 Minutes Away)
If you have teenagers and younger children, West Mountain will be your best bet for a wide range of ages and athletic abilities. The popular ski slope also offers six enormous tubing lanes; two 1,000-foot-long tracks that drop 100 feet vertically; and four, 700-foot-long tracks that drop 65 feet. And don’t worry about that long trek back; the West Mountain staff will tow you up the mountain again, assuming you’re willing to wait in line for the service. An added bonus: Because West Mountain makes its own snow, those tubing lanes are open whether Saratoga’s streets are covered in fresh powder or a layer of thick, icy grime. For those tubers who catch some air and then a chill, West Mountain’s cozy lodge offers hot beverages, food and serene views of the foothills of the Adirondacks.
Tubby Tubes (35 Minutes Away)
Willard Mountain (35 Minutes Away)
New York’s self-proclaimed “Coolest Little Ski Area,” Willard Mountain in Greenwich takes pride in its status as a small and personable business “where everyone still knows your name.” Like West Mountain, Willard is the perfect place for families trying to please both Alpine skiers and waddling toddlers. Take a run at its three 800-foot downhill tubing lanes, and afterwards, stop into the well-named “Thirst Aid Room,” where there’s a decent-sized kids menu, as well as a detailed one for adults (along with a smattering of adult beverages).
While the above three require packing the family into the car for a day trip (and a fair amount of time and money), these last three options are the good, old-fashioned “free” kind. And they’re all a hop, skip and jump from downtown Saratoga.
McGregor Links Country Club (13 Minutes Away)
Built in 1921, McGregor is a semi-private course favorite among golfers of all skill levels during the snow-free seasons. But when winter sets in, you can swap tees for tubes. Word on the street is the hill by the 17th hole is a real doozy.
Woods Road Elementary (18 Minutes Away)
A steep hill that rises behind this Ballston Spa elementary school has been a much-loved tubing spot for decades. But be forewarned; there will be no one there to tow you back up the slope. You have to hoof it on your own.
Dead Man’s Hill (13 Minutes Away)
Only the “coolest” parents will bring their tiny tubers to the treacherous slopes of Dead Man’s Hill, a.k.a. “The Big Dipper” off Rowland Street in Ballston Spa. But there’s some hope for the clammy handed: If you and your kids catch a case of vertigo up top, know that there’s a tamer natural bowl nearby, formed between the hills of Rowland St. and the Woods Hollow Nature Preserve at Northline Road.