February 2017 – WINTER’S WATERSLIDE
We’ve gone sledding, tubing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. We’ve made snowmen, created igloos, and had snowball fights. We tend to make the most of our winter season, but had yet to experience old fashion tobogganing until this past winter break.
Last year, a high school friend of mine had posted a video of her and her young girls flying down an ice hill on a wooden toboggan. I immediately messaged her for more details and found out it was in Indiana, just 3-hours from my south Naperville home. I knew it was a must for a winter day off of school and loved the fact that it opened at the end of November; regardless if there was snow, due to the built-in refrigeration system!
After the easy drive, straight east on I-80, we arrived with anticipated excitement and picked up our 4-person wooden toboggan and trekked up the hill and stairs to the 30-foot launching tower. We piled on with the assistance of park workers, wrapped our legs around each other, and hung on tight as the barricade released us down the 90 foot drop at speeds that have been recorded up to 42mph. I screamed and laughed all in the same breath as I felt like a kid again!
With rentals available for cross country skiing and snow shoeing, plus a bonfire for s’mores, this is quite possibly the most perfect family activity for preschoolers and teens!
Pokagon State Park’s refrigerated Toboggan Run has about 90,000 riders every season. With the 30-foot tower and dips and valleys, the total vertical drop is 90 feet over the course of a quarter mile. Cross Country and Snow Shoeing rentals also available when weather conditions permit.
Pokagon State Park
450 Lane 100 Lake
James, Angola, IN 46703
Hours: Through February 26, 2017: Toboggan Hours are Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended Hours include Monday, February 20th 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cross Country Ski Hours are Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm
Price $: 4-person toboggan sled rental is $13/hour (driver’s license required as deposit). Park Entrance fees: $7 in-state vehicles, $9 out-of-state vehicles. Cross Country Ski Rental is $5/hour/youths 15 and under; $8/hour/adults – includes skis, boots, poles.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Naperville mom Kristen Kucharski graduated from Illinois State University in 1992 with an International Business Degree. She is married and has two energetic daughters and her house is always full of children. Kristen’s column titled, Mom's Little Black Book, is a monthly feature written for moms who are looking for ways to keep their kids busy.