Don't feel like driving up the mountain to hit the powder? There's a winter playground waiting for you closer to home and it's open on Christmas Day! 

In the summer you love heading to Eagle Island State Park to spend time on the beach or splashing down the waterslide, but how much time do you spend there in the winter? If you answered "none at all" this is the year to change that...especially if you love snow sports.

Gateway Parks is nestled inside Eagle Island State Parks and is a fully blow, world-class terrain park where you can ski and snowboard.  Or if you're like me and super uncoordinated, there's the less extreme snow tubing hill! The freestyle terrain park and tubing hill was the first urban snow sports facility in the entire country and when the temperatures get cold enough, they can start making snow.  Even if it's not snowing in the valley, the conditions are always right at the park.

One of the reasons that I love tubing at Gateway Parks is because I'm a nervous driver as it is. I love tubing, but driving up the mountain scares me to death in the winter so I don't do it nearly as often as I'd like to.  Gateway Parks is a straight shot down State Street from Downtown, so I'm never nervous about driving to the park.

Another reason? You can't beat the price.  Tickets for a two hour session (and you have to make a reservation for your ticket ahead of time, unless schools have a snow day) are just $15.  That gets you access to the skiing and snowboarding are AND includes a tube if you want to hit the tubing hill after your runs.

Want to bring the entire family to check it out while out of town relatives are visiting for the holidays? Gateway Parks inside Eagle Island State Park will be open Christmas Eve from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Christmas Day from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. They're closed on New Year's Eve since they'll be manning the Tuber Luge and rail jam at the Idaho Potato Drop.

Just remember to bring $5 with you to park at Eagle Island State Park. (Parking is free if you have an Idaho State Parks Passport.)

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