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Not much snow? Head to where they make it

Snowstar Winter Sports Park has skiing, tubing, and snowboarding

Published: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Photo submitted by Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Tubing at Snowstar Winter Sports Park in Andalusia is just right for those who don't ski or use a snowboard.

ANDALUSIA – Snow, snow, snow.

While the white stuff has barely covered the grass at home for most of this winter, Snowstar Winter Sports Park can make up for it. Its 32 snow guns keep things white in spite of Mother Nature.

Snowboards, skis, and tubes contribute to the sports park being an easy choice for winter fun.

Covering 28 acres, skiers will find 25 percent of the terrain suitable for beginners, 50 percent for intermediates, and 25 percent for advanced.

Not everyone comes to the park as a professional; so if there's skiing on the mind, but not so much expertise in the moves, the park offers lessons in both snowboarding and skiing. Skiing lessons are $10 and snowboarding lessons are $15 for ages 7 and older. Private lessons are available for $39 an hour. Children younger than 6 will need to take private lessons. Reservations are necessary for all lessons; call 800-383-4002.

Those who have expertise and want a challenge with their fun should check out The Darkside. This is the home of Seth's deck, which has 12-foot, double-wide stairs, a 2-foot-wide fun box, and a 6-Inch-wide rail. This feature is part of an observation deck where those who would rather watch can enjoy the fun, too.

Snowstar has a welcome center with a gift shop, and a day lodge that contains dining, a bar, fireplaces, and a patio where cookouts are held when the sun is out.

Tubing is open to those 4 and older. Anyone thinking of tubing must be able to get out of the tube on their own. The good news is this isn't a sport requiring special equipment or skills. It's just a nice ride.

Once down the slope, tubers are not expected to trudge back up the hill. They can take full advantage of the "magic carpet," which is a moving walkway to the top.

Keep in mind that these activities are outdoors. An outer waterproof layer is recommended. And note that ski boots are not allowed when tubing.

When arriving at the park, head for the welcome center, which is next to the parking lot. The rental shop is in the back of the center.

Those frustrated with a lack of snow outside their door will find plenty at Snowstar to get them out of the house.

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