Day Tripper - Head For The Hills This Winter
Grab a Sled for Some Old-Fashioned Fun
Depending on whom you talk with, snowstorms are not all fun and games. However, there is one great reason to look forward to tons of the white, cold, fluffy stuff – sledding!
Indeed, kids of all ages can’t wait until beautiful hilly nearby terrain becomes the go-to gathering spot for winter-time fun, and why not? There are so many options in our region to enjoy the outdoors when snow comes a-callin’!
Remember, SAFETY FIRST!
The young ones will be raring to get out to the hills, but parents should heed some important safety advice. In recent years, several parks and other facilities have been forced to prohibit sledding because of an excessive number of reported injuries. In fact, emergency rooms report a huge rise in preventable injuries due to sledding.
Don’t be a statistic. Instead, keep these safety tips in mind:
• Protective Clothing: They won’t want to wear helmets and pads, but it’s a good idea to insist. It’s all fun and games until the sled hits another rider, a tree or fence.
• Face Front: Kids have a tendency to want to go down the hill backwards. It’s important to make sure they always sit facing front. Backwards riding invites accidents!
• One at a Time! Unless the sled is made for more than one person, insist children ride alone.
• Be Vigilant: Sledding is not an activity that should be done without adult supervision. Just as with driving a car, it’s not always your child you need to be worried about. Kids who are more aggressive and older children will likely be sharing the hill. Talk to your child about staying away from reckless sled-riders. Keep your eyes open and watch your child at all times.
Choose the Right Equipment
Believe it or not, selecting a sled is also an important safety decision. As with everything, there are countless options when it comes to what type of sled to purchase. While hand-me-downs are wonderful, be aware of your child’s size. Choose a sled that isn’t too big or small and make sure you kid can comfortably hold on. Here are some popular sled options:
Sledding is a wonderful, family-friendly activity you and yours can enjoy whenever there is snow available, so take some time this winter to visit various hills. It may be freezing, but it’s also fun and free!
Traditional Sleds: This is probably what comes to mind when you are thinking about heading out to the hill. Flexible Flyer is a popular classic sled; it has front-end steering that directs the runners.
Inflatable Sleds: Just as it sounds, these items get inflated just before use. It’s hard to steer inflatable sleds and tubes and there is no way to control speed. It’s no wonder that plenty of accidents are the result of using blow-up sleds. On the other hand, they promise a smooth ride!
Saucers: The best thing about snow saucers is that they are inexpensive and lightweight. This means even the smallest child can manage to drag it back up the hill after a successful run. However, take note, they offer little steering capability.
Toboggans: These are essentially sleds without runners. If you have more than one child, a toboggan may be a good choice as they allow more than one kid to ride. There are plenty of choices, including some more pricey ones with good steering controls.
Where To Sled In Monmouth County
Atlantic Highlands Elementary School
Beacon Hill Golf Course
Cheesequake State Park
(sledding permitted adjacent to Hook’s Creek Lake parking area)
West Long Branch
(look up park hours before going there)
Howell Public Library
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
Oak Glen Park
PNC Bank Arts Center
Telegraph Hill Park
Wolf Hill Recreation Area
Where To Sled On Staten Island
Clove Lakes Park
Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto
LaTourette Park and Golf Course
Silver Lake Park
Conference House Park