Ski bums and snow bunnies in Southern California are a patient bunch. For 10 months out of every year, they wait out the temperate weather. Then, when winter comes around, they run for the hills of Mammoth, Northstar, Park City, and beyond to make snow angels and get their shred on.
This year, however, Los Angeles’ snowhounds can frolic in a winter wonderland a little closer to home. That’s right—this year Angelinos get a snow park. In town. For far less than a lift ticket.
The park, Snow Day LA, opens later this month on nine acres near The Old Lodge at Monticillo de Leo Politi Park (also known as Elysian Park) behind Dodger Stadium. Open on select dates through the end of the year, the park will feature seven snow tubing lanes (one of which is just for kids), a singing snowman light show, and ample opportunities for selfies. And booze.
The catch? The snow isn’t actually snow at all.
According to an article in Los Angeles magazine, the majority of the “snow” is the same material that popular retail and entertainment complex, The Grove, sprinkles down on guests during the holidays—the stuff that looks, feels, and plays like snow, but that disappears as soon as it hits the concrete. The inner-tube areas will feature a different type of “snow,” a synthetic material called PowderPak that is essentially carpet with shaved ice at the top and bottom of each run.
But, really, who cares if it’s snow or not? Snow Day LA is all about the experience. According to the website, trees will be decorated with icicles, “snow,” and thousands of shimmering lights. Servers will pour hot cider and cocoa in warm and cozy lounge spaces. There will also be food trucks selling grub, 30-foot-tall singing snowmen, and an inflatable snow globe photo booth.
Those people who wish to pay extra for a VIP experience can sip beer and wine in a special lounge in a keepsake penguin-themed Snuggie. (Seriously, we couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried.)
Ticket prices start at $12 for park entry only, $32 for entry and up to eight snow-tube rides, and $60 for the full VIP treatment (which includes entry, snow tubing, and aforementioned Snuggie). Snow Day LA is offering a 25 percent discount on tickets purchased at least seven days in advance. As of this week, Uber is even offering 50 percent off rides to or from Snow Day LA with the purchase of a ticket to the park.
Perhaps the only downside of Snow Day LA is that the facility isn’t big enough to allow visitors to whip out their snowboards and skis and hit the slopes like the next Jonny Moseley. For those types of experiences, Southern Californians will still need to head for the mountains.
Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com.