Three ski areas offer autumn open houses this weekend

Though there’s no snow on the ground (yet), there’s still plenty of snow-related activity going on in the Twin Cities this weekend.

Have pumpkin, ready to paint!

Have pumpkin, ready to paint!

Wild Mountain will have a gear swap and open house on Saturday, October 4, and Sunday, October 5. Hours will be from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Drop off old gear, buy some new ones. The cost for selling is a minimal flat fee of $5 for all your stuff, plus 15 percent of the sale price, which will benefit the ski patrol. If you have gear to sell, drop it off on Friday (noon until 8 p.m.) or just before the swap begins on Saturday (8 a.m. until 9 a.m.).

The weekend will also be the last chance to buy a season pass at a discount. You’ll also be able to sign your children up for group ski or snowboard lessons. Head over to the Wild Mountain website for a coupon that will give you a 50 percent discount on alpine slides, go-karts, and the FreeFall XP. This will the last weekend for these features. (For more on those, see our review of summer activities at Wild.) And to add an autumnal flavor to the weekend, Wild will be hosting Sunrise River Farm, which will be selling fresh apples, carmel apples, and apple cider. Yum!

Across the St. Croix River in Wisconsin, Trollhaugen will have an autumn event on the weekend as well. Buy and sell equipment on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. If you’ve got gear to sell, get it over there today or Friday between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. The cost to sell is a 15 percent commission, to benefit the ski patrol, plus $3 per item.

If you’re not shopping for equipment, you can take in the zip lines and aerial challenge park. Hours are between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. both days, but you should make reservations (715-755-2955).

On Sunday, Trollhaugen will have a number of events and features, including “Bouncy Castles. Baker Apple Orchard stand. Dan the Kettle Corn man. Games. Prizes. Movie Premieres. & Trolls!” Get there between noon and 4 p.m. for the widest selection of events.

If you’re looking for a free lift ticket, bring in some food (two cans or boxed items), a coat, or baby wipes. Help someone out and help yourself at the same time.

There will be a rail jam (entry fee: $25) from noon until 5 p.m. or so. You’ve got to register first. Not only will you be eligible for prizes, but your entry fees will be used to enhance terrain park features. That’s a win-win.

The weekend finishes up with two new movies, starting around 6 p.m., in the lodge.

Afton Alps will be having its own celebration this weekend, and then for good measure, doing it all over again next week. As with Trollhaugen, you can examine a slope from the air through a free chairlift ride, or ride a hay wagon. There will be face painting, a candy hunt, pumpkin-painting, and live music. If you come on Saturday, October 11, you’ll be able to sample a number of beers and wines.

Afton’s equipment swap starts Friday afternoon, running from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., and continues on Saturday and Sunday. If you have stuff to sell, expect to pay a $2 fee per item (maximum fee: $10), plus 20 percent of the sale price.

So there you have it. Three ski areas, three chances to find cheap equipment, and three different opportunities to enjoy fall, and anticipate winter.

The swap and other activities runs until 5 p.m. on the weekend, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

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One thought on “Three ski areas offer autumn open houses this weekend

  1. Pingback: Afton Alps fall fair offers gear, rides, more | Twin Cities Ski & Ride: Minneapolis-St. Paul

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