on December 22, 2009
Scotland is well known as a winter sports destination but the Central Belt of Scotland receives hardly any of the white stuff. Spending days sledging was one of my favourite activities as a child but since my kids have only experienced one winter with a lot of snow they have not had that same experience so as a Christmas treat I decided to book a family sledging experience at the Sno!zone within Xscape in Glasgow. Of course I booked weeks in advance and we have had one of the coldest winters in decades so they have had lots of chance to play in the snow this year but they still enjoyed their day out.Sno!Zone is a fantastic indoor ski slope in the Xscape leisure complex near Braehead in Glasgow, the main slope is 200m long and has 17000 tonnes of real snow on the slopes. The Xscape complex is brilliant, it is a huge building with the snow slopes, cinema, bowling, crazy golf, amusement arcades, shops and dozens of places to eat and drink all under one roof. The building itself is beautiful with sparkly red floors and everything looks lovely and clean and new. We were told to arrive in plenty of time for our family sledging session which cost £55 for a family of four. When we arrived it was time to book ourselves in and make sure everyone was suitably dressed in sturdy shoes, warm clothes and gloves and a safety helmet. There is a changing village within Sno!zone and lockers to store your clothes and bags. We waited by the entrance to the snow slope until we were called in and then it was time to hit the slopes.The snow slopes are fantastic with lots of crisp white snow. The temperature is between -3 to -5 degrees centigrade but because there was no wind chill and the atmosphere was nice and dry it did not feel nearly as cold as this. The sledging slope faced the main ski slope with safety barriers separating the two and a small area of the ski slope was also cordoned off as an ice slide area. The sledging was a lot of fun, Santa and his elves joined the kids on the slope as they climbed up the snowy hill and then went flying down on a small sleigh racing against each other. The hill is extremely steep and trudging uphill through the snow is great exercise for your legs and mine felt very sore at the end of the 45 minute session.At the end of the sledging session we were presented with vouchers to take to the Sno! Bar to exchange for a platter of food and soft drinks which was part of the family fun experience. The Sno! Bar is lovely with lots of sofas to lounge on and enjoy your food and drink while you sit in the warmth and watch the skiers and snowboarders through huge glass windows. There is also a wooden balcony above the slopes which lets you get closer to the action and this is the same temperature of the slopes.Our food came on a huge silver platter and we had burgers, onion rings, pizzas, chips, garlic ciabatta and chicken gougons. It wasn’t fine dining but the kids loved it and the adults were happy enough with the food too. There are of course other options on the menu, the prices here are extremely reasonable with the most expensive main course being £5.95 for a chicken dish and they have different meals for any time of the day from breakfast to late night snacks. The bar also had an impressive range of wines, spirits and liqueurs and hot and cold soft drinks. Children are welcome in the bar during the day but in the evening it is adults only.We enjoyed out day out at Xscape and will certainly visit again. The family sledging and ice slide packages are suitable for kids of all ages as well as adults and it was lovely to see the kids with ruddy cheeks from the cold laughing and enjoying themselves. I really enjoyed watching the skiing and with lessons starting at a reasonable £20 an hour including ski hire it is something I may well treat myself to in the future. Xscape is a fantastic destination where you are guaranteed lovely crisp white snow no matter what the weather is like outside.
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