The New England Winters can be long and brutal but recently I've tried to embrace the cold and snow and make the best of it. I took up skiing last winter and I LOVE it, but let's face it, it's not an inexpensive sport. Between equipment and lift tickets it can get pricey quickly and if you're a family of four or even two for that matter it might not feasible for every budget.

Snow tubing is a great and usually less expensive alternative to get kids and adults out of the house. Tickets for tubing are usually much cheaper than a lift ticket, the only "equipment" you need are snow clothes, and the best part, zero skill involved.

While you can definitely find a hill in your neighborhood to hit up it's worth taking a trip to a pro tubing spot your snow day can really be taken to the next level.

Butternut - Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Ski Butternut Tubing Center in Great Barrington offers a great tubing experience. The mountain's 14 groomed lanes are fun for all ages. Tubing is available Friday through Sunday and tickets range from $28 to $33 and must be purchased in advance. Tubing tickets are sold online for specific 2-hour time slots.

Berkshire East - Charlemont, Massachusetts

Tubing at Berkshire East is a little bit smaller as it only has three groomed lanes, but they are each 500 feet long AND the best part, there is a moving magic carpet that takes snow enthusiasts right back to the top. Tubing is $23 a person and runs from 10 am to 4 pm on weekends and holidays.

Bousquet Mountain - Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The newly renovated Bousquet Ski area in the heart of The Berkshires boasts eight lanes of tubing fun that, unlike many other places, is available seven days a week. Full snowmaking makes sure the lanes are covered all winter long and yes, there is a magic carpet to bring riders back to the top. Tubing is available from 3 pm to 7 pm during the week and from 11 am to 7 pm on the weekends.

Nashoba Valley Ski Area - Littleton, Massachusetts

The Tubing Park at Nashoba Valley in Littleton operates seven days a week with day and night options. It is home to a whopping 18 tubing lanes and is the closest snow tubing to Boston. At Nashoba, $39 dollars will buy you a two-hour block of winter fun.

Ski Ward Ski Area - Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Ski Ward's snow tube park is aptly named, TubaSlide. It's home to 12 lanes of fun and two lifts to help get you to the top. The mountain offers tubing daily and offers one or two-hour time slots. One hour will run you $17. Two-hour time slots will run you $22 to $33 depending on the day. Ski ward also offers discounts for active-duty military personnel and seniors.

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