Last year, in the first hour of a southbound I-5 road trip, I spotted a huge snow tubing facility off the side of the freeway. The venue is Dell'Osso Family Farms and they host a seasonal man-made sledding hill, an ice rink, a zip line, and in the evening, a holiday light experience.
But wait, there's more: a petting zoo, pony rides, and a handful of other amusements make this a day trip worth the drive. Each of the activities is priced separately, ranging from $2 per child to access the petting zoo to $22 per person for snow tubing.
Dell'Osso Family Farms, a 60-acre seasonal entertainment destination located in Lathrop, CA between Tracy and Manteca where 580 meets I-5, presents a Mud Run course in the spring, a Pumpkin Patch in the fall and a Bacon Fest in the summer. Holidays on the Farm programming begins December 14, 2019 and runs through January 4.
Mark your calendar. Tubing begins December 14 and runs (except Christmas Day) until January 4.
Tickets are $22 per person, no matter the age, and must be purchased in advance. (One day prior should be sufficient.) Guests book a specific time for a 90-minute tubing session.
Tubes are provided and riders must be 42 inches tall and able to reach both handles at the same time in order to ride a single tube alone. Double tubes are available for parents and children over 36 inches.
Riders take an escalator to the top of the tubing ramp. Dress in layers for warmth, and no open-toed shoes or heels are allowed.
Holiday lights come on at 5:30 pm.
A massive light display– the largest outdoor light show in Northern California, claims the website — includes a twinkling tunnel which you can go through on a hayride or a choo-choo train which goes around the property and costs $4 per person both during the day and during the light show.
The zip line operates when weather permits.
Riders must be between 60 and 250 lbs and the price is $15 for two turns or $10 for one.
The Ice Rink offers rentals and invites you to bring your own skates.
The hours for the skating rink are not easily summarized. Please see the website for details.
The bottom line:
This looks like a really fun destination from which to pick and choose unique activities, but the pricing model is intimidating. There are some free activities for little kids, and a jumping pillow and tire pyramid to climb on for big kids. However, for a family of four to tube, ride the train, enjoy the petting zoo, and drive through the lights show, the cost will be over $100.
This outing is not recommended for babies. The parking lot and surrounding areas are gravel and long grass, and strollers will not work well. Although if you are willing to schlep your stroller, parents are invited to bring it onto the ice rink and push baby while they skate, if it's during the first two hours of the day.
If you cannot manage stairs, please call ahead to make sure the facility accommodates your needs.
Dell'Osso Family Farms is located in Lathrop, CA. Take I-580 east to I-205 toward Tracy. After the I-5 merge to Sacramento, take the first exit at Mossdale Road. It is on the left side of the freeway.
All photos courtesy of Dell'Osso Farms Facebook page or HolidaysOnTheFarm.com.