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Snow tubing lures visitors from Bay Area & Sacramento
Rachel Liu of Fremont is all smiles as she races back up Mt. Dell’Osso to get in more snow tubing on Saturday. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: Holidays on the Farm
• WHERE: Dell’Osso Farms, Manthey Road and Interstate 5 in Lathrop.
• WHEN: Open daily through Jan 2. They are closed Christmas Day. All attractions open daily at 10 a.m. except snow tubing that starts at 11 a.m. and Lights on the Farm at 5:15 p.m.
• MORE INFO: Go on-line at

LATHROP – Gracian Hulsey walked patiently with his wife Mary and their three grandchildren Friday morning at Dell’Osso Family Farms.

The Sacramento resident – who grew up in the area – was simply enjoying a laid back day with his family during the first day of winter activities at the Lathrop-based attraction on Manthey Road off Interstate 5 that boasts snow-tubing, ice-skating, and live reindeer for people to come and enjoy.

While his days of sliding down icy hills are behind him, Hulsey was glad that he had a local destination to visit with his grandchildren that wasn’t as dangerous as the mountain roads needed to get to other downhill sledding and tubing spots.

“It’s a lot safer coming here after I hit a patch of black ice and got into a wreck in the mountains last winter,” Hulsey said. “This is right here and it’s a nice chance to get out with your family and enjoy each other’s company. There aren’t a whole lot of places like this that are designed for families to come out and enjoy.”

By the time the morning became the afternoon, traffic on Manthey Road had begun to steadily flow into the available parking spaces – with parents and grandparents outfitting their children with winter coats and gloves as he faced the brisk air blowing across the acres of attractions.

Out-of-town visitors like Debbie Alford of Sunnyvale– who was visiting family – got a kick out of watching her grandson out on the ice rink with a smile on his face as he made his short laps.

“I think that it’s fabulous. Where else would a 4-year old get an opportunity like this?” asked Alford – watching grandson Kenny Devonshire beam from ear-to-ear. “It’s a lot easier coming down here than it is going up to the mountains since my daughter lives just up the road in Stockton. I think this is a great place to spend the day after Thanksgiving.”

The bulk of the visitors so far are from the Bay Area and Sacramento. Typically during the week when things aren’t as crowded is when Northern San Joaquin Valley residents the slope - and this year - probably the ice as well.

For those who didn’t mind the frigid morning air, the Dell’Osso’s zip-line was also open for business, giving thrill-seekers the chance to fly through the air over a large – albeit partially frozen – pond below. Several people could be seen scaling the highest reaches of the ropes course, while family members took pictures and cheered on the adventurers from down below.

As it gets closer to Christmas, families are expected to take advantage of the Santa’s Village portion of the farm, which includes pictures with Santa, Christmas trees available for purchase, wreath-making, and a train ride complete with traditional Christmas music.

“Lights on the Farm” – the drive-thru Christmas light display that features dozens of custom made light displays specifically for the Dell’Osso family – also opened up Friday.

Ninety-minute snow tubing sessions are $16.50 for on line purchases and $17.50 for walk-ups. The snow play area is free although conditions may vary. Both the snow tubing hill and play areas are both covered for protection from the elements.

The ice rink will have a set charge of $12 for skating and the use of skates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for those 8 and older and $10 for those 7 and under. The Monday through Thursday rates are $2 less for each category. Those who have their own skates are being charged $2 less that the stated rates. There is no time limit.

All attractions except the snow tubing and lights open at 10 a.m. Tubing gets underway at 11 a.m. while the Lights on the Farm starts every night at 5:15 p.m. Other attractions that are in operation include the zip line, the aerial rope course, and the 240 lighted displays and 200-footlong lighted tunnel that makes up Lights on the Farm.

You can take your car through Lights on the Farm Fridays and Saturdays for $12 or Sunday through Thursday for $10. You can also see the lights using an open air tram or hayride for $5 per person. The Dell’Osso Express train ride that takes riders along the lights is $3 per person.

There is no charge just to drop by an enjoy watching tubers or skaters. You can even warm yourself around a gigantic fire pit outside the general store near where Christmas trees are being sold.

For more information about prices for individual attractions, and hours of operation, visit