gem mining

By Alicia Dziak

If panning for treasures sounds like fun, check out the all-new Mister Happy Gem Mining Company at Holiday Valley’s Sky High. Located at the base of the mountain near the Tannenbaum lift, this activity is geared toward kiddos as young as two, and the experience mimics old fashioned panning for gold. Each miner purchases a bag of sand that contains either gems or fossils.  The contents of the bag are dumped into a mining pan.  The “miners” wash the sand away with water that flows through a 65 foot long sluice and the treasures are left in the pan.  An identification card is included for children to learn more about their gems or fossils.

A Grand Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m. to officially welcome this attraction to Sky High. Special prizes will be hidden in the mining bags on that day including a season pass to Holiday Valley’s summer pool complex.

The cost is $6 for a three pound bag of gems, $7 for a three pound bag of fossils and shark’s teeth and $10 for a five pound bag of gems.

Holiday Valley’s marketing manager Jane Eshbaugh said the gem mining “gives younger kids a fun activity, and gives parents a little break! We now have gem mining, the climbing forest and the Mountain Coaster that younger kids can all have fun doing.”

Mister Happy Gem Mine is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We’re so excited to offer the Mister Happy Gem Mining experience to kids of all ages,” Eshbaugh said. “Who wouldn’t want to find hidden treasures? And it’s a learning experience too. Each bag comes with a chart to identify the gems or fossils, great for future geologists or archaelogists!”

Holiday Valley Ski School director Allie Doro added, “The Mining Company adds to the family friendly environment growing every year up at Sky High Adventure area. More activities and adventures to create lifetime memories at Holiday Valley!”

Now that summer is officially here, Sky High’s other three attractions—the Aerial Park, the Climbing Forest and the Mountain Coster—are also open daily now through Labor Day.

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