If you’ve never seen a cardboard sled race, you definitiely should. The costumes and sled creativity are a blend of cute, hilarious, and impressive.
Not sure where to start? There are two in the area and five beyond the Upper Valley to choose from. Each has its own rules on how you can build your sled, and how many people, so pick the one that fits your interest. Most are in the afternoon and some are in the evening. They’re not all on the same weekend either, so try more than one! They are listed below in chronological order.
Just want to watch? Bring some snacks, hot cocoa, blankets, and some lawn chairs and enjoy.
Sled Races for 2020
Storrs Hill. Lebanon, NH.
Storrs Hill has an annual cardboard sled race at their Family Fun Night. Last year it was $30 per family and your entry fee gets lift passes too. Saturday, February 15, 2020. 2019 time was 5:30-9 pm, 2020 TBD. Website.
Island Pond, VT.
This community has the winter carnival down and sounds like a fun weekend adventure. They know how to have fun! They do an annual sled race each year at their winter festival. There’s a snowmobile parade of lights, ice sculpture contest, chili cookoff snow games, snow forts, obstacle course, dodgeball tournament and more. To read what makes this event so special for the Island Pond community click here. February 7-9, 2020. 5:30-8 pm.
Arrowhead. Claremont, NH.
Claremont’s cardboard sled race at Arrowhead really opens the door for creativity. Last year one four-man sled made it down Arrowhead in 18 seconds, one of the fastest they’re seen. To read what it’s like see this article by the Valley News. Saturday, February 15, 2020, judging 12-1:30 pm, race at 2 pm. You can see the rules here.
Quechee Club Cardboard Box Derby. Quechee, VT.
The Quechee Club Cardboard Box Derby will be in its 23rd year. There are lots of categories to win like Spirit of Quechee and Biggest Dud. I was impressed at the elaborate designs on the cardboard sleds on their brochure from a previous year. Contact the Quechee Club Recreation department to register. Saturday February 22, 2020 at 1 pm.
Mt. Snow’s Bud Light Duct Tape Derby.
Traveling a little farther out is Mt. Snow’s Bud Light’s Duct Tape Derby (link has a video too). This event has awards for most creative, judge’s choice, best kid’s sled, and best slide. Sunday, March 22, 2020.
King Pine Resort. Madison, NH.
King Pine Resort hosts an annual race that has its own flavor. Race down the hill to your own theme music. Many cardboard races cost around $30 to enter, but this one is great if you’re on a budget: $5 per cardboard box. The rules on how to build your sled are also more flexible: duct tape, stitch, or glue. Sunday, March 22, 2020. 11 am – 4 pm.
Intergalactic Cardboard Sled Race. Mt. Sunapee. Newbury, NH.
The ultimate in cardboard sled racing entertainment, Mount Sunapee has been doing the cardboard sled race for almost 30 years! Grab some friends and use your imagination to create a memory together. This annual cardboard race has some really amazing looking cardboard sleds. To see the race in action and the beautiful creations, see this great video with interviews of the contestants. I especially like the costumes people wear with their sled to create a theme like the Dukes of Hazzard. This video is more recent and also shows the sleds in action. You can see just how long the run is on this video. Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Laconia has a cardboard sled race usually the first week in February. This year’s race already happened.
I’m in! What Next?
Want to try it yourself? You could ride down a hill in a taco sled, dress like a hot dog and ride down in a hot dog bun sled, or a giant boat! These are ideas people have tried in the past. Find an idea on Pinterest or just type it into Google. Let your imagination run wild! Try it solo, make it a family event, or grab some friends. Read Tips for Creating a Stellar Cardboard Sled from someone who’s been racing at Arrowhead’s cardboard race for years and get an edge on your cardboard sled making game.
Featured Image Photo credit: Amy Drapeau Olson