Seven Oaks Recreation Area, located on 150 acres in the scenic Des Moines River Valley, currently has its season pass sale going on through Saturday, Oct. 16. Prices will go up the next day, in some cases over $100 per pass.

An adult pass is currently $239 and a student pass is $198. They will respectively go up to $314 and $248. A family of four is $571 and will go up to $737 Oct. 17. Additional family members beyond four can be added for just $93 each through the sale date.

Seven Oaks has a sister ski area program, which is a nice add-on for season pass holders.  You receive a complimentary lift ticket - up to three times during the season - at Powder Ridge and Buck Hill in Minnesota, and Deer Mountain and Great Bear in South Dakota. You get half-off lift tickets - again three visits per season - at Andes Tower Hills in Minnesota, Snowstar in Illinois, Sundown in Iowa, and Devil's Head in Wisconsin. You receive $10 off the lift ticket price; up to three visits at Minnesota's Wild Mountain. Just take your Seven Oaks season pass to the lift ticket window at any of the ski areas to receive the discount.

The area's annual ski swap will be held Sunday, Oct. 17, at the recently expanded day lodge.

Seven Oaks is a year-round operation that offers canoeing, kayaking and river tubing, mountain biking trails, paintball and camping during the warm weather months. But, come winter, the Oaks is like an oasis for snow-starved Iowans in the Des Moines area. They would have to drive well over a hundred miles to find comparable skiing and riding.

More information.