While building a backyard snowman or creating a few snow angels are often a tradition for Chicago parents, there are more options out there to get kids active during the snowy months. Skiing can be a great way to partake in a fun family activity in winter, which can evolve into a lifelong passion for the sport. Unlike tobogganing, skiing is something that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and see all the ski slope options within a few hours drive from the city.
Villa Olivia Ski Slope
1401 W. Lake St.
Bartlett, IL 60103
Within 45 minutes to an hour from the city, Villa Olivia Ski Slope is part of the Bartlett Park District. As a multi-faceted facility, there are recreational activities offered year-round. The ski slope area opened on January 1, 2015 with night slope tickets offered from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and weekend tickets offered from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets range from $12 to $39, with discounted prices offered for residents of Bartlett. The facility boasts seven runs, a quad chair lift, six rope tows and equipment rentals.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
8700 W. Chestnut Mountain Rd.
Galena, IL 61036
Featuring 19 trails spanning 220 acres and an awe-inspiring vertical drop of 475 feet, there is something for the novice and the advanced skier at Chestnut Mountain Resort. Night lift tickets are offered from 4 p.m. to close at $35 for adults, $25 for children under 12 years of age and $25 for military personnel and seniors over 55. Weekday tickets range from $32 to $40, and weekend tickets range from $40 to $50. Discounted tickets are available for extended stays, as well as group rate discounts. Equipment rentals are available, as well as season pass tickets for those looking to visit throughout the winter months.
Four Lakes Ski & Snowboard Area
5750 Lakeside Dr.
Lisle, IL 60532
Located in the Lisle suburb, about a 45-minute drive from the city, Four Lakes Ski & Snowboard offers a convenient location with a number of different skiing options. Whether you’re looking for a group rate for a private ski session, classes to be taught from a skiing professional or just a daily ticket to hit the slopes at a reasonable price, Four Lakes Ski & Snowboard has everything you might be looking for. Open weekdays until 10 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., there are jumps and runs to choose from for every level of skier. Daily slope tickets are offered for $28, season passes for December through February are offered for $425 and equipment rentals start at only $10.
Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park
9500 West 126th St.
Andalusia, IL 61232
Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park offers a wide variety of different activities to choose from with numerous trails and terrains. Accommodating skiers, snowboards and even tubers, visitors can take advantage of everything the facility has to offer. Half of the slopes are geared towards intermediate skiers, but the rest cater towards beginners or advanced skiers. There is a 528-foot valley floor, 262-foot vertical drop and the summit is at 790 feet. The season is open from early December through to mid-March, and the 6,000-square-foot lodge will ensure skiers have somewhere to eat and relax between their jumps and runs.
Northerly Island Park
1400 S. Linn White Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Chicago isn’t exactly filled with acres and acres of open fields with jaw-dropping vertical drops. However, Northerly Island Park, part of the Chicago Park District, offers trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Geared towards families, there are 91 acres to circle through while viewing the Chicago skyline. The nearby field house acts as a lodge to allow for some warming up before and after your trek, and equipment can be rented for as low as $5 for two hours. There is no fee for those bringing their own gear and equipment, and there must be at least three inches of snow to ski or snowshoe. Check out the park site to check on upcoming dates available for the 2015 season.
Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.