by Amy Bocchetta

Got cabin fever? Don your cold-weather gear, grab your skis or snowboard and get outside this winter. You’ll burn calories, have some fun with friends – and there’s nothing better than cozying up to a fire and a hot cocoa after a day of winter sporting. And you don’t have to travel way out west. Here are three easy to reach slopes.

(credit: Grand Geneva Resort)

Ski and Snowboarding Lessons from $62-82 per person
Check with website for daily lift ticket prices

Just a hop, skip and jump over the border into Wisconsin lies the premier Mountaintop at Grand Geneva Resort, where you can enjoy 18 slopes perfect for snowboarding or downhill skiing. All equipment is available for rental, as are professional lessons for groups or individuals. A proper bunny hill will help build your confidence. Ten kilometers of scenic winding trails are perfect for cross country skiing or snowshoeing. The resort itself, a former Playboy Club, is ideal for après-ski, with its in-house WELL spa and a selection of fine dining restaurants, there is a wealth of things to do indoors as well.


Four Lakes Snowboarding and Skiing is located smack dab in the Western ‘Burbs – making for an easy “mountain” getaway. Affordable season passes, a smaller terrain, and private and group ski or snowboarding instruction make it an ideal winter recreation spot for families or first-timers. It most certainly isn’t Aspen, but Four Lakes makes for a great date night or afternoon of family fun. Four small runs mean it will be difficult to lose anyone in your party. Warm up after your workout with hot drinks at the Lodge. Check the Four Lakes website at for regular Midnight Madness specials – just $15 for a slope ticket.


Lift Tickets: $16 – $43
Children under 6: Free

Wilmot Mountain, also just over the Illinois border in Wisconsin, boasts 25 unique runs with varied terrain for all skiers and snowboarders; from bunny hill beginners to more advanced winter sports enthusiast. The Snocross course features banked turns, rollers, and jumps for speed seekers. The Terrain Parks slopes are made for freestyle skiers and riders, with their progressive jumps, rails, and jib features. Whether you’re looking to perfect your skills or just starting out Wilmot’s Snow Sports School has got you covered with its wide array of classes in both snowboarding and skiing. This year, Wilmot will also be offering tubing: have a blast as you whiz down 16 slick lanes; hitch a ride back up a magic carpet and repeat.

Amy Bocchetta is a writer, a teacher, and a mom to two kids. She lives in the city and blogs at