Winter Fun! Places to Go Skiing and Snowboarding Near Chicago

My husband and I loved skiing together before we had children, and now that our two eldest children are showing interest, we can’t wait to get out there with them. (Fun fact: My husband and I got engaged at a ski lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado!) Traveling west is not always easy or affordable with little ones, but have no fear. There are plenty of ski spots within driving distance to Chicagoland to check out for a day — or even a long weekend. Whether you’re a beginner or a “double black diamond” skier, there’s something for everyone!

Places to Go Skiing and Snowboarding Near Chicago

Please call or check the website before planning your trip to make sure your destination is open for the season and based on the weather.

Illinois Skiing and Snowboarding

Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports
5750 Lakeside Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 964-2550
Great place for beginners! Offering private and group lessons. Seven tow ropes, rental shop, free parking and lodge with a restaurant/bar. Daily slope ticket Monday-Thursday (4-9pm): $23, Fridays (4-10pm): $20, Saturday: $28, Sunday: $25. Ski equipment rental is $20, snowboard rental is $30, and helmets are $10/day. Lessons start at $16.

Villa Olivia
1401 W Lake St
Bartlett, IL 60103
(630) 289-1000
Weeknight ski and snowboard specials, family fun nights and season passes available. Group and private lessons offered. The hill features seven runs, a chair lift, six rope tows, tubing hill, and ski cafe. Slope tickets are $40 for adults (age 12 & over), $29 for age 7-11, and $17 for ages 6 and under and Seniors (age 65+). Discounts on night tickets (W-F 5-9:30pm; Sat/Sun/Holiday 5-10pm). There are also discounts for residents. Ski equipment rental is $27 for ages 12+, $23 for children 7-11, and $20 for children 6 & under and Seniors. Snowboard equipment rental is $39.

Chestnut Mountain Resort
8700 W Chestnut Rd
Galena, IL 61036
(800) 397-1320
About a three-hour drive from Chicago, Chestnut Mountain features 19 trails for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels. There are many discounts for weekday and weekend skiing as well as lodging packages. Lift tickets for adults ages 13+ are $45 (weekday) $60 (weekends and holidays), Children under 12 are $40 (weekday) $45 (weekend and holiday), and free for kids under 6. There are discounts for late night tickets, seniors, and military members. Equipment rental is $35 for all ages. Adult group lessons start at $20. Half-day kids lessons are $65.

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Michigan Skiing and Snowboarding

Swiss Valley
13421 Mann St
Jones, MI 49061
(269) 244-8016
About a two hour car ride from Chicago, Swiss Valley features 11 runs with lights for night skiing, 3 chair lifts, 4 rope tows, terrain park and a chalet/lodge. Season passes and a Valley Kids ski program are available, too. Weekday tickets are $34 for ages 13 and up and $28 for ages 6–12; weekday rentals start at $20, and $10 for helmets. Check the website as there are multiple pricing options that vary by day.

Timber Ridge
07500 23 1/2 Street
Gobles, MI 49055
(269) 694-9449
Roughly a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago. Check out their tubing hill, as well as beginner to expert runs, and two terrain parks. Children 7 and younger ski free. Lift tickets – $36 (weekdays), $46 (Saturdays/holidays) and $44 (Sundays). Rentals start at $13 for juniors, $18 for adults, and these vary greatly by time of day, and day of the week. Lessons for kids and adults are also available. Tubing rates and guidelines are on the website, along with additional information for this hill.

Boyne Mountain Resort
1 Boyne Mountain Road
Boyne Falls, MI 49713
(855) 688-7024
Boyne Mountain is definitely a destination resort as it is approximately 5 hours from Chicagoland, but still, closer than traveling to Colorado or Utah! Boyne has everything from beginner to expert runs spanning 415 skiable acres including 60 trails, with the activities of cross country skiing, snow shoeing, fat tire snow biking, tubing, horseback riding, ice skating, snow groomer rides, ziplining and more! The resort also features Avalanche Bay, an indoor water park open year-round, and a spa. Information on lift tickets, rentals, and lessons can be found on the website.

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Wisconsin Skiing and Snowboarding

Wilmot Mountain
11931 Fox River Road
Wilmot, WI 53192
(262) 862-2301
About an hour north of Chicago, Wilmot Mountain features 23 runs and seven chair lifts, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels. Wilmot is operated by the same company that owns Vail, Park City, Breckenridge, and more. Check the website for information on nearby lodging, kids ski and snowboard school, as well as a tubing hill featuring 22 tubing lanes and two conveyor lifts. Lift tickets for adults are $60 (Monday-Thursday) and $70 (Friday-Sunday). Lift tickets for children ages 7-11 are $55 (Monday-Thursday) and $65 (Friday-Sunday). Special pricing after 3:00pm. Kids under 6 are free. Ski and snowboard equipment rental is $34.

The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
(262) 245-7516
Located in Lake Geneva, this resort has 20 runs, 6-acre terrain park, and three chair lifts. For a fun day trip, take advantage of their family ski packages that include a group lesson. New to the resort is the Burton Riglet Park, built with young ones in mind featuring several stations guided by certified instructors. Lift tickets are $28 for adults/ $23 for children ages 7-11 (Monday- Thursday); $55 for Adults/$39 for children (Friday-Sunday); and, $60 for Adults/$42 for children (holidays). Children 6 and under are free with paid adult. Equipment rental is $34 for adults and $25 for kids.

Alpine Valley
W2501 County Rd D
Elkhorn, WI 53121
(262) 642-7374
Features three high-speed quad chair lifts and three conveyor lifts… which translates to getting up the hill just as fast as you can get down! Caters to skiers of all ability levels with expanded ultimate beginners and intermediate areas. Lift tickets are $53 half day/ $68 full day open to close (weekends and holidays); $43 half day/$58 full day (weekdays); kids 5 and under are half-price. Adult equipment rental is $30 and kids’ equipment rental is $15.

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Cascade Mountain
W10441 Cascade Mountain Rd
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-5588
Features 36 different runs with wide appeal to snowboarders because of its four terrain parks. Plenty of nearby lodging options available with its proximity to the Wisconsin Dells. Tubing hill, too! Adult lift tickets are $60 regular, $66 peak/holiday; ages 13-17 are $50 regular, $56 peak/holiday; children under 12 are free with paid adult or junior. Specials exist for night tickets, and multiple day passes. Equipment rental is $29-$69 depending on type of package and time of day.

Devil’s Head
S6330 Bluff Rd
Merrimac, WI 53561
(608) 493-2204
Located three hours from Chicago, Devil’s Head features 30 runs, seven lifts, lodging, dining and ski school/lessons. Lift tickets for adults are $56/weekdays, $66/weekends. Junior/senior tickets are $46/weekdays, $56/weekends. Kids 5 and under are free. Discounts for evening tickets. Rental equipment is $34 for adults, $25 for children.

Granite Peak
3605 N Mountain Rd
Wausau, WI 54402
(715) 845-2846
Features 75 runs and three high speed lifts, family festival packages, season passes, lessons and night/midweek specials. Adult and child tickets are $89 weekday/$119 weekend. Children under age 5 are free. Specials in place for 4-hour and 7-hour tickets, which discounts for children for these flex-hour passes.

Cascade Mountain | photo courtesy of Suzy Hoff | follow her family’s adventures at hoffpack.com

If you hit the slopes, tag us on Instagram (@kidlist) so we can see your family adventures! And keep following Kidlist all winter long for more outdoor fun to see you through the chilly months.

About the Author

Kristen Sheehan
Kristen is a Burbank native who settled with her family in New Lenox in 2016. She loves her new neighborhood and could not be happier with her new home. Kristen and her husband have three amazing children – two daughters, ages six years and 18 months, and a four year-old son. She also has a furry shih-tzu baby, who is 11 years old. The kids are active and energetic, but Kristen enjoys providing a mix of structured play/activities and downtime at home. She is passionate about keeping her family healthy and happy. During the winter, Kristen likes to go sledding and skating – as well as experiencing indoor play spaces. During the summer, she loves getting outside with her family – playgrounds, festivals, fairs, picnicking, bike riding, and trips to the zoo. Her kids love helping in the kitchen, and Kristen enjoys cooking and baking with them!

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