Even though the temperatures are dropping, the outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop. Bundle up and hit the slopes for hours of skiing and snowboarding family fun. My husband grew up loving winter sports, and is excited that this will be the year we finally get our two oldest on skis. I love that trying out skiing and snowboarding doesn’t have to be a week-long adventure to Colorado. The Midwest is full of family-friendly ski spots. No matter your level of expertise, there’s something for everyone at these easily-drivable destinations.
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
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 for Mondays–Thursdays is $24, Fridays are $21, Saturdays are $29, and Sundays are $26. Ski equipment rental is $20, snowboard rental is $30, and helmets are $10/day. Lessons start at $16.
1401 W Lake Street
Bartlett, IL 60103
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. Their official 2020–2021 pricing was not published as of October 7, 2020. Full day and night slope tickets available. Pricing is broken down according to child (6 and under), junior (7 to 11 year olds), adults (12 to 64 year olds) and seniors (65 and up). Equipment rentals also available.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
8700 W Chestnut Road
Galena, IL 61036
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 all ages 7 and older are $40 (weekday) $70 (weekends and holidays). Ages 6 and under receive a free lift ticket. There are discounts for late night tickets, multi-day rentals, seniors, and military members. Season passes are also available for purchase. Equipment rental is $35 for all ages during the week.
Michigan Skiing and Snowboarding
13421 Mann Street
Jones, MI 49061
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 $36 for ages 13 and up and $30 for ages 6–12; weekday rentals start at $24, and $10 for helmets. Check the website as there are multiple pricing options that vary by day.
07500 23 1/2 Street
Gobles, MI 49055
Roughly a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago. Check out their tubing hill, as well as beginner to expert runs, and two terrain parks. Lift tickets for ages 7–12 years old are $34 on weekdays, and $40 on weekends. Children 6 and younger ski free with a paying adult ticket. Adult lift tickets are $40 (weekdays), $50 (weekends/holidays). Discounts for twilight hours. Equipment rentals and 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
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, sno-go bike rides, 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.
Wisconsin Skiing and Snowboarding
11931 Fox River Road
Wilmot, WI 53192
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. Pricing for the 2020–2021 season was not available as of October 7, 2020. New this year, guests will be required to purchase tickets ahead of time either through their call center or online. Walkups will not be allowed.
The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
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. Burton Riglet Park was built with young ones in mind featuring several stations guided by certified instructors. New this year, lift tickets must be purchased in advance online. Lift tickets are $40 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). Lift tickets are discounted after 3:00pm on weekends and holidays. Children 6 and under are free with paid adult. Equipment rental is $34 for adults and $25 for kids. Helmet rentals are $10.
W2501 County Road D
Elkhorn, WI 53121
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 ticket prices vary by time of day, day of the week, and areas of access. Check their website for all the pricing details. Equipment can be rented for $18 for children ages 5 and under, $35 for guests 6 and up. All helmet rentals are $10.
W10441 Cascade Mountain Road
Portage, WI 53901
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! Lift tickets can be purchased for all day, an 8-hour day, night, 2-day or 3-day. Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult, and standard rates are slightly lowered for guests ages 13–17 years old. Equipment rental is $32-$69 depending on type of package and time of day.
S6330 Bluff Road
Merrimac, WI 53561
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. Youth tickets are $46/weekdays, $56/weekends. Senior tickets are $30/weekdays, $33/weekends. Kids 5 and under are free. Discounts for evening tickets. Thursday nights are $16 specials. Rental equipment is $34 for adults, $25 for children.
3605 N Mountain Road
Wausau, WI 54402
Features 75 runs and three high speed lifts, family festival packages, season passes, lessons and night/midweek specials. Pricing is based on Sunday through Friday, or Saturdays and Holidays. Specials in place for 4-hour and nighttime hours. Children under age 5 are free, youth, adult and senior lift tickets available. Discounts also given for early and late season tickets. Check their website for specific pricing.