12 Idyllic Places to Go Skiing and Snowboarding Near Chicago

WinterOutdoor Places to Go

When the temperatures dip below freezing and you’re looking for one of the best winter activities, why not try skiing or snowboarding? With a dozen destinations within a few hours of Chicago, you can hit the slopes and make core memories with your little ones. Most locations offer lessons for kids (and adults!).

We included features and pricing for each skiing option so you can narrow down your choices and more easily plan a family trip.

Please call or check the website before planning your trip to make sure your destination is open. Pricing may not have been updated for the 2023-24 season.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Illinois

Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports

5750 Lakeside Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 964-2550

This great place for beginners offers private and group lessons. It features seven tow ropes, a rental shop, free parking, and a lodge with a restaurant/bar.

Pricing: Daily slope tickets vary by day: Mondays-Thursdays are $26; Fridays are $27; Saturdays are $34 (twilight hours are $26); Sundays are $30. Ski equipment rental is $23, snowboard rental is $33, and helmets are $10/day. Semi-private lessons are $35, group private lessons are $40, and private lessons are $60. Group discounts are also available.

Villa Olivia

1401 W Lake Street
Bartlett, IL 60103
(630) 289-1000
Snow Phone: (630) 540-4199

Weeknight ski and snowboard specials, family fun nights, and season passes are available. Group and private lessons are also offered. The hill features seven runs, a chair lift, six rope tows, a tubing hill, and a ski cafe. Full day and night slope tickets are available.

Pricing: 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), and ranges from $20-42/day, based on age and Bartlett residency. Equipment rentals are also available for additional fees. For non-residents, private/semi-private lessons are $57; group lessons are $24 (skiing) or $28 (snowboarding). The anticipated opening date for this season is December 22, 2023.

Chestnut Mountain Resort

8700 W Chestnut Mountain Road
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. The resort also features a terrain park for snowboarders with over 25 rails, a 20,000 square-foot ski center, and a bar/restaurant.

Pricing: A lift ticket for ages 7 and up is $50 from Monday-Thursday (non-holidays) and $80 on weekends and holidays. Equipment rental is an additional $50; helmet rentals are $10. Children 6 and under receive a free lift ticket. Group lessons are $35; participants must be 7 or older.

Michigan Skiing and Snowboarding

Swiss Valley

13421 Mann Street
Jones, MI 49061
(269) 244-5635
Snow Phone: (269) 244-8016

About a two hour car ride from Chicago, Swiss Valley features 12 runs with lights for night skiing, 7 chair lifts, 4 rope tows, a terrain park, ski/board shop, and a chalet/lodge. Swiss Valley continues to make improvements to its facilities.

Pricing: Weekday lift tickets are $45 for ages 13+ and $40 for ages 6–12; weekend and holiday rates are higher. Kids ages 5 and under can get a lift ticket for $5 with the purchase of an adult’s ticket. Ski or snowboard rentals are $25, helmets are $15, and other equipment varies. Season passes and a Valley Kids (ages 4-12) ski program are available, too. Group lessons are $35/person; private lessons are $70/person. Check the website for full information on the rates, including discounted prices for night skiing and beginner area passes.

Timber Ridge

07500 23 1/2 Street
Gobles, MI 49055
(269) 694-9449

Roughly a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago, Timber Ridge features beginner to expert runs, two terrain parks, and a tubing (ages 5+) hill. There are several lesson options for kids as young as 5.

Pricing: Lift tickets for 7–12 year olds are $45/weekdays and $52/weekends. Adult lift tickets are $50/weekdays and $62/weekends/holidays. Children 6 and younger ski free with a paying adult ticket. There are discounted rates for twilight hours, seniors, and on college nights. Equipment rentals ($40 for ski/board; $15/helmet) are available. Private lessons are $75/hour; group lessons are $40. Tubing rates and guidelines are on their website.

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 it is still closer than traveling to Colorado or Utah! Boyne has everything from beginner to expert runs on its 65 trails that span 415 skiable acres. Activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire snow biking, tubing, horseback riding, ice skating, Sno-Go bike rides, MoonBike tours, ziplining and more. The resort also features a spa and Avalanche Bay, an indoor water park that is open year-round.

Pricing: Information on lift tickets (prices vary by day and demand), rentals, and lessons (ages 4+) can be found on their website.

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 25 runs, 10 chair lifts, and 3 terrain parks. It caters to skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels. Wilmot features private and group lessons, nearby lodging, a kids ski and snowboard school (for kids as young as 3), and a tubing hill that features 22 tubing lanes and two conveyor lifts.

Pricing: There are many different pricing options depending on which kind of pass you purchase. Visit the website for more details. For the biggest savings, buy your ticket online.

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, a 6-acre terrain park, three chair lifts, two carpet lifts, and a lodge. The Mountain Top also offers ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Private and group lessons (for ages 3+), ranging in time from 60-90 minutes, are available.

Pricing: Lift tickets must be purchased in advance online: they are $65 for adults and $25 for children ages 7–11 (Monday-Thursday), $70 for adults and $45 for children (Friday-Sunday and holidays); children 6 and under are $10. There are discounted rates after 3:00pm on Sundays. Equipment rental is $45 for adults and $30 for kids. Helmet rentals are $10. For other deals, check out their Specials page.

Alpine Valley

W2501 County Road
Elkhorn, WI 53121
(262) 642-7374

Alpine Valley features 20 runs, 3 terrain parks, 3 high-speed quad chair lifts, 4 triple chair lifts, 2 rope tows, and 5 magic carpets… which translates to getting up the hill just as fast as you can get down! It caters to skiers of all ability levels with expanded ultimate beginners and intermediate areas.

Pricing: Lift ticket prices vary by time of day, day of the week, and areas of access. They are sold at the resort only on a first come, first serve basis. Check their website for all the pricing details. Full-day equipment can be rented for $29 for children (ages 5 and under) and $57 for guests 6 and up. All helmet rentals are $15. Two-hour kids lessons (ages 5+) are $100; one-hour adult group lessons are $50; two-hour adult private lessons are $100.

Cascade Mountain

W10441 Cascade Mountain Road
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-5588

Cascade Mountain features 48 trails with wide appeal to snowboarders because of its multiple terrain parks; there is also a tubing hill. There are plenty of nearby lodging options available with its proximity to the Wisconsin Dells. Lift tickets can be purchased for all day or night only.

Pricing: 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 ranges from $39-50, based on the day. Check their website for rates, as they vary; pre-purchase is required for weekends and peak days, and recommended for other days. Private/semi-private lessons are available for a flat rate of $120-140 for up to 5 people (ages 4 and up); the Cascade Kids program (ages 5-12) is $120 for two hours.

Devil’s Head

S6330 Bluff Road
Merrimac, WI 53561
(608) 493-2204

Located three hours from Chicago, Devil’s Head features 30 runs, seven lifts, lodging, dining, and a ski school/lessons.

Pricing: Lift tickets for adults are $82/weekdays and $92/weekends. Junior/Senior tickets (ages 6-12 or 60-65) are $72/weekdays and $82/weekends. Kids 5 and under are free, and there are discounts for evening tickets; Thursday nights are $18 specials. Rental equipment is $52; helmet-only rentals are $15. Group lessons (ages 6+) are $50, private lessons are $80, and private pro lessons are $100; all lessons are 90 minutes long.

Granite Peak

227200 Snowbird Avenue
Wausau, WI 54401
(715) 845-2846

Located about 4 hours from Chicago, Granite Peak features 68 trails, four progressive terrain parks, four mogul runs, and seven lifts. There are frequent events, family festivals, and live music there.

Pricing: Pricing is dependent on what part of the season you visit, as well as the day of the week; there are discounts for purchasing combo packages or multiple days. Children (under 5) and seniors (over 80) are free. See their rates here. Granite Peak is implementing daily capacity limits for the 2023-24 season, so online reservations ahead of time are strongly recommended. Ski/snowboard rental packages begin at $40; evening packages are discounted. The facility offers a variety of lesson options, including kids adventure programs (kids ages 5-12), and private/semi-private lessons.

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

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