There’s not much snow on the ground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace winter with skiing and snow tubing. Here are some great places not too far from Chicago to where, depending on your skill and comfort level, you can glide gently or zoom down some hills. All of these locations can help out Mother Nature by making their own snow! Weather can affect the slopes though, so be sure you call or check websites for conditions.
Just about a half-hour drive outside the city, Four Lakes is probably the closest option for family snow sports. It’s also a great place to learn to ski, with four runs – two beginner, one intermediate, and one advanced. Four Lakes also offers a terrain park with several different features allowing skiers and snowboarders of all experience levels to try out some tricks. Warm up and re-energize at the lodge, which has a restaurant, bar, and cafeteria. A daily slope ticket is $28 and equipment rental is available. Little Bumpers, group lessons for kids, start at just $16.
Villa Olivia has it all – skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Enjoy skiing and snowboarding Wednesday through Sunday and tubing Thursday through Sunday. The mountain at Villa Olivia is 180 vertical feet and here are seven runs, including one black diamond, for skiing and snowboarding, with a quad chair lift and six rope tows. Lessons are available for kids as young as six. Weekend slope prices start are $17 for children 6 and under, $29 for juniors (7-11), and $40 for adults (12 & older). Equipment rental is also available. For tubing, you’ll pay $17-$20 for two hours, which includes the use of a tube. Bartlett residents receive discounts. Need a break? You can warm up and grab some food at the Ski Cafe. Call 630-540-4199 for current snow conditions and hours of operation.
Raging Buffalo is located in the Northwest suburb of Algonquin. They’re dedicated to snowboarding, but skiing is available too. Raging Buffalo offers classes for kids as young as two years old starting at just $25, and they have the Burton Riglet Park, which gives kids 11 and younger a chance to try out snowboards indoors. They also have a Riglet Park for children four and younger to learn to snowboard. Helmets are required for everyone, and are available for rental, as is snowboarding equipment. Admission is $32 on weekdays, and $45 on weekends.
Grand Geneva offers a ski experience perfect for the day tripper or the resort guest, with 18 runs on over 30 acres. Skiing and snowboarding are available, rentals are available, and they have a Mountain Top Lodge. Snow shoeing and cross-country skiing are available at The Mountain Top as well. The Discover Skiing and Snowboarding Day Package with skiing, a one-hour group lesson, and ski rental for as little as $70. Snow Cubs and Mountain Mites classes help kids 3-14 learn the basics of skiing or snowboarding. Regular day passes start at $23 for children and $28 for adults.
Just over the border in Wisconsin, you’ll find Wilmot Mountain. It’s a longer drive than some of the other choices, but it’ll be worth it. Wilmot Mountain is 230 feet high, and offers 23 different runs and a terrain park, and they have a separate tubing area that is open seven days a week. Wilmot has lessons for all ages and skill levels, including kids as young as three, and a lodge with a restaurant and equipment rental. Lift tickets are $39 to $64, but kids four and younger are free. Tubing starts at $30 for a 2-hour session on the weekend, or $25 for unlimited tubing Monday through Thursday.
A version of this post originally appeared on MommyNearest.com.