All You Need Is Snow


And now that it’s arrived, here’s how to take advantage of the state’s top winter attractions.

Chestnut Mountain Resort, Galena

With 19 runs, 475-foot vertical drop, and several black diamond runs, this ski resort is an adrenaline-junkie’s dream. Snowboarders get an extra treat at the Farside terrain park, home to 25 rails and epic jumps perfect for practicing your X-Games debut. Novices can perfect their form on the tamer Old Main run.


Villa Olivia, Bartlett

Sunset usually signals the end of your ski day, but you can extend your mountain time until 10 p.m. thanks to an array of lights lining Villa Olivia’s seven runs. Be sure to reserve time on the popular tubing hill ahead of time—its schedule fills up fast.


Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park, Andalusia

Stop by the Edge tune shop to wax and readjust your skis or board before hitting the park’s 28 acres of downhill terrain, which includes a multirun terrain park with 40 features, such as boxes, rails and jumps. Need a break from shredding? Check out the tubing hill and adjacent warming hut.


The Forge: Lemont Quarries, Lemont

Twinkling cafe lights add a touch of whimsy to the Forge’s ice-skating rink, available for 40-minute open-skate sessions for just $10 (rentals included). The exercise is sure to leave you famished, so reserve a climate-controlled Forgefire globe, a cozy spot to dine on bratwurst, short rib, or other offerings on the rotating menu.


Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, Makanda

Gather a group of no fewer than six (from the same household, of course) to clamber over one of two courses in the 83-acre woods. Those with extra energy will love the three-hour Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, boasting eight ziplines, three suspension bridges, and three short hikes. For a shorter escapade, try Chipmunk Canyon Run’s five ziplines, two aerial bridges, and two hikes.


Snow Park at Alpine Hills, Rockford

Whether you seek a nostalgic hour of ice skating, an exhilarating round of snow tubing, or some high-octane time at a snowboard terrain park, five-acre Alpine Hills has you covered. Plus, on-site snow-making equipment ensures you don’t have to wait for the next blizzard for perfectly dusted slopes.


By Angela Ufheil

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