Outdoor Winter Activities in Chicagoland


You’ve got to hand it to Chicagoans – they know how to handle extremes of weather! Because when winter comes to the Windy City, visitors might be forgiven for thinking that the only way to handle the sub-zero temperatures is to stay inside and curl up beside the fire with a movie or a good book.

Hardy Chicago residents know the truth of the saying that “there’s no such thing as bad weather – only poor clothing choices.” If you’re prepared to bundle up with the right winter gear, there are plenty of outdoor pursuits in the area to keep you busy during the coldest months. Whether you’re visiting the city looking for Chicago condos for sale or just here on vacation, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can spend your winter leisure time outdoors in the Chicago land area.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Year in, year out, one feature that marks every midwest winter is an abundant snowfall. And while Chicago itself boasts a pretty flat landscape, there are plenty of resorts only a couple of hours’ drive out of town that can offer slopes and jumps that cater to beginners and experts alike.

Wilmot Mountain in south-east Wisconsin offers 25 unique runs across varied terrain to challenge various levels of skiers and snowboarders, with affordable prices for lift tickets, ski or snowboard rental, and lessons. Parents with kids can take advantage of family rates, and snow addicts may be tempted to sign up for a season pass. Visit http://www.wilmotmountain.com to find out more about the Wilmot Mountain experience and schedules.

A little closer to town, Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park opened near Hoffman Estates in 1993 as a “snowboard exclusive” area, catering to devotees of the sport who felt like second-class citizens at traditional ski resorts. The result is a terrain park that’s constantly changing and features such as two rope tows, half pipes, kickers, table tops, and a beginners’ “magic carpet.” Learn what draws snowboarders from all over the Midwest

If you’re searching for winter sports in the city, look no further than world-renowned Millennium Park for the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink that enters its ninth season in 2010 and draws more than 100,000 skaters every year. Skating is free, and skate rental is just $10. Open from mid-November thru mid-March (weather permitting), skaters get a fabulous view of the historic facades of Michigan Avenue as they take to the ice. The rink is located at the intersection of Michigan and

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Winter lights are part of every holiday celebration in Chicago, from Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier to the streets of every city neighborhood, and Lincoln Park Zoo is no exception.


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