Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the United States and has an awful lot of activities to offer both residents and visitors. The Windy City is well-known for its distinctive cuisine, thriving nightlife scene, beautiful architecture, and more, but like many major cities, there are some activities it simply can’t offer. Skiing is a perfect example. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Overview

Overview
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Fortunately, many great ski resorts can be found just short drives away from Chicago, offering a wealth of wonderful winter activities when skiing season gets started. These resorts are all located within drives of three hours or less from Chicago’s city limits, offering dozens of ski runs, thousands of acres of skiable land, multiple terrain parks, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top skiing spots near Chicago.

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2.Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort

Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort
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Located in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, Wilmot Mountain is a popular ski spot with Chicago residents, being conveniently situated just an hour and a half outside of the city. This particular resort has a lot of history behind it, being opened up way back in 1938, and has undergone major renovations in recent years after being purchased by Vail Resorts in 2016.

Wilmot Mountain has a vertical drop of around 200 feet and features 23 runs spread out across 120 acres of skiable land. It's a small ski area, but it has a lot to offer, with two large terrain parks and a full ski and snowboard school with hundreds of trained instructors. Plenty of alpine race clubs meet and compete at Wilmot Mountain too, and the recent renovations had given new life to this location, with additional high-speed ski lifts and a welcoming Base Lodge with various services and amenities.

11931 Fox River Rd, Wilmot, WI 53192, Phone: 262-862-2301

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3.Alpine Valley Resort

Alpine Valley Resort
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Alpine Valley Resort is found in the town of Lafayette in Walworth County, Wisconsin. It's about a two-hour drive outside of Chicago, but is more than worth the journey, with 20 different ski runs of different difficulty levels to enjoy. Alpine Valley Resort features a vertical drop of 220 feet and 90 acres of skiable land. 12 different ski lifts can be found on this site, including five magic carpets, so it's very easy to get around and you never have to wait too long to hit the slopes.

The longest run at Alpine Valley measures up at 3,000 feet and is a great challenge for advanced skiers, but beginners will find a lot to love here as well, including the adult and kids' ski school. Other on-site amenities include full accommodation, bistro dining, and a heated indoor swimming pool.

W2501 Co Rd D, Elkhorn, WI 53121, Phone: 262-642-7374

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4.The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva

The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva
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Situated among the luxury and elegance of the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, The Mountain Top is another popular skiing spot for Chicago residents and tourists. It's one of the top skiing destinations in all of Wisconsin, with 20 ski runs and a large terrain park for skiers of all ages and abilities to test out their skills. Fully fitted out with snowmaking equipment, The Mountain Top is situated just a 90-minute drive away from Chicago and is regarded as a very family-friendly destination.

Three chair lifts and two magic carpets are in operation at The Mountain Top, with sledding, snowboarding, and ice skating also enjoyed at this location. As one might expect, the amenities of the Grand Geneva Resort are second to none, with various lodges, accommodation, and eateries dotted around to provide all you need throughout your stay.

7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, Phone: 262 249-4726

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5.Devil’s Head Resort

Devil’s Head Resort
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A warm welcome awaits all visitors at Devil's Head Resort, an all-year round golf and ski location situated about three hours away from downtown Chicago. The surrounding scenery at Devil's Head has helped to make this location very popular over the years, with breathtaking views in all directions. Admission and equipment rentals are very affordable at Devil's Head, and there are plenty of on-site amenities to make your stay as fun as possible.

30 different ski runs can be found at Devil's Head Resort, with 30% beginner courses, 40% intermediate, and 30% advanced, so there's a nice mixture of difficulties to suit all visitors. A certified ski school is also situated on site, along with nine separate ski lifts. If you're looking for a good quality skiing spot in Wisconsin, Devil's Head is a must-visit location.

S6330 Bluff Rd, Merrimac, WI 53561, Phone: 608-493-2251

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4 Best Ski Resorts Near Chicago



More Ideas in Lake Geneva: Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva

Located in the heart of downtown, Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva is an unpretentious lakefront hotel just steps away from the tranquil waters of Geneva Lake, and it’s many attractions. The five-story hotel features well-appointed guest rooms with private balconies boasting panoramic views of the lake, upscale amenities and facilities, and gracious, welcoming hospitality. Accommodations feature comfortable beds in high-quality linens, en-suite bathrooms with bath and shower combinations, and modern comforts such as flat-screen TVs and DVD players, fireplaces, wet bars with microwaves, fridges and coffee makers, and complimentary wireless Internet. Amenities at the resort include indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a hot tub, a fully equipped fitness center, new event and functions spaces, and a casual restaurant that serves lunch and dinner daily. An array of activities is offered throughout the year from hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and water sports in the summer to skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and ice-fishing in the winter. Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva is situated a short walk from the Lake Geneva Public Beach and a few miles from Big Foot Beach State Park.

Guest Accommodations

Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva features well-appointed guest rooms with private balconies boasting panoramic views of the lake. All guest rooms and suites have one or two king or queen-size pillowtop beds dressed in deluxe linens and soft pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with bath and shower combinations, thick towels and bathrobes, and branded bath products. Modern amenities include flat-screen televisions with cable channels and DVD players, mini-kitchenettes and wet bars with mini-fridges, microwaves, Keurig coffee makers, irons and ironing boards, telephones with free local calls, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Unique additions to rooms include dining certificates, couple’s massages, custom-made birthday cakes and ice cream treats for two, plush bathrobes, bottles of wine and Champagne, gift baskets and floral arrangements.

Dining

A complimentary breakfast is served every morning and includes coffee, tea and hot beverages, fresh fruit and juices, cereals, granolas and yogurts, egg dishes, and freshly baked pastries, and bread. Gino’s East Restaurant and Bar serve lunch and dinner daily, offering menus of locally sourced and freshly prepared cuisine.

Amenities and Recreation

Amenities and guest services at Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva include the on-site restaurant, Gino’s East Restaurant, and Bar, which is open for lunch and dinner daily, a complimentary breakfast is served every morning, a 24-hour front desk service, and a fully-equipped business center with computers, printing, copying, and faxing services. Facilities include heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a whirlpool and sauna, a fully equipped fitness center, a gift shop, meeting and banquet facilities for groups of up to 250 people, and free on-site parking.

Weddings and Events

Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva offers 5,300 square feet of flexible and fully equipped conference capabilities for groups of up to 250 people. Meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual and sound systems, as well as individual climate controls and high-speed wireless Internet access and can accommodate both small and large functions and events ranging from weddings and receptions to business meetings and corporate gatherings.

Local Attractions

The Geneva Lakes area offers a variety of things to see and do, ranging from hiking and walking around the lake, world-class golf, horseback riding and zip line adventures to specialty shopping, award-winning dining, luxury spas, and seasonal festivals. Other attractions and activities include downhill and cross-country skiing, miniature golf, boating and cruises on the lake, guided fishing charters, water sports and water-based activities, snowmobiling, museums, art galleries and antique shopping.

300 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, Phone: 262-248-9181

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More Ideas in Lake Geneva: Geneva Lake Museum

Visitors can can walk along the brick pavement of the Geneva Lake Museum and feel as if they have stepped back in time to the area’s past. Strolling down the museum’s Main Street, visitors can peek into or step inside historic stores, a school room, houses, and other buildings to get a closer look at the photographs, merchandise, machines, tools, clothing, furniture, and other items that were used during daily life in the past. By taking this walk, guests can get a feel for the lifestyles and what life was really like during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century in the area of Geneva Lake.

Among the sights to see on Main Street of the Geneva Lake Museum are a General Store, a school rooms from the 1890’s, and a log cabin that features a collection of arrowheads and Potawatami tools. Visitors will see architectural styles from the turn-of-the-century, as well as farm tools and farm implements, ice cutting tools, horseshoeing tools, and a telephone switchboard. Other structures found along the Geneva Lake Museum’s Main Street include a spring house used for cooling milk, a fire engine house that features a Hose Wagon from the year 18890, a blacksmith shop, and a Dental Work Station from the 1920’s.

The Geneva Lake Museum includes much more than its Main Street as well. The museum includes private mansions, the new Crane Windows and Woodland People exhibits, and exhibits on the Hotel Geneva created by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Yerkes Observatory. There are also exhibits covering the yachts and boats used in Geneva Lake, Chicago and North Western Railway, and Andy Gump, the legendary cartoon character.

Established in the year 1983, the Geneva Lake Museum was housed originally in a home at 818 Geneva Street. The city moved its Waterworks Department in the 1990’s to a larger building, formerly being housed within the Wisconsin Power and Light facility from 1929. A group known as the Geneva Lake History Buffs convinced the city of Geneva Lake to let them create a museum in the old Waterworks Department building. The museum was moved to the building located at 255 Mill Street in the year 2004.

The Geneva Lake History Buffs, along with help from volunteers and the Museum Board, took advantage of the large amount of space that the new facility provided and created the Main Street of Lake Geneva. Plenty of room was left over in the building for more exhibit areas, meeting rooms that can be rented for special events and meetings, and a museum store. The Geneva Lake Museum preserves and discovers the rich history of the city of Geneva Lake, as well as its surrounding communities.

The exhibits displayed within the Geneva Lake Museum are various time capsules that contain the very essence of the area of Geneva Lake, as well as its people. These are people with remarkable stories that unfold with each scene and each word, led by a knowledgeable guide. These stories are from people of all ages.

255 Mill Street, Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, Phone: 262-248-6060

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More Ideas in Lake Geneva: The Tristan Crist Magic Theatre

The Tristan Crist Magic Theatre is a specialist magic theater located in downtown Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Fitted with no more than 51 seats, the theater is also classified as the world’s smallest permanent magic venue. The theater hosts daily performances by the in-house master illusionist, Tristan Crist. Tristan consistently reimagines his family-friendly performances on a monthly basis, adding illusions and tricks to his 60 routines to encourage visitors to return regularly to see the new additions. Each performance includes a mixture of classic tricks, sleight of hand tricks, large-scale illusions, and comedic commentary from Tristan himself.

History

Tristan Crist grew up in Milwaukee. By acting in children’s theater productions at the First Stage Milwaukee Children’s Theater and attending the Milwaukee Ballet School, he was able to combine his love of performance with that of magic after being shown a card trick by his grandfather. Tristan went on to create his own theater in the basement of his home as a child, performing for family and friends. Moving on to perform to wider audiences in the Midwest, Tristan paid for his fine arts degree in Theater Technology, Lighting and Technical Design at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point through paid campground performances. After finishing college, he was hired by Circus World in Baraboo, home to the Ringling Bros. Circus. There, he remained with the company for ten years. Tristan went on to develop his own style and aesthetic, and finally opened his own theater in the area in 2015.

The Venue and Performances

The theater itself is fitted with state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment. The seating arrangements feature 51 theater-style seats, tiered to facilitate an unobstructed view for all audience members.

Concessions are sold before the performance by Tristan’s two assistants and include water, soda, candy, and popcorn. The concessions stand is also open and manned by additional staff during the performance. Tristan waits after the show to speak to audience members, and photo opportunities are also available at this time.

Tristan’s routines are audience interactive, with some viewers being invited to the stage to take part in the tricks. With such an intimate space, the first row of seating is positioned only a few feet away from the performance, a fact that Tristan includes in his show. The performances can be described as being on a large scale, yet conducted within a small-scale environment.

As a master illusionist, Tristan challenges his audiences to adapt a “catch me if you can” approach, inviting audience members to study his acts to see if they can identify how his tricks are done. Displaying sleight-of-hand artistry up close by projecting his tricks onto a large screen, Tristan presents his magic using a range of technological equipment. His acts also include the Mona Lisa card trick and the coin trick, with television monitors revealing his movements in greater detail. Further props used are rings, ropes, and boxes.

The main talked-about factors of Tristan’s acts are the large-scale illusions he performs with his assistants. Some performances reveal a full-size motorbike appearing on stage or a real helicopter complete with an assistant in the captain’s seat, both seeming to appear out of thin air.

The acts often include a nod to the history of magic and famous magicians. Such acts include the much-celebrated works of Harry Houdini, featuring the sawing in half of one of his assistants, an assistant cut into eighths, and a lady levitating.

A small gift shop is located inside the theater and features wands and tricks for children as well as smaller items of merchandise. The official Tristan Crist Magic Kit can be bought from the shop. It features tricks selected by Tristan himself, covering the classic magic illusions that he has performed throughout his career.

What’s Nearby

In terms of accommodation, just under 2 miles from the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre is the 3.5-star Geneva Inn overlooking Lake Geneva, and the 3-star Ridge Hotel. Near the theater is famous Geneva Lake, a popular year-round place of natural beauty featuring seasonal water sports, daily boat tours, and idyllic walking trails.

609 W. Main St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, Phone: 262-248-0505

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