Looking for an intense sledding experience for your family this winter? These spots offer some of the best downhill action in the area—for kids and parents alike. Before you head out and play in the snow, please check to see if these sledding hills are open.
This hill isn’t long, but it’s steep: 30 feet in height with a 220-foot drop. Drag your plastic sled or tube to the top and take in the spectacular view of the stadium, Lake Michigan and the Museum Campus.
1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago
Located near the Auburn-Gresham and Beverly neighborhoods, Dan Ryan Woods offers a 200-foot hillside. There are even new exercise stairs beside the sledding hill to make the trip up a little easier.
Western Avenue & 87th Street, Chicago
There aren’t many hills in Chicago, but this one is extraordinary—and you’ll find a stunning view of the lakefront once you’ve made your way to the top. Added bonus: The hill’s four sides mean there’s less of a wait time for your family’s sledding adventure.
4600 N. Simonds Dr., Chicago
Stairs and railings on both sides help families make it uphill more easily. Bigger kids can enjoy a steep descent from the tippy top. If you think the whole slope is too much for your smaller kiddos, why not have them launch from a midway point along the hill? When you’re done with sledding, skate around the park’s Chicago Blackhawks Ice Rink.
6601 N. Western Ave., Chicago
Also known as “Mount Bridgeport,” this park is now a popular sledding hill for locals. The 27-acre nature preserve is also worth visiting during the warmer months as well.
2700 S. Halsted St., Chicago
Drag your sled up four of the five hills in this former landfill and choose your adventure, with paths that vary in steepness for fun for all ages. The large, center hill in the park may look tempting, but it’s closed to sledding per municipal code.
300 Dodge Ave., Evanston
About 28 feet high, this popular sled hill comes with adjacent stairs to make the climb easier for the kiddos. What’s even more convenient is that the park offers a warming house (when the sledding hill is operating) and lights for evening use.
1700 Techny Road, Northbrook
This sledding hill is located next to a parking lot, which makes getting there a whole lot easier. When weather conditions allow, the park also provides an ice rink — you must bring your own skates!
3600 Glenview Road, Glenview
When your family needs a break from sliding down the hill at Century Park, stop at the warming shelter with hot drinks and candy available for purchase.
1002 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills
If you live near Park Ridge, head to Centennial Park after the area’s next big snowstorm. What’s great about this location is that there is plenty of open space after sliding down. Make sure your family is watching out for the kids sliding behind them!
100 S. Western Ave., Park Ridge
Talk about intense: This park is bowl-shaped, offering a 360-degree sledding experience. Its side slopes are slick and steep after a good winter’s snowfall, and its shape offers a town park sledding experience like none other. Officially, the area is used as a storm water retention basin, but most of the year, it’s dry. When it isn’t, access to the park is restricted—not likely in winter months.
171st East of Rockwell Avenue, Hazel Crest
If you want your kids to burn some more energy this winter, take them to this 100-foot bluff in the South Suburbs. There’s a set of stairs to make the trip up a bit easier. Fingers crossed they nap as soon as you’re home.
West of La Grange Road and 96th Ave., Palos Twp.
This historic community park boasts a steep sledding hill that attracts small children and teenagers alike. The hill is steep and fast, and on snow days, you’ll find it crammed with kids and families from Northwest Indiana and neighboring Illinois towns like Lynwood. “It’s the best in the Region,” a Munster, Ind., teenager says.
618 Northgate Drive, Dyer, Ind.
Locals lovingly call this sledding area “Mount Trashmore,” as the park was built on a landfill. Its giant hill has a downward slope that looks formidable—and that’s part of the fun. The park also features a smaller hill designed for a family-friendly, smaller-child experience with pint-sized thrills galore.
1005 S. Centennial Drive, Munster, Ind.
Head deep into the woods to get your sledding on! Warning: There’s a lack of lighting in this area, so the hill is only open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
16th Street and Edgewood Avenue, Chicago Heights
One local dad says the sledding at Barrie Park is so intense, “I went down once and was terrified.” This park’s lone sledding hill draws lots of kids and parents after a heavy snowfall, so be prepared to wait in line—but also to have the time of your life.
1011 S. Lombard Ave., Oak Park
You can sled at most hills at Blackwell. But if you’re looking for something a bit safer and more supervised, snow tube on Mount Hoy during the weekends and school holidays from December to February. The 800-foot ride is great for your thrill-seeking kids. You must rent a tube for $10 per day.
Butterfield Road, Warrenville
This popular sledding hill is located right on the Naperville Riverwalk. The whole family can join in on the snow fun too. You can enjoy the hill until 9 p.m. or until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
440 Aurora Ave., Naperville
When the snow is just right, make it over to this Elmhurst Park for your day of sledding. Looking for a junior hill for your littles? Try out the one in Ben Allison Park, which is about a 10-minute drive away.
363 W. Commonwealth Lane, Elmhurst
Kids with cabin fever will love to spend the day sliding down this sled hill in Wheaton. Cosley Zoo is nearby if you’re looking for another way to enjoy a mild winter day outdoors.
1300 N. West St., Wheaton
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This story was originally published on Jan. 12, 2017. It has been updated with the most recent information.