As a mom of two boys, I know how important it is for all of us to get outside to play every day, no matter the weather. And when winter rolls around? I’m stockpiling gloves, scarves and other winter gear to ensure that we can still get outside and get MOVING or else my house (and sanity) will be in shambles. Once the novelty of building a snowman and having a snowball fight fades away, I want you to think of the ULTIMATE winter playground—Wilmot Mountain—where your family can work up a sweat and enjoy all that the winter season offers. Here’s Why Chicagoland Families Need to Visit Wilmot Mountain–The Ultimate Winter Playground:
My family was given complimentary tickets and equipment from Wilmot Mountain. All opinions are my own.
Wilmot Mountain Renovation
As a lifelong Chicagoan, I have made many treks across the border to Wilmot Mountain in Kenosha County (located halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee) to hit the slopes with family and friends. The resort of my childhood has been improved thanks to a $13 million project in the 2016-2017 ski season that completely transformed the Wilmot Mountain experience. It is now a much more luxe and eco-friendly resort with many Instagrammable upgrades and a full calendar of special events.
The Abundance of Activities
Whether you prefer to ski, snowboard, or tube, there is something for you at Wilmot Mountain. With nearly 120 skiiable acres, 23 trails, seven lifts, two surface conveyor lights and progression terrain parks with a double, high-speed rope tow, there is enough terrain to challenge beginners to experts, day or night. Wilmot Mountain truly is the Ultimate Winter Playground, no matter which activity you prefer.
When we visited Wilmot last weekend, it was my boys’ FIRST time on skis. And while they are athletic, they are also stubborn (I wonder where they get that from?!?!) so I was a bit nervous about teaching them how to ski. Luckily, I didn’t have to! Why? Because of Wilmot Mountain’s popular Ski School.
No matter your skill level, there is a great class and patient instructor waiting for you at Wilmot. Child and adult private (which is what my boys did for a 90-minute session) and group lessons, children’s multi-week programs (which my friends are currently enjoying), and specialty programs like Terrain Park camps and “Ski and Snowboard Girls’ Rock” are all available. There is also a racing program for those who are masters of the snow!
Children’s Ski School classes are considered to be “Parent Free Zones”, which is great for both the kids and the parents. My husband and I did check in (from a distance) just to make sure our novices were having fun while we hit the slopes and relived our pre-parenthood days. At the end of the lesson, the instructor went over each child’s progress with us and gave us a written report to keep track of their skiing prowess throughout the rest of the ski season.
New to all four of us, snow tubing at Wilmot Mountain is truly THRILLING. The tubing area (located a short drive away from the skiing section of the resort) has more than 22 carved lanes over 1,000 feet long. There are designated lanes for only kids, parents with kids, and adults, with each path just as exciting as the next. Once riders get to the bottom, two surface conveyor belts take them back to the top, so you aren’t exhausted and drained by the time you get back in line. Wilmot provides the tubes but you should bring your own sunglasses or ski goggles because you will ZIP down the mountain.
Too scared to head ride down? No worries! Purchase some snacks (I recommend the “Walking Taco” and hot cocoa) from the Tubing Lodge and watch the tubers from the vast outdoor deck.
- Ski to Tube / Tube to Ski –$10 off skiing/snowboarding with tubing purchase & $10 off tubing with skiing/snowboarding purchase.
- Wilmot’s 3-Pack—Get 3 lift tickets for the price of two with Wilmot’s 3-Pack if you plan on visiting Wilmot more than once this season
- EPIC Pass—Vail Resort’s Epic Pass is the best value and most popular lift product, offering guests access to resorts in three countries and multiple states.
I grew up skiing so when I head to Wilmot Mountain, hitting the trails is my priority. Thanks to the well-organized rental process that Wilmot uses, I was able to get suited up with boot, ski, and helmet rental in under fifteen minutes (after buying tickets online—such a great time saver!)—and it was on an INCREDIBLY busy day, too.
The rental boots available at Wilmot are well organized and stocked so you can find sizes for both kids and adults easily. To be as efficient as possible, double check your kids’ shoe sizes before you leave home and put on all your ski/snowboard gear such as snow pants on BEFORE you enter the rental area (the parking lot is a great spot) because it can get a bit congested. Lastly, put on your boots first and then help your child put his/hers on (the boots can be a bit tricky to walk in) before getting in line for your skiis/snowboard and helmets.
Lastly, take advantage of the rental lockers (you can use a credit card and have in/out privileges) so that you aren’t stuck with any bags or extra supplies while going up and down the mountain.
Vast Food Options
All of that wintry fun will work up an appetite so be sure to stop at one of Wilmot Mountain’s dining options to fuel up. Ski Hill Grill is a large, self-seating dining area with a quick-service food court while Walt’s Tavern is a more upscale and elevated tavern experience overlooking the mountain. The Tubing Lodge provides light concessions and fried goodness to enjoy between tube runs. My key tip is to try to eat at an “off” time since the eating areas can get busy with all-day Ski School camps and roast some s’mores before you head back on the trails.
We can’t wait to head back to Wilmot (cabin fever is REAL, my friends) this winter and hope to see you at the Ultimate Winter Playground! For other winter fun, check out this list.
Don’t miss a post…follow me on Blog Lovin.