It's all downhill…all the time

This sure ain’t the mountains, but there are still plenty of ski options in the Midwest. At northwest suburban Villa Olivia (1401 W Lake St,...

ALL ABOARD Families hit the slopes together at Granite Peak.

This sure ain’t the mountains, but there are still plenty of ski options in the Midwest. At northwest suburban Villa Olivia(1401 W Lake St, Bartlett, 630-289-1000) a one-day lift ticket is $39; $28 for kids ages 7–11, and $16 if they’re under 7, plus equipment rental. Daily ski lessons for ages eight and up start at $14; snowboarding lessons for ages ten and up, $20. Scaredy cats can opt for tubing, $20/two hours. Ski-bunnies can hit the slopes from Dec 23, 2011 thru Mar 4, 2012.

At Cascade Mountain(W10441 Cascade Mountain Rd, Portage, WI; 800-992-2754), 175 miles northwest of Chicago, kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult ($45–$49). The three-hour Cascade Kids program teaches skiing or snowboarding to ages 4–10 for $55. The nearby Ramada (1073 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy South, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 800-845-2251) offers a Ski Weekend Getaway Package that includes two nights, two three-day lift tickets, and a $25 gift card to a local restaurant for $389 plus tax. The 2012 season will come to a close Mar 18, 2012.

Devil’s Head Resort(S6330 Bluff Rd, Merrimac, WI; 800-472-6670), keeps babies and toddlers in mind with child care for $40 a day. Ski lessons for kids ages 4 to 10 start at $40. On Saturday nights there’s $15 Kids Night Out—games, crafts, pizza and movies, while parents ski or have dinner. A Chicagoland Express Package—weekend lodging and lift tickets for two each day, plus most meals— starts at $220–$293 per person. Each child is $94–$104 extra. The resort hopes Old Man Weather will permit the season to last until mid-Mar, 2012.

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