Top sledding hills

Button up the coats and bring the brood to these sledding hills in Chicago and the suburbs this winter
Region 4_Caldwell Woods_Snow
Photograph: Courtesy of the Forest Preserves of Cook County Families try out the sledding hill at Caldwell Woods in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
By Matt Kirouac and Stevie Croisant |
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We may not boast the same rolling mountains as, say, the Northeast, but Chicago isn’t letting that hinder its sledding fun. From big-kid sledding hills to moderate slopes, there are snowy thrills to be found in Chicago and the suburbs this winter. Some even offer ice skating rinks for a full day of winter activities for kids.

RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in Chicago this winter

Best sledding hills

Things to do

A. Montgomery Ward Park

icon-location-pin River North

Don’t grease up your sleds Clark Griswold–style, or you may find yourself in the Chicago River, which lies adjacent to the park.

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Arndt Park

The lighted hill provides hours of fun, but if your kids crave more, there’s an ice skating rink here, too.

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Caldwell Woods

Soggy mittens and frosty temps can’t stop the fun at this Northwest Side hill—there’s a fire pit at the adjacent indoor warming center.

Things to do

Cricket Hill

icon-location-pin Uptown

With a lakefront view, this four-sided hill has a steep angle your daredevil tweens aren’t going to want to pass up. Just be sure to use the bathroom before you leave home, because there aren’t any nearby.

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Things to do

Dan Ryan Woods

icon-location-pin Ashburn

This hidden gem is never too crowded, and it boasts a 200-foot-long slope.

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Henry C. Palmisano Nature Park

This garbage dump turned sledding hill, dubbed Mount Bridgeport by locals, prides itself on the magnificent southern view of Chicago’s skyline. Afterward, hop down the street to Jackalope Coffee to warm up over hot chocolate.

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Things to do

Horner Park

icon-location-pin Albany Park

Like a zen oasis at the nexus of the Irving and Albany Park neighborhoods, this darling green space begets some smooth, none-too-fierce hill action on the Northwest Side.

Things to do

Humboldt Park

icon-location-pin Humboldt Park

With a skyline backdrop and a frozen pond a snowball’s toss away, the sloping hills of Humboldt Park make for a particularly picturesque place to ready your sleds.

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Things to do

James Park

icon-location-pin Evanston

The main hill here was so intense the Park District had to restrict sledding to prevent injuries. But the side hill is still very much open and it packs a wallop of thrills.

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Melas Park

icon-location-pin Suburbs

The bowl-shaped valley at this suburban park means plenty of landing space to cruise.

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