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Skiing and snowtubing with kids

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2 posts
5 reviews
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Skiing and snowtubing with kids

Last winter we went to a bed and breakfast place for a few days with our kids and they had snowtubing and cross country skiing. We all loved it and want to do something similar this year. We are looking for a place with snowtubing, skiing, and of course lifts! We live near Chicago so anywhere within a 3 hourish drive would be great!! Any ideas??

Northern Michigan
Destination Expert
for Petoskey, Michigan
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2,137 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: Skiing and snowtubing with kids

Boy, I'm not so sure about what you'd find within a 3 hour drive of Chicago. Definitely you'll be looking at a smaller ski hill/resort. I'm assuming you're talking downhill skiing here? I know you mentioned cross country, but then mentioned lifts so I got the impression you're talking downhill.

Anyway, Alpine Valley in East Troy, WI would probably be your closest decent option but I don't know if they have tubing. Here in Northern Michigan we have some of the best skiing in the Midwest, so I rarely travel within the region to ski. We either ski locally or out west so I don't know what's available in Northern Wisconsin/Southern Minnesota. With that said, I know there's some good skiing in the Western U.P. at Indianhead, Blackjack and Big Powderhorn Mountain...they won't be within your three hours, but options anyway. All three offer good skiing, but I'm not sure about tubing...I would think at least one of the three offers it.

Bittersweet and Timber Ridge are in SW Michigan but they're pretty small ski areas. I know Timber Ridge has tubing but I'm not sure about Bittersweet. I can't comment on these areas much, I skied them once in college but honestly can't remember much of them. Hopefully someone else will know a little more.

Crystal Mountain would be a great option, but probably somewhere in the 5 hour range. It's a great resort, lots of lodging options, pools, snowsports, etc. I'd highly recommend Crystal if it were not for Boyne just an hour (or less) further.

If you're able to tough it for a while longer in the car, Boyne Mountain would be a stellar option. You'll be looking at 5-6 hours drive but you'll be rewarded with excellent skiing, tubing, cross country skiing, ice skating, whatever...PLUS a great indoor waterpark! Boyne's a bit bigger resort than most of the other options (and a world away from a B&B) but it makes for a lot to do...there are lots of lodging options available from hotel rooms to condos to private residences and lots of great package deals available. If it were me, I'd definitely spend the extra time in the car but that's up to you...we live 20 mins North of Boyne and buzz down to Chicago 3-4 times a year, just got back a few weeks ago with our 5 yr old daughter and the drive didn't seem bad at all.

When are you going? Timing might be a big deciding factor for you. Keep in mind, the Northern Michigan resorts benefit from lake effect snows throughout the winter and receive double or triple the snowfall of a lot of resorts West of Lake Michigan or further South in the state. We usually ski from Thanksgiving (might not happen this year) through March.

Perhaps others will have options closer to you, but that's my $.02

Whatever you decide, have a great trip!

new jersey
Destination Expert
for Charlevoix, Michigan
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4,664 posts
55 reviews
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2. Re: Skiing and snowtubing with kids

Depending on where in the Chicagoland area you are, Cadillac, Michigan may do the trick. Lots of cross-country ski trails but I don't know about tubing. I do know that there are so many snowmobile trails in the area. Perhaps you could rent snowmobiles for the day and give that a try.

Boyne Mountain or Highlands are such great suggestions but are both much further than a 3 hour drive. Moms

3. Re: Skiing and snowtubing with kids

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