Play like an Olympian in Lake County

My family loves the Winter Games. Maybe it’s because we’re in the Midwest and spend what feels like nine months of the year in winter weather, or it may be because winter sports appear to be more attainable than the summer games. We recognize so many of the sports in the Winter Games and we can even do them in our own back yards. As you tune into the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea, use this time to motivate your family to try something new.  Lake County is home to many winter sporting facilities and organizations where you can play like an Olympian; some have actually trained Olympians — past and present!

winter sports in lake county

Winter Sports in Lake County

Skiing

While we don’t have Alpine Skiing in our area, being in the flat Midwest there are still several locations not that far away where you can ski as a family. You can outfit the whole family at Williams Ski & Patio (Highland Park), they even have a ski club that organizes ski trips in the area.

 

Biathlon

This might not be the most popular of winter sports, but it is certainly the most unusual.  While the traditional version involves target practice, the majority of the sport involves cross-country skiing.  At the Lake County Forest Preserves there are 130 miles of trails for beginners and experts.  Cross Country Skiing is allowed at all forest preserves, (except Ryerson Conservation Area) as long as there is a four-inch snow base.

Bobsled (toboggan)

Once Lake Bluff is frozen over, Steitz’s Resort on the Chain O’Lakes in Antioch is the place to Toboggan!  Open since 1940, this is the oldest registered toboggan slide in Illinois and has brought winter time fun to people for generations.  Warm up with their delicious Hot Chocolate when you’re done!  Call (847) 395-4050 for details, pricing and weather conditions, although some comments on the Steitz’s Facebook page appear that the slide won’t open this year. If you’re up for a drive, Lowell Park in Waukesha Wisconsin has a toboggan run.

Or you can stick to the less thrilling but just as fun sled hills in Lake County.

Exmoor Curling
Photo Source: Exmoor Curling Facebook Page

Curling

Do you know what curling is? You probably only think about every four years when the winter Olympics come around, but Lake County is a hub for Olympic Curlers. Home to two world class clubs, The Exmoor Country Club {Highland Park} and The Chicago Curling Club {Northbrook}, and both locations have sent members to the Olympics.  The Exmoor Country Club hosts Learn2Curl, Jr/Family Curling and open curling times as well as competitions, see their Facebook page for upcoming chances to see curling live! The Chicago Curling Club is also hosting a series of Lear2Curl events now through March 31; learn more on their Facebook Page.

Figure Skating

Unleash your inner Jason Brown or Gracie Gold at one of Lake County’s local ice rinks. You can skate inside or outside, and even inside at the mall, find it all here:

ice skating in lake county

Hockey

Raising the next Patrick Kane?  Glacier Ice Arena hosts Little Dogs, a tot program where you kids can learn the basics of hockey and skating. See the website for details.

Ski Jumping

Okay, so this is not something you can really just pick up and try once. HOWEVER, Lake County is home to the Norge Ski Club and you can see world-class jumping without a trip to the Olympics. In fact one of their very own jumpers, a Cary native, is on his way to the 2018 Olympics. You can get a taste of what an Olympic Ski Jump event at Norge’s annual Winter Tournament (held at the end of January, so save the date for 2019!)

 

What winter Olympic sport are you looking forward to watching or is there one winter activity that you really enjoy participating in?

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About Lake County 75 Articles
The Lake County, Illinois Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes Lake County as a tourist destination for travelers through events, special offers, hotel packages and all of our exciting attractions and things to do for families.

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