When the mercury dips for the season, the Lake Geneva area offers plenty of outdoor activities to help you take advantage of winter. Of course, there’s skiing – both downhill and cross-country — but for those looking for a different kind of fun in the snow, why not try gathering up a group of friends and family members and heading out for a day of sledding or snow tubing? After a big snowfall (or even if not — read on for locations that make their own snow!) gather up your sleds or snow tubes and head out to the area’s sled hills. We’ve got all the details you need to know to plan the perfect winter activity day.
City of Lake Geneva Sledding Hill
Not far from Dunn Field on Sage Street, the Lake Geneva Sledding Hill makes use of the old railroad grading for its rapid decline. This hill is open daily until 10 p.m. and is lighted for evening sledding. Bring your own sleds; there are no rentals and no admission fees. There is free parking in the nearby municipal lots (at Eastview Elementary School and next to the Geneva Lake Museum.) After your sledding adventure, head to Inspired Coffee and enjoy a hot cocoa for a good cause.
Fox River Park, Salem Lakes
Just east of Twin Lakes at the intersections of County Hwy F and County Hwy W in Salem Lakes is the Fox River Park, which features a popular sledding hill in its Area 1 section. This lighted sledding hill is open until 10 p.m. and charges no admission fee. Free parking is available. There are no rentals, so bring your own sled. When you’re ready to head inside, check out Healing Grounds Café and Juicery nearby.
Grand Geneva Mountain Top and Ski Resort
The ski hill area at Grand Geneva’s Resort & Spa offers sledding during designated time slots every day. This specially dedicated sledding hill has a graduated decline that is good for young children — “Big enough to have fun but small enough to handle the walk up and down the hill” according to Grand Geneva’s website. Because the sledding hill is adjacent to the ski hill, sledding is available whether or not there has recently been a snowfall (ski hills make their own snow.) The fee for sledding is $10 per person and secures a 1.5-hour time slot. Sled rentals are available for an additional $10. Online advanced reservations are recommended. Park at the Mountain Top Ski area. When you’re ready to come in from the cold, you can enjoy a treat at the Leinenkugel’s Mountain Top Lounge.
Mitchell Park, East Troy
The largest sledding hill in East Troy is located north of Mitchell Park, on Highway 20 across from the Rossmiller Sports Complex. This is a daytime-only hill, as there are no lights. Admission is free and there is free parking next to Mitchell Park. Bring your own sled! When you’re done, head to the downtown square and check out 2894 on Main (open until 3 p.m.) for coffee, hot cocoa and other delectable, post-sledding rewards.
Ray-Mar Park, Sharon
Head to Sharon for some good, old-fashioned sledding at Ray-Mar Park. The park, located on Seymour Street, features a large hill perfect for sledding after a good snowfall. Parking is free. There are no lights on this hill so this is a daytime-only location. No rentals here either, so bring your own sleds! After your adventure, visit the Coffee Cup Café.
Rudy Lange Sledding Hill, Delavan
One of the premier sledding hills in the area, this 1.4-acre park in Delavan offers a stomach-lurching drop that will keep you heading back to the top of the hill time and time again. Located at the intersection of Washington and Terrace Streets, the hill is lighted, making this a good option for evening sledding as well as daytime sledding. Bring your own sleds, as there are no rentals here and no admission fees. Parking is available along Terrace Street, but remember to be respectful to the neighbors who live across from the hill — don’t block their driveways. When you’re done sledding, why not head to the new downtown Delavan location of Boxed and Burlap to enjoy some hot drinks?
Wildwood Park, Darien
This public park in Darien features a long, sloping sledding hill, making it great for kids of all ages. The park is not lighted, so it’s open during the daytime only. There is no admission fee and free parking is available. When you’ve had enough of the wind in your hair, head to Deb’s Country Café for a treat.
Wilmot Mountain Tubing Park, Wilmot
About 30 minutes from Lake Geneva in Wilmot is the Vail Resorts-owned Wilmot Mountain. About a half-mile south of the main ski entrance at the intersection of County Hwy CK and Hwy W is a snow tubing hill maintained by Wilmot that features 22 lanes of 1,000-plus-foot runs. Like Grand Geneva, Wilmot uses snow-making equipment, so tubing is available regardless of whether there has been a recent snowfall. The lighted hill features two surface conveyer lifts for easy access back to the top. Note that tubers must be at least 42 inches tall, so this is not a good option for younger children. Snow tubing tickets are $55 per person and sell out very quickly. Advanced purchase online is required. When you’re ready to come in from the cold, you can warm up and have a beverage or snack at the Tubing Lodge.