Maybe this is the winter to give skiing or snowboarding a try, and if you live near Dubuque, Iowa, there’s even more of a reason.

Sundown Mountain, one of the lower Midwest's larger ski areas, is offering first-timers the opportunity to try it for just $10, which covers a lesson, helmet, rental equipment and beginner hill lift ticket. It's arguably one of the best offers in the Heartland.

The lesson takes place on Sundown's beginner hill, which has both a chairlift and a conveyor lift so that each person can advance at their own comfortable pace. The offer is good for ages 9 and up throughout the month of January. Reservations are required, and openings are limited. Follow this link for more information.

Once you give skiing or snowboarding a try and discover you like it there are all kinds of options for follow up. There are group lessons, private lessons, and three- or five-week learn-to-ski-or-ride programs. The area has one of the largest instructional programs in the Midwest, according to GM Mark Dietz.

“We routinely have around 120 instructors per season, and two of them have been nationally recognized for their contribution to the sport,” said the longtime GM. “We’ve been at this for over 25 years and feel like we’ve developed a pretty good teaching program for our region of the country. Thousands have gone through it.”

Family Weekend takes place Jan. 7-8.  All day Saturday and Sunday up to 1 p.m, children 11 and under receive a half-price, lift ticket, equipment rental and a lesson with a paid adult.

Sundown, with a vertical drop of 475 feet, is located along an escarpment above Dubuque. You can see three states – Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin – from the top of the ski area. The runs, carved through a century-old cedar forest, deliver a scenic, almost Western-like experience.