If you live near Chicagoland and want to get your children started in snow sports, you are in the right place.
Wilmot Mountain, one of the Heartland's oldest ski areas, is credited with teaching more than a half-million Chicagolanders to ski over the last 70-some years. They have a new teaching program called Just For Kids.
The program takes place in Wilmot's Winter Wonderland where it incorporates games with ski fundamentals teaching balance and building confidence. Specially trained instructors supervise the activities.
There are programs for all levels of learning. In the Terrain Garden kids learn to move on snow exploring balance, shuffling, walking, sliding, turning and stopping. In the surface lift area (rope tow) they are taught to link turns, speed control, stopping, and skier safety; everything they need to make it to top of the chairlift.
Cruisers, three different levels, continue to refine all they have learned while putting some miles on those skis. Might Mites practice all mountain skiing and race training.
Three sessions for 4 to 6 year olds, which includes lesson, lift ticket and ski rental is $115. Five sessions are $165. If your child has his own equipment the cost is respectively $75 and $115. For 7 to 9 year olds the cost for three sessions including equipment rental is $165 and $265 for five sessions. For those with their own ski equipment the cost is respectively $135 and $215.
Wilmot's Winter Carnival takes place March 5-6. Last year's event featured several competitions including a rail jam, big air and mogul competitions, and giant slalom races. Fun events included the Keep It In The Cup Race, where you race down the hill with a cup full of liquid. Many of those events will likely be included this year.
There's always a Cardboard Sled Race, a spectator favorite, and snow Scavenger Hunts for children six and under. There's a variety of live music and food and drink specials featured in the lounge.
March's warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours often make for some of the best skiing and riding of the season.