Skiers in the Rockies know winter is close when snow starts falling on the peaks. Midwest skiers know it's just around the corner when ski shows start taking place across the Heartland.


The Minnesota Ski & Snowboard Expo in Bloomington, Minn. and the Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show, Schaumburg, Ill. are both taking place Oct. 21-23.


The Minnesota show takes place at the Mall of America. Admission and parking are free. Show hours are Friday 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 


Ski resorts from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will be on-hand as well as representatives from Colorado, Montana, Idaho and California resorts. Local retailers and manufacturing reps will be showcasing the latest gear.


Giveaways—which include lift tickets, equipment and more—will take place every half hour in the Mall's Rotunda. Entertainment includes the Skyriders, a high-flying trampoline show, and a Warren Miller Classic Film Festival. All show attendees receive a $10 Liftopia gift card by stopping by the information booth during show hours.


The fourth annual Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show will take place on the north side of Chicago at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. Daily admission is $12 and kids 11 and under are free. Show hours are Friday, 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Parking is free for show attendees.   


Lift ticket vouchers to [R48R, Big Sky], [R73R, Boyne Mountain Resort] and [R72R, Boyne Highlands], [R187R, Indianhead Mountain], and Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park are included with paid admission to the show.


You will be able to meet manufacturer reps from the top ski and snowboard companies and see all the new gear. It's a good time to get advice on new purchases you might be considering. Local Heartland ski areas and top destination resorts from many western states will be on-hand to help plan winter vacations and answer questions. Pro skiers and snowboarders will be making appearances. 


For more information on the Minnesota Ski & Snowboard Expo, click here. To learn more about the Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show, click here.