Southeastern Wisconsin offers up some great sledding spots – gently rolling hills for young kids, and steeper ones for more adventurous sledders.
Unlighted sledding hills
4001 S. 20th St.
Behind the Wilson Ice Arena is a steep but manageable peak well-suited to older kids. The arena also holds regular free-skates. Plus, there’s a ton of parking nearby, so it’s perfect for a friends meet-up.
5400 N. 51st Blvd.
A big rectangle of land on the Northwest Side, McGovern is best suited to little tykes. Older kids will be bored to tears, but parents of little ’uns will appreciate the gentle hills and all the room to make snowmen.
Lighted sledding hills
3535 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa
Out west, this gem on the grounds of a county golf course is well-groomed, well-lit and conveniently located next to a parking lot. A medium-sized hill, the Currie slope is about as close to an all-ages incline as you’ll find.
5879 S. 92nd St.
Enjoy this big, gradual hill, and then warm up inside the Whitnall Park Clubhouse, which sells concessions including local beer.
7900 W. Crystal Ridge Rd., Franklin
You’ll have to pay to sled here, but it’s worth it. The Rock has big, furrowed lanes for tubing, and admission costs $14 to $25 a head, depending on the day (see: rocksnowpark. com). No tiny tots, though: You must be at least 3 feet tall to ride.
Four More Fun Ways to Spend a Winter Weekend Outdoors
2201 Michigan Ave., Waukesha
A stubborn vestige of times gone by, toboggan runs are like snowy roller coasters. This 350-foot specimen is well worth the drive out to Lowell Park. A daily chute pass and toboggan rental will set you back $19. You can also reserve the run for a two-hour party, enabling you and your friends to re-enact Cool Runnings.
Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive south of I-94
Once you learn to cross-country ski, the world is your oyster. Milwaukee County says to “knock yourself out” and ski anywhere in its parks, just as long as you don’t run over anybody. The local mecca, however, is the 17 miles of trails near Lapham Peak, part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, where you can rent skis, showshoes and fat-tire bikes.
Strap On Your Skates
If you want to feel like you’re living in a rom com, head to “The Slice of Ice” in Red Arrow Park (920 N. Water St.), which opened in December. To feel like you’re inhabiting the cover of an old postcard, visit the land rink (meaning: frozen pond) at Scout Lake (5902 W. Loomis Rd., Greendale), a lovely little wooded spot.
812 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva
What this structure lacks in precision, it more than makes up for in grandeur. Admission to the Ice Castle costs between $16 and $25 for adults, and the palace will stay open “as long as weather allows.”