Midwestern Family Plans for Park City
I love my sweet home Chicago. I get to sail the Great Lakes, visit world class museums and dine at fabulous restaurants. Chicago’s a prairie paradise, but it’s not quite heaven on earth for skiers.
Midwestern skiing may seem like an oxymoron, but there are actually over 100 ski resorts in America’s heartland. We’ve got the cold weather and the snow, we’re just missing the mountains. Yep, our mountains are hills by western standards.
Yet my 11 and 13 year old boys are avid skiers, now entering their third year as members of a local ski club. Every Saturday morning, they hop on a bus that travels 90 minutes just to reach a 250 foot vertical drop. That doesn’t stop them from having a great time though. Skiing has allowed them to really enjoy the winter, instead of hibernating in the family basement playing video games.
Plenty of Chicagoans will drive the four or five hours to Northern Michigan or Wisconsin to ski. They belong to the “you don’t have to leave the Midwest to go skiing” club. But I’m only a 15 minute train ride from O’Hare Airport. I can be on the slopes of Park City in nearly the same amount of time it takes to drive to Northern Wisconsin. I’d rather be in the Rocky Mountain club.
This year instead of a warm weather spring break escape from the cold, we’ll be skiing in Park City. I want my sons to experience the thrills of mountain skiing and, being nature starved city kids, I want them to be inspired by the natural beauty of the Wasatch Mountains.
Now, moms & teens don't always share the same agenda. Here’s what’s at the top of their to-do list for Park City:
3 Kings Terrain Park - My boys are ready to hang with the big boys out West. They can’t wait to tackle the terrain park! After they’re done hot-dogging it on the mountain, we’ll meet up for lunch at Cobra Dogs at the base of 3 Kings. From there we can check out all the snowboarders.
Alpine Coaster - This is their idea of communing with nature. This mountain coaster loops through over a mile of hair-pin curves at speeds up to 30 mph. There’s nothing like this in the Windy City, at least not without going to Six Flags!
Gorgoza Park - They're looking forward to the downhill thrill of this tubing park. No need to carry your tube up, there's a magic carpet ride that carries you to the top, then you just get to enjoy the ride back down. You go super fast and can go by yourself or link up together in a group to share the experience. My toddler will head over to Fort Frosty, a great alternative for the little ones who aren't ready to go blasting down the hill at high speed.
Good luck planning your ski vacation! Hope to see you on the slopes!
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