Address: 1401 W. Lake Street, Bartlett IL 60103
Phone: 630-289-1000 (The “snow phone” for snow conditions & closings: 630-540-4199)
Time from Chicago: 53 minutes (38 miles)
Hills: 7 runs, mostly for beginners
Skiing at Villa Olivia
Villa Olivia in Bartlett, Illinois is not so much a resort as it is a neighborhood park. The skiing here is not for experts looking for huge hills. Instead, Villa Olivia is more appropriate for beginners, those with families and kids, and those looking for some relaxing exercise as opposed to high-altitude thrills. That said, there are a few runs labeled as intermediate, and one labeled “Experts Only.”
The great thing about Villa Olivia is that it’s only 38 miles from downtown Chicago via the Eisenhower Expressway, making it convenient for those who aren’t interested in traveling hundreds of miles to hit the slopes. When the cold weather comes, Villa Olivia opens its “Winter Recreational Playground” featuring snow tubing, skiing and snowboarding. Since the average annual snowfall is only a couple of feet, the park often relies on its snowmaking capability.
Villa Olivia features one chairlift and six rope tows to take skiers back up the hill. Adult one-day tickets start at $39 for a weekend visit, though residents of Bartlett receive discounts since their taxes help fund the park. Kids under 23 also receive substantial discounts. Guests can rent skis, poles, boots, helmets, and all the other necessities. See the site’s current rates here.
If you’re interested in visiting on weekday mornings, be sure to call ahead or check the website, because Villa Olivia is often closed until late afternoon (4:30 pm) during the week. However, on weekends and on weekdays during the Christmas and New Year’s break, the venue is generally open from morning until night, 9 am to 10 pm.
As a neighborhood-focused venue, Villa Olivia holds a number of regular events during the winter season, so stay tuned to their website. In 2013, they held a “Ski With Santa” event on the Sunday before Christmas.
Images via Bartlettparks.org