Family fighting the yearly bout of cabin fever? Sounds like you need to get out in the great outdoors. There are a number of exciting Chicago winter sports for you to enjoy.
Be sure that your winter remains wonderful. First, check out these awesome places to get your ski, board, or sled on. Then, learn about the safety precautions you should take. Ensure a fun winter by travelling safely to your sports destinations. Finally, in case of an injury, give Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys a call!
Your family really needs an activity out of the house. So naturally, you want to plan the perfect day. We compiled a list of the best places near Chicago to start planning your trip. Check out these winter wonderlands for a great place to start.
Slopes to Check Out
Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most common Chicago winter sports. Thankfully, anyone living in or near Chicago lives within driving distance of many slope destinations.
The choice closest to Chicago itself is Villa Olivia. Villa Olivia has an easy fourth of a mile run for those who want a quick ski, board, and sled fix. Two great destinations in Wisconsin- Devil’s Head Resort and Wilmont Mountain- also have a little more to offer. You’ll have a blast on Devil’s Head’s thirty hills. Wilmont Mountain’s Snocross course brings even more extreme fun.
Hit the Trails Here
Not looking for so much downhill? Check out these locations for cross-country skiing, much closer to downtown.
- Camp Sagawau
- Lincoln Park
- Morton Arboretum
- Northerly Island
If you don’t own your own gear, rent some! Rental shops are fairly common. You may even be able to find rental deals for the season on popular coupon apps. Also, explore state forest preserves and parks.
Popular Ice Rinks
Skating more your style? In a big city like Chicago, don’t be surprised if a rink seems to pop up in almost any park you find. The McCormick Tribute Ice Rink in Millennium Park is one of the most popular. Another, in the same location, is the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon. Both of these outdoor rinks promise hours of fun. Be sure to also check out indoor rinks in the suburbs.
Importance of Understanding Safety in Chicago Winter Sports
As a Midwesterner, you fully understand that winter here is no joke. A lot of dangers exist that don’t affect other parts of the country. Drivers slide on the road and experience decreased visibility. You may replace your window screens for storm windows. Your vehicle gets special tires and also accessories to help it function. Chicago winter sports are no different. You prepare your belongings for extreme conditions each year. Be sure to also prepare your body if you plan on participating in outdoor sports in the wintertime.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Headed over to Wilmont Mountain this weekend? Rest assured you and your family will have a great time on the hills by following these tips. Be aware of the dangers in order to avoid them, and be prepared in case they do.
What can happen when I’m skiing or snowboarding?
A number of things can go wrong when you are headed downhill at high speeds. Maybe you could wipe out, hit your head, and break some bones. You could try to avoid a fall by using your knees too much and tear an ACL. The terrain around you may be too intense for your skill level. Additionally, you could twist, sprain, and break ankles.
However, if we said “What if?” all day, we would never leave our homes. So, see below to better equip yourself in injury prevention and what to do if something does happen.
What should I do?
First, start with your gear. Wear a helmet and also eye protection. Your boots should fit properly and securely attach to your skis or board. Learn to fall correctly. Follow what any signs say on the slopes and stay in skill assigned areas. Don’t trek off on your own. Be sure to stay on slopes appropriate to your skill level. Start lower and work up as you gain experience.
If children ski and snowboard with you, never let them do these activities alone. Check their equipment the same way as your own. Start them off slowly, and also give them regular breaks. They work hard out there too!
If something does happen, call 911 and alert those around you. Depending on the severity of the accident, do not move until emergency personnel arrive. Above all, always take it slow and stay with your group in designated areas.
Sledding Safety and Precautions
Chicago winter sports wouldn’t be complete without sledding. Sledding is one of the best and most traditional ways to play in the snow. Many Illinois residents grew up going to their own version of “the hill” or “the sledding hill” whenever the first snow hit. Of course, sledding danger is not news to you.
What can happen when I’m sledding?
That first push off the hill can be exhilarating. The trudge back up, not so much. Temptation can be strong to mix up your sledding experience by building ramps, making ice down the track you built, sending multiple riders at once or going down head first. All of these can heighten your risk of injury, specifically head injuries. Any sort of crash can result in more general injuries as well.
What should I do if I get hurt sledding?
Again, depending on the severity of injury, stay in one place. Consider wearing a helmet. Avoid modifying your sled hill as much as possible. Ice makes you go much faster, and therefore, less predictable. If you must make a ramp, don’t make it too big and consider making your landing area soft. Teach these fun safety tips to your children so they can play safely.
Ice Skating Safety
Now you might want to show off your triple salchows and toe loops. Calm down, Michelle Kwan. It’s been a long time since last winter. Be careful on the ice and help your little ones stay safe too.
What can happen on the ice rink?
A lot can happen on ice rinks, especially crowded ones. Also, attempting speeds you’re not accustomed to can send you into a wall. Again, you can get hurt by falling on your head or by ineffectively trying to brace yourself from a fall. Skating on a pond? You could fall through the ice itself. So, how can you still have fun ice skating this winter?
What should I do to avoid ice skating injury?
Similar to the slopes, take it slow when hitting the ice. Take a minute to get your sea-legs back and also take a few times around the rink to warm up. If a rink is crowded, be very careful of those around you and their ability levels. Learn to fall correctly. If skating outside on natural waters, make sure to stay in designated areas. If you have fallen, protect your extremities as skates are sharp and can cut.
Not many people think of snowshoeing when they think of Chicago winter sports. Snowshoe safety and hiking safety share similarities. Some more extreme winter athletes may consider snowshoeing not that adventurous; however, snowshoeing is just as hazardous. You can suffer from frostbite, falls, dehydration and other injuries.
What should I do if I’m hurt snowshoeing?
Pack much like a hiker would. Bring a lot of water, food, a compass, a map, and a first aid kit. Know your route as best you can and stay in areas you know. Try to avoid snowshoeing across frozen water, as you may not notice ice that is too thin for your body weight. If you get injured, do not panic. If you have service, try to call for help. However, you shouldn’t snowshoe alone. So, send someone in your party for help. Remain calm and also try to stay warm. You can purchase winter first aid kits that include survival blankets and other essentials, in the case of emergency.
Headed north a few hours to Wisconsin for the best powder? Meeting up with some buddies in Minneapolis? Winter sports require travel. Because of the season, this travel can be perilous. Be careful on the road this winter as you head from one slope to the next. Car accidents on Illinois roads happen every day. Drive defensively and slow with a space cushion between you and the other vehicles. Don’t miss out on fun Chicago winter sports because of another driver’s foolish decisions on the roads.
Those Pesky “What Ifs”
Don’t let apprehension keep you and your family inside all winter. Simply understand what you plan to do. Come prepared and also educated. Take it slow and enjoy your mid-winter cabin fever fix it. And if you do get injured, let us help. We handle personal injury cases involving slip and falls, brain and spinal injuries, and more.
More About Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys
Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys has six offices located across Chicagoland, for all your Chicago winter sports injuries. Also, your initial consultation is free. So, at no risk, you can have peace of mind. We will help you each step of the way. Give us a call today at 708-222-2222. You can also get in touch with us via our LiveChat feature.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.