The downhill thrill

Where to sled in downtown Chicago

Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer

Chicago terrain might be more akin to a pancake than anything mountainous, but
there are some hilly highpoints that when blanketed in snow, will delight sledders this
winter.

By Soldier Field, there is a small but steep sledding hill which beckons thrill seekers to climb aboard their sleds and experience the 33-foot drop for themselves. The Chicago Park District makes the hill extra fun by creating faux snow when the real stuff is MIA. Convenient parking and stairs leading to the top of the hill are an added bonus.

Montgomery Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury St., has a small hill tucked away by the banks of the Chicago River. It is ideal for youngsters as the slope can be climbed unassisted and sledding speeds stay on the slow side. Everyone can warm up with coffee or hot chocolate from Peet’s Coffee across the street.

New Eastside kids sledding on Cricket Hill.
Photo courtesy of Carolina Patino.

If you follow the yellow brick road up to Oz Park, located in Lincoln Park at 2021 N. Burling Street in the summer, you might picnic at the top and enjoy a nice view of
the surrounding lush greenery. But come winter, you can glide down the slippery snow-clad slope on your fastest sled.

If you venture out west, you’ll discover Humboldt Park’s Bunker Hill, another relatively unknown gem boasting picturesque views in all directions. There’s even an ice skating rink nearby if you tire of the slopes.

Cricket Hill, arguably Chicago’s most famous sledding hill, is north by Montrose Harbor. While kites might be flying overhead during the warmer months, daring older kids and tweens are flying down the snow-covered hill on frostier days. There is plenty of open space surrounding the hill to allow daredevils to fulfill their need for speed.

Last but not least, while not an officially sanctioned sledding hill, our own Lake-
shore East Park offers the perfect little slope on the south side of the park. Grab a
sled and a friend and come on out to our front yard to enjoy some winter fun.

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