Sled the City

Many people complain about Windy City winters. This winter break, get off the couch, grab a hat, some mittens and some friends to explore the best sledding hills throughout the snowy city of Chicago.


Risa Cohen

Jacob Posner, Editor-in-Chief

Soldier Field

Located just south of Soldier Field, the hill boasts a 33-foot drop and artificial snow, making for a wild ride despite Chicago’s temperamental winters and disappointing flatness. It is ranked highly by parenting websites, so watch out for small children.

After a glorious ride — once dragging the sled back up gets boring — store it in the car parked in the nearby South Parking Lot, and it’s a quick walk to the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium or Shedd Aquarium for some reflection after a long day of physical activity. The 18th Street Metra station and CTA Red Line L stop at Roosevelt are also close by, but remember that the Metra usually only stops at 18th if flagged. From Roosevelt, take a quick ride on the Red Line to the Cermak station, and warm up in Chinatown.

The hill is open from 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Diversey Harbor

The hill is between Cannon Drive and Stockton Drive, about a two-minute walk from Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park. There’s also an Alexander Hamilton statue at the top. The nearby CTA Fullerton L stop, about five blocks from Lincoln Park, offers easy access from the Brown, Red and Purple lines. A 10-minute stroll west on Diversey Parkway will reveal various restaurants and shops, including Zizi’s Cafe on the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Wolfram Street.

Palmisano Park

Called “Mount Bridgeport,” according to a DNAInfo article, the sledding hill is relatively long, and not particularly steep. Palmisano Park is about a block from the Bridgeport Coffeehouse and two blocks from the Jackalope Coffee & Tea House. It’s also right by the Halsted L stop on the CTA Orange Line, which runs north to downtown and southwest to Midway Airport.

The park stretches across 27 acres and has 1.7 miles of paths. According to the Chicago Park District website, the hill offers “dramatic views.” It’s open from 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Dan Ryan Woods

The Dan Ryan Woods, which has entrances along Western Avenue between 83rd and 87th Streets, has a sizable, well-marked sledding hill maintained by the Cook County Forest Preserves. The park is next to the 91st-Beverly Hills Metra stop. Signs in the parking area give directions to the hill.

The immediate area doesn’t offer many food options, so remember a Thermos of home-brewed hot chocolate. The park is open and staffed Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m-8:30 p.m.