By Anne Morrissy | Photography by Holly Leitner

The Geneva Lake area’s ski hills may be quite petite when compared to famous ski resorts in other parts of the country, but this actually makes them an ideal place for beginners to learn this fun winter sport. Whether you’ve never stepped into ski boots before or you’re looking for a refresher course after a long hiatus from the sport, the area’s local ski hills offer the perfect environment to get into downhill skiing. Local ski schools offer plenty of options for instructor-led lessons. There are classes targeted to young children (as young as age 3) and middle- grade kids, as well as group lessons for adults. For those looking for more one-on-one attention, there are private and semi-private lessons available as well.

You’ll start on flat ground where you’ll learn the fundamentals: equipment tips, how to get in and out of your skis, how to fall safely, how to get back up if (when) you fall down and how to start and stop moving. From there, you’ll transition to the “bunny hill,” a gently sloping area close to the chalet, generally reached by skiing onto a moving “magic carpet” that takes you to the top. In no time, you’ll find you’re enjoying the sensation of cold wind on your face as you sail to the bottom and start all over again. Eventually, you’ll be ready to brave the chairlifts and ski the intermediate hills. Before you know it, you’ll be hitting the advanced runs. Here’s where to learn:

  1. Alpine Valley Ski Resort, East Troy – Alpine Valley’s ski school offers everything from “Build- Your-Own, Friends-and-Family” lessons to Adult “Let’s Get Social!” lessons that include a drink ticket for après-ski fun. There are “kinder-” lessons for kids ages 5-7 and Adventure Kids classes for ages 8-12. Whatever your ability level or age, you’ll find a group lesson option for you.
  2. Grand Geneva Resort & Spa’s Mountain Top Ski Area, Lake Geneva – Originally built as part of the Playboy Resort in 1968, Grand Geneva’s ski area offers several lesson options. There are Snow Cubs classes for kids ages 3-6 and a Mountain Mites program for kids ages 7-13 which uses a progressive, specialized training system. Private lessons and beginner group lessons are offered for all ages. All lessons must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance.
  3. Wilmot Mountain, Wilmot – Now owned by Vail Resorts, Wilmot Mountain recently underwent major renovations. The resort offers a full slate of lesson options for skiers ages 3 to adult, and all classes are taught by world-class instructors. Opt for group or private lessons, but online registration is recommended as classes often fill up.

This article was originally published in November 2023 in the Winter 2024 issue of At The Lake Magazine, our sister publication. Find more things to do in the Lake Geneva area on their website


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