7 winter entertainment options in driving distance from Butler County

As the winter months move many activities inside, those seeking outdoor options to socially distance because of coronavirus concerns can do multiple things within a day trip’s drive of Greater Cincinnati.

Perfect North Slopes

This is the closest ski resort to the region, with over 20 trails for both beginners and intermediates. Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing options are available, as well as a school for first-timers.

The lodge features the Chow Corral, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, a slip-n-slide snack shack in the snow tubing area and, weather permitting, grilling on the deck.

How to Go

Where: 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

When: Open daily from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Cost: $42-$80

More Info: 812-537-3754 or www.perfectnorth.com

Mad River Mountain

Mad River Mountain boasts Ohio’s largest amount of snowmaking, Ohio’s largest tubing park, and Ohio’s largest ski lodge. There are 20 trails of varying difficulty, and a vertical drop of 300 feet from an elevation of 1,460 feet. The lodge includes the Lodge Cafeteria, the Mad River Loft and Grill, The Loft (a live music venue), wine club, retail space, and a group area. The Mad River Loft and Grill will be closed due to COVID-19.

How to Go

Where: 1000 Snow Valley Road, Zanesville

When: See Web site

Cost: See Web site

More Info: 800-231-7669 or www.skimadriver.com

Paoli Peaks

This day lodge located in southern Indiana features 20 ski and snowboarding trails and two terrain parks contained in a 450,000-square foot facility. The Arctic Blast Tubing facility is 240,00 square feet in its own right, with 10 lanes at 700 feet each. The mountain has a 300-foot vertical drop and there are slopes for all skill levels.

Further amenities include ski and snowboard lessons, a pro shop, the Peaks Pizzeria and Grill, and the Arctic Snack Bar. There are nearby hotels that offer rooms at discounted prices for Paoli patrons.

How to Go

Where: 2798 W. County Road 25 S., Paoli, Indiana

When: See Web site

Cost: See Web site

More Info: 812-723-4696 or www.paolipeaks.com

Alpine Valley

People find Alpine Valley attractive because, being located in the snow belt, it gets more natural snow than most other resorts. At 72 acres with a 264-mountain drop, it’s a smaller, more family-oriented resort, with seven trails and one terrain park evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill levels. Unlike most resorts, many of the trails are ungroomed wood trails.

When you need a refreshment break, Alpine Valley has several dining facilities serving everything from soups and mozzarella sticks to burgers and nachos.

How to Go

Where: 10620 Mayfield Road, Chesterland, Ohio

When: 3:30-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 3:30-10 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays

Cost: $14-$35

More Info: 440-285-2211 or www.alpinevalleyohio.com

Boston Mills & Brandywine Ski Resorts

How about two resorts for the price of one? These sister resorts are located five minutes from each other by car and share driveway space. Brandywine caters more to advanced snowboarders and Brandywine is more beginner-friendly. With 18 total trails, each resort has at least one terrain park and offers ski and snowboarding lessons.

The bar areas offer a variety of cafeteria-style options: burgers, chicken tenders, mac and cheese, salads, etc. There will also be veggie and gluten-free options. Only canned beverages will be served, including packaged beer and wine.

How to Go

Where: Brandywine,1146 W. Highland Road, Sagamore Hills, Ohio. Boston Mills, 7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula, Ohio

When: See Web site

Cost: $54

More Info: 330-657-2334 or www.bmbw.com

Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center

This is a more chill ski area, with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing offered through a scenic forested area. There’s a concession area that offers warm drinks and a warm fire. There are ski workshops for beginners and night skiing is offered when snow conditions are good.

How to Go

Where: Riverbend Park Shelter #3, 16618 Marion Township 208, Findlay, Ohio

When: Daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Hours may be reduced or expanded depending on weather conditions

Cost: $7 per hour, $20 per day

More Info: 419-425-7275 or www.hancockparks.com

Snow Trails Winter Resort

Located in the Possum Valley in Mansfield, the coldest place in Ohio, Snow Trails is another resort that produces a lot of natural snow. It’s also the only family-owned and operated ski resort in Ohio.

With nearly 20 trails and four terrain parks built from scratch every year, Snow Trails provides skiing and snowboarding for all skill levels and possesses an authentic country vibe. There is also snow tubing, as well as nighttime “glow tubing.” With its 1,475-foot mountain, Snow Trails also has the highest elevation in Ohio. There are also children’s events and lessons.

How to Go

Where: 3100 Possum Run Road, Mansfield, Ohio

When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (non-peak weekdays), 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (weekends and peak days)

Cost: $41-$52

More Info: 800-OHIO-SKI or www.snowtrails.com

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