Winter is not everyone’s favorite season, but there are some awesome things that you can only do during the coldest months of the year. Snowsports are some of the best parts of living in the Midwest! Thankfully, we have an awesome resource, brought to us by the Rockford Park District, located right in the middle of the city.
The Snow Park at Alpine Hills is a five-acre park divided into two sections for family fun – a terrain park, and a tubing hill. There’s a surface lift (magic carpet) that takes riders from the bottom of the tubing hill and snowboard course so you spend more time going down the hill than you do walking back up!
Rockford gets about 37 inches of snow per year which only lasts for part of the winter. That’s not enough to run a snow park all winter, so the Snow Park makes their own snow! You can find out more about the process here. The Snow Park also uses snow cat machines to make sure the snow is evenly distributed on the hill.
Where is the Snow Park at Alpine Hills located?
The Snow Park at Alpine Hills is located at 4402 Larson Avenue in Rockford. It’s right off Alpine Road, very close to the Alpine and East State intersection. It is directly across Alpine from Alpine Park, home of one of the cutest playgrounds in Rockford, Paulyground.
When is the Snow Park at Alpine Hills open?
The Snow Park opens on December 28, 2022. Regular hours begin on January 4, 2023.
Hours: Thursday – Friday from 4 pm – 8 pm
Saturday – Sunday from 10 am – 8 pm
There will be extended hours when school is out.
The Snow Park does sometimes close due to inclement weather. However, we’ve been there after a snowstorm, while it was still snowing, and things were running smoothly!
What can you do at the Snow Park at Alpine Hills?
The Snow Park has a little something for everyone! There is a four lane tubing hill, with two tube sizes available, and a terrain park for snowboarding.
Tubing at the Snow Park
Tubing is for kids ages 4 and up. Adults can tube too! Kids must be 6 years old and 42 inches tall to ride in a tube alone. Ages 4-5 can use a mini tube and ride tandem with an adult. Guests who are under the height requirement must use a mini tube. Tubing admission is sold in 90 minute time blocks.
When we visited the Snow Park, we spent our time tubing! We went as a family of four (husband, myself, 4 year old son, and 7 year old daughter). The kids enjoyed it and when they started getting cold and tired of riding, it was time to go. Both my 4 year old and 7 year could go down the big hill by themselves.
The hill is well maintained with ridges of snow preventing riders from bumping into each other. A ramp at the end of the hill slides you backward until you stop. The ride was quick, but not scary. Both of my kids (4 and 7 years old) enjoyed it and were not scared. My kids have been tubing since ages 3 and 5 at the Snow Park and have enjoyed it each year.
Tubing time slots are available for 90 minutes each.
The cost for tubing is $10 per person.
Snowboarding at the Snow Park
The terrain park offers a few places to do tricks including boxes. You must bring a metal-edged snowboard to participate, no plastic snowboards are allowed. Snowboards are also available for rental for $60 for a board, helmet, and lift ticket.
If you don’t know how to snowboard, lessons are available on Saturdays for beginners and novices. Lessons are for kids 8 years old and up and cost $30 per person. Register for lessons here.
The cost is $14 for admission (BYOB).
Rental is $60 for a board, helmet, and admission.
Helmets and boards can also be rented individually.
Terrain park time slots are for the entire day.
The Lodge at the Snow Park
The Lodge has a variety of snacks and drinks available for purchase as well as bathrooms for patrons to use.
Tips for Enjoying Your Time at the Snow Park
Visit the Lodge first to get your lift ticket and put on your snow gear!
Dress warmly! Snow pants for everyone! If you don’t own snow pants as an adult, I highly recommend buying some. It makes being outdoors in the winter so much more enjoyable because you are not cold at all. Kids and adults should wear snow pants while tubing as snow does spray up into the tube.
Get some hot cocoa after you’re done. Nearby local coffee shops include
- Meg’s Daily Grind (1141 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL)
- Velvet Robot (1292 S. Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL)
- Rockford Roasting Company (206 N Main St, Rockford, IL)