Five Massachusetts Winter Sports Destinations

All the fun, none of the drive: Relish the chill with these five winter-sports destinations close to home.

Art by Jeannie Phan

For downhill skiing and snowboarding
Blue Hills Ski Area

Why trek to the white mountains when you can hit the slopes just 10 miles outside the city? At an elevation of 635 feet, Blue Hills Reservation’s Great Blue Hill (starting at $45 for a day pass) boasts 16 trails accessed by four ski lifts. If you’re new to winter sports, drop in for a private lesson (offered to kids and adults alike) and get ready to shred.

4001 Washington St., Canton, 781-828-5070,

For cross-country skiing
Weston Ski Track

When the weather outside is frightful, this ski track is so delightful. With 10 miles of scenic trails that wind through trees and alongside the Charles River, this golf course turned winter-sports Mecca ($15 for a day pass) is perfect for a quick afternoon jaunt. Bonus points for a one-mile loop groomed with manmade snow, so you can rest assured that even if your backyard doesn’t have any of the white stuff, the course definitely will.

190 Park Rd., Weston, 617-965-5110,

For snowshoeing
Boston Nature Center

Take in the beauty of a world dusted in white at this Mattapan outdoor haven, where you can rent snowshoes ($10 per day) and explore 67 acres packed with more than 150 types of birds and hundreds of plant species. Whether you go it alone or with a friend, you’ll appreciate the chance to frolic like a kid during a snow day again.

500 Walk St., Mattapan, 617-983-8500,

For ice-skating
Boston Common Frog Pond

Twinkling lights strung from the trees. The scent of hot cocoa wafting throughout the air. Open to the public seven days a week, this magical skating experience ($6 per person) is a classic for a reason. And the winter wonderland lasts long after the holidays are over—during February school vacation week, the Highland Street Foundation sponsors free ice-skating and rentals for families, plus a 45-foot-long toboggan tunnel and other cold-weather fun.

Boston Common, Boston, 617-635-2120,

For sledding
The hills of Brookline

From thrill rides to friendly little knolls for the wee ones, the hills of Brookline are the spot to hop in a toboggan (or on a trash-can lid) and let it slide. Popular with teens, the steep slopes of Corey Hill Outlook Park, on Summit Avenue, offer prime views of the city, while Larz Anderson Park features inclines of all intensity levels. And if you want to just kick it with the kiddos and make snowmen in between runs, drag your sled over to Amory Park, where the hills are a bit more manageable. No matter where you go, you’ll come home tuckered out and ready for a nap by the fire.