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Five hills within 50 miles

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Blue Hills Ski Area
City: Canton
Miles from Boston: 20
Lift ticket rates: $16-$36
Contact: 781-828-5070
www.ski-bluehills.com

Though it only has nine trails and one chair lift, at under a half-hour drive, Blue Hills is the closest ski area. And if the picture on this page is any indication, it doesn’t look too crowded.

Nashoba Valley-
City: Westford
Miles from Boston: 35
Lift ticket rates: $20-$45
Contact: 978-692-3033
www.skinashoba.com

The slopes stay open until 10 p.m., and there’s a tubing park for those who would normally be stuck in the lodge, which is actually great. It’s called The Outlook, and though any place giving its lodge a different name is immediately suspect, its club sandwich passed the test like an Olympic jumper.

Ski Bradford: Resort and Ski School
City: Haverhill
Miles from Boston: 36
Lift ticket rates: $22-$42
Contact: 978-373-0071
www.skibradford.com

With 13 trails, eight lifts, and even a terrain park for borders, this North Shore resort has enough to satisfy those who can’t trek up to New Hampshire or Maine — like maybe ski fanatics who are under house arrest but have sympathetic parole officers.

Ski Ward
City: Shrewsbury
Miles from Boston: 40
Lift ticket rates: $10-$40
Contact: 508-845-1797
www.skiward.com

Skiers and boarders from bunny hill level to advanced mogul-ers will be happy here. Also, its snow tubing hill is called the Tuba Slide and has lanes to make you feel like a race-car driver.

McIntyre Ski Area
City: Manchester, N.H.
Miles from Boston: 53
Lift ticket rates: $20-$29
Contact: 603-628-6163
www.mcintyreskiarea.com

It’s the farthest distance from the city, but with the best variety of lessons, it’s great for children and beginners. There’s tubing, too! You don’t need lessons for that, but they’re so comprehensive here that they’d probably teach you if you asked.

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