Member Monday: Ice Castles WI

IceCastles_Mary Siversten2The marvels of winter are about to be taken to the next level here in Walworth County. There has been a lot of excitement since the news broke that Ice Castles would be coming to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 2018.  Along with excitement, there have been a lot of questions from anxious winter enthusiasts about Ice Castles – Wisconsin and when we get to enjoy the newest winter attraction! I am thrilled to have had an opportunity to interview and learn more about Ice Castles and cannot wait to share the much desired information about this awe-inspiring, must-see winter phenomenon!

Q: Please tell us a little bit about the Ice Castles. 
A: Ice Castles is an awe-inspiring, must-see winter phenomenon that brings fairy tales to life. The frozen attraction is located in six cities across North America. The experience is built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. The castles include breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, and fountains.

Q: How and where did Ice Castles get started?
A: Ice Castle began in 2008 when Brent Christensen built an elaborate slide in the front yard of his home in Alpine, Utah, for the entertainment of his kids. He formed his company a year later and built his first large-scale Ice Castle at Midway, Utah’s Zermatt Resort. Since then he has created ice castles all over the United States and Canada.

Q: Who makes the Ice Castles?
A: Each location has a team of builders that are trained to build the Ice Castle. The process is overseen by a site manager, who has worked closely with Brent Christensen to design the castle.

Q: How do you make an Ice Castle? How long does it take?
IceCastles_DanSchykulskiFBA: The Ice Castles are made by hand. Our crews grow roughly 10,000 icicles every day and place them throughout the Ice Castle to provide something for the water to freeze to. Over time the icicles just get absorbed into the ice structure. It is roughly a three month process to build the castle.

Q: How many locations do you have Ice Castle displays?
A: We have six locations across the US & Canada.

Q: Where can the Lake Geneva Ice Castles be found, and what are the hours?
A: The Ice Castle will be located on Riviera Beach, 812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. The hours will be announced soon.

Q: How should visitors dress to visit Ice Castles? What is appropriate attire?
A: Dress for winter! Warm clothes and winter boots are best. Shoes and boots with flat soles (like dress shoes or cowboy boots) are slippery and not recommended.
Everything inside the Ice Castles is made of ice and snow, including the walking paths. On sunny, warm days, the ice and snow will melt and the surface can become slippery.
Most people don’t have any difficulty walking through the Ice Castles with or without ski poles. However, if you are concerned about your safety inside the Ice Castles, please make your concern known to one of our staff before entering the Ice Castle. When you enter the Ice Castles, you agree to obey the Ice Castle rules and you accept our Waiver of Liability.

Q: How long does it take to go through the Ice Castles?
A: Typically people spend about an hour in the Ice Castles.

Q: Are there any tips & tricks about Ice Castles that visitors should know or keep an eye out for?
A: Here is a link to a blog post on 5 ways to enhance your Ice Castles experience: 5 Tips to Enhance your Ice Castle Experience

Q: What age range is suitable to visit Ice Castles?
A: Ice Castles is an amazing experience for all ages.

Q: How much does it cost? Where can you buy tickets?
A: Online| Mon. – Thurs. |General Admission (12+): $15.95     Child (4-11): $10.95
Online| Fri. – Sun. | General Admission (12+): $18.95     Child (4-11): $14.95

Walkup (Standby) | Mon. – Thurs. |General Admission (12+): $20     Child (4-11): $15
Walkup (Standby)| Fri. – Sun. |General Admission (12+): $25     Child (4-11): $20

Tickets will go on sale late November/early December. We recommend signing up for updates on our website to be notified when tickets go on sale!

Q: Are there group discounts?
A: Yes we offer 15% discount when you spend $150 or more in checkout.

IceCastles_LakeGenevaFBQ: What made you choose to create an Ice Castle in Lake Geneva, WI?
A: We believe the weather in Lake Geneva is ideal for building and sustaining the Ice Castles experience. Additionally, Lake Geneva’s proximity to Chicago, Illinois; and Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin makes it the perfect weekend getaway for those looking to escape the city. Riviera Beach, where Ice Castles will be built, offers a stunning backdrop that will compliment the beauty of the attraction.

Q: How long will Ice Castles be in Lake Geneva?
A: Typically we open late December and stay open until early March- weather permitting. We hope to return again after this season!

Q: Are there special events planned?
A: Yes, we will have Ice Princesses and fire performers. Details will be on our website within the next few weeks.

Q: Can pictures be taken in and of the Ice Castles?
A: Yes, and we want to see them (#icecastles)! Keep in mind that we do not allow tripods, blocking off of any part of the castle, or any props.

Q: Where can people share their experience? (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
A: We love to see guest photos! Tag us on social media:
Instagram     @icecastles_

For more information about Ice Castles WI and their upcoming announcements, check out the Ice Castles national website or on their Facebook page.

Also visit the Walworth County Visitors Bureau events calendar
for up-to-date information on Ice Castles, Winterfest 2019
and other great winter fun!


Snow Much Savings

Snow Much Savings in Walworth County

Who doesn’t love a little savings?! Here at the Walworth County Visitors Bureau, we LOVE savings. That’s why, for the forth year in a row, we are offering our Snow Much Savings Coupon Book!

Thinking about having an overnight stay in the area? We have a coupon for that! Live in the area and don’t feel like cooking tonight? We have a coupon for that! Looking to spoil yourself or a friend with fashions or treasures from one of the local boutiques? We have a coupon for that! Want to be pampered at the spa? We have a coupon for that too!

This year’s coupon book has 24 offers of savings for everything from lodging and dining to shopping and spa treatments to attractions. There’s a coupon for everyone, whether you’re visiting the area or live locally. And the best part is, the Snow Much Savings Coupon Books are FREE. That’s right, no mistake there. They are FREE. All you have to do is request one.

Order your coupon book now to save at the Lake Geneva Motel, Gino’s East, The Trout House, Sprechers, Jayne, Chatty Kathy’s, Calladora Spa, Clear Water’s Salon and Day Spa, Rosewood, Lake Geneva Cruise Line, and more!

Snow Much Savings Coupon Books can be ordered by visiting our website or by calling (262) 728-6000.  You can also pick up the coupon book in person at our Visitors Center, located inside the Lake Lawn Airport building at 2375 E. Geneva Street in Delavan, WI.

10 Ways to Have Snow Much Fun in the Lake Geneva Area


Who says winter means you have to stay indoors?

Winter is officially upon us in Walworth County! The snow and chilly temperatures may have been slow coming, but they are here now, and we have the dish on TEN ways to live it up this winter in the Lake Geneva area.

ice skating

1. Ice Skating
With 11 skating rinks right here in Walworth County, you’re sure to find a rink close enough to home. The hard part will be choosing which one to go to first! If you have your own skates, one of the many local park rinks will be a great option. Park rinks in the area include: Devor Park and Echo Veteran’s Memorial Park in Burlington, Wildwood Park in Darien, Veteran’s Memorial Park in Delavan, Library Park in Lake Geneva, Rotary Park in Walworth, and the Skating Rink at Pier 290 in Williams Bay.

If you are in need of skate rentals, we recommend skating at one of the local resorts. Local resorts with skating rinks and rentals include Lake Lawn Resort, The Abbey Resort, The Ridge Hotel, and Grand Geneva Resort.


2. Sledding
The Lake Geneva area hosts 12 local sledding hills that are perfect for that downhill slide after a good snow. Many of the sledding hills are located at local parks and trails. To view a full list of each hill in Walworth County, check out the Places to Play: Sledding section of our website.


3. Snowshoeing
With so much stunning scenery in Walworth County, snowshoeing is a favorite winter activity in the area! If you have your own snowshoes, there are a variety of parks and trails that have scenic paths for snowshoeing. Should you need a rental, there are plenty of options throughout the county to rent a pair before you hit the trails. Rental facilities include Backyard Bike & Ski Shop, Clear Water Outdoor, Fontana Paddle Company, Grand Geneva Resort, and Lake Lawn Resort (please note that resort rentals are for on-property use only).

If you like to be social when you snowshoe, then you might want to sign up for one of Clear Water Outdoor’s Snowshoe Socials, hosted every second and fourth Saturday of the month at Big Foot Beach State Park.


4. Snowmobiling
The White River Bike Trail in Elkhorn is a 12.6 mile railway corridor that was transformed into a bike trail. In the winter months, it is a favorite local snowmobiling trail. The Elkhorn trail head is located off of Highway H, and runs from Elkhorn to Burlington. Trail passes are available at the County Highway Department, the Walworth County Visitors Bureau’s Visitors Center (in Delavan), and the Elkhorn Chamber office.

Need a trail update before you go? Call the “Snow Phone” at the Walworth County Snowmobile Alliance for trail conditions and more. (262) 742-2664

For information on more trails throughout Walworth County stop by the Visitors Bureau to pick up a Trail Map, or visit our website or call (262) 728-6000 to have one mailed to you.


5. Ziplining
Lake Geneva Canopy Tours has an Eco Adventure for everyone!  Explore their expansive 100 acres at whatever pace you want to set. If you really want to get the blood pumping, traverse 8 different zip lines, 5 sky bridges, 3 spiral stairways and climb a one-of-a-kind “floating” double helix stairway while on their world class Canopy Tour. Bring the family, grab a group of friends, or go solo. It is a different kind of winter fun that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

downhill skiing

6. Downhill Skiing
Get your adrenaline pumping with some fast slopes in Walworth County. Alpine Valley Resort has over 90 skiable acres with 20 Runs, a vertical drop of 388 feet, and the longest run being 3,000 feet! The steepest run is Big Thunder and the longest slope is Alpine. PLUS, they are the only resort in Southeastern Wisconsin that features on-site ski-in/ski-out rooms with a full service Bistro for dining and free weekend family movie nights.

The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort is also one of Wisconsin’s premier ski destinations. Whether you’re a first-timer or an avid enthusiast, you will find a great skiing experience! Their 18 exciting runs go up to a quarter mile in length, and are suitable for skiers of every ability level. Rentals are available if you need them, AND they have fantastic weekday ski specials that include $20 Tuesdays, 1/2 price rental Wednesdays, and 2 for 1 Thursdays.

cross country

7. Cross Country Skiing
Experience the back country of the Lake Geneva area. There are many trails and parks throughout the county ready for cross country skiers.

Local trails and parks that are groomed for cross country skiing include the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Eagle, the Duck Pond Recreation Area in Fontana, Big Foot Beach State Park in Lake Geneva, and White River County Park, also in Lake Geneva.

A few local resorts also have scenic acres to accommodate cross country skiers. Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Geneva National in Lake Geneva, and Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva each have beautiful properties to cross country ski on, and offer rentals for on-property use.

Need to rent equipment before skiing some of the local trails and parks? Clear Water Outdoor and Backyard Bikes can both hook you up with everything you need before you hit the trails.

sky circus

8. Sky Circus
February 12 – 14 Delavan will come alive with FREE winter fun during the 3rd Annual Sky Circus on Ice. Hosted at Lake Lawn Resort, the weekend spectacle will feature exciting airborne performances by professional kite teams from across North America, plus snow sculpting and ice carving by top regional artists. Additionally, there will be kite making workshops and bunches of other super fun activities for all ages.


9. Winterfest – U.S. Snow Sculpting Competition
The ONLY National Snow Sculpting Competition in the country will be in Lake Geneva February 3rd – February 7th. This event has been hosted in Lake Geneva for over 20 years, showcasing the best snow sculpting teams from across the country from Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Alaska to the surrounding states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

As if the phenomenal snow sculpting wasn’t enough, this event also has a huge array of crazy fun activities over the week that include an ice bar, human dog sled races, cocoa crawls, chili cook-offs and more!

snow angel

10. Snow Angels, Snowmen & Snow Forts
Last but not least, one of the most entertaining ways to have Snow Much Fun is to be a kid again and just play in the snow! Bundle up, grab the kids and head to the backyard, or a favorite park and just play in the snow. Build a snow fort, lay in the snow and flap your arms and legs to make a snow angel, or start rolling snow balls to create the best snowman ever. No kids? Who cares! Just get out there and play!

Did you do it?! If you did, take some pics of your snow angels, snowmen or snow forts and share them with the Walworth County Visitors Bureau! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our coupon books will help you have “Snow Much Fun” this winter!

The Walworth County Visitors Bureau is happy to announce that for the third year in a row, we will have the FREE Snow Much Fun coupon book available for visitors & locals!  This year’s coupon book has 30 great deals and offers from local restaurants, hotels, stores, and spas.

How does “Buy two nights, get 3rd one free” at Lake Geneva Motel sound?  Or “Two for the price of one for Sunday Brunch at Fontana Grill” in the Abbey Resort?  How about “Golf $500 Family Portrait special for $350” from Ideal Impressions?  Find these deals – and more – inside the 2014 coupon book!!


Winter may be cold & snowy, but why not take advantage of this seasonal fun & enjoy all that Walworth County has to offer?!

To order your coupon book, visit our website or call (262) 728-6000.  You can also pick up the coupon book in person at our Visitors Center, located inside the Lake Lawn Airport building at 2375 E. Geneva Street in Delavan, WI.

Santa Sightings: November 29-December 1

Christmas is less than a month away, which can only mean one thing…Santa is out in full force this season!!  He is visiting lots of local businesses over the next few weeks, and we have your inside scoop on where the jolly ol’ man will be.

Here are Santa’s stops this weekend (November 29-December 1):


For a full list of Santa sightings and holiday events, visit our Events Calendar, and check back here each weekend for the latest in Santa sightings.  Don’t forget to get some of your Christmas shopping done while you’re out this weekend & take advantage of great Small Business Saturday deals!

There’s “snow” much to do in the Lake Geneva area!

It may be March, but the snow is still flying in Walworth County.  Our sledding hills, ski slopes, and skating rinks are looking great, so why not get outside and enjoy our great county?!

There is no shortage of ice skating rinks in Walworth County!
The Abbey Resort has a rink that is free for public use. Skates are complimentary for resort guests or $2 per pair for non-resort guests.
Grand Geneva Resort‘s rink is free for resort guests.  Non-resort guests can use the rink for $8 for the first hour & $3 each additional hour.  This fee includes the rental and rink fee.
Lake Lawn Resort offers free skating on the frozen Delavan Lake (weather permitting).  They also have skate rentals available for $5 per hour.
Geneva Ridge Resort has a skating rink in front of the resort that is free to the public & resort guests.  Skate rentals are $5.
Pier 290 in Williams Bay also has a free public rink, provided you bring your own skates.
The Library Park in Lake Geneva offers free skating on the frozen Geneva Lake; just bring your own skates.
The Rotary Park Ice Rink (Casey Street in Walworth) is free to the public as well – just need your own skates.

If sledding is more your style, there is free sledding at the Rudy Lange Sledding Hill (intersection of Washington St. & Terrace St. in Delavan) and at the Lake Geneva Sledding Hill (intersection of Sage St. & Mill St. in Lake Geneva).  Both hills are open until 10pm daily; bring your own sled and have fun!  Grand Geneva Resort also has a sledding hill open to the general public Monday-Thursday until dusk.  $8 will get you a sled rental & one hour of sledding; you can pay an additional $3 for each additional hour.

Walworth County is also home to two great ski resorts: Alpine Valley Resort and Grand Geneva Resort.  Go to their websites for pricing, information, and slope conditions.

For a complete listing of snow activities in the area, click HERE.  Now get out there & enjoy the great outdoors!