Ice Skating in Walworth County

ice-skating-3002574_1920Ice has created many magical experiences for the Lake Geneva area this winter. In January, we were fortunate enough to welcome Ice Castles to the Riveria Beach in Lake Geneva. This magical outdoor experience, no doubt, has given guests a new appreciation of the beauty and wonderment of ice.

However, nothing beats the classic winter tradition of lacing up a pair of skates and taking to the ice. Whether it’s skating arm-in-arm with a loved one or teaching your kids to skate for the first time, nothing compares to the wintry magical feeling of gliding across the ice.

Bring your own skates to any of these Walworth County rinks. Rentals are available where noted:

Delavan

Lake Lawn Resort | 2400 E. Geneva Street
Rentals available at front desk; $5 per hour

East Troy

Adjacent to the East Troy Public Library | 3094 Graydon Avenue

Elkhorn

Courthouse Square (Veterans Park) | 100 W. Walworth Avenue

Fontana

The Abbey Resort | 269 Fontana Boulevard
Rentals available at front desk; $2/pair

Reid Park | Lake Street

Lake Geneva

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa | 7036 Grand Geneva Way
Rentals available at the ski shop; $10/pair

Flat Iron Park | 201 Wrigley Drive
Rentals available through Clear Water Outdoor;  Free for used, $5 for new

The Ridge Hotel | W4240 Hwy. 50
Rentals available at front desk; $8/pair

Walworth

Rotary Park | Casey Lane

IceSkating_2019a

 

For more winter activities check out our “Winter Fun” section in Things to Do at VisitWalworthCounty.com

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Winter Festivals in Walworth County 2019

Winter is the best time to make memories with your friends and loved ones. The closer you are, the warmer you stay! There is no better place to come and celebrate the thrills of winter! Each community celebrates the season in their own way, but exciting activities and great ways to stay warm take place in abundance in Walworth County.


Hot ChocolateFest

Friday, January 18 – Sunday, January 20

burlington_hot chocolatefest2019Folks will be kicking off the winter celebration with a large creamy cup of hot chocolate at Burlington’s annual Hot ChocolateFest. Anything you could possibly associate with winter will be included in these three days. Break out your winter woolies to enjoy open skating on Echo Lake, ice bowling, snowman decorating contests, and broom ball. Then warm up with hot chocolate, storytelling around campfires, and a chili contest. This weekend will also include live music, a Winter Artisan Faire, and a scavenger hunt for the kids. Warm up those dancing shoes at the Old fashioned “Sock Hop”, then wrap up the weekend fun with a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday.


Winterfest
  Town of Delavan

Saturday, January 19, 11:30 am – 5 pm

town of delavan winterfestOn the shore of frozen Delavan Lake, the Community Park pavilion will resonate with the sounds of hot jazz from the Elkhorn, Big Foot and Delavan-Darien High School Jazz Bands at the Town of Delavan’s Winterfest. Food and drinks will be available to satisfy you while you purchase your 50/50 raffle tickets to help support the Delavan-Darien Arts Booster Club and the Friends of the Park. Locals and visitors alike will be excited about the door prizes; this is your chance to win season boat passes or two season non-resident passes. Make sure you take advantage of the Free Fishing Day, also on January 19th, on all state lakes and streams! Details for Winterfest and the DNR’s Free Fishing Day can be found on the Walworth County Visitors Bureau’s events calendar.


Winterfest Lake Geneva

Saturday, January 26 – Sunday, February 3

vlg_snowsculptingevenphotoFor nine days, Winterfest takes over the city and the shore line of Geneva Lake in downtown Lake Geneva. Walking down Wrigley Drive you will see the infamous sculptures created for the U.S. Snow Sculpting Competition and the Ice Castles decorating the shoreline. Throughout the city, you will find a plethora of events that make up this elaborate winter celebration. Events include, but are not limited to: Hovercraft Experiences, Dinner & Dance Party, Human Dog Sled races, Souper Family Fun Night, a Food and Wine Pairing, The Supper Club Experience, Kids’ Snow Sculpting Lessons, the Winterfest Showcase, Cocoa Crawl, Chilly Jiggers Ice Fishing Derby, Helicopter Rides, the Polar Bar, Chili Cook-Off, Live Music, and Candlelight Hike. Details for all of these events can be found on the Walworth County Visitors Bureau’s events calendar.


Winter Carnival

Saturday, February 2, 10 am – 5 pm

Winter Carnival Grand Geneva.jpgGrand Geneva’s Winter Carnival hosts skiing, snowboarding and fun snow activities for the whole family to enjoy! If you have got the skills, take part in their Ski Boarder Cross and Rail Jam competitions or just enjoy the festivities all over The Mountain Top. If you’re not a skier, relax in the Beer Tent and let the kids tackle free activities made just for them. The festivities will conclude with a beautiful fireworks display and the Torch Light Hillside Parade at 8:30 pm.


Day In The Bay

Saturday, February 2, 10 am – 5 pm
day in the bay- williams bay
Come chill out on the other side of the lake for Day in the Bay! Pick up a passport at the Barrett Memorial Library and collect your stamps as you visit Williams Bay businesses for the chance to win free raffle prizes. There will be free children’s activities at Privatos Restaurant from noon to 3 pm, with a children’s raffle at 3:30 pm.

Sky Circus On Ice
Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 17

skycircus web adSky Circus on Ice hosts professional kite teams from around the world to showcase their skills during this winter festival on the shore of Delavan Lake. You can only truly enjoy the awe and wonder in person. Expert snow sculptors and ice carvers will also demonstrate their skills along the shore of Lake Lawn Resort and the historic brick street in downtown Delavan.

 

Delavan Train Show
Saturday, March 9 & Sunday, March 10

Facebook Event Cover Photo 2.jpgDelavan hosts one of the largest train shows in the Midwest, featuring operating layouts in multiple scales. See some of the most exciting layouts from the ‘big’ shows as well as beautiful local layouts. This is a big train show with all the comforts of the small town atmosphere. Located in the center of historic downtown Delavan. This family-friendly event has loads of fun and free admission for all!

Maple Fest 
Sunday, March 17, 7:30 am – 3 pm
maple fest
A stack of hot cakes is just not complete without a layer of maple syrup over the top! On March 17, Covenant Harbor will be serving an all-you-care-to-eat pancake breakfast and selling all sorts of maple deliciousness at Maple Fest. This festival will show all the things Covenant Harbor has to offer; explore the grounds, learn more about the family activities available, and enjoy a maple syrup tour, and much more.

 

For more detailed information about these festivals,

visit our events calendar at VisitWalworthCounty.com.

 

 

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_
Facebook        https://www.facebook.com/IceCastlesWI/

For more information about Ice Castles WI and their upcoming announcements, check out the Ice Castles website and sign up for their newsletter updates, or follow them 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!

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

10WaysBlog__FBLink

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.

sledding

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.

Snowshoe

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.

snowmobile

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.

zipline

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.

Winterfest

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.

Santa Sightings | December 18 – 20, 2015

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus!

The Christmas countdown continues, and there are only six more sleeps until Santa’s big flight! This weekend may be your last chance to have a sit on the big guy’s lap before he and his elves start making their rounds.

Here’s a listing of where Santa will be making appearances around Walworth County. Grab your littles and hit the town for your last chance to tell St. Nick all of your Christmas wishes.

SantaSightingsDec18-20

For a full list of Santa Sightings and other Holiday Events, visit our Events Calendar.

Santa Sightings: December 11 – 13

You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town!

There’s only 14 more sleeps until Santa’s big flight (but who’s counting?!)! Until then, you can still find the Jolly Old Elf making appearances around Walworth County. Follow our Santa Sightings to stay in the know of where and when Mr. Kringle will be!

Don’t forget to check back every week until Christmas as we share a new listing of Santa Sightings for the upcoming weekend.

SantaSightingsDec11-13

Friday December 11

Visit Santa at the Chalet! | 7:30 – 8 pm 
Wehmhoff Square, Burlington

Saturday December 12

Breakfast with Santa | 8 am – 12 pm
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva – http://www.grandgeneva.com
Christmas Train | 9:30 am, 12 pm, 2:30 pm
East Troy Electric Railroad, East Troy – http://www.easttroyrr.org
Old World Holiday Breakfast | 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle – http://www.oldworldwisconsin.org
An Old World Christmas | 10 am – 5 pm
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle – http://www.oldworldwisconsin.org
Santa’s Hours | 11 am – 1 pm
Bradley’s of Delavan, Delavan – http://www.delavanwi.org
Santa & His Reindeer | 1 – 4 pm
Genev Java, Lake Geneva
Santa Visits | 2 – 4 pm
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva – http://www.grandgeneva.com
Visit Santa at the Chalet! | 2 – 4 pm
Wehmhoff Square, Burlington

Sunday December 13

Santa Strolling Downtown
Downtown, Lake Geneva
Breakfast with Santa | 8 am – 12 pm
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva – http://www.grandgeneva.com
Christmas Train | 9:30 am, 12 pm, 2:30 pm
East Troy Electric Railroad, East Troy – http://www.easttroyrr.org
Old World Holiday Breakfast | 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle – http://www.oldworldwisconsin.org
An Old World Christmas | 10 am – 5 pm
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle – http://www.oldworldwisconsin.org
Brunch with Santa | 10 am – 1 pm
The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa, Fontana – http://www.theabbeyresort.com
Visit Santa at the Chalet! | 2 – 4 pm
Wehmhoff Square, Burlington

For a full list of holiday events, visit our Events Calendar at VisitWalworthCounty.com. Check back next week, as we’ll post a new “Santa Sightings” for the upcoming weekend!

Ice Skating in the Lake Geneva Area

Why not take a break from the Olympics this weekend and try your own skills at the rink?  You may not earn the gold in figure skating, but you just may earn a gold star with your family!
Walworth County has several great ice skating rinks in the area; ice skating is fun for the whole family – and reasonably priced.  For the full list of winter activities as well as business contact information, please click HERE.

iceskates

Geneva Ridge Resort, Lake Geneva
(262) 249-3800
Fully lit outdoor rink available to public and resort guests.  Hot chocolate and other concessions available.  Rentals available for $5.

Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva
(262) 248-8811
Public skating at the ice skating rink located under the outdoor Pavilion near the Golf Shop.  Non-Resort guests may use the rink Monday-Thursday only.  Resort guests may skate free with their own skates, or rental charges apply.  Non-Resort guests can skate for $5 with their own skates or may rent skates from the Golf Shop.  Rentals available $8/first hour + $3/additional hour.

Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan
(262) 728-7950
Public skating available on the frozen Delavan Lake.  Skate rentals available for $5/hour for non-resort guests.  Resort guests get their first hour of rental free.  Weather permitting.

Library Park, Lake Geneva
(262) 248-3673
Rink is free to the public; bring your own skates.

Pier 290, Williams Bay
(262) 245-2100
Rink is free to the public; bring your own skates.

The Abbey Resort, Fontana
(262) 275-9000
Public skating available at The Abbey rink, located on the Harbor Patio.  Complimentary skate rental for resort guests; $2/pair for non-resort guests.  Skating is weather dependant and will be open for skating whenever the air temperatures and ice conditions are conducive.

Rotary Park Ice Rink, Walworth
Rink is free to the public; bring your own skates.

Ice-Saktes-SidephotoFor year-round fun & to access our Events Calendar, visit our website.  Do you have something to add to the list?  Let us know!  Comment below with your favorite winter activity or ice skating location.