Lake Geneva may be a popular summer spot but our crew had a hunch the area is just as fun and interesting during the cooler months. So, we set out to investigate and we're happy to report back our findings: The Lake Geneva area should be at the top of your "places-to-visit" list regardless of the season. Here are just seven reasons why we love us a little LG during the winter:
- Grand Geneva Resort
This former Lake Geneva Playboy Club Hotel is now the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa and one of Wisconsin’s premier lodging destinations. Here you’ll find the WELL Spa + Salon and Fitness Center plus an indoor/outdoor waterpark called Moose Mountain Falls. What’s more, their 335 guest rooms are as elegant as they come complete with high-tech amenties and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture. Grand Geneva also hosts a slew of exciting wintertime games and celebrations including a winter carnival, torchlight parade and an adrenaline-inducing championship (see #7 on this list).
- Winterfest & U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition
Everything about snow sculpting is crazy awesome: the skills and creativity behind these ginormous frosty sculptures, the teamwork involved to get 'er done on time and the overall visual allure of the finished pieces. I attended last year’s national snow sculpting championship in Lake Geneva and was in awe by both the raw talent of the artists and their die-hard commitment to their craft. (Many artists pulled an all-nighter just to perfect their work!) In addition to the official crowning of the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition Champion, you’ll also love all the music, magic, helicopter rides and more.
- Historic Hotels of Lake Geneva
Time traveling is pretty much the best thing ever. Okay, soooo perhaps I'm not literally traveling to yesteryear in my spare time, but one trip to the Historic Hotels of Lake Geneva and you do feel like you've teleported to the 1880s. Allow me to first brag about the Baker House 1885. This place is phenomenal. I walked in and was first greeted by a butler ... like a real butler with a sweet accent who took my coat for me and offered me a vintage hat to throw on.Then I walked upstairs to my suite, which was one of the most beautiful rooms I've ever seen. The other hotel I want to talk about is the Maxwell Mansion, where I got to do something I've been dying to experience forever: partake in a musical murder mystery dinner at the Maxwell Mansion. It was just as awesome as I knew it would be.
- Festival of Lights
If the impending season is bringin' on the holiday feels for you, you're going to love this classic Christmastime event. Lake Geneva's Festival of Lights will take place Friday, Dec. 4. Enjoy holiday story time, a tree lighting ceremony with Santa in Flat Iron Park and a plethora of in-store events. Round up the whole family for this one!
- Sky Circus on Ice
Delavan’s already a vibrant little town but it’s about to get a whole lot more colorful when its 2nd Annual Sky Circus on Ice takes place in February. Expect professional kite performances over Delavan Lake as well as ice carving and snow sculpting art throughout Lake Lawn Resort and downtown Delavan. After Sky Circus on Ice, take advantage of Lake Lawn's many winter recreational offerings including cross country skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing and horseback-riding and more. When the sun starts to set, head to the lakeside fire-pit for s'mores and cider around the fire.
- Human Dog Sled Competition
Yep, you read that right! Whether a competitor or a spectator, the Human Dog Sled Competition is as fun and wacky as one would expect. Here’s how it works: a team of six people including four sled pullers, a sled rider, and a sled pusher race one another on a 175-foot long track. This wild affair goes down on Lake Geneva's Riviera Beach. There’s even a prize for the most creative attire!
- AMSOIL Snocross Championship
Let us fast forward to March when the Grand Geneva slopes play host to the annual AMSOIL Snocross Championship. If extreme sports are your thang, you're really going to get a kick out of watching these riders zip, shred and fly through the snow. Bring a camera!
For more winter fun in Lake Geneva, watch Lake Geneva - It's a Wonderful Lake this weekend on Discover Wisconsin!
Mariah Haberman hosts the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin. She hails from Evansville, where she was brought up in a family of seven in a small farmhouse outside of town. Some of her favorite memories include Lake Michigan fishing trips with her Dad, showing sheep at the Rock County Fair and buzzing around the farm on an ATV with her little brother. Watch Discover Wisconsin Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin’s outdoor block. (Twitter: @DiscoverWI)