Looking for a fun winter activity in the Midwest? Check out the ice castles in Wisconsin which are opening this week.
Visiting the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva Wisconsin
Planning to visit the ice castles in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin? Here is everything you need to plan your visit including the best time to visit, how to get there, where to stay and more tips.
What are the Ice Castles
Ice Castles is an award-winning frozen attraction (that can be found in only five destinations in North America). The award winning frozen attraction is built using thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists.
At night the ice castles are even more beautiful as they are illuminated in different colors by LED lights.
In addition to seeing the ice castles from the outside, visitors can explore caverns and walk beneath archways adorned with hand-placed icicles. The castles include LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, fountains and more.
Kids (and small adults) can crawl through ice-carved tunnels.
The are several ice slides including a large slide and smaller slides.
The small ice slides do not have a long wait but there can be a long wait for the large ice slide especially on weekends and in the evening.
This winter, ice castles will also have horse-drawn sleigh rides and winter characters.
Where are the Ice Castles located?
The Wisconsin ice castles are located near Lake Geneva on the grounds of the Geneva National Resort & Club at 1091 Hidden Cottage Cir, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
The closest large city is Milwaukee, Wisconsin which is less than an hour drive away.
Lake Geneva is located close to the Illinois border about 90 miles from Chicago, IL.
Other nearby cities include Madison, WI (about 67 miles) and Green Bay, WI (about 166 miles).
What dates are Ice Castles open?
Exact dates differ year to year as Ice Castles operations are completely dependent on weather. Their crews can only construct Ice Castles when precipitation is not in the forecast and temperatures are consistently cold enough to grow icicles.
In 2023, Ice Castles are open February 4-February 20, 2023. They just released a new batch of tickets this week. Additional dates may be added on a week-by-week basis as the weather permits.
Tickets are on sale on their website here.
If tickets are sold out on their website for the dates you want, you can still get tickets by booking an overnight package either at Geneva National Resort & Club or The Ridge Hotel.
What is the best time to visit the ice castles?
The best time to visit is right before sunset so you can see the ice castles both in the daytime and at night. It does get more crowded later in the evening however especially on weekends.
I recommend purchasing a ticket with an arrival time just before sunset so you can see the castles during the day and have some time go down the ice slides before there is a long wait. Then you can stay a bit to see the ice castles at night before it gets too crowded and cold.
Tips for visiting the Ice Castles in Wisconsin
• Check that the ice castles are open before heading there. They can close for the day due to weather.
• Dress warmly especially in the evening.
• Wear winter boots as the ground can be slippery.
• I recommend wearing snow pants especially for kids that will be going down the ice slides and crawling through the small tunnels.
• Strollers are hard to use so bring a sled to pull young kids.
Where is the best place to stay near the Lake Geneva ice castles?
These are the closest hotels to the ice castles and they both offer stay packages with tickets to the ice castles.
• Ridge Hotel – The Ridge Hotel is located about four miles from downtown Lake Geneva, along the shores of Lake Como. The Ridge offers indoor pool and sauna and is pet friendly. Click here to read reviews and here to see latest prices.
Other great hotels options in the Lake Geneva area for those visiting the ice castles include the following:
• Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark – Timber Ridge Lodge Waterpark is a family friendly all-suite hotel, offering kitchens with full-sized refrigerators, stove top burners, dishwashers and double sinks. Other indoor amenities include a spa, game arcade and indoor activity pools. Staying at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark includes passes to their indoor waterpark with two large heated waterslides and inner tubing on the lazy river. The resort is located on the grounds of Grand Geneva and there is a trolley between both resorts throughout the day. Click here to read reviews and here to see latest prices.
• Grand Geneva Resort & Spa – Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is the most convenient option for visitors planning to do some skiing and snowboarding as there is a ski center at the resort offering rentals and lessons. Other amenities include a full service spa and an indoor pool. Guests of Grand Geneva may purchase half-day passes to the waterpark at Timber Ridge on a first-come, first-served basis, based on availability. Click here to read reviews and here to see latest prices. You can also read our full review here.