Are you looking for one of the best things to do in Wisconsin in winter? Then how about visiting the Lake Geneva Ice Castles?
These Ice Castles are awe-inspiring and evoke a sense of fairy tale bliss. The Lake Geneva Ice Castles are one of six Ice Castles locations in the United States. The Ice Castles bring a magical winter wonderland atmosphere to the people of Wisconsin.
These icy creations started out in founder Brent Christensen’s front yard. Having built them for his kids, it wasn’t long before children from the entire neighborhood came to play. His Ice Castles became the talk of the town. Affectionately known as the Ice Castles, these icy caves, igloos, and fountains are super fun! The entire Ice Castles site is man-made and formed by spraying water which fuses icicles together.
The Lake Geneva Wisconsin Ice Castles are the perfect winter attraction with or without kids. Kids will love exploring the ice-carved tunnels, frozen thrones, and fountains. Visit during the day or at night – either way, you’ll be sure to have a good time.
It’s not just ice sculptures at the Ice Castles. There are loads of things to do. You can race down ice slides, crawl through tunnels, and enjoy sleigh rides. You can even try and get King Arthur’s sword out of the frozen ice! Kids will enjoy meeting the enchanting snow queen and winter fairies.
Visiting the Ice Castles Lake Geneva is a top Wisconsin winter attraction. Check out this guide to the Lake Geneva Ice Castles to make your trip perfect.
FAQ about the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva Wisconsin
Does Lake Geneva have Ice Castles this year?
Yes, Lake Geneva is hosting the Ice Castles this year. The Lake Geneva Ice Castles’ openings are all dependent on weather and temperatures. The Ice Castles will open on January 27, 2023. Online ticket sales opened on November 28, 2022.
How much are tickets to the Lake Geneva Ice Castles?
Normally, general admission tickets (ages 12+) cost around $25, and child admission is $17. This does vary depending on which day and date you book tickets for.
How long does it take to go through the Ice Castles?
You can spend anywhere between an hour and two hours at the Ice Castles. It depends on how many photos you take and the pace at which you go! If you want to go on a sleigh ride, that’ll take around 10 to 15 minutes.
How long are the Lake Geneva Ice Castles open?
The Lake Geneva Ice Castles open in late January and remain open for four weeks. An estimation of how long the Ice Castles will be open is based on historical data.
After this peak season, tickets will be added on a week-by-week basis, depending on the weather. After all, there are no Ice Castles without the cold weather!
Remember to bring hand warmers. These cheap ones do the trick!
2023 Lake Geneva Wisconsin Ice Castles Dates & Times
The 2023 Lake Geneva Ice Castle dates are scheduled to open on January 27, 2023, and are set to close on February 12, 2023. This date and hours could change. Everything is weather dependent, so these dates will most likely change.
- Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 3 pm – 9 pm
- Friday: 3 pm – 11 pm
- Saturday: 11:30 am – 11 pm
- Sunday: 11:30 am – 8 pm
How do you get Lake Geneva Ice Castles tickets?
You can buy Ice Castles tickets online here– be sure to check for Wisconsin. Tickets go on sale on November 28, 2022.
Because of the temporality of this event, tickets sell out fast! Be sure to snap up your tickets, so you’re not disappointed. There are a limited number of same-day tickets, but getting one is not guaranteed. If you missed out on tickets, try purchasing standby tickets, but admission isn’t guaranteed.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket, there are no refunds. However, you can exchange the time and date at least 24 hours before your slot. It is, therefore, a good idea to keep checking the weather for perfect conditions.
Lake Geneva Ice Castle Discount Code
We have an exclusive Ice Castles discount code for our readers. Get 15% off with promo code stamped2023, good for the 2023 Ice Castle season.
Don’t forget to bring a sled (strollers aren’t allowed)! This is the cutest sled ever and is great for pictures.
How much are the tickets?
Prices vary based on age and the day of the week.
- Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday
- Ages 12 and up $25
- Ages 4-11 $17
- Children under 4 are free
- Friday – Sunday
- Ages 12 and up $29
- Ages 4-11 $22
- Children under 4 are free
- Holiday Pricing (January 16 & February 20) is the same as weekend pricing.
While visiting the Ice Castles, for an additional fee, you can add a magical sleigh ride. To take a sleigh ride, you must have already purchased an Ice Castle ticket.
Hop on one of their sleighs, and you’ll be taken on a scenic tour. Head along an illuminated trail and get dropped off outside the castle. This sleigh ride makes for the perfect romantic activity. It’s also an activity the kids will love and remember for a long time.
Sleigh rides don’t run between 5 pm and 6 pm on weekends and holidays. So, make sure you plan accordingly.
Rent Artic Alcove
There’s the opportunity to rent out an Artic Alcove at the Ice Castles. These alcoves are perfect for renting out for a special occasion like a proposal. You can even rent one for a small group or family. You’ll have your own section roped off from the public to enjoy the magical ice.
Booking an Arctic Alcove means you’ll receive a private experience for a party of six. Within the price of an Arctic Alcove ticket, you’ll also get a sleigh ride and 20% off Ice Castles merchandise. It’s the perfect way to experience part of the Ice Castles to yourselves.
How Are the Ice Castles Made?
The moment you arrive at the Ice Castles, you’ll be thinking…how are they made? They are so vast and impressive that they are almost impossible to comprehend. The Ice Castles are painstakingly man-made every year, depending on the weather.
How the Ice Castles are made starts with Brent Christensen and his ingenious idea. He worked out how to fuse icicles together to create a 30 feet tall structure. As soon as the weather turns cold, they start spraying water all over the site. The ideal temperature for “growing” castles is 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the sites’ “icicle farm,” between 5,000 and 10,000 icicles can form per night. In just a week, the Ice Castles can reach 10 feet tall. It takes around a month to reach the desired height.
Visit early in the morning, and you may notice workers “growing” more icicles. They are continually adding to the Ice Castles and monitoring any changes in weather.
Tips for visiting the Lake Geneva Ice Castles
1. Purchase Tickets in Advance
This Wisconsin attraction usually sells out fast. It is always best, therefore, to purchase tickets as soon as they go on sale. Each ticket is valid for a specific date and entry time. Purchase tickets here and use code stamped23 for 15% off.
2. Dress Warm
It will be cold at the Ice Castles, so you’ll need to dress warmly. It’s best to dress how you would for any cold-weather Wisconsin activity. If you want to go down the ice slides, then it’s a good idea to bring snow pants.
3. Bring a Sled
If you’re visiting with small children, note you’re not allowed strollers. It’s a good idea to bring a sled. Not only will the kids have fun, but it always makes for great photos. We have this sled, and it worked great.
4. Check the Weather
A few days before your scheduled trip, keep checking the weather. You’ll want a clear day with blue skies for the best photos! It is possible to change the date and time of your ticket for a fee. This must be done at least 24 hours in advance.
5. Bring Hand Warmers
You will constantly be playing in the snow and ice, so you need to keep warm. We recommend bringing hand warmers – you’ll be thanking us later. You can order them here on Amazon.
6. Wear Boots
You’ll be walking on crushed ice and snow, so it’s best to wear supportive boots. Though you’ll be walking on ice and snow, it’s usually not too slippery. Boots are best, and you can wear ice cleats, though they are not required. Come with sneakers, and you might find that you are slipping quite a bit. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside. Boots are always a good idea.
7. Wear Layers
It’s always best to wear a few layers on your trip to the Ice Castles. You’ll want to wrap up warm but having a few layers is always a good idea. Besides, you might want to get a couple of different photos with different outfits!
8. Stay the Night – Make It a Getaway
If simply visiting the Ice Castles isn’t enough, how about staying there? You can book an overnight stay at the Geneva National.
The hotel’s Ice Castles package includes an overnight stay and two or four Ice Castles tickets. There is always complimentary on-site ice skating, lighted snowshoeing, and sledding (weather permitting).
You can choose from the suites or the cottage. The cottage offers a boutique-feel vacation and is ideal for families or corporate retreats. The suites are spacious and can accommodate couples or families.
9. Take Your Time
When you purchase your ticket, you’ll have to pick a time slot. But don’t worry, this time slot is just when you need to enter. You can spend as much time as you want inside the Ice Castles. You’ll find it hard to drag the kids away from the slides and ice caves, but if you start getting cold, head over to the outdoor fire.
10. Don’t Forget Your Camera
Whether you visit during the day or at night, remember to bring your camera! The Lake Geneva Ice Castles are an excellent place to take epic photos. Photograph the kids on their sleds, the LED-lit caves, and the ice throne room.