Skip to Content

10 Cool Things to Do in Lake Geneva in December

Guide to the best Lake Geneva winter events and activities to enjoy in December

Despite being popular as a summer destination, visiting Lake Geneva during the holidays offers some fun experiences you may otherwise not get.

There are various fun things to do in Lake Geneva in December, and you’ll be spoiled by numerous Lake Geneva holiday events after New Year!

If Christmas is your favorite time of the year, then you must traveling Wisconsin during December.

Lake Geneva in December is fascinating to explore with the joyful holiday light display you can enjoy throughout the month.

As a nature lover, I love Lake Geneva because it offers endless winter outdoor activities with scenic views and its surroundings!

In this post, I’m going to share some fun things to do in Lake Geneva in winter, especially in December when there are a lot of holiday events you can visit in the region!

Pin with 4 images, 1st is close up shot of Christmas tree with lights in the background, 2nd is close up shot of legs of people wearing ice skates sitting on a fence, 3rd is close up shot of a pair of ice skates sitting on a frozen lake, 4th is of several Christmas presents in a pile all wrapped in brightly colored paper and ribbons, caption reads: Wisconsin, Wop Things to Do in Lake Geneva in December from
Like it? Pin it!

Psssst…!!?? You can’t get enough of Wisconsin? Have a look at my other posts:

You, dear reader, support this blog. When you purchase through a link, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Love Wisconsin? Click here to download your free bundle with a Fantastic Wisconsin Bucket List and a Weekend Trip Checklist! Don’t let them slip by!

Overview: Top 3 Things to Do in Lake Geneva in December

  • Try winter ziplining
  • Have a brunch with Santa
  • Go for outdoor ice skating

1. Explore the Festive Holiday Light Displays

fun december activities in Lake Geneva Wisconsin, leafless tree decorated with red and gold Christmas bulbs in front of a blurry public building covered in gold Christmas lights

There are many Lake Geneva events in December that offer stunning holiday light displays that you can enjoy for winter getaways in Wisconsin.

The most notable one is the annual Lake Geneva Electric Christmas Parade, which has been running for more than 40 years now.

Head over to Lake Geneva downtown, where you can enjoy the beautifully lit floats with live music with participants from the local community while immersing in the Lake Geneva Christmas parade.

Every year, the parade comes with a different theme where you can join the festivity.

I also love the Christmas markets with some shops selling local arts and crafts, which is perfect if you are looking for a place to buy some Christmas gifts!

Many Lake Geneva December events are full of whimsical Christmas light displays, as there are other events you can attend if you can’t go to the Electric Christmas Parade.

At Walworth County Fairgrounds, you can visit the 3-day event Let It Glow where you can admire the free light displays you can see throughout.

Alternatively, you can also head to Flat Iron Park to watch the Lake Geneva Christmas Tree Lighting Festival!

Book the best cabin rentals in Lake Geneva

2. Go for outdoor ice skating

fun things to do in Lake Geneva in December, feet of someone ice skating on clear, thick ice

Lake Geneva in the winter is heaven for anyone who loves ice skating, which is itself one of the top things to do in Wisconsin in winter.

You can find so many outdoor ice skating rinks in the area, making it one of the Lake Geneva December activities you shouldn’t miss when visiting the town!

Looking for ideas on what to do in Lake Geneva in December? Bring your own skates, as you’ll find numerous free rinks for ice skating around the town.

Go to Library Park along the Geneva Lake shoreline, where it will be transformed into an ice skating rink free for the public in December.

Most winter resorts in Wisconsin also offer ice skating rinks for the public, including a few resorts in Lake Geneva.

Geneva Ridge and Grand Geneva Resorts welcome the public on top of their resort guests to use their ice rink facilities during winter.

Some resorts have a designated schedule to allow the public guests to use their facilities, so don’t forget to check it first before going there for outdoor ice skating!

Buy the ultimate Wisconsin itinerary

3. Ship off on the Christmas boat Santa Cruise

Lake Geneva December activities, Smiling person in sunglasses sitting on the side of a boat holding their arm out over the edge of the railing with the sea behind and some tall rolling hills in the distance

Lake Geneva has a rich history, as the town was once a favorite vacation destination for many Chicago residents in the mid-1800s.

It was in 1871 when two major events shaped the town’s history: the extension of the Chicago and North Western Railroad and the Great Chicago Fire.

The railroad made it easier for Chicagoans to hop on the train and spend a few days in Lake Geneva.

At the same time, a lot of wealthy people temporarily moved to Lake Geneva during the Great Chicago Fire they started building vacation houses along the shoreline of the lake afterward.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line offers various boat tours all year round, making it one of the top things to do in Lake Geneva.

But on top of that, they also have a special excursion in Lake Geneva at Christmas, as you can go on a Santa Cruise to roam around the lake in a Christmas-decorated vintage boat!

Available from Thanksgiving to the end of December in Lake Geneva, this Santa Cruise is a fun way to celebrate Christmas with your family.

It will be an enchanting experience for kids and adults, as you can also meet Santa in his hidden gems with a lot of fun games during the excursion!

Book the best tours in Lake Geneva, WI

4. Indulge in the regional wine-tasting

what to do in Lake Geneva in December, Close up shot of two bottles of wine standing on a wooden barrel with many other wooden barrels behind

When planning weekend trips in Wisconsin, people often spend their free time indulging in the local wineries and breweries around the region.

Lake Geneva is home to several wineries, breweries, and distilleries that you should add to the list of things to do in Lake Geneva in December.

Christmas in Lake Geneva is a big deal, and the town embraces the holiday season with festive decorations and events.

Some of these events include wine tastings at one of the best Southern Wisconsin wineries.

Several local wineries and breweries offer seasonal wine selections, which will add a touch of festivity to your experience!

For the best experience, visit Studio Winery on the Upper East Side of the town where you can enjoy the finest wine and spirits tasting.

While you can do wine tasting on-site, you can also purchase a few bottles to enhance your Lake Geneva Christmas holidays!

Book the best tours in Lake Geneva, WI

5. Go skiing and snowboarding

things to do in Lake Geneva in winter, two women standing on a ski slope on a bright sunny winter day with a hand extended in the air and smiling, one woman is in skis and the other is on a snowboard

If you’re lucky, snow is the best part of celebrating Christmas in Lake Geneva, WI.

Winter sports are some of the best Lake Geneva events December has to offer and there are plenty of spots in Lake Geneva that are perfect for enjoying winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Head over to the Mountain Top, where you can book a few nights at some of the best winter cabins in Wisconsin. It’s home to 20 downhill slopes, with some suitable skiing spots for beginners.

The area also offers various things to do in Lake Geneva in December, as you can also go snowshoeing or ice sledding while enjoying the scenic view of the surroundings!

Buy the best travel guide for Wisconsin

6. Visit the Geneva Lake Museum

enjoy December in Lake Geneva, old fashioned black car outside old timey shops behind red velvet rope barrier

Escape the cold and visit the Geneva Lake Museum to learn more about the historical side of the town and its community over centuries.

When visiting Lake Geneva, December is a great place to visit the museum as it will be fully decorated with Christmas stuff, which makes it more fun!

To get the most out of your Lake Geneva Christmas experience, Geneva Lake Museum annually hosts the Parade of Trees.

The Parade of Trees lets you enjoy over 30 trees with various Christmas decorations and admire the holiday displays around the area.

I also love how they offer some engaging activities, as visitors can touch and interact with some of the exhibitions displayed at the museum.

Whether you travel solo or with your family, Geneva Lake Museum is definitely one of the best things to do in Lake Geneva, WI, in December for visitors of all ages!

Book the best vacation rentals in Lake Geneva

7. Try winter ziplining

best outdoor things to do in lake geneva in december, two smiling people zip lining near a forest towards nearby lake

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure in Lake Geneva during the winter, head over to Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures.

There you can book a zipline tour to enjoy the scenic view of the town from the top and enjoy one of the best outdoor activities in Wisconsin.

While the activity may be more popular during the warmer seasons, ziplining is one of the best things to do in Lake Geneva in December.

It allows you to enjoy the town’s winter landscape at its finest, as you’ll soar above the snow-covered treetops which give you the best bird’s-eye view of this picturesque town!

Rent a car for day trips from Lake Geneva

8. Get on the Christmas Train at East Troy Railroad Museum

Lake Geneva in the winter, orange train driving over metal bridge in the snow surrounded by snow covered pine trees

If you’re looking for more family-friendly Lake Geneva Christmas events, the East Troy Railroad Museum hosts Christmas Train that can be fun for both kids and adults.

The 2-hour train ride with the East Troy Depot-Elegant Farmer route offers fun activities for visitors of all ages!

For those traveling with your family, you can join their Christmas Day and Night trains, where your children can visit Santa’s workshop and take a fun photograph with him during the ride.

For adults, I highly recommend upgrading your experience and booking Santa’s Special Evening trains.

This way you can ride their first-class dining cars with complimentary cookies and alcoholic hot beverages or beer!

Buy the ultimate Wisconsin itinerary

9. Pamper yourself with a winter spa

romantic things to do in lake geneva in december, selection of spa items, including spray bottle and porous rocks on top of marble counter

After spending hours outdoors during the cold season, you can plan a spa visit to enhance your experience for Lake Geneva in December.

Most resorts in town are quite popular as destinations for romantic getaways in Lake Geneva, and most have spa facilities you can visit for the experience!

Among many, Avani Spa at the Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva offers some of the best spa treatments to pamper yourself during the winter!

This is also one of my favorite spa resorts in Wisconsin and is a must if you’re wondering where to stay in Lake Geneva to treat yourself.

Book a stay at Abbey Resort & Spa

10. Have brunch with Santa

top Lake Geneva events in December, Smiling Santa Claus sitting in red chair next to a Christmas tree bedecked in red baubles and stars with electric lights behind him

As you can imagine, some of the most popular winter events in Wisconsin involve Santa.

If this sounds like something your family would enjoy, then the Grand Geneva Resort has one of the best Lake Geneva winter events for you!

If you visit Lake Geneva in December, you can have Brunch with Santa at the Grand Geneva Resort.

Kids can bring their Christmas wishlist and give it to Santa while adults can indulge in their delicious buffet brunch menu!

Book a stay at the Grand Geneva Resort

Whether you prefer outdoor activities or want to participate in one of the Lake Geneva holiday events, there are various things to do in Lake Geneva in December for all types of travelers.

From snowshoeing to cross-country skiing, there are endless options for things to do in Lake Geneva in winter.

The town also offers some unique excursions for the holiday seasons, like Santa Cruise or Christmas trains at the East Troy Railroad Museum. So, which one is your favorite?

FAQs About Things to Do in Lake Geneva in December

Is Lake Geneva worth visiting in winter?

Not only is winter a great time to visit Lake Geneva, but it’s also one of the best times to enjoy the city. If you are visiting with kids, December is a particularly magical time as you can enjoy all the festive December events in Lake Geneva.

What time is the Christmas parade in Lake Geneva?

It is subject to change each year, so double-check beforehand. However, the parade typically starts around 5 PM.

Does Lake Geneva have snow in December?

While it’s not a guarantee, there is a good chance of snow as there is a 23% chance of snow during December in Lake Geneva, WI.

What to pack for your Fall or Winter trip