Christmas is not canceled at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The resort’s annual Christmas in the Country Experience will take place with modifications and safety guidelines following the resort’s CleanCare Pledge. But don’t worry, Santa is still planning on visiting as he always does and is looking forward to breakfast and photo opportunities.
The festivities kick off on Sunday, November 22, with the resort’s Annual Illumination Ceremony, where the resort flips the switch to turn on the holiday season and its spectacular lights display. Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and recommendations from health officials, attendance at this year’s Christmas in the Country Illumination Ceremony will be limited to resort guests only. However, festive holiday experiences such as breakfast with Santa at Grand Geneva and Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark, holiday and winter dining experiences, a gingerbread house contest, and holiday teas at the resort’s Ristoranté Brissago will be available for resort guests and the local community to enjoy.
To make it easy, we’ve made a list and checked it twice. Here’s what’s coming up this holiday season:
Leave the holiday cooking and cleaning to the Grand Geneva star culinary team. The resort is offering several socially-distant dining options for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There’s also the resort’s private igloo experience which will be available all winter. And for oenophiles, Executive Chef Nelly Buleje will host two intimate wine dinners which include “Punch in the Ribs” featuring Orin Swift Wines on Thursday, December 3 and “Birds of a Different Feather” featuring Duckhorn Wines on Thursday, January 14. These holiday dining events are open to resort guests and the local community.
Where to Stay & Play + Winter Wonderland in a Waterpark
There’s plenty of room at the 1,300 acre Grand Geneva Resort & Spa to enjoy holiday traditions or create new ones with the entire family. Accommodation options range from private villas, to adjoining rooms and resort suites, plus there is plenty of outdoor activities including family-friendly snow sports and activities. Grand Geneva’s team of holiday elves can also arrange to have a fully decorated Christmas tree in your hotel room or private villa upon request and will even take a letter up to the North Pole for Santa – just drop it off in the resort’s magical mailbox.
In addition to the Grand Geneva’s special holiday activities, guests can enjoy the neighboring all-suite Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark, which is open year-round for families who want to make a splash (Santa has also been spotted vacationing here!).
Enter the resort’s annual Gingerbread House Contest
One of the sweetest contests of the year, Grand Geneva is again accepting entries for its annual Gingerbread House Competition for a chance to win prizes up to $1,000! Registration is open through November 13.
Area residents, in both amateur and professional or adult or child categories, display their masterpieces beginning November 23, 2020, through the holidays. Visitors can view these fabulous creations in person or online.
Illumination Ceremony & Fireworks – Grand Geneva’s Kickoff to the Holiday Season
Grand Geneva invites resort guests to help kick off its six-week Christmas in the Country Celebration and flip the switch on more than 2 million lights throughout the resort and follow it up with a dazzling fireworks display on Sunday, November 22. Hotel guests are invited to enjoy the resort and take in all of the sights and sounds of the holidays, vote on favorite gingerbread house displays, enjoy a favorite winter beverage or meal, and kickoff the countdown to the holiday season. The celebration begins at 4:30pm and will include activities for kids, a visit from Santa, holiday cookies, hot apple cider, and more. The resort will countdown to the illumination of holiday lights and fireworks at 6pm. Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and recommendations from health officials, attendance at this year’s Christmas in the Country Illumination Ceremony will be limited to resort guests only.
Those who would like to participate in the evening’s activities can take advantage of a special $99 room rate for Sunday, November 22, 2020. Overnight guests can also add on an exclusive Breakfast with Santa for Monday morning, November 23, from 8am-12pm. The cost is $35 for adults $35, $20 for children 6-12, and $12 for kids 2-5 (service charge and tax not included). Call (262) 249-4788 for breakfast reservation.
Breakfast with Santa at Grand Geneva Resort
Designed especially for kids, enjoy a breakfast served tableside with friends, family, and jolly old Saint Nick. All attire is welcome, dress up for photos with Santa or show up in your PJ’s.
Breakfast with Santa will take place every Saturday and Sunday, November 28 – December 20, 2020, from 8am-12pm, plus Monday, November 23 for those that stay the night for the resort’s Illumination Ceremony. The cost is $35 for adults $35, $20 for children 6-12, and $12 for kids 2-5 (service charge and tax not included). Santa, Mrs. Claus and the children will practice safe social distancing and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be wearing masks to provide a safe experience this holiday season.
Reservations are recommended by calling (262) 249-4788. There is a six person per table capacity, larger groups will be broken into separate tables. All reservations require a credit card to hold the reservation. Don’t forget your Christmas Wish List when you visit Grand Geneva for Breakfast with Santa!
Visitors can make a night out of it and enjoy Grand Geneva’s Breakfast with Santa Package
Breakfast with Santa at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark
Bring your list and meet Jolly Old Saint Nicholas along with the resort’s beloved mascots, Bruce the Moose and Chelsea the Chipmunk, on Sundays, November 29 – Sunday, December 20, 8am-11am in the Cascades Ballroom at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, no reservations needed! The cost is $25 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, $10 for kids 2-5, and children under 2 are complimentary with a paying adult (prices do not include service charge or tax). Timber Ridge also offers an overnight Breakfast with Santa offer.
Breakfast with Santa at Grand Geneva and Timber Ridge are open to resort guest and the local community.
Holiday Tea at Ristoranté Brissago
Tea time! Grand Geneva will again host its traditional holiday tea at Ristoranté Brissago every Friday and Saturday, November 27 – December 19, 2020 from 1-2pm. There’s a Mad Hatter Tea option for adults for $24.95 and a Kid’s Tea for children 12 and under for $14.95 (service charge and tax not included).
Reservations are required by calling (262) 249-4788. There is a six person per table capacity, larger groups will be broken into separate tables. All reservations require a credit card to hold the reservation. Holiday Tea is open to resort guests and the local community.
Holiday Lights Trolley Tour (Meet at the Grand Geneva Concierge Desk)
Resort guests are invited to hop aboard the heated and enclosed Grand Geneva trolley for a tour around the property to enjoy the resort’s magical, animated holiday decorations and lights. Trolley tours begin Monday, November 23, 2020 and are held daily at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm.
Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and recommendations from health officials, attendance at this year’s Trolley Tour of Lights will be limited to resort guests only.
For those who miss the trolley tour, don’t worry! Guests are welcome to ride in their own vehicle down Grand Geneva Way, starting at Hwy 50. The trolley tour is not necessary to see all of the resort’s decorations, but a fun way to experience them.
Grand Geneva’s Christmas in the Country experience runs through Sunday, January, 3rd, 2021.