‘Tis the season to gather together with family and friends in Lake Geneva as holiday spirit spills from shops, restaurants, parks and resorts. Every holiday to-do list includes time at Christmas in the Country, a spot on the sidewalk for the Electric Christmas Parade, seats at Elf The Musical, time to stroll downtown streets for seasonal treats and gifts, and a Santa Cruise. The opportunities for holiday fun with family and friends are plentiful. So start planning for exploring and enjoying the many Lake Geneva festivities that will surely make your stay even more memorable. Here’s a list of holiday happenings to help you plan your stay:
Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to cook. In fact, the National Restaurant Association claims that 14 million people eat their Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant every year. All you have to do is your seat at the table. Will it be the Geneva National’s Annual Thanksgiving Feast at the Hunt Club Steakhouse which is serving a special three-course menu and some of the regular menu favorites; the Thanksgiving buffet featuring a classic array of seasonal favorites, chef carved specialties and decadent desserts at The Abbey Resort; the Thanksgiving Feast with maple brined roasted turkey breast and garlic Dijon crusted roast beef at the chef’s carving table at Lake Lawn Resort; or the traditional buffet in the Grand Ballroom or the Geneva ChopHouse at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa?
Stroll the downtown streets of Lake Geneva, tasting your way through seasonal treats and picking up some gifts along the way. One-of-a-kind home décor, jewelry, clothing, gift, food and wine shops, antique shops, and art galleries, many offering gift wrapping, are a welcomed change from big box and online shopping.
Cornerstone Shop Holiday Open House: November 4-5 & 11 & 12
Featuring special guests, holiday and tabletop decor tips, trunk shows, personalized gifts, drawings, vendor specials, and gift with purchase offers, the Holiday Open House at the Cornerstone Shop & Gallery is a holiday season must do.
The Fireside Holiday Open House: November 13
Celebrate the holiday season shopping at the five specialty shops at The Fireside Dinner Theatre. Enjoy delicious treats, register for wonderful prizes, and take advantage of the 20% discount offered during the annual Open House. Favorite gift lines include Baggallini purses, Brighton jewelry, WoodWick candles, Jim Shore figurines, and women’s fashions and accessories from Damee, Karen Hart, and Noelle.
Downtown Delavan Holiday Open House: November 24
Find seasonal sales, demonstrations, and refreshments as you go from store to store looking for that perfect gift in downtown Delavan. Santa will be at Bradley’s of Delavan from 11 am – 1 pm.
Lights & Parades
Rosewood Performance of Lights: November 9 – January 1, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Enjoy Rosewood’s outdoor performance of lights and music. Free to the pubic, this spectacular show runs every 20 minutes. Rosewood’s entire facility will light up and guests can tune in to Rosewood’s radio station to hear the sounds and music of the holidays.
Christmas in the Country: November 18, 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Join Grand Geneva for the kickoff of the annual six-week long Christmas in the Country celebration. The resort will flip the switch on more than 2 million lights throughout the property, and then follow it up with a grand fireworks display.
Delavan Tree Lighting: November 23, 6:00 p.m.
Head to Tower Park in downtown Delavan for the holiday tree lighting and carols sung by the Delavan-Darien High School choir and alumni. The event is topped off with a visit from Santa arriving by fire truck.
Festival of Lights: November 30, 5:00 p.m.
Head to Flat Iron Park for Lake Geneva’s Annual Festival of Lights to see its community sourced 15-foot tree decorated to light up the sky. Cocoa and cookies are served to enjoy while waiting for a special visit from Santa.
Electric Christmas Parade: December 1, 5:00 p.m.
Dr. Seuss and Who-ville will be celebrated at Lake Geneva’s 43rd Annual Electric Christmas Parade. Family and friends of all ages will have their hearts filled with joy as they watch amazing floats make their way through Broad and Main Street into downtown Lake Geneva.
Shows & Performances
Elf The Musical: November 1 – December 23
The Fireside Dinner Theatre captures the season with an unforgettable musical version of the modern day holiday classic Elf. The complete Fireside experience includes dining, browsing the gift shops, and the professional musical.
Christmas Remembered: November 25 – December 23
Celebrate the music and memories of the season with Christmas Remembered and fresh farm to table cuisine at Rosewood music theater. Sing along with your favorite holiday classics and discover gifts and treasures in Rosewoods shopping village.
Santa Cruise: November 23 – December 30
Take a boat trip to the North Pole on the Lake Geneva Cruise Line Santa Cruise. Families and friends are greeted by jolly elves as they step aboard the historic Grande Belle boat for their trip to Santa’s North Pole hideaway. Decked out with twinkling lights, the Grand Belle is enclosed and heated offering a cozy atmosphere for all to enjoy the live narration. Purchase tickets at santacruiselakegeneva.com.
Bradley’s of Delavan: November 24, December 1 & 8
Santa will be at Bradley’s of Delavan three dates (11am – 1pm). Be sure to stop by and let him know what’s on your holiday wish list.
East Troy Railroad: November 24 – December 16 (Saturday’s and Sunday’s)
Take your family on a magical train ride from the East Troy Depot to Santa’s Workshop at the Elegant Farmer, where children visit Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, and take home a small gift. This 10-mile round-trip takes 90 minutes and railroad cars are heated. Trains depart at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., Noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Breakfast with Santa at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa: November 24 – December 23 (Saturday’s and Sunday’s)
Meet Santa while enjoying breakfast in the Ballroom at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. This Breakfast with Santa includes a snowman breakfast buffet designed especially for kids and an adult buffet to fit the tastes of parents and grandparents.
Santa’s Workshop: November 24 – December 23
Visit Santa’s Workshop at 875 W. Main Street to see Santa (Saturday’s and Sunday’s) while shopping downtown Lake Geneva throughout the holiday season. Santa’s helpers will be busy wrapping gifts (complimentary) here. If Santa is busy making toys, his helpers will be sure he gets the letter you leave for him at the Workshop.
An Old World Christmas: December 1 – 16 (Saturday’s and Sunday’s)
Visit Old World Wisconsin to stroll through the 1880’s Crossroads Village decked in holiday décor, full of homes and shops bustling with holiday preparations.
Victorian Tea and Historic Home Tour: Saturday’s at 2 p.m.
Enjoy an afternoon of Victorian Tea and gilded age living overlooking beautiful Lake Geneva at Baker House 1885. Surrounded by holiday décor, Victorian dressed staff will guide you through the historic journey of this restored Nationally Registered Historic Property as they serve you a selection of teas and a savory and sweet delights.
After you have taken in holiday events and shopping, take time to relax and savor the flavors at Lake Geneva breweries, wineries and restaurants. Big tastes are found at small-town brewery Geneva Lake Brewing Company where flight samplers are three for $7 or six for $12. Combine wine tasting with music and art at urban Studio Winery or visit Barrique Wine & Brew Bar for light fare, wine, craft beer and unobstructed views of the lake. Family friendly casual dining is found at Next Door Pub, Sprecher’s, and Mars Resort. Café Calamari, Oakfire and Sopra are great for Italian. Finer dining is found at Hunt Club Steakhouse, The Grandview Restaurant at The Geneva Inn, and 240° West at the Abbey Resort.
New Year’s Eve
Whether you’re looking for a family friendly event or a champagne toast, the area has something for everyone. Ring in the New Year with your family at Lake Lawn Resort. The Resort is offering parties for all ages including adult only areas complete with dancing and drinks to and a family party complete with movies and kids crafts.
Rosewood’s New Year’s @ Noon celebration promises an earlier bedtime with all the festivities of a late night celebration. Starting with 11:30 a.m. cocktails followed by dining, a 2:30 p.m. Country Crossroads show and a countdown with a champagne toast, you will be the first in Lake Geneva to bring in the New Year.
Get your bubbly on at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa with its New Year’s Eve package featuring a romantic dinner at Ristorante Brissago or Geneva ChopHouse and a night of music and dancing in the ballroom with a two-night stay. The balloon drops at midnight with a champagne toast are a perfect way to bring in the New Year.
The Abbey Resort has a variety of New Year’s Eve celebration stay packages, party only offerings, and even has babysitting services for overnight guests.