he holidays are just around the corner, which means planning family gatherings, entertainment, and gift giving is top of mind. With the help of the Lake Geneva area, holiday planning is made easy and sure to provide long-lasting memories for all. From special events, activities, resorts decorated to the hilt, and accommodation packages, sans the wrapping paper and bow, Lake Geneva is the gift that keeps giving with memories that will last a lifetime.
“Our area offers plenty of fun with holiday celebrations, outdoor activities, and one-of-a-kind events to please couples, families and large groups seeking a getaway close to home,” said Tammie Carstensen, board chair, Lake Geneva Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
From appearances by Santa, his elves and live reindeer to exciting tree-lighting events and a quaint reading of a classic holiday story, visitors are invited to experience the holidays the way they’ve been enjoyed in the area for more than a century. The area’s holiday season kicks off this month and includes:
Holiday Open House
November 16 -17
All Day Event
This event features an explosion of holiday happenings from over 20 downtown merchants. Patrons are invited to stroll to preview the offerings for the coming holiday season, while musicians, authors and artists entice guests to sip and taste their way through the historic downtown district.
Christmas in the Country
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
November 24 – December 31
All Day Event
This annual five-week long Christmas in the Country Celebration includes the illumination of more than two million lights across the resort’s 1,300 acres of rolling countryside, music, theater, cuisine and merriment. The Lodge at Grand Geneva features dozens of mechanical holiday displays, daily holiday teas, gingerbread house building contests and breakfast with Santa. Two new live holiday performances, “A Christmas Portrait” and “Thomas & Friends: A Holiday Adventure” will be performed. Some of Broadway’s finest performers will take to the stage with live singing, accompanied by choreography that truly sparkles, as they take the audience on a stroll down memory lane.
Festival of Lights
December 6 – 8
A weekend of holiday celebrations includes a festive tree lighting ceremony with Santa, Victorian carolers, the Children’s Great Electric Christmas parade, and petting and photo opportunities with Santa and his live reindeer.
Great Electric Christmas Parade
A holiday tradition, local businesses and organizations light up the streets of downtown Lake Geneva. Following the parade, visitors stroll downtown for holiday shopping and dining specials.
Santa & His Live Reindeer
Photo opportunities with Santa and his live reindeer are available on December 7, 14, and 21. Santa will also be seen strolling through downtown on December 8, 15, and 22.
In addition to special holiday events, the area offers plenty of ways to embrace the outdoors. Skiers and snowboarders flock to the Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort which offers 18 challenging runs up to a quarter mile in length each, with runs available at every ability level and a terrain park for even more exciting snowboard action. Cross-country skiing is also popular as the area boasts numerous scenic trails and nature areas to explore. There are also plenty of spots for ice-skating and a number of stables offering sleigh rides through the rolling countryside.
Others may choose to get revved up on the area’s many snowmobiling trails or enjoy the height of winter with a zip line canopy tour of snow-covered trees. Those seeking relaxation choose a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the historic neighborhood of Lake Geneva or a sleigh ride through powdery fields, ending with a bonfire in the woods.
For more information on where to stay, shop and dine in Lake Geneva, visit http://www.lakegenevawi.com.
About Lake Geneva
Nestled on the northeastern shores of Geneva Lake in southeast Wisconsin, Lake Geneva has been a resort community since just after the Civil War when wealthy Chicago families discovered the site and began building summer homes there. Today, the elegant, often historic estates still ring the lake and can be viewed from the water or by foot via the 21-mile walking path that circles the lake.
Lake Geneva boasts a wealth of dining options and lodging choices with the latter ranging from luxury spa resorts to rustic inns to lovely B&B’s. The area also offers pristine nature areas and a wealth of attractions. For information on Lake Geneva, honored as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2009 Dozen Distinctive Destinations, visit http://www.lakegenevawi.com or call (800) 345-1020.
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