Visit a New Winter Wonderland Experience in Lake Geneva

Winter Realms is an open-air attraction with fantastic snow day fun for families.

Note: Winter Realms is closed for the 2024 season due to warm temperatures. Check back next season for more winter fun for families! 

Winter Realms is a new, open-air experience bringing fantastic winter fun to Lake Geneva

With a weather-dependent opening date set for Jan. 26, the winter wonderland attraction will have thrilling activities, icy photo ops and illuminating winter landscapes for families to enjoy. 

Winter Realms is less than two hours from Chicago, making it the perfect destination for breaking the winter boredom and making the most of this icy season. Here is what you need to know to start planning your next snow day getaway

Quick details about Winter Realms

  • Opens: Jan. 26
  • Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 3-11 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays. 
  • Cost: $26-$30. Free for ages 0-3. See our ticket-buying tips section for discount codes and special offers! 
  • Season: Winter Realms is weather-dependent, typically opening in late January and closing in late February or early March. Check the website for the most up-to-date information. 

Photo credit: Winter Realms

Winter Realms is the vision of the award-winning creators of Ice Castles, another popular Lake Geneva winter attraction. Families can enjoy all of their favorite Ice Castles activities — like ice slides, igloos and winter sporting activities — plus a few new attractions unique to Winter Realms. Unfortunately, there will not be ice castles at Winter Realms.

Families interested in celebrating a special occasion at Winter Realms can reserve a private Arctic Alcove. Each intimate alcove will be roped off for a quiet, personal experience. The alcove package includes six general admission tickets to Winter Realms, an hour in the alcove, a complimentary sleigh ride, a souvenir photo and a discount on merchandise. 

Read on to discover even more of the winter fun that awaits families in Lake Geneva. 

Things to do at Winter Realms

  • Take a snowy stroll along a pathway of colorful lights.
  • Explore an Arctic Village with snow caverns, igloos, ice sculptures and a smoking ice volcano. 
  • Go dashing through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh! The sleigh rides will whisk you through illuminated tree-lined areas along the Geneva National Resort and Club golf course. 
  • Race down an exhilarating ice slide, a thrill that guests of all ages can enjoy! 
  • Cruise down a snow tubing hill. 
  • Savor a sweet drink or a yummy winter treat. Grown-ups can warm up with a beer or cocktail at the Polar Pub. 

Tips for buying tickets to Winter Realms

  • Buy timed tickets online ahead of time when possible. On-site, standby ticket availability is not guaranteed. Timed tickets reserve a 30-minute arrival window for your group. 
  • Re-entry is not allowed, so be sure to schedule your visit during your ideal time slot. To experience Winter Realms during the day and night, book your tickets just before sunset. 
  • Local residents of The Geneva National Community can visit for $5 on select days. Dates TBD. 
  • Seniors over 55 and military personnel can use codes “senior24” and “military24” for 15% off their tickets, respectively. A valid ID will be required to use discounted tickets. 

Tips for families when visiting Winter Realms

  • Bundle up! A warm coat, hat, scarf and mittens are critical for enjoying the winter wonderland fun. Wear insulated clothing and snow pants if you plan to explore the ice slides and tunnels. 
  • Wear winter boots. The walking surface is made of crushed ice and snow and can be slippery depending on weather conditions. Ice cleats are allowed, but are not necessary. 
  • Strollers and wheeled baby carriages are not allowed, but sleds are! Load the little ones onto a sled if they won’t be able to explore the entire attraction on their own. 
  • Plan on taking 45-60 minutes to explore all the winter fun the experience has to offer. 
  • Due to the crushed snow paths, it is difficult to navigate Winter Realms with a wheelchair or other mobility aid. Guests are encouraged to use sleds to navigate the experience. 
  • Pets are not allowed at Winter Realms. 
  • Charge your phone before leaving. Cold weather conditions can drain the battery on electronic devices, and you will want to have plenty of charge to snap precious family photos.
  • Get even more info about visiting Lake Geneva this winter — including where to stay, where to eat and where else to explore with kids — in our Lake Geneva family travel guide.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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