January 23, 2019 – March 17, 2019
Ice Castles Wisconsin relocates from the Dells to Lake Geneva this year
Lake Geneva is beautiful and fun enough already, but with the Ice Castles on the beach this winter it gets even better!
Six days a week from January 23rd (tickets go on sale Monday, January 21st) through mid-March (weather permitting, it’s already been a tricky year with the weather), the massive ice castles compound can be explored and enjoyed by the whole family. The artistic project began in October, one of five projects in North America by Ice Castles LLC, a Utah-based company with similar projects in New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, and Alberta, Canada. One of the most unique and amazing facts about the Ice Castles is that they are literally built by hand. They grow more than 5,000 icicles each day that they harvest and sculpt together.
These Ice Castles create life-size winter playgrounds, with illuminated inside the castles at night with color-changing LED lights that twinkle to music. You can explore ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones, and towering ice formations. This is truly something to dazzle the entire family.
This mega-complex of ice will be right in downtown Lake Geneva, by the beach and where Winterfest and the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition takes place from late January into early February, right along Wrigley Drive. How long will it last? Depends on the weather, of course, but they’ll keep it open into March if they can. You can keep up with the construction of Ice Castles and weather conditions, which will be continuously updated, on their Facebook page.
Tickets will be on sale shortly. Admission prices are:
$15.95 Adults 12 & older
$10.95 Children ages 4-11
Children under 4 are FREE
$18.95 Adults 12 & older
$15.95 Children ages 4-11
Children under 4 are FREE
Be prepared to hit U.S. 12 or Highways 50 or 120 to get to Lake Geneva and experience Ice Castles Wisconsin and the magic of the winter season!
Ice Castles Lake Geneva Address:
812 Wrigley Drive
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Pulled from their website, here are some “Tips for a great experience” to Ice Castles Lake Geneva:
- Wear Boots! The walking surface inside Ice Castles is made of crushed ice. Walking in boots is definitely best.
- Buy Tickets Before You Arrive! When you buy a ticket, you buy an arrival time. They ask that you arrive within your 30-minute time window. Once you are inside Ice Castles you can stay as long as you’d like.
- You can save some trees when you buy your tickets online; they’ll send you an email with a unique QR code, so there’s no need to print your tickets. They scan the code right from your phone.
- Photos are encouraged (and they want to see them! #icecastles) but they ask that you please leave photography equipment such as tripods and lights at home.
- Sleds are great, and they highly recommend bringing a small sled to pull children instead of a stroller. It is extremely difficult to push a stroller through Ice Castles – think of it like trying to push a stroller on a sandy beach)
Find out more about Lake Geneva HERE.
January 23, 2019 – January 27, 2019
The Milwaukee Boat Show is Wisconsin’s largest, motoring through January 18-20 and 23-27, 2019 with over 300 boats from over 80 manufacturers. Motor yachts to 48 feet to aluminum fishing boats, ski boats, pontoons, runabouts & jet skis, plus dock systems & marine accessories.
It happens at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center at the corner of Highways 59 & 181 (84th & Greenfield) in West Allis, just south of I-94 and U.S. 18 and east of I-41/I-894/U.S. 45 and Highway 100.
Friday, January 18: 3pm-9pm
Saturday, January 19: 10am-9pm
Sunday, January 20: 10am-5pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday, January 21-22
Wednesday, January 23: 3pm-9pm
Thursday, January 24: 3pm-9pm
Friday, January 25: noon-9pm
Saturday, January 26: 10am-9pm
Sunday, January 27: 10am-5pm
Children 12 and under with paid adult: FREE
Milwaukee Boat Show Address:
Expo Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park
8200 W. Greenfield Avenue
West Allis, WI 53214
January 25, 2019 – January 27, 2019
Waukesha JanBoree is called “Wisconsin’s Premier Winter Festival” and runs the last weekend of January every year. This year, it’s “Game On!” for the 34th annual JanBoree from Friday, January 25th through Sunday, January 27th.
JanBoree includes over 35 events throughout Waukesha, most of which are free. Events include disc golf, hockey, bocce ball, trivia and ComedySportz performances, a “Cosmic Colors” planetarium show, a variety of games, and more!
Opening Ceremonies are held Friday from 4-9pm at Waukesha’s Lowell Park, complete with fireworks. Details on this and other events below.
Events are held at various locations around the city, including Lowell Park, Minooka Park, the Waukesha Transit Center downtown, North High School, and more. See event pages here for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for specifics and maps.
Friday, 4pm – 9pm: Opening Ceremonies:
Local TV station WTMJ (TODAY’S TMJ4) will broadcast live all afternoon as JanBoree opens. A favorite Wisconsin meteorlogist, Brian Gotter, will be there. Meanwhile, enjoy and celebrate winter by sliding down hills on a zipfy sled, take in the glow trail (4:30 to 7:30 pm), toboggan the hill or the 350’ lighted toboggan run. There’s broom ball and ice skating too. Warm up by the fire, dance to the sounds of the DJ, and check out a new activity this year: Glow Frisbee Golf!
Educators Credit Union will be on hand with FREE hot chocolate and popcorn. Texas Roadhouse will be serving up their famous chili and Toppers Pizza will be on hand with hot slices, at a nominal cost.
Check out the Ice Sculpting Demo at Lowell Park from 4pm – 6:30pm (weather permitting, it’s supposed to be fairly mild.)
Or check out the Put Me In Coach – ComedySportz Show at Waukesha North High School (2222 Michigan Street), with family-friendly improv comedy shows that last 30 minutes and start at 5:45 and 7pm!
A fireworks extravaganza tops it all off Friday night at 8pm at Lowell Park.
On Saturday, check out trolley rides, a pancake breakfast that you can burn off with the Frosty 5K Walk/Run at Frame Park, geocaching, ice sculpting, Frozen FootGolf & S’Moorball at Moor Downs, Ice Bocce Ball, a penguin egg hunt, and plenty more all day!
Sunday features the “Dinosaurs Alive” Planetarium Show, an ice fishing clinic, horse-drawn wagon rides, or the Alaskan Malamute Dog Pull at Minooka Park, and of course the Arctic Avalanche and family ice skating continues.
Get all the details at the main JanBoree website. Waukesha can be a tricky city to navigate, but getting to it is easy. Follow U.S. 18, Highway 59, or Highway 164 to get there. I-94 and Highway 16 also bring you close to the city and all the fun JanBoree events.
January 26, 2019 – February 3, 2019
Lake Geneva celebrates winter like no other place. Winterfest is a brouhaha of shopping, dining, music, magic, refreshments, and activities including thrilling helicopter rides over the town and lake. It’s capped off, of course, by the amazing designs and creativity of the U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition – right along the lake at the Riviera – where fifteen teams of the most talented snow sculptors and artists from around the country gather to compete for a national title. The entire competition is open to the public, so Winterfest attendees can actually watch the artists at work!
Of course, there’s a lot more to Winterfest. Check out the Human Dog Sled Race, the Abominable Snow Race, magic shows, helicopter rides, a chili cook-off, and incredible deals at local hotels and restaurants throughout the downtown and surrounding areas!
Winterfest activities focus on downtown Lake Geneva, which lies right along Highway 50. U.S. 12 and Highway 120 are close to the east and Highway 67 is a few miles to the west near Delavan. It’s easy to get to – and a total blast!
Lake Geneva Winterfest & U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition Address:
Downtown Lake Geneva/Riviera Park
201 Wrigley Drive
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Bloomer’s rope jumping boom began in 1960 when a former coach named Wally Mohrman became the physical education teacher in the schools. Knowing the value of the exercise, he decided to stir some interest with a contest. The emphasis was on speed jumping: how many times a student could whip a rope under his feet in a given period.
Each year interest grew. Champion jumpers emerged, and records were established to shoot at. The finals are held each year on the last Saturday in January. Each year, students from Grades 1 through 8 train hard and come to Bloomer to compete.
To add to the contest, Mohrman formed a group called the “Swinging Safari”. Its girls do precision rope jumping routines to various types types of music. Their appearances highlight the rope jump event.
Bloomer has made itself into America’s swingingest town. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and signs at the city limits all proclaim their fame. Many other schools are sponsoring speed jumping contests and sending their winners to the big world championship in Bloomer. Each year the Bloomer contest is bigger and better with records constantly being challenged.
2019 Bloomer Speed Rope Jump Contest Schedule:
Saturday January 26, 2018
Registration will begin for each division at 8 a.m. at Bloomer Senior High School. All entrants must be registered by 9:30 am.
Preliminaries will begin promptly at 10 am. We will take a break
between each division. Preliminaries should be completed by approximately 2 pm.
The Hospitality Room will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 pm. Coffee, pop, chips and sandwiches will be served at very reasonable prices.
Finals will start at 3 pm with the finals competition lasting an estimate of 2 hours.
All finalists are asked to be back by 2:30pm for the Finals Competition.
Bloomer is along Highway 40, right by Highway 64 and the U.S. 53 freeway just a short distance north of Chippewa Falls. It’s a jumpin’ good time – and definitely a unique one!
February 1, 2019 – February 2, 2019
The Snowflake Ski Jump Tournament brings in international competition for ski jumpers to Westby in Vernon County. Held Friday night and Saturday, February 1-2, 2019, competitors from five countries will compete on the Olympic-sized hill. Entertainment, food, and live music will also be part of the festivities both nights at the Snowflake Rod & Gun Club adjacent to the hill.
Thursday, January 31st
Hospitality Night: Rod & Gun in Timber Coulee: 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday, February 1st
Kick-off breakfast at Borgen’s Cafe: 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies: 7:00 p.m.
Competition: 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 2nd
Opening Ceremonies: 12:00 p.m.
Competition: 12:30 p.m.
Long standing jump and awards ceremony will follow competition.
Snowflake Ski Jump Tournament Address:
Snowflake Ski & Golf Course
E7940 County Road P
Westby, WI 54667
February 2, 2019
The 2019 Fire & Ice Festival is a family-friendly fun event that warms up downtown on Groundhog Day, Saturday, February 2, 2019!
Centering on Racine’s Monument Square, the Fire & Ice Festival is a free community event designed to break you out of that winter cabin fever.
Ice carvers will be on hand to wow you with their icy creations. They’ll start their work at noon and shape huge blocks of ice right before your very eyes. If you grab a selfie with the finished sculptures, feel free to post use #fireandicefest to humble-brag.
You can carve a little yourself by taking advantage of the FREE ice skating rink on the square. Free ice skate rentals will be available from noon – 5:00 pm.
Enjoy a stroll through their vendor area to check out fabulous handmade crafts and get to know local small business owners. Get something to eat at one of the yummy food trucks on site. Or, grab a hot cup of cocoa and warm up by a fire. Yes, you read that right! What’s a Fire and Ice Festival without the fire? It’s a bonfire, actually. After the event, shake the chill off by heading over to McAuliffe’s on the Square for some warming drinks and some live music! You can also enjoy local, craft brews at Racine Brewing Company or an old-school diner burger at the Kewpee, just two blocks away.
Downtown Racine is an easy drive via Highways 11, 20, or 32 from I-41/94; Highway 38 also bring you in from the northwest. The “Belle City” offers up great kringle, great restaurants, the fantastic Racine Art Museum (aka the “RAM)”), and Monument Square will host First Fridays in Racine from April through December this year.
Racine Fire & Ice Festival Address:
February 16, 2019
The Northwoods Blizzard Blast is a “flurry of winter fun for everyone” in Conover, between Eagle River and Land O’Lakes along Highway 32 & U.S. 45 in the heart of the North Woods! Activities in Conover Community Park include ice bowling, the Dogsled Dash, recliner racing, sledding, face painting, fireworks, horse drawn sleigh rides, snow carving, snowshoe baseball, and an Artisan Bazaar in the adjacent Conover Community Center.
The Blizzard Blast Bazaar hosts numerous artisans and exhibitors with hand-crafted items, talents on display, food and beverages, and more. Admission is free for the Bazaar all day.
All of this activity is in Vilas County north of Eagle River. Follow U.S. 45 & Highway 32 north from Eagle River, past where Highway 17 veers off for its ride to Phelps. Conover is about 15 minutes north of Eagle River, and Land O’Lakes (plus the source of the Wisconsin River in Lac Vieax Desert) is just north of Conover.
Northwoods Blizzard Blast Addresses:
Conover Community Park
4697 Park Circle, just off U.S. 45/Hwy 32
Conover, WI 54519
Blizzard Blast Schedule of Events in Conover (subject to updates and changes):
Wed-Sat SNOW SCULPTING COMPETITION -$100 prize! $25 (team)
9am-4pm ARTISAN BAZAAR Free
9am-4pm FACE PAINTING Varies
10am-4pm HORSE DRAWN SCENIC RIDES $2-$5
10:15am X-COUNTRY FUN SKI & TRAIL TOUR $10
10am-4pm SLAP SHOT HOCKEY-Shot on goal, win a prize! $1
10am-4pm ICE BOWLING-Bowl at strike, win a prize! $1
10am-4pm WINTER CARNIVAL GAMES FOR KIDS $1 each
10am-4pm PONY RIDES $2
10am-4pm YOUTH ARCHERY DEMO Free
10am-4pm SNOW ART FUN FOR KIDS Free
10am-4pm SNOWBOARD DEMO & INSTRUCTION Free
10am-2pm SNOWSHOE BASEBALL GAMES Free
10pm-4pm SNOWSHOE DEMO BY HIKER BOX Free
12pm-3pm KID’S DOGSLED DASH-win a Musher’s Medal $2
10am-2:30 RECLINER RACE QUALIFYING LAPS $1
3pm RECLINER RACE FINALS-$100 prize! (register by 2:30pm) $20 (team of 3)
4 pm TROPHY PRESENTATION Free
Sandwiches, S’mores, snacks, soda & beer are available all day.
Toasty bonfires and heated restrooms are located throughout the park.
February 22, 2019 – March 3, 2019
The 14th annual Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) runs from February 22 – March 3, 2019! Run in conjunction with Beloit College, the BIFF draws thousands upon thousands of film lovers, and writers and directors from around the world for viewing, workshops, and more. The “International” in the title isn’t just for show, after all.
The Beloit International Film Festival celebrates the power of independent film from around the globe. Local residents and visitors from across the nation fill venues ranging in size from 40 to 400 seats to view more than 100 films and meet scores of filmmakers who come from throughout the U.S. and around the world. This unique festival continues to grow and has caught national attention with the New York Times calling BIFF, “a festival with a unique goal of returning the spirit of film festivals’ golden era, when guests talked film all night with directors and writers who were on hand and available for questions.” The New York Times also listed the festival as a unique alternative to other big international film festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca.
For tickets, you can also use their (by their own words) Unwieldy Uber Ticket page. Venues include Bushel & Peck’s, Domenicos, the Hendricks Arts Center, La Casa Grande, Bagels & More, Schubert’s Luxury 10 Theater, even Beloit Memorial High School for some of the short films for kids.
Getting to Beloit is easy! Just follow I-43 from Milwaukee, I-90 from Madison or Janesville, or Highway 81 from Monroe and points west. Highway 213 also brings you in from points northwest. Then just follow the roads to the Rock River and the downtown area. Guide signs will help you find the way downtown. And be sure to check out all the amazing new developments in downtown Beloit and throughout the area!
Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) Address:
Various locations in Beloit, mostly downtown
Beloit, WI 53511
February 24, 2019
Ever explored some ice caves? You can enjoy this Ice Caves Exploration event on Sunday, February 24, 2019 in the gorgeous Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Hosted by the UW-La Crosse Outdoor Connection, this all-day trip lets you examine some ice formations of the Driftless Region via footpaths that were once only traveled by Native Americans. This trip is dependent on winter weather conditions.
Ice Caves Exploration registration includes:
- Transportation from UWL’s campus
- Snowshoe or Hiking Crampons (if needed)
- Trail passes
Questions? Call UW-La Crosse Outdoor Connection 608.785.8860 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is not a Kickapoo Valley Reserve-sponsored event, so please contact the UW-L Outdoor Connection with any questions at (608) 785-8860.
You’ll find the Kickapoo Valley Reserve along Highway 131, a beautiful drive any time of year. This event, however, originates from La Crosse and you’ll need to take I-90, U.S. 14/61, U.S. 53, or Highways 16, 33, or 35 to get there.
Ice Caves Exploration Address:
Kickapoo Valley Reserve
3661 State Highway 131
La Farge, WI 54639
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