10 December, 2022, 06:18

Get a 19th Century Holiday Experience at Wisconsin’s Old World Christmas

Lake Geneva is one of those destinations that once you visit, it’s hard not to visit again and again. With a tranquil lake as your backdrop, and a charming town that’s a pleasure to explore, it’s no wonder families make this destination part of their holiday tradition. 

In Lake Geneva, the spirit of the holidays begins in full swing as soon as that first Christmas tree lights up around town and don’t stop until the New Year. To keep you informed of all the holiday happenings around the lake, we’ve narrowed down some of our favorite festive events to put at the top of your yuletide bucket list. 

Santa on the Shore

Set your eyes on the shore for one of Lake Geneva’s most quintessential holiday experiences⁠—the annual Santa Cruise! A magical boat ride to Santa’s hideaway, the Santa Cruise is a 40-minute journey that tells a story through impressive light displays along the lake. Discover who has made it on the naughty or nice list when you get a shoreline view of Santa’s cottage at the end of the cruise. Twinkling lights mesmerize guests young and old, and children will delight in the magic of having their name called by Santa himself. 

Insider Tip: Beforehand, you can walk through the “Charities of Christmas Tree Festival” and see eight lit Christmas trees, each with their unique style and design. 

Sounds of the Season

Nothing puts us in the holiday spirit quite like the sounds of Christmas music. Luckily, at Belfry Music Theatre, they’re dishing up three opportunities to jam to the sounds of the season. Kick-off the holidays with a night of soul, rockabilly, and blues at “Dean Z’s Rockin Christmas Show.” Then discover your favorite holiday music with a rock and roll twist at “Twelve Twenty Four,” a six-piece rock band with a string section and vocalists! This upbeat headliner will brighten your spirits and get you dancing to the yuletide spirit in no time. Later in the month, catch the original Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera, Franc D’Ambrosio, as he puts on a powerhouse concert with some classic holiday songs in “Christmas In New York with Franc D’Ambrosio”. 

Old World Christmas

Have an unforgettable experience at Old World Christmas, a Wisconsin historic site that provides a glimpse into life before the invention of iPhones and Fitbits. Travel back in time to the late 19th century and get hands-on by living a day in the life as a Wisconsin farmer. With costumed staff at your side, you’ll get to help with cooking, try your hand at crafts, and explore the well-preserved property and gardens. During Old World Christmas on December 14th and 15th, you’ll get a glimpse into the stories and traditions that were typical during the time. Learn about Krampus from Central European folklore, make Vanocka, a traditional braided bread, and visit Santa in his Victorian workshop.

Smiling little boy drinking hot tea and decorating Christmas tree in winter forest

The Lake Geneva Experience

When you look upon the 25-foot lit tree that welcomes you in front of Lake Geneva’s The Abbey Resort, you can tell it’s a place where traditions are kept and memories are made. Every year the resort puts together a robust calendar of holiday events, and this year is no different. Start your weekend right with a Yuletide Bonfire of smores and hot apple cider around the fire. Celebrate all things Santa with a chocolate Santa scavenger hunt around the resort property, followed by an arts and crafts lesson in Santa’s workshop. Finish off your evening by indulging in your sweet tooth with a Holiday Scoopa wintertime ice cream sundae with all the toppings you could want. Every day at The Abbey Resort offers a new variety of holiday-inspired activities to keep you on your toes. 

Insider Tip: Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time for Santa Brunch on Sundays!