By Nat Wexler | Photo by Holly Leitner
Even though Lake Geneva’s main draw is its gorgeous lake (it’s in the name!), the colder weather of winter presents opportunities to discover the many fun indoor activities available here. While some winter days are perfect for skiing, sledding or ice skating, on the coldest days of the season, there are plenty of options to keep you and your friends and family engaged and amused. Whether you’re looking to express your artistic side, challenge your brain or expand your palate, several local Lake Geneva businesses offer a full range of activities for every interest.
LEARN TO MAKE A NEW DISH
Aspiring and experienced chefs alike will want to take a course at the Lake Geneva School of Cooking. Led by Chef John Bogan, each class includes hands-on cooking instruction centered around a certain theme and ends with students enjoying the fruits (and meats and breads) of their labors. Chef Bogan prides himself on the fact that the recipes are designed so that once the class is over, students will be able to recreate the dishes in their own home without the help of a professional chef. Winter is an ideal time to try a class, as Chef Bogan goes all out for the many holidays occurring during the season. Two of the biggest events of the year are the Christmas Candlelight Dinner (December 3rd, 10th, and 17th) and the New Year’s Eve celebrations (December 27th-31st). Or opt for a Mardi Gras class (February 9th-10th and 13th), the Super Bowl sausage-making tailgate event (February 11th) or the Valentine’s Day class (February 14th). Due to the popularity of the classes, advance online registration is required.
TEAM UP TO SOLVE THE PUZZLE
Fans of “escape rooms” or puzzles will want to check out the Lake Geneva Clue Room. This exciting indoor activity offers rooms of varying difficulties and themes, where you and your team must solve clues in a set time period in order to complete the room. Room themes include a carnival- themed room, a lake-themed room and a gangster-themed room. The sports- themed room offers a competition element where two teams of up to five players can compete against each other in separate but identical rooms to see who finishes first. (The other three rooms are designed for up to eight players.) The key to successfully solving the clues and completing a room is effective communication and good organization, making this a great team-building opportunity in addition to a fun way to spend a cold day. Reservations are strongly recommended.
CREATE YOUR SIGNATURE SCENT
Looking for a relaxing and fun indoor activity you can share with friends? Head to The Candle Mercantile. At this pour-your-own candle bar, you will choose from dozens of fragrances and mix and match them to create your own signature scent, which is then added to a soy candle, room spray or a variety of other products.
This one-hour activity includes access to snacks and beverages, plus plenty of time to relax and catch up with friends. Once complete, your candles take 90 minutes to set. You can use that time to check out one of the many restaurants, cafes and shops lining the streets of downtown Lake Geneva. Reservations strongly recommended, particularly on weekends.
CHANNEL YOUR CRAFTY SIDE
Arts and crafts fans will want to book a class at Board & Brush Creative Studio. At Board & Brush, the talented staff will help you create a gorgeous wooden sign worthy of a prime spot on the wall of your home. For beginners, try one of the classes in which everyone makes the same sign; more experienced makers might prefer one of the classes that allow you to choose from dozens of options. The studio offers hands-on instruction so everyone walks away with something they are proud of. During the holiday season, Board & Brush offers a variety of themed workshops to help you craft the perfect winter and holiday decor — keep it for yourself or gift it to someone special! Reservations strongly recommended.
EXPLORE NEW TASTES
Wine, music and craft fans should stop by Studio Winery + Geneva Lake Distillery for tastings, live music and a monthly craft class. The tasting room offers a chance to try an assortment of wines and spirits while enjoying tasty snacks. To enhance your wine-tasting experience, every Friday and Saturday evening, visitors can enjoy live music from local musicians. (Seating for live music is available on a first-come, first-served basis.) For an artistic twist on wine tasting, drop in on the third Sunday of every month, when Studio Winery offers a crafting class in which a local artist leads you through the steps of making a painting, a piece of jewelry or another fun craft.
PRACTICE YOUR AIM
Those looking for a thrill should visit LG Axe Throwing to try their hand(s) at this increasingly popular activity. The facility offers six lanes of axe throwing, each of which can accommodate groups of up to four people. For those who are new to the sport or just want a refresher, “axe coaches” are able to assist with technique so you can start hitting bullseyes in no time. To enhance your experience, enjoy a menu of tasty snacks and beverages including craft beers from Lake Geneva’s Topsy Turvy Brewery. Reservations strongly recommended.