Are you looking for fun things to do in Wisconsin in Winter?
If the answer is yes, then this article is perfect for you. We have mentioned some of the best winter events in Wisconsin that you simply cannot miss out on.
Wisconsin is a popular destination to visit in the Midwest and while winter in Wisconsin can be extremely cold, there are a lot of fun things to do here.
From enjoying the decorations to watching holiday shows, to participating in snow games, there are a lot of amazing things to do in Wisconsin in winter.
There are many fun winter getaways for you to explore and things to do in Wisconsin.
You can explore ice castles, experience winter in Lake Geneva, go snow tubing, and do much more in this amazing state.
If you are looking for amazing places to visit in Wisconsin or winter events in Wisconsin, then this guide is for you.
Below, we have listed the 15 best things to do in Wisconsin in winter to make the most of your vacation here!
15 Best Things To do in Wisconsin in Winter
Explore Milwaukee During Wisconsin In winter
Are you looking to spend some time in Wisconsin? If yes, then one of the best cities to visit in Wisconsin in winter is Milwaukee.
Milwaukee in winter looks absolutely magical and offers lots of fun activities to visitors.
This is one of the largest cities in Wisconsin and is home to lots of amazing restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy delicious food while staying warm and dry.
This city is known for its cheese and dairy products so, one of the best ways to experience winter in Milwaukee is by trying the specialties here like cheese curd.
Apart from food, this Wisconsin winter getaway also received plenty of snow which makes it great for several winter activities like ice skating, cross-country skiing, and more.
So, whether you want to relax and stay warm in winter or indulge in fun snow activities, there is no shortage of epic things to do in Milwaukee.
Ice Skating In Lake Geneva
Another great Wisconsin winter attraction to check out is Lake Geneva which is famous for luxury resorts and fun winter activities.
On your Lake Geneva winter trip, you can indulge in fun Wisconsin winter activities such as snow sculpting, skiing, and ice skating.
Later, you can cozy up beside a fireplace or enjoy a spa experience in one of the gorgeous resorts here.
One of the top things to do in Wisconsin in winter is ice skating in Lake Geneva.
You can find numerous resorts with ice skating rinks here, making it the ideal winter getaway spot in Wisconsin.
If you are looking for things to do in Lake Geneva, then ice skating at these resorts is a must. After the activity, you can enjoy a hot cup of cocoa and watch some amazing movies by the fire.
Celebrate Christmas In Madison
Another great place for a winter getaway in Wisconsin is the capital city of the state, Madison.
Many people avoid visiting Madison WI in winter but that’s a mistake as it makes for an amazing day trip from Milwaukee too.
The city offers both indoor and outdoor activities to visitors and you cannot miss out on a visit to the Chazen Museum of Art which features a beautiful art collection.
One of the best things to do in winter in Madison Wisconsin is to celebrate the Christmas season.
The Capitol Christmas Tree in Madison is the perfect way to channel your Christmas spirits as it is beautifully lit up and decorated with ornaments made by students from all over the state.
This is definitely one of the top things to do in Madison in winter that you simply cannot miss out on.
Apart from Christmas, there are many other fun winter activities to indulge in here such as sledding, snow carving, ice hockey, and more.
Participate In The Polar Bear Plunge
If you wish to try something unique this winter in Wisconsin, then you should participate in the Polar Bear Plunge. It is an annual winter event in Wisconsin and other parts of the United States.
This Wisconsin winter event takes place in Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach and is a free non-sponsored event where anyone can participate.
In this Wisconsin winter activity, participants race into the freezing Lake Michigan in minimum clothes which is both exciting and terrifying.
You can choose to join this famous winter activity in Wisconsin or just watch it from the sideline on January 1st of every year.
If you do participate, make sure that you can handle the cold and be quick to change into dry and warm clothes once you have taken the plunge.
Overall, this is one of the most adventurous ways to enjoy winter in Milwaukee with your family.
Enjoy Indoor Water Parks In Wisconsin Dells
One of the top Wisconsin winter destinations, there are so many things to do in the Wisconsin Dells.
There are numerous Wisconsin Dells winter activities to enjoy.
Examples are watching musicals, theatre plays, horseback riding, skiing, hot tub baths, etc., it is an ideal destination to enjoy winters in Wisconsin.
The best thing to do in Wisconsin in winter with family is to visit the numerous indoor water parks in Wisconsin Dells.
In fact, it is known as the ‘Water Capital Park of the World’ due to the multiple water parks available here.
From Chula Vista to Mt. Olympus, you have no shortage of indoor water parks to choose from.
So, if you are looking for a place where your family can enjoy in winter, then Wisconsin Dells is a good choice.
Attend Winterfest In Lake Geneva
Are you looking for epic Wisconsin winter events to attend? If yes, then you should explore Winterfest in Lake Geneva.
This Lake Geneva winter event features lots of fun contests such as the US National Snow Sculpting Competition, Human Dog Sled Races, etc., a few of which last for two weeks in the state.
At this Wisconsin event, you can indulge in several other events like a chili cook-off, a cocoa crawl, an ice bar, and helicopter rides.
These events take place in different parts of Lake Geneva and Winterfest is truly the best way to enjoy winter in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
With so many shops and restaurants in Lake Geneva, this is one of the best winter getaways in Wisconsin.
Explore Ice Castles In Wisconsin
One of the most unique experiences to enjoy the winter in Wisconsin is visiting the famous Ice Castles.
These winter attractions in Wisconsin are weather-dependent but if the weather is good, then you can indulge in lots of fun activities and explorations.
The Ice Castles are built by placing thousands of icicles manually by professional ice artists and feature beautiful LED-lit sculptures, ice-carved tunnel slides, frozen thrones, and more.
Previously, these Ice Castles first appeared in Wisconsin Dells and are now in Lake Geneva.
You need to buy tickets to visit the Ice Castle which is generally available 10 days before the opening date. Usually in January.
Trust me, if you are looking for unique winter activities in Wisconsin, then there is nothing better than exploring Ice Castles here.
There are so many resorts in Wisconsin to discover when visiting in the winter!
Go Skiing At Granite Peak Ski Area
For skiing enthusiasts, the top place to visit in Wisconsin is the Granite Peak Ski Area.
It is Wisconsin’s biggest vertical drop at 700 feet and makes for the best skiing spot in the state. This hill is located outside Wasau and is great for enjoying this winter activity in Wisconsin.
The hill features 68 runs, out of which the longest is a mile long.
There are 4 terrain parks available here with seven lifts that include three high-speed lifts as well. If you are a beginner, you can even learn how to ski on this mountain.
Most importantly, plan your visit to Granite Peak Ski Area at the end of the season to attend the annual Spring Fling.
In this event, you will see costumed skiers skimming over a small pool of water on this ski hill.
If you love skiing, then Granite Peak Ski Area is the best place to visit in Wisconsin in winter.
And, there are so many excellent ski resorts in Wisconsin!
Visit Ice Caves At Apostle Island National Lakeshore
If you wish to witness the best winter attraction in Wisconsin, then don’t forget to include Apostle Island National Lakeshore in your winter itinerary.
This Wisconsin winter getaway receives over 135,000 people every year due to the gorgeous ice caves that you can find here.
This natural attraction is formed by the water freezing in icy formations along the caves and the sandstone cliffs of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore.
These ice caves are not accessible until Lake Superior freezes completely so that it is safe to walk to the mainland caves.
This is why visiting these ice caves in Wisconsin is such an amazing experience as it doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it is completely worth it.
Trust me, this is one epic Wisconsin winter attraction that you cannot afford to miss.
Experience A Scenic Ride On A Wisconsin Snow Train
One of the coolest things to do in Wisconsin in winter is going on one of the Wisconsin Snow Trains.
Perfect for romantic couples or families, a Wisconsin Snow Train will take you through the most gorgeous winter landscapes and will give you a glimpse of the magical Wisconsin snow.
One of the most famous trains to enjoy a ride on is the Great Northern Railroad which is over 100 years old now.
You have both vintage car and bed-and-breakfast car options available in this Wisconsin Snow train.
A few other snow trains that you can choose from are East Troy Electric Railroad and the Mid-Continent Railway Snow Train.
So, choose the route or the experience that you want and go on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with your family.
Plan A Winter Vacation To Door County
One of the most magical winter attractions in Wisconsin, Door County is perfect for a cozy and romantic winter vacation.
There are lots of interesting things to do in winter in Door Count, making it the perfect Wisconsin winter getaway.
From dining options to festivals, to entertainment, there is a lot to do in Door County during winter vacations.
Visitors can enjoy the Winter Wonderland Tour on the Door County Trolley which will take you for wine tasting through some of the best wineries in Wisconsin.
That can be followed by a sleigh ride through the region’s best snowy landscapes.
For families with kids, sleigh rides and carriage rides are the best way to enjoy Door County in winter.
You can attend the annual Door County Pond Hockey tournament, explore the scenery on a snowmobile, and enjoy a stay in a romantic cabin.
So, if you are looking for the best winter getaways in Wisconsin, then Door County tops the list.
Attending The Madison Winter Festival Is One Of The Best Things To Celebrate Winter In Wisconsin
If you are visiting Madison WI in winter, then you cannot miss out on attending the annual Madison Winter Festival.
This is a popular winter event in Wisconsin that features lots of outdoor sports, delicious food, and winter art.
In this Wisconsin winter event, you can indulge in fun winter activities such as snow sculpting, ice skating, sledding, candlelight skiing, far biking, and more.
That’s not all, the festival also features live music and many winter games that guests can participate in.
To top it all, they also serve delicious hot chocolate and smores at the festival, making it the perfect winter event for the entire family to enjoy.
Go Snow Tubing At Cascade Mountain
The best place to visit in Wisconsin for fun winter activities is Cascade Mountain.
Located 25 minutes from Wisconsin Dells, Cascade features the best snow in Wisconsin and has close to 800 slopes that are perfect for snow tubing.
That’s not all, there are trails for skiing and snowboarding available here as well.
Visitors can reach the top of the mountain quickly with the help of the 11 lifts installed at the mountain that offer stunning scenic views of the winter landscape as well.
If you are an adventurer, then Cascade is perfect for you.
They have different terrain parks that cater to beginners to experts in the winter activities. So, for some amazing snow tubing experience with family, you should definitely check out Cascade.
Experience Jamboree In Waukesha During Winter In Wisconsin
One of the top Wisconsin winter events for all ages, the Waukesha Jamboree is a city-wide festival that is held in late January.
This winter festival was first started in 1985 by three women of the Waukesha community who wanted their families to go out and enjoy the winters.
Since then, this is exactly what is done in this winter festival.
This is one of the best winter events in Wisconsin that features events for both adults and kids.
Ice sculpting contests, 5K racing, ice fishing, and snow sliding are a few fun outdoor activities to enjoy here.
Apart from that, they also have many indoor events for those who wish to stay warm in the winter.
If you are looking for family-friendly winter festivals in Wisconsin, then Jamboree is definitely a good choice.
Enjoy Winter Adventure Activities In The Nine Mile Forest One Of The Best Things In Winter In Wisconsin
If you are looking for an adventurous Wisconsin winter activity to enjoy, then indulging in the snow activities in the Nine Mile Forest of Wasau is the perfect way to do that.
Nine Mile Forest is one of the best places to see snow in Wisconsin and offers trails for several activities such as cross-country skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
If you wish to make the most of the winter in Wisconsin, then Nine Mile Forest is the perfect attraction to visit.
There are 6.7 miles of snowshoe trails that don’t overlap with the 20 miles of cross-country skiing trails. Plus, several outdoor chalets where you can relax and stay during your visit to this forest.
For those who want Wisconsin winter adventures, Nine Mile Forest is one of the top places to visit in Wisconsin.
Packing List For Visiting Wisconsin In winter
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing when heading to Wisconsin.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when attending winter festivities in Wisconsin..
It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies during all the winter activities in Wisconsin you do.
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. . No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors!
As you can see there are so many things to do in Wisconsin in winter.
And it is certainly one of the best places to visit in the Midwest in winter.
In this article, I have covered some of the best things to do in winter with your friends, but of course, there are many more.