CHICAGO (CBS)--As a favorite summertime weekend destination for midwesterners, Lake Geneva spurs thoughts of long warm days spent at the beach and strolling through the mom-n-pop shops that line the downtown district.
But the tiny Wisconsin town has lots to offer in the winter, too.
Lake Geneva comes to life in January when ice castles pop up Jan. 23, turning the summer vacation town into a winter wonderland.
Each ice castle is built with hundreds of thousands of icicles that are hand-placed by professional artists. Sculptures vary from thrones and LED-lit scenes to tunnels and caves, according to Lake Geneva’s tourism website.
Tickets are on sale for about $15 for weekday admission and $19 for weekends.
Lake Geneva’s ice castle display, one of six being held in the U.S. and Canada this season, is part of Lake Geneva Winterfest, a nine-day festival starting Jan. 26 celebrating art, winter and family.
Among the events slated for Winterfest is the National Snow Sculpting Championship (Jan. 30 to Feb. 2). Professional snow sculptors from around the U.S. will converge on the town to compete for the national title of best snow sculpture. The contest is free for the public to watch.
Other Winterfest events include a Hot Cocoa Crawl, helicopter rides, a Hovercraft competition, human dog sled races, live music, magic shows, a chili cook-off and makeshift ice bars.
Restaurants and businesses around town have lots of other special offerings during Winterfeest. More information is available at http://www.visitlakegeneva.com/winterfest.