Move over, Summerfest. Winter is when we truly shine! When you summon up the strength to brave the cold, head to one of these winter festivals to warm the whole family up inside and out. (Some of them are returning after COVID-19 hiatus in 2021.)
1. Cool Fool Kite Festival
January 1, 2022, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Gift of Wings Kite Store in Veterans Park
1300 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202
(This event happened already – mark your calendars for next year!)
This free annual kite festival is held every year on New Year’s Day in Veterans Park. The on-site kite store, Gift of Wings, organizes the event and provides free hot cocoa and coffee, snacks, giant kites, ice carving artists, and hot food for purchase. You can bring your own kite to fly or purchase one at Gift of Wings.
2. Winterfest in New Berlin
(This event happened already – mark your calendars for next year!)
Shake off the winter blues at New Berlin Recreation’s 3rd Annual Winterfest – an outdoor festival featuring tons of frosty family fun! This FREE family-friendly event includes activities at the New Berlin City Center Plaza, Valley View Park and Malone Park. Among the festivities: Live music, a snowman building contest, a medallion hunt, snow kickball, a candlelight hike, a bonfire with s’mores, bingo, fireside stories, skating, sledding and more. Fuel up with a variety of food trucks and a winter beer garden.
3. Waukesha Janboree
January 14-23, 2022
Get it? “January” and “Jamboree” are combined to create “Janboree”! This epic 10-day event opens with a special ceremony that includes live music, dancing, and fireworks outside on the Fox River. Weekend activities include ice sculpting demonstrations, lumberjack shows, trivia, Frosty 5K, egg hunt, beer garden. ice bocce tournament, indoor ice skating at Eble Arena, ice fishing clinics, stargazing planetarium shows, nature activities, and more! Most events are free, but some require pre-registration, like the “Timber Slide” toboggan run at Lowell Park.
4. BelAir Ice Bar
January 20-23, 2022
BelAir Cantina – The Corners of Brookfield
250 High Street, Brookfield, WI 53045
The coolest bar is popping up at BelAir Cantina for the second year in a row! Chill out at the 19-foot-long ice bar located outside of BelAir Cantina in Market Square. Enjoy a specialty cocktail at the bar, find a cozy seat near one of the heaters, or check out the custom ice installations and photo ops! VIP reservations with drink tickets and a private fire pit are also available.
Opening Weekend Hours
Thursday, Jan. 20: 4-8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 21: 4-8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 22: Noon-8 p.m. (Frozen Day – Enjoy Frozen on the big screen and special Hot Cocoa and Food Drinks!)
Sunday, Jan. 23: Noon-5 p.m.
The bar will remain open as long as weather is permits. Stay tuned to The Corners of Brookfield website for updates.
5. Winterfest at Boerner Botanical Gardens
January 30, 2022, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Boerner Education & Visitor Center
9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners, WI 53130
Cure your cabin fever with winter nature walks, indoor and outdoor activities, hot drinks and FREE family fun! There will be indoor seasonal kids’ crafts, activities led by the Wehr Nature Center, and free educator-led family winter nature walks. Winter walks are roughly 45 minutes long and depart regularly throughout the event.
6. Lake Geneva Ice Castles
Opening late January 2022
Geneva National Resort & Club, 1091 Hidden Cottage Cir, Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Opening in late January, the popular ice castles are coming back to Wisconsin! Ice Castles is an award-winning frozen attraction located in five cities across North America. The experience is built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. The castles include breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, fountains and more. You must buy tickets online, and they tend to sell out fast!
7. Winter Frolic at Mequon Nature Preserve
February 5, 2022, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
8200 W. County Line Rd., Mequon, WI 53097
Head to the Mequon Nature Preserve for tractor and sleigh rides, ice fishing, snowshoeing, s’mores and hot chocolate, and some yard games. The entire event is outside; there will be no access to the building. There are two time slots to choose from: 10 a.m.-Noon and 1-3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per car and give your family access to it all!
8. Winterfest at Urban Ecology Center
February 5 and 12, 2022, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee, WI 53208
Celebrate winter, friends, and family at Washington Park! This free family event is taking place on two different Saturdays in February. If there’s snow, there will ice be sledding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, plus ice skating on the lagoon. If the snow’s a no-show, you can enjoy guided nature walks. Regardless of the weather, you can enjoy geocaching, fire pits and warm drinks. See you outdoors!
BONUS: Don’t miss The Urban Candlelight Hike in Three Bridges Park on Saturday, February 26! Back for its fifth year, this memorable outdoor experience includes warm campfires along the Hank Aaron State Trail, locally brewed beer and root beer from Third Space Brewing, access to food trucks, the opportunity to try on snowshoes, and more! Attend for free, or get extra cool stuff by purchasing a fun pass. Learn more >>
9. Winterfest in Port Washington
February 6, 2022, 12:30 p.m.
Veteran’s Memorial Park, 410 N. Lake St., Port Washington, WI 53074
Port Washington Recreation will be hosting its first ever Winterfest this year! It will be held in conjunction with the annual Kiwanis Chili Bowl at Veteran’s Memorial Park. There will be ice skating, hot chocolate, games, activities, vendors and more!
10. Winterfest in Lisbon
February 19, 2022, 1-4 p.m.
Community Park, N78W26970 Bartlett Pkwy, Hartland, WI 53029
At this free family winter event, there will be horse-drawn sleigh rides, sledding, snowboarding, ice skating, a bonfire with s’mores, crafts and more. Lisbon Park Committee is providing refreshments: hot dogs, chili, hot cocoa and cider. Cardboard sled races will be held the next day, Feb. 20 (1-3 p.m.).
11. Winter Festival in Cedarburg
February 19-20, 2022, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. (Saturday), 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (Sunday)
Washington Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53012
Oh, you would not, could not miss a festival such as this! This fun-filled Dr. Suess-themed event will feature an ice carving contest, barrel races, Cedarburg’s famous “costumed bed-races on ice,” camel rides, sledding, ice skating, golfing, parades and dog pulls. Indoors, there will be a chili cook-off, music, merchant activities, shopping and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Festivities will take place throughout the heart of Cedarburg on Washington Avenue.