From ziplining and cruising the lake to cooking and wine tasting, Lake Geneva offers an array of possibilities for off-site events and excursions.
Here are six ways groups can incorporate the charm of this Midwestern retreat into their meetings and events.
The Lake Geneva School of Cooking offers entertaining culinary classes and teambuilding opportunities for both novice and experienced cooks.
Owner and chef John Bogan leads groups through hands-on demonstrations. There are both teambuilding and private party options available to groups at the school.
Lake Geneva School of Cooking
“A great teambuilding experience where Chef chooses the menu, people are in groups to prepare the lunch or dinner,” said Susan Smolarek, group sales manager for Visit Lake Geneva.
“Chef John has a great personality and is great fun!” she added.
The Lake Geneva School of Cooking offers customized corporate teambuilding culinary events, which can be tailored to meet specific needs and company attitude.
A typical event at the school is about four hours, starting with a toast and amuse-bouche, while going over the menu. Groups are then broken into teams and the chef leads a lesson on cooking and preparation, basic techniques, and kitchen safety and sanitation. Each team prepares their dishes and once complete, come together to enjoy their creations.
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For groups that want to add a bit of competition, there is the Iron Chef option.
Participants are broken into teams and receive a recipe for an assigned course and a mystery ingredient that must be used. Over 90 minutes, the teams create their course and are judged on originality, plate presentation and taste.
Rosewood, an event venue and entertainment destination in Lake Geneva, offers both indoor and outdoor options for a uniquely Lake Geneva event.
“The state-of-the-art music theater delivers a magical world of entertainment graciously presented with a casual elegance,” Smolarek said. “So many opportunities exist for exceptional events beyond a traditional ballroom.”
The 2,400-square-foot theater, named The Listening Room, is equipped with professional lighting and sound and there is a 12-foot by 18-foot video wall that can be customized for groups’ needs.
“Outdoors, in the rural Wisconsin landscape of agricultural fields and a high tree canopy, Italian lights twinkle with even more professional lighting and sound that blends with mother nature on a patio with full-service Cabana bar,” Smolarek said.
The outdoor space features gas- and wood-burning firepits and is flanked by raised garden beds. There is a gazebo in the garden, which allows for additional outdoor event space. Groups can also access the ground’s seven and a half acres for events and teambuilding.
“The space and the technology create a tremendous amount of atmosphere, but the fresh, farm-to-table food seals the deal,” Smolarek said. “Whether signature chef-attended station menus, displayed or butler passed hors de oeuvres, a plated banquet or a completely custom menu or even custom signature cocktails, Rosewood’s variety makes events unique.”
Rosewood can also facilitate teambuilding and motivational workshops and seminars, such as:
- Speaking the Customer’s Language, which focuses on communications skills and building long-term clients;
- and Developing Leaders Who Lead, which teaches strategies for building effective teams.
Lake Geneva Canopy Tours (LGCT) offers year-round, outdoor adventures, including a two-and-a-half-hour zip line canopy tour, a high ropes course and about 12 miles of trails for hiking or biking. The 100-acre property is also home to more than 15 permanent, ground-based challenges that make up the teambuilding course.
Teambuilding activities at LGCT can be customized for each group, depending on number of participants and the goals of the team.
Lake Geneva Canopy Tours Welcome Center
In addition to structured teambuilding programs, groups can take the adventure into their own hands and use the property’s trails and outdoor spaces.
The Welcome Center can accommodate up to 50 people for private functions.
According to Smolarek, the facility has both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, including the patio and fire pit area conference room and lodge.
A trip to Lake Geneva wouldn’t be complete without taking the group onto Geneva Lake. With Lake Geneva Cruise Line, groups can arrange teambuilding activities, tours and relaxing cruises on the water. Choose from eight vessels, including the larger Lady of the Lake and Grand Belle of Geneva steamboats that can each accommodate up to 225 people.
Lake Geneva Cruise Line
Groups can also arrange The Geneva Geo Challenge, which breaks groups into teams.
Using clues and solving puzzles, teams race to get to the next location in a scavenger hunt-like game on the water.
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Private tours of historic Black Point Estate are also offered through Lake Geneva Cruise Line, taking attendees to and from the estate, which dates back to 1888. Black Point is now owned and operated by the State of Wisconsin as a historical museum.
For a private charter, groups can choose from one of the eight boats, from the Lady of the Lake steamboat to the Yacht Polaris, which was built in 1898 for Otto Young, one of the area’s first millionaires. Food, beverage and entertainment can be added to private charters for events such as a sunset cruise, a jazz dinner or a luncheon tour.
The Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, voted TripAdvisor's "#1 Thing To Do" in Lake Geneva for three years running, is a classic Lake Geneva experience. During the main show, illusionist Tristan Crist entertains crowds for 60 minutes with magic and illusions.
Tristan Crist Magic Theatre
This summer Crist and company are expanding into a newly constructed venue, the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre. The space, which will be able to accommodate groups up to 175 people, is an improvement on the current 51-seat facility, featuring a large on-site parking lot, lobby, concessions, theatre seating and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.
Groups can buy out the theater for private shows or have Tristan Crist come to an event to perform his full-scale theatrical illusion show. Crist can also entertain with smaller performances during a reception.
Even wine is made is Wisconsin, which may be a welcome surprise to those visiting the state for the first time. At Lake Geneva’s Staller Estate, a family farm winery, groups can tour the vineyards, learn about winemaking and of course, enjoy a tasting.
Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Staller Estate
The estate can also host private events with indoor and outdoor options. Groups up to 100 can use the vineyards as an event backdrop or the recently constructed Barrel Room for an intimate event. The Sunroom, which overlooks the vineyard, is also available for use.
Groups can incorporate private tours of the vineyards or winery and hold a private tasting with the winemaker. Small bites can be accommodated on site, and for larger events, the team at Staller Estate can work with outside catering.
Lake Geneva CVB Contact Information
Visit Lake Geneva