By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 30, 2023 at 8:01 AM

The ever-popular Ice Castles return this year for their fifth winter in Lake Geneva. This week's arctic blast will help cement the structures just in time for their opening on Saturday, Feb. 4.

As has been the case for all but the first year, the evocative winter wonderland will be at Geneva National Resort and will include caves and tunnels, slides and crawl spaces, plus tower sculptures and formations, all made from ice.

New this year is an enhanced horse-drawn sleigh ride trail, new lighting features, and winter characters to interact with guests.

Although about 20 artisans will likely begin creating the castles by sometime in November, as always the specific opening date is weather dependent.

The castles have typically been ready by the second half of January and usually remain viable through the end of February.

This year's warm January pushed the opening date into February.

Ice Castles first appeared in Lake Geneva in 2019. They moved from the lakeside beach to the current location the following year. This year there are similar castles in Utah, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York.

"Winter is such a magical time of year," said Ice Castles CEO Kyle Standifird, "We're honored to be celebrating our fifth year in Lake Geneva and have some fun new discoveries and surprises in store for our guests."

Tickets to visit the frozen fortress are available at

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.