The days of icy slides and snowy tunnels on the Lake Geneva lakefront have come to an end.
The Lake Geneva ice castle closed for the season March 9, ending a six-week run as a new winter visitor attraction that drew crowds by the thousands to the city’s Riviera Beach.
Despite cold rain, patrons turned out March 9 to enjoy the season finale for the lakefront frozen funhouse.
Huda Kandah of Chicago said she and her family had been planning to visit the ice castle for a few weeks, and they decided to make the trek on the closing day.
With her one-year-daughter, Natalie, Kandah enjoyed the slides and tunnels and other interactive features.
“It’s awesome,” Kandah said. “It’s been a great time.”
Gaurav Rao, also of Chicago, said he and his family heard positive reviews of the new Lake Geneva attraction. Rao was glad to experience the ice castle before the season ended.
“We came here at the right time,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Presented by Ice Castles LLC, a company based in Utah, the 20,000-square-foot interactive funhouse was erected starting in October, with a planned opening date in late December. Unseasonably mild weather delayed the opening until Jan. 23, but from there, the crowds were steady and robust.
The company has not announced whether the ice castle will return next winter.
Some visitors on closing day said they would visit the ice castle again if it returned to Lake Geneva.
“The kids seem to enjoy the heck out of it,” said Lucas Dickinson of Kenosha. “I’m sure they want to come back here.”
Employee Ryan Rasch said he was sad that the season was ending, and he, too, hopes to see the attraction make a return engagement next winter.
“I’m used to working indoors, so in a way, this is a different experience,” he said. “It’s one big, happy work environment. It was fun.”
The ice castle thrilled visitors with its sensory stimulation that included music, colored lights and interactive fun. Patrons enjoyed skidding down slides, taking selfies by frozen water fountains and crawling through snowy tunnels and caverns.
John Church of Genoa City enjoyed scouting down one of the slides on his stomach during closing day.
“It reminds me of being a kid,” he said. “It’s great. I love it. I’ve had a great time here.”
A.J. and Brandi Aguilar made the trip from Schaumburg, Illinois, to bring their one-year-old daughter, Brinley. Brandi Aguilar said the castle reminded her of the Disney movie “Frozen” and the place where the movie’s princess lived.
“It’s so cool,” Brandi said. “It’s so pretty here.”