In the enchanting allure of Delavan, history meets with modern charm in a picturesque blend with a legacy of Circus City at the Al. Ringling Mansion wanders through streets adorned with Victorian elegance and basks in the serenity of Lake Delavan.
Here, tourists flock to immerse themselves in a timeless journey where every season unveils a new facet of beauty. Established in 1836, the city gained prominence in the 19th century as a winter quarters for circus troupes, earning the moniker “Circus City.”
This legacy is immortalized in the Al. Ringling Mansion was once home to one of the famed Ringling brothers. Delavan’s historic charm extends to its architecture, with well-preserved Victorian homes lining its streets, including The Bradley House, a local gem, showcasing intricate craftsmanship’s glimpse into the city’s past.
Summer months, from June to August, are ideal for water activities like boating and fishing, including enchanting parks, such as Veterans Park, which provide a scenic backdrop for strolls.
Delavan’s tourism is also at its peak in the fall when the foliage transforms into a captivating tapestry of autumn colors. Visitors flock to the Apple Barn Orchard & Winery for apple picking and enjoying seasonal delights.
Winter, though chilly, brings its charm, especially during the holiday season. The historic downtown, adorned with festive lights, creates a picturesque setting for holiday shopping and events.
However, if you want to experience Delavan’s unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty, the best months to visit are during summer for lake activities and fall for the breathtaking foliage.
So gather your belongings, pack your bags and go on a trip that can fill your every new day with new excitement. But one thing is still left: remember to follow the best things to do in Delavan, WI and be our trip partner!
1) Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures
Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures offers thrilling outdoor experiences, founded by avid adventure enthusiasts in 2012. Since its establishment, the company has grown into a premier destination for ziplining, high ropes courses, and scenic tours.
The company’s commitment to delivering memorable and safe adventures has contributed to its enduring popularity, attracting thrill-seekers and nature lovers.
The adventure park provides well-maintained ziplines, ensuring a safe and exhilarating ride through the treetops with high ropes courses challenging participants with various obstacles, fostering teamwork and personal growth.
For those seeking a more relaxed experience with fun things to do in Delavan, WI, the park often features picnic areas where visitors can unwind amidst the scenic beauty.
Moreover, to guide the visitors, knowledgeable staff are on hand to ensure safety and provide informative insights about the local environment to make their trip more safe.
Additionally, the park may offer amenities such as refreshment stands or cafes, providing a chance for guests to recharge and enjoy refreshments.
Beyond the adrenaline-pumping activities, Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures often hosts events or themed days, adding an extra layer of fun to the visit and creating a dynamic and engaging atmosphere for guests of all ages.
Whether it’s soaring through the treetops, navigating high ropes, or simply enjoying the scenic surroundings, the park strives to cater to diverse preferences, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families.
N3232 County Trunk H, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, United States
2) Lakeside Bait & Tackle, LLC
Lakeside Bait & Tackle, LLC, established in 1985, began as a small family-owned business on the shores of Lake Springfield catering to local anglers, offering a modest selection of fishing gear and live bait. Over the years, the store expanded its inventory and services, becoming a go-to destination for fishing enthusiasts in the region.
In 2010, a renovation modernized the store while preserving its rustic charm, maintaining a reputation for quality products and fostering a sense of camaraderie among fishing enthusiasts in the picturesque lakeside community.
However, the store boasts a well-stocked inventory, including a variety of fishing gear, live bait, and outdoor apparel, with a separate relaxing area for customers to relax, share fishing stories, and enjoy complimentary coffee.
For those seeking more than just angling, Lakeside organizes fishing tournaments and workshops, fostering a sense of community among fishing enthusiasts with many fun things to do in Delavan, WI.
Families can enjoy picnics in designated areas, and a playground adds a playful touch for younger visitors, going beyond being a mere retail space; it’s a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, providing not just gear but a welcoming environment to connect with nature and fellow anglers.
3542 Wisconsin 50, Delavan, WI 53115, United States
3) Animal Gardens
Animal Gardens Delavan, established in 1987, is a unique petting zoo and wildlife park spanning 40 acres, offering hands-on experience with a variety of domestic and exotic animals.
Originally known as Animal Gardens Petting Zoo, it evolved over the years to include captivating animal performances, interactive exhibits, and educational programs.
With its commitment to providing a memorable and educational experience, Animal Gardens Delavan has become a cherished destination for both locals and tourists seeking a close encounter with wildlife.
The expansive 40-acre park features interactive exhibits, providing visitors with the opportunity to feed and interact with a diverse array of animals, including kangaroos, camels, and lemurs. The park also hosts entertaining and educational animal performances, showcasing the intelligence and skills of various species.
For added convenience, the park provides amenities such as picnic areas, ensuring a comfortable space for families to relax and enjoy meals. However, the park’s scenic surroundings provide an enjoyable atmosphere for visitors to create lasting memories while appreciating the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Whether exploring exhibits, attending performances, or simply enjoying a picnic, Animal Gardens Delavan offers a delightful experience for all ages.
5065 Wisconsin 50, Delavan, WI 53115, United States
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4) Delavan Historical Society
The Delavan Historical Society, founded to preserve and promote local heritage, boasts a rich history since its establishment. Through curated exhibits, archival collections, and educational programs, it chronicles the evolution of Delavan, capturing pivotal moments, notable figures, and the cultural tapestry that defines the region.
Dedicated to historical stewardship, the Delavan Historical Society continues to weave the threads of time, connecting generations and ensuring the preservation of the community’s enduring narrative.
The society boasts modern recreational facilities, including parks equipped with playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails with many fun things to do in Delavan, WI.
Sports enthusiasts can enjoy the well-maintained facilities for activities like basketball, tennis, and soccer. Moreover, the town’s community center also hosts events and provides spaces for gatherings, fostering a sense of unity among residents.
Nature lovers can explore the scenic beauty of Delavan at its parks or take a stroll along charming pathways. It also offers a variety of dining options, from local cafes to family-friendly restaurants, serving a range of cuisines to satisfy diverse tastes.
Overall, Delavan Society provides a harmonious blend of recreational, cultural, and culinary experiences, creating a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy and appreciate in the charming city of Wisconsin.
663 Ann Street, Delavan, WI 53115, United States
5) Apple Barn Orchard
Established in 1980, Apple Barn Orchard began as a small apple orchard, gradually expanding to include a thriving winery. The founders, passionate about sustainable farming, integrated eco-friendly practices into their operations with diversified fruit offerings while maintaining a commitment to quality.
The winery, added in the early 2000s through agritourism initiatives, Apple Barn Orchard and Winery has welcomed visitors to enjoy seasonal fruit picking, wine tastings, and scenic views, creating a memorable experience that intertwines nature, agriculture, and community.
The sprawling orchard invites guests to engage in seasonal fruit picking, creating a hands-on experience amid the picturesque landscape. The winery, boasting a rustic charm, hosts tastings where patrons can savor a diverse selection of award-winning wines guided by knowledgeable staff.
To enhance your overall experience with fun things to do in Delavan, WI, the orchard provides picnic areas, allowing visitors to enjoy their freshly picked fruits or wine amidst the scenic beauty.
Additionally, a charming country store offers a variety of homemade goods, local products, and, of course, the orchard’s fresh produce.
For those seeking more active pursuits, Apple Barn Orchard and Winery often host events such as hayrides, live music, and festivals, fostering a vibrant and communal atmosphere.
The venue is equipped with modern amenities, including rest areas, parking facilities, and friendly staff eager to ensure a memorable visit.
So whether you want to enjoy the tranquility of nature, indulge in culinary delights, or partake in festive activities, Apple Barn Orchard and Winery provide a multifaceted destination for a diverse range of visitors.
W6384 Sugar Creek Road, Elkhorn, WI 53121, United States
6) Music by the Lake
Music by Lake Delavan, established in the early 20th century is nestled beside the serene waters of Lake Delavan that became a haven for music enthusiasts seeking enchanting performances amidst nature’s beauty.
With roots deeply intertwined with the community, Music by the Lake Delavan continues to celebrate the universal language of music, fostering a tradition that harmonizes art and nature for generations to come.
The venue boasts state-of-the-art acoustics, providing an immersive auditory experience for concert-goers. Comfortable seating arrangements, including both open-air spaces and covered options, ensure a pleasant atmosphere for all attendees.
Additionally, on-site concessions offer a variety of refreshments, from snacks to beverages, enhancing the overall enjoyment.
Surrounded by the natural beauty of Lake Delavan, visitors can partake in leisurely activities such as lakeside strolls, picnics, and boat rides, creating a holistic experience beyond the music.
The festival also often hosts workshops and interactive sessions, allowing attendees to engage directly with artists and delve deeper into the world of music.
For those seeking more adventure and fun things to do in Delavan, WI, nearby attractions include hiking trails, water sports, and charming local shops with a combination of world-class music, scenic surroundings, and diverse recreational opportunities.
350 Constance Boulevard, Williams Bay, WI 53191, United States
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7) Community Park
Community Park, established in 1978, has a rich history rooted in community engagement as it was found in a barren space where residents rallied to transform it into a green haven. The park’s first features included a playground and walking trails, evolving with additions like sports fields, picnic areas, and a vibrant community center.
A major renovation in 2010 enhanced accessibility, ensuring inclusivity and boasting a diverse range of facilities and amenities, making it a vibrant hub for recreational activities. The sprawling green spaces invite picnics and sports, with well-maintained fields for soccer, baseball, and basketball.
A modern playground captivates young visitors, while families can gather at picnic areas equipped with grills. The community center, a focal point, offers meeting spaces and hosts various classes and events, fostering social connections.
Moreover, the park’s lake offers fishing opportunities with many fun things to do in Delavan, WI, including paddleboats that add a playful touch. Community Park’s amenities extend to practical facilities like restrooms, ensuring a comfortable experience for visitors.
You can also take your furry companion for a long walk here, where they can take part in dynamic canvas, seasonal events, farmers’ markets, and art installations. With a commitment to inclusivity and community well-being, Community Park continues to evolve, offering an array of activities that resonate with a diverse audience.
1220 South Shore Drive, Delavan, WI 53115, United States
8) Dancing Horses Theatre
The Dancing Horses Theatre, rooted in equestrian traditions, emerged during the Renaissance in the 16th century. Its origins trace back to royal courts where skilled horse trainers showcased choreographed routines, blending equine grace with artistic expression.
The shows feature trained horses executing intricate movements, often accompanied by music and thematic narratives. These spectacles gained popularity in Spain, France, Wisconsin and Italy, influencing the development of elaborate equestrian ballets.
This multifaceted venue offers a myriad of facilities and amenities, including state-of-the-art fitness centers that cater to health enthusiasts, while tranquil spa retreats provide relaxation.
Multiple dining options range from upscale restaurants to cozy cafes, offering culinary delights for every palate. For recreation, there are expansive pools, sports courts, and jogging tracks, ensuring guests can stay active and engaged.
Entertainment is a focal point, with theaters hosting live performances, movie nights, and cultural events. Kids can enjoy dedicated play areas, and families can bond over themed game nights. Business facilities are equipped with modern technology to meet corporate needs, making it an ideal venue for conferences and meetings.
Additionally, the venue hosts regular events such as art exhibitions, workshops, and community gatherings, fostering a vibrant atmosphere. Whatever the preference, this destination seamlessly blends relaxation, recreation, and cultural enrichment to provide a comprehensive and enjoyable experience for all.
5065 Wisconsin 50, Delavan, WI 53115, United States
9) Ice Castles
Ice Castles in Delavan, Wisconsin, originated in 2011 as an art project by Brent Christensen which was formed in inspiration by an ice cave that he built for his daughter. These castles are crafted by growing icicles and spraying water to create intricate formations featuring illuminated ice sculptures, tunnels, and slides, attracting visitors seeking a magical winter experience.
The site has become a popular winter attraction, showcasing the beauty of ice as an artistic medium and offering a unique, interactive winter spectacle for locals and tourists alike. The history of Ice Castles in Delavan reflects the fusion of creativity and nature’s wintry wonders.
The main attraction is, of course, the enchanting ice formations, including tunnels, slides, and sculptures illuminated by colorful lights, creating a magical ambiance. Visitors can explore the intricate designs and pathways, making it a unique and immersive winter experience.
Facilities on-site typically include ticketing booths, warm-up stations, and sometimes concession stands offering hot beverages and snacks. Beyond the ice structures, visitors can engage in various activities and fun things to do in Delavan, WI.
Many enjoy capturing the stunning ice formations through photography, creating lasting memories, while families and friends love to bond through navigating the icy mazes or sliding down the frosty slides.
Overall, we must say the Ice Castles provide a one-of-a-kind winter adventure, blending natural beauty with interactive elements, making it a memorable destination for those seeking a festive and visually captivating outing during the colder months.
1091 Hidden Cottage Circle, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, United States
10) Phoenix Park Bandshell
The Phoenix Park Bandshell was constructed in 1892, initially known as the People’s Garden Music Pavilion, hosting numerous concerts and events over the years. The bandshell underwent renovations in the 1980s, restoring its Victorian design.
It continues to be a cultural hub, hosting diverse performances and events, including the renowned “Proms in the Park” concerts.
The open-air bandshell itself serves as a stage for concerts, theatrical performances, and cultural events, providing a unique and picturesque setting surrounded by the scenic beauty of Phoenix Park.
Adjacent green spaces provide opportunities for picnics and strolls, while the People’s Flower Gardens nearby offer a tranquil escape. Additionally, the park’s vast expanses create an ideal environment for outdoor activities, including jogging, cycling, and sports.
Families can engage in recreational pursuits, and children can enjoy playgrounds scattered throughout the park with many fun things to do in Delavan, WI. The bandshell’s location within Phoenix Park also means visitors have access to amenities such as cafes and rest areas, enhancing the overall experience.
Whether attending a concert, enjoying a peaceful day outdoors, or participating in recreational activities, the Phoenix Park Bandshell and its surroundings cater to a diverse range of interests, creating a vibrant and welcoming destination for both locals and tourists.
111 East Wisconsin Street, Delavan, WI 53115, United States
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Best Hotels To Stay In Delavan, WI
- Lake Lawn Resort
- Delavan Lake Resort
- The Ridge Hotel
- Comfort Suites Delavan – Lake Geneva Area
- Allyn Mansion Bed & Breakfast
- Inns of Geneva National