Located just ninety minutes north of Chicago and an hour southwest of Milwaukee, the town of Lake Geneva offers a welcome respite from the city crowds. Located on Geneva Lake, the town was the summer getaway for many wealthy Midwesterners including the Maytags, Wrigleys, and Schwinns. It continues to provide a weekend escape for many suburban families today. Lake Geneva is also home to the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, a luxurious property that offers year round family activities, making it one of our favorite accommodation choices in the area.

5 Reasons Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is a Great Escape for Families-Traveling Mom

Photo credit: Grand Geneva

5 Reasons Lake Geneva’s Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is a Great Escape for Families

The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa opened in 1968 as the Lake Geneva Playboy Club, owned by the one and only Hugh Hefner, but today it is as family friendly as it gets. The expansive property includes 355 guest rooms, two championship golf courses, a wellness spa and fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, horseback riding, access to the neighboring water park, and skiing in the winter. Families will have a difficult time knowing where to begin with so many activities and amenities available. Here are five of our favorites.

1. A club for children of all ages

Whether you are traveling with an infant or a teen, Grand Geneva offers something for every age. The Grand Geneva’s motto, “Kids Are Grand,” really emphasizes the focus of their programming. Inside the main spa and fitness area is a childcare facility that cares for children under age 12. This would be a perfect option for parents working out, having a spa treatment, or playing a round of golf. Older children would enjoy the Kids Adventure Camp located in the Adventure Center at the base of the ski hill. Here they can sign up for half a day of fun outdoor activities (such as hiking and zip lining), arts and crafts, and snacks. When kids are done at camp, families might want to borrow bikes, take a hike, or rent archery equipment from the Adventure Center. They can also head back to the main pool for an afternoon swim. Kids can never say they are bored with all of these options.

5 Reasons Lake Geneva’s Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is a Great Escape for Families

Photo credit: Grand Geneva


2. Multiple restaurants on property

A great resort has plenty of food options to choose from and the Grand Geneva is no exception. There’s a café and gelato spot in the lobby for quick bites. The Grand Café serves contemporary American cuisine and is a good spot for breakfast and lunch with outdoor seating for those coming from the pool or golf course. The Geneva Chop House is a typical steak house with an extensive wine list. Perhaps my favorite restaurant on the property is Ristoranté Brissago, a classic Italian restaurant serving pasta and other delicious dishes. Whichever restaurant you choose, kids will be happy with the large selection of choices to satisfy their palates.

5 Reasons Lake Geneva’s Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is a Great Escape for Families

Many of the restaurants at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa offer this view overlooking the golf course.
Photo credit: Kirsten Maxwell – Teaching Traveling Mom

3. An extensive exercise facility with areas for kids

As I mentioned above, there is a childcare area in the fitness center, but the facility also offers an indoor swimming pool, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, and a 35 foot rock climbing wall. While mom and dad exercise on the cutting edge cardio machines or take one of the aerobic classes, older kids can enjoy these amenities on their own. Younger children can use these areas with parents or with the childcare center (with the exception of the rock wall). A family could spend an entire day at the exercise facility if they wanted and never be bored.

4. Grand Experiences

Grand Experiences are daily activities offered by the resort. Some are free, some are not, and they change seasonally. Families can enjoy activities such as bingo, Family Feud, a magic show, and making s’mores at the outdoor fire pit. Different days bring different experiences and I know our kids would love the ping pong tournament, movie night, and geocaching. There are also fun adult only experiences such as Mixology and Paint and Sip, if mom and dad want to leave the kids with an in room babysitter.

5. Year round fun

The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa offers many summer activities, but in the winter it’s equally inviting. The resort offers skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, and skating. The horse stables offer sleigh rides and the water park at sister property Timber Ridge is always open. The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva is a great place for beginners to learn how to ski and snowboard, and for families to spend time together. The place completely transforms from its summer hiking, biking, and archery area to a winter wonderland during the colder months.

5 Reasons Lake Geneva’s Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is a Great Escape for Families

Even when it’s cold outside, there’s always the water park. Photo credit: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is a great experience for families because they can entertain parents and children of all ages on their property. Families might realize they never need to leave because everything for the perfect vacation is on site. There aren’t many properties that go above and beyond to make kids feel special, but it obvious that Grand Geneva knows how to roll out the welcome mat for their young visitors.