Things to Do in January

16 Things to do in January

Hello January!

Lake Country Family Fun Has the Things to do in January in Lake Country!

With the holidays over, we are the midst of a long winter until spring gets here. (Let’s hope it’s not 5 months long 😉) When this time of year rolls around, I like to embrace the hygge effect, and slow down, spend the weekend in at home cuddled up in front of the fire. But the one thing I’d recommend to any WI newcomer or a winter-hater, is to get a winter hobby. Take it from a me, a summer-lover, who strongly dislikes being cold, the winter will go SO much faster if you are enjoy it. That’s why we have 16 fun things to do this January. So, aside from embracing hygge and picking up a winter hobby, skim our list below full of fun things to do this chilly first month of the new year. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the Ice Castles / Winter Realms opening announcement. Read below for 16+ family-friendly things to do in January 2024.

Please thank our January Guide Sponsor:

You’re Invited! University Lake School in Hartland is hosting a Lower School Open House on Thursday, January 25 from 4-6 p.m. This event is for parents and guardians interested in learning more about ULS’ Laker Playgroup, Little Lakers (2-3 Years), Preprimary (JK3, JK4, SK) and Lower School (Grades 1-4) programs. 
University Lake School is an independent school located in the heart of Lake Country serving children from 18 months through 12th grade. Learn more:

Winter has not really showed up yet in Southeastern Wisconsin, but it’s probably coming and we will not let that stop us from having fun even if it is freezing! Try these tips so you can enjoy the most of the winter outdoor fun with your families.

  1. Invest in some winter wear and gear. Mom, Dad, we’re talking to you. I’m betting your kids have some snowpants and winter boots, but you need them, too! We find most of our winter gear at Sherpers, Fleet Farm, or online. Find our Amazon picks in our storefront for our favorite winter brands. #affiliate
  2. Have a place to dry off the winter gear when you return inside and warm up with some hot chocolate.  
  3. Know before you go if you need any specialized gear. Many places have rentals available if you are going ice skating or snowshoeing, but doublecheck before you leave the house. And consider investing in your own ice skates or snowshoes.

Check out these fun winter events and things to do in and around Waukesha County and Lake Country to fight the winter blues, and if you are looking for more, see our popular LCFF events calendar for a full listing of events for the month.

16 ideas for January Fun

1. Get in a better fitness routine. This is the most common resolution out there. If it’s one of yours, make a plan. Will you work out at home? In the morning or evening? Will you join a gym or fitness class. At Lake Country Family Fun, our team uses Burn Boot Camp, 8th State Hot Yoga + Fitness (formerly Sweat Shop Hot Yoga) and Peloton at home to keep our health and fitness routines on track. You can view all of the Waukesha County Fitness options in this awesome fitness guide here.

2. Take a hike or cross country ski! Head to literally any Waukesha County Park or trail system to get out and take a brisk winter hike or cross country ski. We love Nashotah Park and just bought our 2024 pass! You can celebrate the first day of 2024 with a First Day Hike. More details on local hikes and other first day hike options here.

3. Enjoy a FREE day at the Milwaukee County Zoo on January 6th this year, check out the Milwaukee County Zoo for free! ($15 Parking fees still apply) Don’t be scared to check it out in the winter. Bundle up and explore new and favorite animals with your family!

4.Take the Kids Sledding, find 22 public sledding hills in Waukesha County with this handy winter sledding guide, complete with a map. If it’s going to snow, we might as well have fun with it, right?! 

5. See stars. Check out a planetarium show at the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha. It’s a great way to encourage learning on the weekend, while staying warm from the cold. My kiddos enjoy the show so much and always ask to go back and see another one!

6. Take a class. Lake Country Family Fun is a big fan of Lake Country Playhouse in Hartland. If you are too, be sure to check out their WINTER CLASSES, which kick off on January 15. Their classes are filling up, so sign up now if you are interested in the performing arts. Tap here for a list of other lessons and classes in the area, see our guide broken out by category (swimming, martial arts, dance etc…).

7. Go Ice Skating. Head out of Lake Country and skate outside at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee. Or stay within Waukesha County and find 15 outdoor ice rinks to skate on in our Winter Fun Guide.

8Go to the Movies. We love going to the theatres in the winter time.  We love Value Tuesdays at Marcus and Movie Tavern or $6 Mondays at SilverSpot. Playing on the big screen this winter is Wonka, Migration, and MORE! You can also still rent out  an entire theatre for your group at Marcus.

9. Head to the 6th annual DELAFREEZE on January 13, 2024! If it has to be January, you best enjoy it, and Downtown Delafield is the place to be! We had so much fun at at the first annual DELAFREEZE, watching ice sculptures come to life and giving our hand at curling! This year the event will be even bigger. There are Selfie Stands along with interactive carvings in Clocktower Square.  Find out more about the event here.

10. Stride in the snow on shoes. Have you gone snowshoe-ing? We have! In fact, we created a snowshoeing guide to the area so you can start this wintry fun hobby with your family! Many places offer rentals.  Retzer has a ton of sizes. Or you can buy some at Sherpers or online through our Amazon link above.

11. Go Fishing.  Check out the Free Fishing Weekend from the DNR. Fish locally or take a road trip. A winter road trip sounds like good family fun 🙂 We did last year a few times in January and February. There will be a fishing clinic at the Waukesha Janboree this year on January 27. Details here.

12. Don’t miss the Waukesha Janboree. It has everything from Fireworks to Toboggan runs and everything in between. This is a fun winter community event for the whole family! Most of the events occur at Lowell Park, but you can find fun throughout Waukesha! 

13. Have your family check out a Full Moon Hike at Nixon Park in downtown Hartland. Mark your calendars for January 25!

February Ice Castles 2020

14. Attend New Berlin’s amazing WinterFest on January 6th with the family. Its the 5th annual and there is fun for everyone. Find all the details here. Some things require pre-registration.

15. Enjoy a Winter Farmers Market. Just because it’s freezing out, doesn’t mean we can’t have fresh food. Find local vendors and artisans and pick up some yummy soup and winter veggies to fill your bellies with goodness. Check out markets at these locations: 

  • Waukesha at Martha Merrell’s Bookstore
  • Waukesha at Chef Pam’s Kitchen

16. Take the whole family to ChiliFest in Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc throws the best community events. If you haven’t checked one out yet, don’t miss Chilifest, which is held on the last Saturday of January.

BONUS: Visit Ice Castles Winter Realms Lake Geneva. This is a slightly adapted experience from previous years. We went in February 2020 and February 2023. It was a winter wonderland come to life. Get tickets here and use code LCFF23 for 15% off when booking.


  • Did you know most Preschool Open Houses take place in January and February around here? Find them in our Preschool Open House Guide.
  • January is National Blood Donation month – get out and give blood!
  • Lake Country Family Fun operates a Networking Group called, “Lake Country Currents“.  It’s open to ALL and on Saturday, January 6th the event title is “Daily Choices to Promote Health and Wellness to Live Your Best Life”.  We can all hone in our inner strengths. Don’t miss it. 

Have you found more things to do in January? Let us know below!

Enjoy this winter wonderland with your family!

Indoor play Lake Country and Waukesha County
And Bonus Idea for those chilly, chilly days - find a local play space and play indoors to stay warm. 🙂
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