Things to Do in January

16 Things to do in January

Hello January!

Lake Country Family Fun Has the Things to do!

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 opening announcement – it’s coming soon. 

Please thank our January Guide Sponsor:

Parents and guardians of children ages 18 months – 4th grade are invited to University Lake School’s Lower School Open House on Thursday, January 26 from 4-6 p.m. This event is for parents and students interested in learning more about our Laker Playgroup, Little Lakers, Preprimary (JK3, JK4, SK) and Lower School (Grades 1-4) programs. Meet our amazing Lower School teachers, visit our engaging classrooms, and explore our beautiful 180-acre campus. University Lake School is an independent school located in the heart of Lake Country serving children from 18-months through 12th grade.

University Lake School is an independent college preparatory school serving Preprimary through 12th grade in Hartland, Wis. ULS delivers an incomparable education through the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of the whole student in a unique learning environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, original thinking, personal integrity and character through service. 

Winter has definitely formed a tight grip on Southeastern Wisconsin, but 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
  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 skating or snowshoeing, but doublecheck before you leave the house.

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, Sweat Shop Yoga and Peleton. You can view all of the Waukesha County Fitness options in this awesome fitness guide here.

Sweat Shop Hot Yoga Oconomowoc


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 2022 pass! You can celebrate the first day of 2022 at the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The naturalist will lead a 2 mile hike on the green trail and Ice Age Trail members will lead a 3 mile trek on the orange loop. You can enjoy a big bonfire at the amphitheater after your hike. More details on that hike and other first day hike options here.

3. Enjoy a FREE Zoo Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo on January 8th 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 10. There classes are filling up, so sign up now if you are interested in the performing arts.  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 11 outdoor ice rinks to skate on in our Winter Fun Guide here.

8Go to the Movies. We love going to the theatres in the winter time.  We love $5 Tuesdays at the Marcus or $6 Mondays at SilverSpot. Playing on the big screen this winter is Spiderman, Encanto, Sing 2, and more!  You can also still rent out  an entire theatre for your group at Marcus or Silverspot.

9. Head to the annual DELAFREEZE on January 8, 2022! 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.  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.

11. Go Fishing.  Check out the Free Fishing Weekend from the DNR. Fish locally in Dousman or take a road trip. A winter road trip sounds like good family fun 🙂 There will be a fishing clinic at the Waukesha Janboree this year. 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. Attend the super awesome Sledding Party in Sussex. This is a fan favorite event – just add snow! 

February Ice Castles 2020

14. Attend New Berlin’s amazing WinterFest on January 8th with the family. Its the 3rd annual and there is fun for everyone. Find all the details here. Some things require pre-registration. City lights Brewery will be hosting a Beer Garden.

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: 

  • Stone Bank – new in 2021/2022
  • Milwaukee – New location in 2021 at Gather in the Deer District
  • Waukesha

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 Lake Geneva. This is a must experience event. We went last winter, and it was a winter wonderland come to life. Get tickets here and use code FAMILYFUN2022 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 8th the event title is “12 Inner Primary Strengths of Resilience”.  We can all hone in our inner strengths. Don’t miss it. Tickets include coffee, speaker and connections.  Get ticket here.

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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