Visit the Lake Geneva, home of Gary Gygax and birthplace of Dungeons & Dragons

13 Must-See Dungeons & Dragons Spots in Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, WI

If you’ve ever rolled a D20, you probably know the name Gary Gygax, creator of the immensely popular fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. And if you’ve ever roleplayed in Wisconsin, you probably know the birthplace of D&D is right here in Gygax’s hometown of Lake Geneva.

Gary lived in Lake Geneva, founded TSR here, put on the first Gen Con here, and opened the Dungeon Hobby Shop. Today,  his legacy is more present than ever before, with numerous initiatives undertaken by the Gary Gygax Memorial Fund to preserve his memory and mark locations than were particularly formative to his life and his creations.

Since 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, we can expect even more to come this year with some exciting Gygax and D&D-related things still in the works! So grab your Adventurer’s Map of Lake Geneva and come along to discover the best Dungeons & Dragons things to do in Lake Geneva.

Gary Gygax Day

Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax

First, before we go anywhere, it’s important to note that a good time to have your own DnD experience in Lake Geneva may be on July 27th, Gary Gygax’s birthday. It was officially proclaimed Gary Gygax Day in 2023.

Gary Con

Gary Con in Lake Geneva

Founded by Gary’s son Luke Gygax of Gaxx Worx, the annual Gary Con in Lake Geneva celebrates the life and work of Gary Gygax with a weekend-long convention featuring fantasy gaming activities and special guests including artists, writers, game designers, and other legends of the TTRPG realm. Don’t forget to wear your Hawaiian short in honor of Gary!

Gary Gygax Memorial Brick

Memorial for Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax in Lake Geneva

The bricks around the fountain in Riviera Plaza are dedicated to the memories of many people. But the one D&D fans will find most notable is the brick engraved with a dragon sleeping on a 20-sided die dedicated to Gary Gygax.

Visit: Gary Gygax Memorial

Appendix N Alcove

Gary Gygax Appendix N Alcove Dungeons & Dragons exhibit in the Lake Geneva Public Library

The Lake Geneva Public Library, where Gygax spent a lot of time reading and researching for Dungeons & Dragons, opened a permanent exhibit complete with the books that inspired D&D and a “Throne of Reading” to sit while you enjoy them.

Visit: Gary Gygax Appendix N Alcove

Gygax Park Bench

Gary Gygax memorial park bench in Lake Geneva

Gary used to spend a lot of time reading and daydreaming in Elm Park (also known as Library Park) so on his birthday in 2023 the Gary Gygax Memorial Fund dedicated a bench in his name.

First Ever Gen Con

First ever Gen Con was held here in Lake Geneva

On August 23, 1968 about 100 gamers from around the country came to Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva for the Geneva Convention, a gathering of war gaming enthusiasts organized by Gary Gygax with the help of his friends and family. Today, Gen Con is held annually in Indianapolis and attended by more than 60,000 gamers.

Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum

The Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum in Lake Geneva

See vintage Dungeons & Dragons items and hop into a game yourself at the D&D museum located inside the original Dungeon Hobby Shop and headquarters of TSR.

Visit: Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum

Birthplace of DND

Visit the former home of Gary Gygax, the Birthplace of DND

The former home of Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax and his family lived in this home at 330 Center Street in Lake Geneva in the 1960s and 70s, and it’s here that he breathed life into Dungeons & Dragons. Today it’s known as the legendary Birthplace of DND or alternatively the “Center Street Dungeon,” and you can even tour it if you book a stay at the Center Street Loft Airbnb next door. Play a D&D campaign at Gary’s house!

Dragon Days Fantasy Festival

Dragon Days Fantasy Festival in Lake Geneva, WI

The first ever Dragon Days Festival was held in 2023 with a renaissance faire and various Dungeons & Dragons related events throughout Lake Geneva. Expect this to just keep getting bigger and better each year!

Visit: Dragon Days Fantasy Festival

Grave of Gary Gygax

Grave of Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax

You can find the final resting place of Gary Gygax on the outskirts of Lake Geneva in Oak Hill Cemetery, where Gygax and his friends used to go adventuring. Gary’s gravestone is located in the Burdick family plot. The dice left behind by visitors should make it easy to spot.

Wizard of Lake Geneva Exhibit

Gary Gygax exhibit at the Lake Geneva museum

The Geneva Lake Museum is already a fascinating and immersive visit, but the Wizard of Lake Geneva exhibit with vintage TSR and D&D artifacts is a must-see for Dungeons & Dragons fans.

Coming Soon: Gary Gygax Memorial

Gary Gygax memorial statue

Another amazing project in the works from the Gary Gygax Memorial Fund is a bronze statue of Gary seated at a stone table with a map of the 1st level of his castle dungeon where visitors can sit and play Dungeons & Dragons with Gary at the head of the table.

Coming Soon: The Griffin & Gargoyle

The Griffin & Gargoyle in Lake Geneva

An interactive D&D-themed adventure complex called The Griffin & Gargoyle is in the works, featuring fantasy-inspired food and drink, axe throwing, a shop filled with magical goods, and more.

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