A weekly column written by the staff of Discover Wisconsin highlights things to do and see throughout the State of Wisconsin, and is made available for publication to members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. The Discover Wisconsin logo can be downloaded here.
Top spots for families visiting Wisconsin Dells
This article originally appeared on TravelWisconsin.com.
Wisconsin Dells brings in visitors year-round from near and far for its abundance of family activities, and while the city is known specifically for its many waterparks, there is so much more to be seen and done. Next time you’re vacationing in the Dells, try out a few of our favorite family-friendly things:
It’s no secret that Wisconsin Dells is all about the water parks. With slides, wave pools, lazy rivers and swim-up bars, the Wisconsin Dells waterparks (both indoor and outdoor) are seriously impressive, and offer something for everyone in the family. Check out Chula Vista, Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort, Noah’s Ark, Mt. Olympus, and The Wilderness (and so many more) for some of the most impressive and expansive waterparks you’ve ever seen.
2. Sports & Recreation
If you’re a family of thrill seekers but have had your waterpark fill, Wisconsin Dells has you covered. Head to Heightened Adventures for some zip-lining and an aerial park, Timber Falls Adventure Park for roller coasters and mini-golf, Cascade Mountain for snowboarding and snow tubing, Knuckleheads for bumper cars, go-karts, and a trampoline park, and JustAgame Fieldhouse for an abundance of basketball and volleyball events.
3. Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries
If adults are looking for a little time away from the kids, the Wisconsin Dells area is chock-full of breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Check out the Baraboo Bluff Winery, located just 20 minutes from the Dells, the Port Huron Brewing Company for some local brews, and Wollersheim Winery & Distillery for great wine and Wisconsin-made spirits.
There is no shortage of golf courses in the Dells, and what better place to get the kids hooked on the sport? Pack your clubs and take your pick from courses like Cold Water Canyon at Chula Vista Resort, Fairfield Hills, Trappers Turn, The Woods Executive Course at The Wilderness, or Wild Rock at The Wilderness. If the kiddos aren’t quite ready for the links, try out some mini golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf!
The Dells area can literally be explored by air, by boat, by horse and by train. Take to the air and tour Wisconsin Dells by zipline with Bigfoot Zipline Tours, or saddle up and ride through tunnels, past waterfalls, and over bridges to Lost Canyon. Head to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum and climb aboard an operating 1880s train, which travels along the same rails that served the iron mines of the Baraboo Bluffs, and then hop on a Dells boat tour, whether it’s the Original Wisconsin Ducks, Jet Boat Adventures, or the Sunset Dinner Cruise. These are all great ways to teach kids about the area’s history and geography, all while keeping them entertained.
6. Live Entertainment
From movies, to music, to magic, to elephants, the Wisconsin Dells area offers plenty of opportunities to get out and take in a show that the whole family will enjoy. Step back in time at the Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater, or watch incredible performances at Baraboo’s Circus World. The Crystal Grand Music Theatre features your favorite musical artists, while the magical act at the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater will leave your little ones speechless. And probably you too.
No family vacation is complete without a fabulous restaurant or two. For some finer dining, check out Kaminski’s Chop House or Ishnala Supper Club, and for some unique, kid-friendly experiences, try out Belgiis Waffle Bar, Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille (the kids will love seeing their food delivered by train!), or Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.
Wisconsin Dells is known nationwide as a family-friendly attraction, and sometimes the best ways to enjoy a vacation destination (whether it’s your first time there or your hundredth) is to think outside the box. Up for an adventure? Make your way to Wisconsin Dells.
Kristen Finstad is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Growing up in River Falls, attending UW-Stevens Point and now living in Madison, she’s a Wisconsin girl through and through. She enjoys nothing more than catching a Packers, Brewers or Badgers game, indulging in a cheese curd or 12, and traveling from corner to corner of this great state.