24 answers

Headed to the Dells and Looking for Ideas/input on Activities

We're headed out for a quick trip up to Wisconsin Dells with an almost 11 year old, a 9 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and an 11 mos old. Any suggestions on activities that the whole family can enjoy together? I know it's a wide range of ages!

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Any of the indoor water parks are great. They have activities for the older kids (waterslides, etc.) and great little toddler/baby areas for the little ones. We've been to Great Wolf Lodge, and also Grand Bear Lodge in Utica, IL. The kids LOVE it.

The Wilderness. We go every year and actually just went over break and it was crazy. My suggetion is go on an off season day. Less people,less crazy and you can get cheap deals. Not much is open until end of May outside the hotel but if you have never been there you will have plenty to do at the hotel.

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Deer Park is great but I am not sure they are open yet... I would try calling them to see or when you are out there check!

Also the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory. I am not sure your 11 month old would get a lot out of it but it would still be a "different" experience for him/her. I had taken my daughter when she was about 13 months old and she enjoyed it but had no idea what a lot of the things were...My son when he was 2 thought it was the greatest and I could barely get him out of there! We have gone about every year since then and he is now almost 19 lol !

Circus World... fun but not if you are afraid of clowns and what not... here is the website.

I hope you have a wonderful time there and make many happy memories!
Many blessings to you and yours!

A., for the older kids, We love Wizards Quest and Robot World. Robot world is fun for all ages, while Wizards quest might be a bit scary for the younger. If you go in the spring.. Circus World museum in Baraboo is absolutely awesome!! and the Deer park in the Dells is great. A great
restaurant is MooseJaw Pizza!!! Our favorite! Enjoy your
getaway. L. T.

The Wilderness......It has everything you need and you never have to leave the grounds......Great Place for Kids....Great Hotel.......Great Waterpark........Fields has wonderful food...


The Wilderness. We go every year and actually just went over break and it was crazy. My suggetion is go on an off season day. Less people,less crazy and you can get cheap deals. Not much is open until end of May outside the hotel but if you have never been there you will have plenty to do at the hotel.

You are going to have a great time! My family LOVES Wisconsin Dells. We go there about every other year and have been going since i was a kid. You didn't say when you were going, but if it's warm enough for outdoor water parks our favorite is Noah's Ark. If it's still cold go to one of the indoor water parks. There is something for everyone at all of them. The Duck Tours are something everyone should do once. There really are endless things for everybody to do. you can go online to the WisDells web site and not only order a travel guide filled with all the attractions, restaurants and hotels. But you can also get coupons. Discount cards can also be purchased throughout the town if you're going soon and don't have time to wait on the mail. Last time we went we bought a discount card from a vending machine inside the Culver's that is downtown. Have a great trip. I can't wait to go back myself.

Hi A., we went up there a few weeks ago and stayed at MT. Olympus Hotel/Water park. Book a few months back and got a great deal of $119.00 per night on a weekend and that included the water park and indoor amusement park they have. Could not pass up that deal! The hotel was recently remodeled and the rooms are awesome. Two queen beds and bunk beds in each room. A little kitchenette with a fridge and microwave was nice. They even have wooden floors in each room that is so nice and cleaner too.
Not a lot is open until Memorial weekend, but just what Mt. Olympus has to offer gave us plenty to do.
A really neat place to eat is Paul Bunyans resturant and you have to check out the McDonalds there, its very rustic and even has a fire place.
Have fun!


Mom of three awesome kids, Ryan 12, Troy 8 and Audrey 3. Wife to a great guy for the last 18 years.

I have two boys, 13 & 7. We spent our spring break at the
Chula Vista Resort. My sister-n-law stayed with us with her three kids too, ages 10, 8, and 1. We did the all inclusive package which was great! Everyone had a great time. I recommend you to check it out.


Hi A.,
For the past 12yrs we've gone to the Dells on Super Bowl Sunday and stayed thru Wed. We have traded on and off between Great Wolf Lodge and the Wilderness. Both are great. It's more cheaper to stay during the week than the weekend. I would suggest that you go to both their websites and click onto their specials! Another idea if you want check them both out on the web and then call and personally ask them what their specials are...they have alot of great insite, sometimes they have given us deals that have expired or match what other lodges were offering.

Hope this helps.

A., I can't say I have personally been there. But, some tips for traveling with varied ages. I am assuming the older kids will want to do things that the babies won't. Dont push yourself or them. Vacation doesnt have to be filled with some place to go, or thing to see every single second. Maybe try to get a vacation home or something near the water (or a pool) so you can watch one age group while tending to the little people. Don't try to mush a whole bunch of stuff in one day for little people. Maybe try to find something family friendly around little people nap times and one of you do something more big kid style while the little ones nap. Bring along some crafy stuff to do, too. That way, you can have fun, but you dont have to feel like you must be going or doing the entire time. You probably won't miss too much if you kind of separate and conquer. Take turns with dad and let you both have some down time with the little ones. Don't let the desire to "do" things take over any relaxation and enjoyment. Kids at those ages really dont remember much of that kind of stuff, anyhow. They remember shells on the beach, animals they petted and such. If someone asks what they did on vacation you get answers like that, not like "oh, my mother took me to the most expensive museum". Kids are usually easily amused by simple stuff. ENJOY vacation! Let us know how it goes..


We have been there alot. I hear there are alot of new activities. We haven't been there for about 3 yrs now. But when we were there probably the best for all younger ages is Great Wolf Lodge. They have an indoor water park for your age group and they also have this game center, (I cant remember the name of it.) You can go to their website & check it out. If you are going in the summer, Noah's Ark outdoor waterpark is the best! For the older two and the adults there is a go-kart center there. It's awesome! I even enjoyed driving a go-kart there. They have lots of tracks to choose from. They also have a kiddie ride section down near the roller coasters. The Dells has a website if you google it they may have other suggestions. Have fun! We always did. Now that the kids don't travel with us anymore, my husband wants to go back just the two of us. He is my kid!

There are indoor waterparks and there's an upside down
White House. it's pricy but it is at least an experience to drive by and take pictures. I can't tell you locations but I'm sure you could stop by a rest stop and get more info. There's lots to do. Take Care and have Fun!!

i grew up near the dells--there is definatly a wide variety of family activities to choose from! it seems that the area has divided into the old fashioned parks and venues (my favorites!) like mini golf, water parks etc (not open yet) and the newer era of indoor water parks (great for our lack of spring atmosphere!) The indoor parks are great becasue there is tons to do for everyone. I also would recomend exploring and seeing what youcan find-there re SO many attractions! Head to Paul Bunions pancake housefor an all you can eat breakfast if you have pancake fans in your family! If you are going in the summer, consider heading north to Devils Lake for a beautiful place to swim and be outside, and Baraboo Wi---Circus World is there! it was the winter camp for teh original Ringling Brothers Circus. Lots of fun! A great mueum.

Have fun!

We stayed at the Wilderness and loved it. We requested an indoor suite near one of the outdoor pools (maybe too cold this time of year) so there was little walking. They have a babysitter service so you and your hubby can go out for a nice dinner. Our sons were 3.5 and 1.5 at the time. We took them on a "Duck Tour." It is an old military land/water cruiser that will take you on a tour through the woods and then on the water. The boys loved it. The Wilderness also has drop-off activities for the older children. Have fun! BTW - the lifeguard stands have life preservers for the toddlers. Great for your sanity!!

WILDERNESS ON THE LAKE if you can afford it. STAY FAR AWAY from KALAHARI RESORT! In town, RIPLEYS Museum could be fun for your kids due to variety of unusual items only seen there. STAY AWAY from 'upside down house'

We went last year for spring break. We stayed at Kalahari and never left for our 3 day stay. There was stuff to do for everyone! My oldest has been to about 4 different resorts up there including wilderness. He liked Kalahari the best. I even had a blast! I learned to surf and body board, I was sore but I outdid my 15 year old son! They even have bars in the waterslide area! Restaraunts are great and they have little kid activities too. Have a great time!

Hi A.,

The first time hubby & I went with a 4 yo and I was pregnant with #2. We did all the touristy stuff. We did both boat tours, upper & lower and that was fun if the weather is good. The Tommy Bartlett Show was a waste of time IMO. The thing we had the most fun was the deer park. We spent a couple of hours there, you can purchase deer food and there are hundreds of deer roaming the park and will come up to you. The last time we went was over Thanksgiving and the park was already closed. I definitely want to go back just to see the deer.

good luck

Riverview park all day pass to swim and rides. Great for all ages. It's an out door park. You can pack a lunch and eat at the park area. Can come and go as you please. Wilderness has a great indoor and outdoor swim and you can buy day passes. There is a bowling alley not far from the Kalahari Resort that has indoor go carts and rides and food. Awesome for when you get bad weather or too much sun!. The Lost Canyon Ride is a open wagon ride the whole family can fit on. And you can't go wrong with the upper or lower and duck tours. You can usually get a package deal.

Any of the indoor water parks are great. They have activities for the older kids (waterslides, etc.) and great little toddler/baby areas for the little ones. We've been to Great Wolf Lodge, and also Grand Bear Lodge in Utica, IL. The kids LOVE it.

The last time I was at the dells my youngest was 3. I would say for sure to ride the "Ducks". If your not familiar with them they are boats that go on land and water. Our whole family enjoyed this. My kids and foster kids at the time were 3, 5, 10, 11, 12.

Deer Park was a big hit too.

I'll love to know of any activities also, let me know what you find out.

Definately go to Paul Bunyans for breakfast it is wonderful food and served family style. Go to the Tommy Bartlett water show, it is awesome. My kids loved it. Tommy Bartlett's show is only on in warmer weather so make sure before going to the Dells that the shows are started. The Kalahari is supposed to be one of the largest indoor water parks, my kids loved that too.

We do an annual trip to the Dells every winter (usually Jan or Feb) and stay at the Kalahari with a group in a 3 br suite with kitchen & living room (includes water passes). This year we couldn't get a room, so we tried the Wilderness. It made us realize that no matter what, we'll always go back to the Kalahari, even if it means paying more, splitting our group into different rooms, or changing our dates. We think it is the very best place to be up there. One huge indoor waterpark with rides for all ages. Everything is under one roof, with plenty of restaurants & activities. We usually never leave. The Wilderness was spread out too much - way too much walking & everything was inconvenient for pushing a stroller. (When we finally figured out where we were at on a map, we had to locate elevators - sometimes it was just a disaster and I lost my patience quickly - all of the hallways look the same and go on & on forever) Fields restaurant - FYI is VERY pricy. My daughter just went with a friend over the weekend - they stayed at the Copa Cabana & said it was horrible. They went for a few hours to Knuckleheads (sp?) and had a blast - indoor amusement park type of place. Even if you don't stay at the kalahari, check it out for next time. Their lobby is awesome - usually they have some great animals in the front to view (baby tigers, kangaroos, etc). Have fun! (PS - there is an outlet mall by there too!)

We were just at the dells last week, we went to the Mt. Olympus indoor water and theme park, it is one the smaller ones, but it was nice. We stayed at the Grand Marquis, and they had a deal for there guest, to get tickets to Mt. Olymplus for 16.19, and if you save your braclet you get in the next day for free. It was a great deal. My kids had a ball.

A little about me:

Mother of 2, 1 boy 7 and 1 girl 11, Married to wonderful husband for 7 1/2 years

When we have gone to the Dells, we stay at the Wilderness Resort and usually that is plenty for us to do! I have 2 boys (6 1/2 and 4) and they have always loved it. For a super nice (and expensive) dinner the Fields restraunt is execellent!
But we just came back from Jack Grizzly's resort in Utica and the kids loved that. It's super close. The amusement park was great, the only thing is that the waterpark is kinda small. Your older ones might get bored in there waterpark but they would love the amusement part. Just a suggestion!

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