Looking for activities to entertain a group of younger kids or teenagers, well look no further. Wisconsin Dells is home to a variety of attractions and activities that are sure to entertain kids of all ages.
Let’s get right to the must-do and that’s ride and slide your way through a favorite waterpark or two. Outdoors, it would be impossible to choose between Noah’s Ark Waterpark and Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks, so make time for both. At Noah’s Ark, their new looping waterslide called Scorpion’s Tail is the largest in the world. At Mt.O (that’s what the locals call it), crash through the nine-foot waves of their Poseidon’s Rage surf pool.
There are a handful of indoor waterparks too, all housed at resorts that are nearly destinations unto themselves: Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center, Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, Chula Vista Resort and Great Wolf Lodge. Water roller coasters, wild funnel rides, racing slides, even a surf machine at the Kalahari rank high on the adrenaline-inducing chart.
Amusement parks come in the outdoor and indoor varieties too. Let’s start with outdoors. Timber Falls Adventure Park has two attractions that are noteworthy – their 70-degree banked and crazy-fast Hellcat roller coaster and their end-over-end Skyscraper ride that pulls four Gs at 60 mph 160 feet off the ground. At Mt. Olympus, all their roller coasters are a scream, but top prize goes to Hades, a wooden coaster made diabolically fun with a 65-degree drop, the world’s longest underground tunnel and speeds up to 70 mph.
Moving to indoor amusement parks, the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park is a featured spot. Check out their elevated go-kart track, rock climbing wall, ropes course and laser tag. If adventure is the ticket for your little ones, there’s Knuckleheads Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park.
Speaking of those of you traveling with little ones, Wisconsin Deer Park is worth a stop. At the deer park, which opened more than 50 years ago, kids can feed the freely roaming deer, some still with their doe spots, others with huge antlers. Staying with animal-themed attractions, Lost Canyon Tours offers its own version of the “magnificent mile” – a ride through the narrow gorges of the canyon in a quaint horse-drawn wagon.
Or, be sure and check out the circus at Circus World in nearby Baraboo. The grounds here were the original winter home of the Ringling Bros. Today, visitors can still take in 10 different shows performed daily during the warm weather months and gaze upon the world’s largest collection of restored parade wagons.
Other activities that are sure to keep your group entertained include mini-golfing, go-karting, bowling and horseback riding. The area also has two full-size quest-style games that blend elements of the most popular video games with wizard movies – they’re called MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge and Wizard Quest. If anyone in the group likes magic, they should take a seat at the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater or Jeremy Allen’s Grand Illusions show. For hands-on exploration, it’s none other than the Wisconsin Dells staple, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory –Interactive Science Center.
One evening has to be set aside to see the Tommy Bartlett Show. Even this popular ski show, going strong after nearly 60 years, is harkening back to its classic high-energy roots with the costumes and choreography for its new “Livin’ the Dream” show. After the show, visit downtown for some homemade fudge or a candy-loaded caramel apple or giant sucker at one of the many confection shops.
On another evening, pile in the car for a double feature of first-run movies at Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater. This is one of the last of its kind in Wisconsin and kids of all ages are sure to enjoy the experience.
A tour of the Wisconsin River is also a must. You can head out on a Duck, an amphibious WWII vehicle that gives you a little land travel with your water tour. Choose from the Original Wisconsin Ducks® or Dells Army DuckTours. Or you can relax aboard a double-decker tour boat. Some offer you shore landings to explore the gorges and see a trained dog make the famous Stand Rock jump from one bluff outcropping to another. Other aqua tour options include jet boats and paddle wheeler tours.
After experiencing all Wisconsin Dells has to offer, we’re sure your group will have worked up an appetite. A handful of locations accommodate larger groups and are also kid-friendly. For breakfast, stop by Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty. Pizza Pub is known for its buffet, Monk’s Bar & Grill for its famous burgers, Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille for its great southwestern flair and Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. for its delicious pizza.
Planning is a breeze when you use the community’s official website, wisdells.com. First browse “The Experience” section for suggestions. Then click on the tab at the top conveniently labeled “Plan Your Vacation.” Don’t forget to check out the “Deals & Offers” section or call (800) 223-3557 for more information and planning help.
Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau