Wisconsin Dells is the “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®”, and with a name like that, you might think that the only family friendly activity in the area involves water. Let me tell you—that is so WRONG. Yes, there are phenomenal water parks and it is incredibly hard to resist the wave pools, slides, and lazy rivers, but I’m here to tell you that Wisconsin Dells has so much to offer families. So much so that I created a Wisconsin Dells Bucket List for Families so that you and your family can explore classic favorites and try out new experiences that are all the rage on social media.
This post is sponsored by Travel Mindset and Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau. All opinions are my own.
WHERE TO STAY
There are so many different types of lodging in Wisconsin Dells (resorts, motels, campgrounds, etc.) that it can be VERY overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for your family. As seasoned Wisconsin Dells visitors (we travel up north to burn off energy at the indoor water parks every winter), there are two resorts that stand out from the rest: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions and Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort.
What makes Kalahari and Wilderness stand apart from the others? These resorts have massive waterparks (both indoor and outdoor), tons of dry land activities, as well as clean and comfortable rooms whether you are only traveling with your immediate family or renting a larger space for a group outing.
While you could spend your entire stay within the resort property, there is so much more to enjoy in Wisconsin Dells. Ready to tackle the Wisconsin Dells Bucket List for Families?
WHAT TO DO
Take on the Big Kahuna, marvel at the seemingly-never-ending lazy rivers, and round up the family for a group tube ride on one of the many water-based attractions at Noah’s Ark Waterpark, aka America’s Largest Waterpark. Whether you are a thrill seeker or looking for a relaxing dip, Noah’s Ark is the perfect waterpark for families.
No trip to Wisconsin Dells is complete without a trip to check out Tommy Bartlett’s empire. Along with the popular Exploratory, the Tommy Bartlett Show is a family favorite. The 90-minute live action show combines jaw-dropping tricks from its water-ski team on Lake Delton, as well as stunts and comedy from dare-devil artists on stage. Just warn your kiddos not to try any of the Tommy Bartlett show maneuvers at home!
Want to get taken for a ride, Dells style? Then go for a wild adventure with an Original Wisconsin Ducks® tour. They were originally used in World War II, and the amphibious vehicles now take tourists for rides through scenic wilderness trails and climb over sandbars in order to splash into both the Wisconsin River and Lake Delton. In addition to a unique ride, you will also learn all about Wisconsin Dells history and lore.
Lastly, if you need a break from the summer heat, escape to Wizard Quest in downtown Wisconsin Dells. This unique scavenger hunt encourages families to work together and use their powers of observation and exploration to figure out the mysteries of the Quadrasphere. There are tons of secret passages, mazes, and more (there’s even a ball pit!) to keep your family on its toes through your quest.
WHERE TO EAT
Moose ears are a state of mind at Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. This Wisconsin Dells staple is great for craft brews, ooey gooey pizza, and of course, arcade-filled fun for the kids. You can also have your pizza delivered to your hotel room via moose covered car, which you will spot driving all around Wisconsin Dells.
Want to take charge of your own meal? Then head to Hot Rocks, where you can cook your food to your particular liking on rocks heated to 750 degrees! This unique and interactive restaurant experience will keep your kids totally invested in dinner conversation instead of asking for screen time. And for dessert? Frozen rocks are used to serve ice cream sundaes!
Try a little of this and a little of that at Wisconsin Dells’ newest (and if you ask me, most Instagrammable) gem, the Grateful Shed Truckyard. The Truckyard features food from different food trucks, a fully stocked bar, live music, televisions for watching the big game, and tons of yard games to keep kids busy between bites. The casual, carefree vibe is perfect for dinner after an action-packed day with the kiddos.
Kids love trains? Then make a stop at Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille. Located adjacent to Knuckleheads, this restaurant is perfect for families because of its delicious cuisine and unique food service style—trains! That’s right, every single table is served by trains. Even better? The trains travel around different eye popping displays. Check out the Lego Brick City display between bites—it’s incredible!
Eat like a lumberjack at Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty. Eat family style breakfast (donuts, eggs, pancakes, sausage, and ham) in order to fuel up for a fun day of play. Just be sure to go early because this popular breakfast spot can get very busy on the weekends.
As you can see, this list has the perfect mix of old favorites and new experiences that put a modern spin on the “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®. It was so fun trying out all of the resorts, restaurants, and activities and I look forward to finding more gems to add to the Wisconsin Dells Bucket List for Families!
Enjoy Your Trip!
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