The 20 Best Things to do in Wisconsin Dells (2023)

The 20 Best Things to do in Wisconsin Dells (1)

Named after the Dells of the Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells is a city located in the southern-central part of the state. As the main tourist destination, it is popularly known as The Dells and is immensely packed with numerous entertainment centers and world-class waterparks that include; Mt. Olympus Water Park, Mirror Lake State Park, and Noah’s Ark Water Park. The area was formed after the Wisconsin lake broke through, leading to the formation of stunning scenery; Wisconsin Dells. You will also enjoy its scenic hiking trails, wineries, and beautiful lakes. Here, we have compiled a simple list of the 20 best and most fun things to do in Wisconsin Dells.

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20. Visit Dells Mining Company

Are you a fan of literal treasure hunts or finding gemstones? Then you should make your way to Dells Mining Co. The company provides you with the thrill of combing through basins of sand in search of precious stones such as agates, sapphires, garnets, amethysts, tourmaline, rubies, and blue topaz, and emeralds. The company’s staff will also educate you on the various gems and rocks you may find.

(Video) 10 Best Things To Do In Wisconsin Dells

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19. Visit Timbavati Wildlife Park

According to Wisdells, Timbavati Wildlife Park is a family-fun animal park that was established centuries ago. It is home to about seventy different species of wildlife, summing up to 350 animal species. In addition to getting up close with the park’s fauna, you will get to enjoy a ride on the Safari Train. Here, you will be comfortable exploring the park’s different habitats and spot animals like monkeys, giraffes, kudus, kangaroos, and many others. You can also visit the animal nursery in the park, where they care for baby animals and endangered species.

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18. Experience the Riverside and Great Northern Railway

The family-friendly locomotives museum was established back in 1990. It preserves and showcases various locomotives that were manufactured between the years 1950 to 1980. Here, you will get to enjoy functional rides on steam trains. The railway runs over the course of about 3 miles through woodlands, faces, and canyons over a 15-gauge railway. This museum also features some historical artifacts and numerous trains to explore. Additionally, entry to this museum is free, but you will have to pay for the train rides.

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17. Visit Knuckleheads Trampoline and Indoor Amusement Park

Are you looking for fun physical activities and excitement? Then, you should visit Knuckleheads Trampoline and Indoor Amusement Park. The park is a thrilling tourist attraction with all sorts of fun games and activities to enjoy with your family. Among the activities you could try include rock climbing, basketball games, go-karts, virtual reality games, and many others. There is also a restaurant within the park where you can enjoy your favorite drinks and snacks.

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16. Shop at Country Bumpkin Farm Market

Country Bumpkin Farm Market is one of the family-fun locations in Wisconsin Dells. This is a family-owned and operated market that was opened back in 1997 with the main goal of selling locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Country Bumpkin Farm Market provides you with the opportunity to explore the gardens and pick the available fruits. There are also some greenhouses within the market where more than one thousand flower baskets and pots are grown annually.

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(Video) Wisconsin Dells Top 8 Fun Things To Do Without Getting Wet

15. Stop at the Wilderness Resort

The Wilderness Resort is the largest waterpark resort in America; thus, one of the most preferred tourist destinations in Wisconsin Dells. According to Travel US News, Wilderness resort has a total of eight waterparks, with four located outdoors and the other four indoors. One of the indoor water parks you can visit is the Klondike Kavern Indoor Waterpark which boasts a 400-foot Lazy River, body slides, and a wide array of games to enjoy with your family. Another indoor waterpark is the 70,000-square feet Wild WaterDome which got its name for the dome-shaped skylight. This park contains America’s largest wave pool, creating enormous five-foot waves.

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14. Visit Kalahari Waterpark

Kalahari Waterpark is the biggest indoor waterpark in the state of Wisconsin. Measuring about 125,000 square feet, it is one of the best locations to enjoy your favorite waterpark experiences and explore the beautiful sceneries the state has to offer. At Kalahari Waterpark, you can try out the Zig Zag Zebra waterslide, lazy river raft, a wave pool, and several African-themed water rides. Since the park is linked to the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, some outdoor water parks are located nearby. You can also check out the park’s arcade games, bumper car rides, and plenty of virtual reality experiences.

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13. Try out Dells Boat Tours

Since the 1850s, boat tours have always been considered a fun and popular feature of Wisconsin Dells. Today, boat tours are one of the ideal ways to explore the city, especially the gorge that extends for 5 miles and is bordered by sandstone. According to Greatwolf, the gorge of the city was formed by glaciers and is over 500 million years old. Dells Boat Tours comprises two different tours: the Lower Dells Boat Tours and the Upper Dells Boat Tours. Both of these tours will provide you with a thrilling experience, but the Upper Dells tour is mostly preferred due to its more beautiful views and offers one of the most exciting activities to try out in Wisconsin Dells; the Witches Gulch tour.

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12. Watch amazing performances at Rick Wilcox Magic Theater

Are you looking to enjoy a unique form of entertainment? Then, you should visit the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater. This theater is best-known for its grand illusion shows that are the perfect blend of magic, comedy, and outstanding performance. It is a thrilling 90-minute experience run by the married couple Susan and Rick Wilcox. Since its establishment back in 1999, the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater constantly updates its show performances with new tricks and exciting content, ensuring the theater’s plays remain relevant.

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11. Stop at H.H. Bennett Studio

Are you a historic fanatic? Then you should make your way to the H.H Bennett Studio. It is one of the oldest operating businesses in Wisconsin Dells as it was opened by a Canadian-born photographer in 1875. The Bennett Studio is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society. In addition to learning more about the photography practices used in the 19th century, you can ask to have your picture taken using the studio’s genuine, old-fashioned wet plate cameras.

(Video) Wisconsin Dells - Things to Do and See When You Go

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10. Visit Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park

Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park are one of the popular water-themed tourist destinations in Wisconsin Dells. Here, you will get to enjoy their outdoor waterpark, theme park, indoor waterpark, and about 44 waterslides, including the impressive Apollo’s Swing, which is approximately 100 feet tall. The theme park boasts seven go-kart courses, arcade games, and rollercoasters. However, your stay at the Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park is not complete without trying out Hades 360, which features a 360-degree roll and a 65-degree drop.

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9. Try out the Lost Canyon Tours

Lost Canyon Tours allows you to explore some of the best Wisconsin Dells attractions, such as the Lost Canyon and other amazing sceneries the state offers. According to Busy Tourist, Lost Canyon Tours is a family-operated and owned company that was opened back in 1956. Each of their tours takes you from Lake Delton’s south shore, through the Canyon, and then back out. The Lost Canyon is the longest and deepest Canyon in Wisconsin. The steep cliffs and tightly packed spaces often make it difficult to explore the Canyon yourself. Thus, the tours feature horse and carriage rides so that you can easily view these amazing sceneries. However, Lost Canyon Tours are only available from mid-April to the end of October.

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8. Watch plays at The Palace Theater in the Dells

The Palace Theater in the Dells is one of the main entertainment destinations in Wisconsin Dells. This centrally-positioned theater allows you to enjoy a thrilling mix of modern, family fun, and classic performances. Some of the favorite performances at the Palace Theater include; Alice in Wonderland, The Musical, Broadway smash hits, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, and many others. Finally, the theater usually has regular play selections that are rotated throughout the year to ensure the audience is fully entertained.

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7. Get your mind blown away at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Auditorium

The name “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” is a well-known name across the globe, making it one of the best locations to visit in Wisconsin Dells. This iconic auditorium boasts eleven unique galleries on all three floors, containing more than 200 bizarre artifacts such as shrunken heads, a two-headed sheep, confusing puzzles, and perplexing illusions. Furthermore, you can also try out more in-depth mystical experiences, such as a magical quest or a hunt searching for hidden items.

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(Video) Best Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells

6. Try out the Wizard Quest

Are you a fan of nerdy adventures? Then you should try out Wizard Quest. Wizard Quest is one of the main tourist attractions in Wisconsin Dells. Measuring 13,000 square feet, this is the perfect location to enjoy pure fantasy and practice numerous mind-blowing activities. At Wizard Quest, you will get to pick up a magic wand and use its “magical powers” to make your way through fantastical creatures and whimsical structures. The main goal is to release four elemental wizards by navigating through concealed traps, passageways, puzzling rooms, and halls of mirrors.

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5. Experience the Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk

According to Vacationidea, the Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk is one of the free-things-to-do in Wisconsin Dells. The Wisconsin Dells is a public recreational space that is very calming and relaxing. Extending for about a quarter of a mile, the Riverwalk is marked by panoramic river views, bluffs of sandstone, and a backdrop of verdant forest. As you walk on this scenic paved path, you will get to view other beautiful public spaces such as park benches, tables for games, and green fields. Finally, this is the perfect location to calm your nerves after a day full of fun activities.

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4. Try out the Bigfoot Zipline Tours

Bigfoot Zipline Tours is one of the fun activities you can try out while in Wisconsin Dells. Each tour usually takes about two and a half hours, where you ride through seven different zip lines. Here, you will get to enjoy a spectacular view of the city’s lakes and expansive forests. Zipline speeds can reach up to 40mph, and their lengths can vary from 462 feet to 1,400 feet. Additionally, Zipline Tours offers Bigfoot Ropes Course, which is a large park incorporating more than 80 challenging activities.

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3. Visit the Christmas Mountain Village

The 1,200-acre Christmas Mountain Village is listed as the best ski and golf resort in Wisconsin Dells. Additionally, just as the name suggests, it is the perfect location to spend the winter with its log cabins, villas, log cabins, townhouses, and many other rooms available for rent. According to Dells, Christmas Mountain Village is popularly known for its 27-hole golf course and plenty of opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, camping, and indoor and outdoor swimming.

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2. Explore the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

Are you a fan of science and new scientific discoveries? Then, you should visit the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory. It features more than 175 very interactive activities and up-to-date exhibits that showcase the wonders of science and modern technology.

(Video) 5 Things You Must Know Before Coming to Wisconsin Dells | Top5 ForYou

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1. Swim at Noah’s Ark Waterpark

Noah’s Ark Waterpark is one of the top ten waterparks in Wisconsin Dells. With more than 70 acres of space, it is the biggest waterpark in America. Noah’s Ark Waterpark features more than 51 water slides, two big wave pools, four adrenaline-pumping waterslides, 51 water slides, and a ten-story waterfall drop. However, the amenities featured in the park are best suited for people of all ages.

FAQs

What is Wisconsin Dells known for? ›

Wisconsin Dells is an unabashed and unashamedly fun-filled amusement center for the Badger State. The city's water parks are among the most audacious and thrilling in the USA. It's also known for its natural scenery, which hits a zenith along the bends of the Wisconsin River, where gorges and forests collide.

Why should I go to Wisconsin Dells? ›

You can easily find tourist activities, like ziplining, skiing, and live entertainment, but it is difficult not to notice the natural sandstone bluffs, wildlife, and canyons that surround you. One of the most notable areas, while difficult to get to on foot, is the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area.

Is Wisconsin Dells worth visiting? ›

Is Wisconsin Dells worth visiting? Yes! Wisconsin Dells is one of the top family vacation destinations in the state because there is such a wide variety of things to do in the area. If waterparks and kitschy souvenir stores aren't your thing, go off the beaten path and do some hiking, boat tours, and animal encounters.

How can I save money in Wisconsin Dells? ›

From vacation packages to special offers, here's a look at five ways you can save money on vacation to Wisconsin Dells.
  1. Book Your Wisconsin Dells Lodging Early. ...
  2. Opt For A Midweek Getaway. ...
  3. Reserve A Vacation Package. ...
  4. Cook Your Own Meals. ...
  5. Stay At A Wisconsin Dells Resort Stacked With Amenities.

Is Wisconsin Dells a tourist trap? ›

Many people consider the Wisconsin Dells as one giant tourist trap and say that's part of the appeal. However, you want to spend your money on the fun stuff and not get snared into the traps that waste time or money during your trip.

How expensive is Wisconsin Dells? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to Wisconsin Dells? You should plan to spend around $114 per day on your vacation in Wisconsin Dells, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $34 on meals for one day and $28 on local transportation.

What is the best time to visit Wisconsin Dells? ›

The best time to visit Wisconsin Dells is May

In the winter, temperatures can get down to -19℃ (-2℉) around January. If you're keen to see the sights of Wisconsin Dells during the day, the sun stays up the longest around July. To stay dry, avoid travelling to Wisconsin Dells in May – It's the wettest month of the year.

How do you get to Witches Gulch? ›

no access to witches gulch, blocked off in 2016 when large part of the park was privatized. it is only accessible via boat tour now. All views are private property. One of the big local tour boat companies now owns the exclusive rights to hike witches gulch.

How many water parks are in the Dells? ›

Known and loved as the “Waterpark Capital of the World”, Wisconsin Dells is home to the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks on Earth — over 20 different parks.

Can you go to Wisconsin Dells for a day? ›

Sometimes a multi-day getaway just isn't in the cards and we get that. But a day trip to the Dells can go a long way in satisfying that craving for one more dose of summer fun in Wisconsin Dells.

How far is Wisconsin Dells from house on the rock? ›

The distance between House on the Rock and Wisconsin Dells is 41 miles.

Are dogs allowed at Wisconsin Dells? ›

Wisconsin Dells is the perfect place to share memories with everyone in your family – including Fido.

Is Wisconsin Dells Open in September? ›

With the weather still warmer in September, Wisconsin Dell's boat rides are still open to peruse in the fall.

Is Door County a tourist trap? ›

Besides Wisconsin Dells, the big tourist trap in Wisconsin is Door County north of Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Is Pigeon Forge a tourist trap? ›

This past weekend I discovered that Gatlinburg and neighboring Pigeon Forge are meccas of southern tourist-trapdom.

Is Lake Geneva a tourist trap? ›

Lake Geneva is a small, tourist town. It can get congested and busy during the summer and community events, however, I like the energy this brings to the town.

What is the largest waterpark in Wisconsin Dells? ›

Biggest Water Park in Wisconsin Dells | Noah's Ark WaterPark.

How much is a one day pass at Wisconsin Dells? ›

Day passes may be available for purchase based upon availability for a price of $49.99; please call to learn if day passes are available on dates you wish to visit. To ensure you have reserved access to the waterpark, it is recommended to purchase an overnight stay or package.

Who owns the Wisconsin Dells? ›

Wisconsin Dells - Nick Laskaris, owner of one of the Dells' largest tourist attractions, traces the origins of his multimillion-dollar business to a small stash of cash his mother had bundled away and forgotten.

What is the rainiest month in Wisconsin? ›

June is the most wet month in Wisconsin. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain. February is the driest month. The warmest month in Wisconsin is July with an average maximum temperature of 27°C (82°F).

What month rains the most in Wisconsin? ›

  • May is the rainiest month in Wisconsin with 11.3 days of rain, and February is the driest month with only 6.9 rainy days. ...
  • Wisconsin's average annual snowfall of 47.6 inches indicates that it is snowier than most states in the United States.

What month is the coldest in Wisconsin? ›

The coldest month of the year in Wisconsin Dells is January, with an average low of 12°F and high of 27°F.

Which is better upper or lower Dells? ›

The Lower Dells is far superior to the Upper Dells tour. The Lower Dells boat ride is a lot faster, has much better turns and dips. Kids who love to get wet will love this ride. It lasts about 25 minutes and there is hardly a dull moment.

Why is it called witches gulch? ›

At his approach, lesser serpents fled forming the canyons which lead off from the main channel. It was these timid, lesser serpents that formed Coldwater Canyon and Witches' Gulch, so the legend goes.

How long of a hike is witches gulch? ›

Accessible only by boat tour, Witch's Gulch also has one of the best natural beaches in the state. Visit for a true outdoor adventure in Wisconsin! Boats dock and let visitors off to inspect the Gulch. The walk itself is a 2-mile loop through a hardwood forest.

Which is better Chula Vista or wilderness? ›

Chula is really pretty and has waterpark for that age. I have stayed at both - and hands down, I would pick the Wilderness over the Chula Vista for the waterparks. Wilderness has many more water options than the Chula Vista. Although things are spread out a little, I enjoy being able to bounce between water areas.

Which is the biggest waterpark in America? ›

Noah's Ark, Wisconsin Dells, WI

Noah's Ark is home to 70 acres of rides and slides, earning it the title of the largest waterpark in the USA. Standing out even in the Waterpark Capital of the World® – Wisconsin Dells, This behemoth waterpark has everything from a 4-D “Dive-in” movie Theater to a looping waterslide.

What is the newest waterpark in Wisconsin Dells? ›

A new natural adventure park development called The Land of Natura is planned to open their first phase in the summer of 2022. This 40-acre parcel will include a 5-acre naturally filtered lake with America's largest floating waterpark and North America's longest canopy tour.

Why is Wisconsin Dells The waterpark Capital of the World? ›

That's why we've been proudly named "The Waterpark Capital of the World! ®". The indoor waterpark was pioneered here in Wisconsin Dells and we are home to the largest concentration of outdoor and indoor waterparks of any place on the planet. So, not only did we start the trend, we excel at it.

Why is Wisconsin called the Dells? ›

The Wisconsin Dells got their name from the French term "dalles." It means "slab-like rock." Some of the more distinctive rock formations are named for objects they resemble, such as Chimney Rock. During the 1800s, the Dells grew to be a popular tourist attraction in Wisconsin.

What is the history of the Wisconsin Dells? ›

The dells were formed by glacial meltwater that cut a channel as much as 150 feet (45 metres) deep through the sandstone and, in the process, carved unusual rock formations along a 15-mile (25-km) stretch of the Wisconsin River.

What are Dells as in Wisconsin Dells? ›

The Dells of the Wisconsin River, also called the Wisconsin Dells (from French dalles, or slab-like rocks), is a 5-mile (8-km) gorge on the Wisconsin River in south-central Wisconsin, USA. It is noted for its scenic beauty, in particular for its unique Cambrian sandstone rock formations and tributary canyons.

What's the biggest waterpark in the United States? ›

"Noah's Ark is America's Largest Waterpark®, located in the Waterpark Capital of the World. Situated on 70 sprawling acres in the heart of Wisconsin Dells, Noah's Ark is the best place for family vacations.

What is the biggest indoor water park in the US? ›

Poconos' Kalahari: America's largest indoor water park.

What is the largest waterpark in Wisconsin Dells? ›

Biggest Water Park in Wisconsin Dells | Noah's Ark WaterPark.

What is there to do in Wisconsin Dells other than water parks? ›

  • 1.) Feed and pet the deer at the Wisconsin Deer Park in Wisconsin Dells.
  • 2.) Take a Dells Duck Tours.
  • 3.) … Or Take a Jet Boat Tour!
  • 4.) Experience the Lost Canyon Tour on a Horse Drawn Carriage.
  • 5.) Taste Your Way Through the Grateful Shed.
  • 6.) Play and Swim at Noah's Ark Waterpark.
  • 7.) Race at Big Chief Go-Karts.
  • 8.)
May 18, 2022

Why is it called Witches Gulch in Wisconsin Dells? ›

Looking at the Witches Gulch area on a map, you can easily see that V-shaped description. History tells us that the name Witches Gulch came from famed Dells landscape photographer H.H. Bennett. Known for his innovations in photography, Bennett used the Witches Gulch area for many of his photos.

What city is closest to Wisconsin Dells? ›

Major cities near Wisconsin Dells, WI
  • 43 miles to Madison, WI.
  • 102 miles to Milwaukee, WI.
  • 162 miles to Chicago, IL.
  • 190 miles to Saint Paul, MN.
  • 198 miles to Minneapolis, MN.
  • 291 miles to Fort Wayne, IN.
  • 322 miles to Indianapolis, IN.
  • 340 miles to Toledo, OH.

What does the term Dells mean? ›

Definition of dell

: a secluded hollow or small valley usually covered with trees or turf.

Who owns Wisconsin Dells? ›

Wisconsin Dells - Nick Laskaris, owner of one of the Dells' largest tourist attractions, traces the origins of his multimillion-dollar business to a small stash of cash his mother had bundled away and forgotten.

What was Wisconsin Dells called before? ›

Another bit of interesting Wisconsin Dells information is that before it was renamed Wisconsin Dells, the town was called Kilbourn City from 1856 until 1931. That was the name of the railroad president. But even before it was officially named Wisconsin Dells, locals and tourists alike have always known it by that name.

How do you get to Witches Gulch? ›

no access to witches gulch, blocked off in 2016 when large part of the park was privatized. it is only accessible via boat tour now. All views are private property. One of the big local tour boat companies now owns the exclusive rights to hike witches gulch.

What river runs through Wisconsin Dells? ›

Wisconsin River, river rising in Lac Vieux Desert (lake), Vilas county, northern Wisconsin, U.S., on the Wisconsin-Michigan border. It flows generally southward through central Wisconsin past Rhinelander, Wausau, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wisconsin Dells (site of a scenic gorge).

What river is the Wisconsin Dells on? ›

The Dells of the Wisconsin River encompasses over 5 miles of Wisconsin River corridor with a spectacular gorge, cliffs, tributary canyons, and rock formations carved into Cambrian sandstone.

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