Wisconsin Dells, fondly known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” is a paradise for families with young children. This lively city boasts an array of massive indoor waterparks, natural wonders, kid-oriented dining, indoor amusements, fascinating live shows, and much more.
We’ve curated the top 25 things to do in Wisconsin Dells with Kids. Here’s your guide to exploring this magical wonderland with your little ones.
Best Activities in Wisconsin Dells with Kids
Fast and Furious Go-Karting
For some adrenaline-pumping fun, try go-karting. There are several tracks around town catering to different age groups and skill levels.
- Mt. Olympus Parks: Known for its water and theme park, Mt. Olympus also offers exhilarating go-kart tracks as part of its many attractions.
- Big Chief Go-Karts: Big Chief is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It offers a fun and challenging experience for all ages.
- Knuckleheads Park: This indoor park not only offers go-karting but also bowling, trampolines, and an arcade, making it a great place for a day of family fun.
- Adare Go Carts: Adare Go Carts provides a thrilling go-karting experience with its challenging courses that take you over hills, under bridges, and around hairpin turns.
Each of these tracks offers a unique experience, so it ultimately depends on what you’re looking for. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a beginner, you’re sure to find a track that suits your skill level and provides an unforgettable racing adventure.
America’s Largest Waterpark
Open seasonally, America’s largest waterpark is Noah’s Ark.. From the thrilling Black Anaconda, one of America’s most terrifying water coasters, to the relaxing wave pools and lazy rivers, Noah’s Ark has something for everyone.
Don’t miss out on the Scorpion’s Tail, America’s first nearly vertical waterslide loop. It’s a heart-stopping experience that older kids and adults will love!
Mega Indoor Waterparks
Choosing between the titans of indoor waterparks – Great Wolf Lodge, Wilderness Resort, and Kalahari – can be tough. Each offers unique features that make it special:
- Great Wolf Lodge is perfect for younger kids with areas like Cub Paw Pool that are designed for toddlers. It’s the only park I take my kids 5 and under.
Insider tip: Signup for their emailed special events and promotions. We jump on their $99 / night deals.
- Wilderness Resort is America’s largest waterpark resort with four indoor waterparks. The Wild WaterDome, home to a massive indoor wave pool, is a definite must-visit. It is an ideal option when visiting the Dells with large groups or extended family.
Insider tip: Visit during weekdays for a less crowded experience and to save money.
- Kalahari Resort offers thrilling attractions such as the FlowRider and Lazy River. The indoor park is the most epic for teens.
Insider tip: Look out for discounted after 5 pm passes available to those not staying at the resort.
Although I wouldn’t call it one of the “Titans of the Dells” in terms of Indoor parks, Mt. Olympus is another family favorite for older kids, offering thrilling water slides and relaxing whirlpools. Don’t miss the chance to plunge down the 10-story water slide or their mind bending rotating water slide.
In the summer, their massive outdoor thrills are noteworthy. Especially their go karting.
Insider tip: Mt. Olympus has been buying up ma and pop hotels all over the Dells. If booking lodging here, make sure to check the location of your room when you book so you aren’t stuck taking a shuttle anytime you want to use the amenities.
Wisconsin Deer Park
Situated along U.S. 12 lies the Wisconsin Deer Park, an enchanting wildlife park sprawled over 40 acres. This petting zoo is not only educational but also offers a unique hands-on feeding experience enjoyed by the whole family.
The park is home to a variety of deer species, as well as other animals like bison, elk, and game birds.
Tommy Bartlett Exploratory
The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory is a fascinating world of science, fun, and interactive exhibits. It’s an educational experience that’s also heaps of fun for your visit to Wisconsin Dells with kids.
Dells River Cruise to Witch’s Gulch
Experience the beauty of the Wisconsin River on a Dells River Cruise. The highlight is undoubtedly the mystical Witch’s Gulch, a narrow canyon filled with fascinating rock formations that can only be reached by boat.
The Dells Lumberjack Show offers a delightful mix of competition, history, and comedy. Watch real lumberjacks compete in log rolling, axe throwing, and more.
Mini golf is a beloved pastime in Wisconsin Dells with kids, and there are several top-rated courses where you can enjoy a round or two. Based on numerous sources, some of the best mini golf courses in Wisconsin Dells include:
- Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf: This family-friendly course is known for its unique golf holes spread across five different courses. The course offers a fun-filled adventure with a pirate theme.
- Timber Falls Adventure Golf: With three different 18-hole courses featuring thundering waterfalls and rugged terrain along the scenic shoreline of the Wisconsin River, this course promises an unforgettable mini-golf experience.
- Yeti Yard Next Level Adventure: This new addition to the mini golf scene in Wisconsin Dells is quickly gaining popularity for its innovative design and engaging gameplay.
- Wild Fun Zone: Along with a variety of arcade games and other attractions, Wild Fun Zone offers a fun and challenging mini golf course.
- Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park: Part of the Kalahari Resort, this indoor park features a mini golf course along with a variety of other family-friendly activities.
For a dose of enchantment, visit the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater. This 90-minute grand illusion show is sure to leave you spellbound. Families have been raving about this show for over 20 years!
Dells Duck Tour
Embark on an exciting land and water adventure with the Dells Duck Tour. These WWII amphibious vehicles take you through breathtaking wilderness trails and splash down into the river for a scenic cruise. You’ll be astonished by the natural beauty of the area once you get away from the ‘strip.’ Kids are mesmerized seeing the land vehicle drive right into the river.
Indoor Amusement Galore
Beyond waterparks, Wisconsin Dells is home to indoor amusements like roller coasters, go-karts, and carnival rides that promise endless fun.
Arcades are a classic part of the Wisconsin Dells with kids experience. Whether it’s pinball, skee-ball, or video games, arcades offer fun for all ages.
Sweet Treats at Goody Goody Gum Drops
No visit is complete without stopping by Goody Goody Gum Drops for a sweet treat. This candy kitchen offers homemade fudge, gourmet chocolates, and jelly beans in every flavor imaginable.
Explore the stunning natural landscapes of Wisconsin Dells with kids at Mirror Lake, Devil’s Lake, Parfrey’s Glen, and Pewit’s Nest. These spots are perfect for hiking, picnicking, and the perfect dose of fresh air.
Baraboo Circus Museum
Just a short drive from Wisconsin Dells, the Baraboo Circus Museum offers a peek into the rich history of the American circus. Baraboo was the summer headquarters for the The Ringling Brothers’ circus at the peak of their popularity. The museum is packed with colorful exhibits, incredibly restored wagons, and interactive displays.
Our boys most enjoyed the models of the trains that would carry the circus performers and equipment from city to city.
Upside-Down White House
In the heart of Wisconsin Dells, lies an attraction that seems to defy gravity – an enormous White House turned upside down. Officially known as Top Secret, the building appears to have been uprooted and dropped on its roof, giving it a surreal and intriguing appeal. It’s nonsensical look surely caught my kids’ attention.
The inverted structure, complete with columns, windows, and doors, piques curiosity. The building and the Transformers out front make for an excellent free photo opportunity if you don’t choose to tour.
Inside, the tour takes you through a topsy-turvy version of the White House. The rooms are designed with an attention to detail that adds to the illusion of being upside down. Despite mixed reviews, the Upside-Down White House remains a popular stop for tourists seeking an indoor activity. If you go in ready to have fun, it can be a good experience. But without a positive attitude, many find it to be a bit of a bore.
Shop Small in Downtown Dells
Take a stroll through Downtown Dells, a charming area brimming with unique small businesses. It’s the perfect place to find a souvenir to remember your trip.
Winter Fun at Cascade Mountain
If you’re visiting during winter, head to Cascade Mountain for snow tubing, skiing, and snowboarding.
The best part? Kids under 12 ski for free!
A Cozy Stop at Bella Goose
Take a break at Bella Goose, a cozy coffee shop on the river, serving delicious coffee and light bites. It’s the perfect spot to recharge before your next adventure.
Where to Eat in Wisconsin Dells with Kids
When it comes to dining, Buffalo Phil’s is a hit amongst kids, where food is delivered by a model train.
Moosejaw offers delicious pizzas in a fun, lodge-themed setting.
Denny’s Classic Diner
For hearty American breakfasts and a trip down memory lane, visit Denny’s Classic Diner.
The Grateful Shed
The Grateful Shed Truckyard is a unique food truck park offering a variety of quality foods and craft drinks. This innovative venue has quickly become a favorite among locals and tourists alike for its vibrant atmosphere, live music, and party games.
The food trucks at the Grateful Shed are carefully selected to ensure visitors have access to a diverse array of delicious food options. From mouth-watering grilled sandwiches and flavorful tacos to enticing Asian cuisine and indulgent ice cream, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
The Grateful Shed features an elevated real bus above the bar! A definite highlight for my boys.
Ishnala Supper Club
Relish a fine dining experience amidst nature at Ishnala Supper Club (open seasonally). Located in Mirror Lake State Park, every table offers stunning views of the tranquil Mirror Lake. It’s frequently cited as the top supper club in Wisconsin.
Make sure to arrive early! When we got there at 3:15, just 15 minutes after they opened the doors, there was already a 90 minute wait for dinner. Drinks and appetizers do not require a reservation though, which was honestly more relaxing when visiting with two little ones.
Camping in Wisconsin Dells with Kids
Camping in Wisconsin Dells offers the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and family fun. Here are some of the top campgrounds in Wisconsin Dells for families:
- Yogi Bear Camp-Resort & Water Playground: This family-friendly resort-style campground makes camping fun and easy for kids of all ages. It features water playgrounds, cabins, and RV campsites.
- Natura Treescape Resort: Ideal for families, this resort offers a unique blend of traditional camping and resort amenities. It provides a natural setting for kids to explore and plenty of activities.
- Emrick Lake Campground: Set amidst 450 acres of beautiful wooded land surrounding a lake, Emrick Lake Campground is Wisconsin’s newest premier camping destination.
- Stand Rock Campground: Known for its family-friendly atmosphere, Stand Rock Campground is a great place for kids to enjoy outdoor activities.
- Wisconsin Dells KOA: KOA campgrounds are known for their kid-friendly amenities and organized activities. The Wisconsin Dells KOA is no exception, offering a variety of campsites and amenities.
- Wanna Bee Campground & RV Resort: Offers a relaxed atmosphere with amenities that cater to both kids and adults.
- Shangri-La Campground: Offers a range of campsite options from full hookup pull-through RV sites to rustic tent campsites. It’s conveniently located close to Wisconsin Dells’ waterparks, dining spots, shops, and river tours.
- Fox Hill RV Resort & Campground: Located just 15 minutes from Downtown Wisconsin Dells, Fox Hill offers arguably the best tent camping in the area.
- Mt. Olympus Camp Resort: Popular for its easy access to water parks, Mt. Olympus offers a variety of tent sites and cabin rentals.
- Mirror Lake: Book up to 365 days in advance to snag a spot at the gorgeous Mirror Lake State Park.
Final Thoughts on Wisconsin Dells with Kids
Wisconsin Dells with kids is a family favorite for us any time of year. I’ve been visiting since I was a child, each time experiencing another one of its gems. Whether it is your sole destination or a stop on a Midwest road trip, there are adventures to be found.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Dells? Let me know in the comments!