Living in Indy we are pretty centrally located so we can get to quite a few places within just a few hours. For our last hurrah this summer, we headed on a 6 hour road trip up to Wisconsin to check out the Waterpark Capital of the World (apparently). We did break up the trip with a stop in Chicago, but otherwise, we made it to the Wisconsin Dells in 6 hours and one tank of gas. Here’s a quick recap of our adventures in the Wisconsin Dells and a few recommendations too!
We ended up staying at the Wilderness Resort in the Glacier Canyon Lodge portion. This felt like the biggest section of the resort, with the biggest outdoor waterpark option. The Wilderness Resort is located on 600 acres and is America’s largest waterpark resort. We booked our room by calling in because we were trying to do it very last minute and the website wasn’t really loving us. The gal on the phone was super helpful!
Wilderness boasts four indoor and four outdoor waterparks, as well as over a dozen attractions, 3 mega arcades, and an 18-hole championship golf course. There’s actually more than we had even realized and you can find all that info here on their website, BUT the waterparks are what we went for and they are included in your stay!
We decided on staying at the Wilderness because of the waterpark options and that the rooms looked decent. The ability to bounce back and forth via shuttle and to be able to stay at some of them until 10pm at night meant we’d have our days filled with splashing and sunshine.
My husband did one that had a drop floor and you went upside down, my tween did a straight down along with many tube slides – her favorite was the slide board in Klondike Kavern where you can play a game while you slide down, my little loved the simple slides and we even did one as a family (that was SO DARK).
THE ATTRACTIONS AT WILDERNESS
Along with the waterparks, we were able to partake in the Timberland Playhouse for free (bring socks) as well as other things like arcades, ziplines, horse tours, bingo, mini golf, etc for an extra cost. While we basically spent our time at the waterparks having these options for when we needed a break was great. They are all around the resorts so if you need to shuttle to Wild West for one, you just go out the front and grab a shuttle. Moving from one area of the resort to another was pretty painless. Plus, you can do a fun pass to save on the attractions!
They also offer a ropes course, indoor mini golf, climbing walls, kids club, go-karts and more! If you can think of it, they probably have it close by! For adults there’s a spa, full golf course, and nicer restaurants if you want to partake in that.
AROUND THE DELLS
Like I said, we mainly stayed at our resort, but I did have a couple things on my to-do list that I’d hoped to do while we were there. I guess we’ll save them for next time (if there is one) or just share for future reference for anyone who might stay more than 2 days! We were really pushing the timeframe with getting in much but initially we didn’t know how long we’d stay. Either way, if you stay longer or want to do other things, here’s a few I’d suggest based on research for this trip…
This tour cruises through an awesome path cut by glaciers. You’ll view many famous formations like Chimney Rock, Blackhawk’s Profile, and Romance Cliff. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also stop at Witches Gulch which is a spectacular spooky walk through of a narrow canyon carved by wind and water. And you’ll stop at Stand Rock where you can walk to the base and watch a dog make the leap!
*most info from their website*
With 8 waterparks already at our resort, we thought about this but didn’t make it. Noah’s Ark comes highly recommended by many! This is America’s Largest Waterpark and has the most waterslides in the Wisconsin Dells, plus TWO wave pools!
Make sure to pop into Goody Goody Gum Drop which is downtown on the main street. You will be amazed at how much candy is in here, along with the fun gumball machine, the carousel horses, the player piano, and the LEGOS! There’s so much to take in here and of course, leaving with a little candy isn’t a bad thing either!
One of our favorite eats while we were there was Paul Bunyan’s Shanty. The food was HOT, DELISH, and FILLING too! Served family style, you’ll enjoy buttermilk pancakes, sausage links, ham, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy, buttermilk donuts (SO GOOD), and breakfast drinks.
A couple tips about this stop… Try to get there prior to 9am. The line seemed to start really forming about 9am. We got there about 830/845 and had no wait at all. Second tip, be prepared to pay (and tip if you don’t have cash) BEFORE you are seated. We didn’t know this going in… But overall, this is one of our best experiences up there!
Overall this was a nice little getaway and the drive wasn’t too bad either. If you haven’t been, make sure to do a little research before you go. I hope this brief round up helps you, but there’s more out there too! I started on Pinterest and found a few tips for the trip which I shared above. But there are people that go year after year and continue to find things to do!