Our team loves the Wisconsin Dells, and it’s the perfect destination for a day trip or a mini-vacation with your crew. It’s a fun place to visit year-round!
From amusement parks, boat tours, shopping to waterparks galore, there are things for all ages and interests in the Dells.
Here’s a breakdown of our favorite things to do when we visit – we hope you find this list helpful as you plan your Dells trip!
This Guide is sponsored by our featured programs. We so appreciate the support of the community and the opportunity to present our readers with valuable resources such as these!
Where to Stay | Our Top Pick
The Wilderness Resort consists of over 600 wooded acres in Wisconsin Dells and is home to Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, which features 444 guest rooms, 40 Vacation Villas, 76 Frontier Condominiums and 35 cabins. It is also home to Wilderness on the Lake which features 108 luxurious two and three bedroom condominium units overlooking Lake Delton; and Glacier Canyon Lodge, which features 460 upscale condominium units.
Combined, these three properties offer four indoor and four outdoor waterparks that total nearly 500,000 square feet – that’s over 12 football fields of extreme water fun! The resort is also home to Glacier Canyon Conference Center; Sundara Spa; Wild Rock Golf Club; The Woods 9-Hole Golf Course; Dodge ‘Em City; Timberland Play Park; three Clip ‘N Climb Challenge Walls; the OK Corral Lazer Tag Arena; Marshall Training Lazer Maze; The Wild Abyss indoor 3-D black light mini golf; VRSpace Virtual Reality Arena; bumper boats; indoor and outdoor go-karts and kiddy-karts; zip line tour; Northern Lights Sky Ropes Course; three Room Escapes by DOA; and outdoor Jurassic mini golf. Dining options include Field’s at the Wilderness; Sarento’s; Survivors; Thirsty Buffalo and several other quick service options.
What to Do | Our Top Picks
Knuckleheads Trampoline Park
At Knuckleheads Trampoline Park – Rides- Bowling in Wisconsin Dells, you are in for a fun-packed family experience. There is a bit of something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart. Our 80,000 square foot facility includes a trampoline park, full arcade, cosmic bowling lanes, and a variety of amusement rides. Stop in with your family and friends or book your upcoming special event at Knuckleheads Trampoline and Indoor Amusement Park.
We are open year-round and are conveniently located next to Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille, Booby Trap Escape Rooms, and Outlets at the Dells.
Riverside & Great Northern Railway
The Riverside & Great Northern Railway is a 15-inch gauge railway and living museum. Ride our live steam train along an old railroad right-of-way that goes through the scenic canyons, beautiful wooded areas, and majestic rock cuts of the Dells by the Wisconsin River. After the train trip, tour the shops to see where the trains were made.
D.O.A. Room Escape
Booby Trap Escape Rooms
More Dells Attractions
Where to Eat | Our Top Picks
Bring your family along to enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience at Buffalo Phil’s Wisconsin Dells! Miniature trains deliver food right to your table. While you’re here, check out our massive collection of LEGO Brick Cities.
Buffalo Phil’s is locally owned and is open year-round! Our large building accommodate 500+ customers and is perfect for large groups. The mouthwatering menu includes foods such as Rotisserie Chicken, BBQ Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches, Pasta, Steak, Seafood, and Lil Buckaroo Meals. Buffalo Phil’s is connected to Knuckleheads Trampoline Park- Rides – Bowling with Booby Trap Escape Rooms and the Outlets at the Dells right next door! That’s a lot of fun in one convenient stop.
Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty
Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty is a Wisconsin Dells staple, and has been operating for over 65 years. The family owned restaurant serves a hearty family-style all you can eat breakfast, in a fun old fashioned Cook shanty. It’s a family tradition for many who travel to the Dells!
Are you getting the mini-vacation itch yet??
If you’ve never done the hotel-with-kids thing, here are a few quick tips to make the experience go smoother:
- Bring some kind of white noise. Bring a large fan and position it between the “kid” side of the room and the “adult” side and you won’t have to worry about waking them up with any little sound!
- Invest in a room with a little separation. Wilderness offers suites, condos & villas, which are great if you have a big crew, or just need a little extra space!
- Consider springing for a room with a balcony. This might seem like an unnecessary luxury, but again: when you have very young kids, separation is critical to hotel success. A balcony offers a great option for adult hang-out time after the kids are down for the night.
- Ask for a room with a mini fridge and microwave. These are pretty common in hotels these days, but not every room has them, so it’s worth checking it out in advance. It is so much easier to be able to prepare meals/snacks (especially breakfast) in the comfort of your room, rather than having to scramble to get to a restaurant with a hangry toddler.
- Pack paper cups/plates AND/OR dish soap/cloths to wash your plastic stuff. Easy to forget—tragic to forget.
- Bring entertainment for the adults. This is usually the last thing on your mind when you’re planning for a kids’ vacay, but it’s kind of depressing to get the kids to bed and then realize you have nothing quiet enough to do. Bring a book (and a mini light!), a laptop (possibly with headphones), or some other activity that requires minimal sound/light.
Q: Seasoned Dells travelers, what would you add to this list?
We have not been up to the Dells with our 6 month old, but we can’t wait to check out the parks in the area. I always bring a blanket along because she loves to explorer and touch everything even at 6 months.
My son really liked Buffalo Phil’s. The deer park sounds like it would be a hit with him as well.
I have really enjoyed reading these comments. I have three grand kids. Ages for two and one. Which spot would be a good place for staying a few days in the summer months. Which one would be a good outdoor place for the little ones.
I love your tips! I just booked the fireplace suite, I was going to get the standard room, but after reading your blog, I noticed it didn’t have a microwave or fridge! I thought they came in all the rooms so thanks for pointing that out. I have 3 small kids so that’s a must. Also, I will be bringing our white noise machine and paper plates. We’ve never gone on a family vacation yet so your blog was super helpful! Thanks 😀
Thank you for your post. We are new to Wisconsin and wanted to have a weekend with our 4 and 6 yo. Your suggestion on Great Wolf Lodge was spot on. The entire weekend went as smooth as it can go with 2 young kids excited for water parks. The rides were completely age appropriate. It was all very safe. The water was warm and the people were friendly and accommodating. It’ll cost you along with a few days in the arcade also inside Great Wolf but for a fun weekend of splurging on kiddie activities it really fit the bill.