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Visit Wisconsin Dells in the Winter

Updated on December 17, 2016

My Favorite Winter Vacation Spot - Wisconsin Dells!

I love to visit the Dells in the winter. It used to be that almost everything closed down for the winter because it's so cold in Wisconsin but not anymore! The fun is HOT and it just keeps getting HOTTER!

Since there's only about 3 months out of the year that are good for swimming, Wisconsin Dells has grown into mega indoor waterparks with most hotels boasting lots of other indoor activities such as skyhigh rope courses and miniature golf. There's also paint your own pottery, indoor haunted houses, go-karts, rides, later tag, and mirror mazes.

There's also concert halls and magic shows that happen all year long. Tanger Outlet Mall is open but make sure you bring a warm coat. It has a roof to block some of the wind but is still open. A fire pit inside can warm you up a little bit on the really cold days but it doesn't help much.

Wilderness Waterparks

The waterparks are the best!
The waterparks are the best!

Indoor Waterparks

On our trip to the Dells for Thanksgiving, we stayed at the Wilderness Hotel and Resorts. The Wilderness features a giant Wave Pool and 2 other waterpark areas that are all indoors. Along with the waterparks, there's also bumper boats but you need to pay extra for a ride in them.

The other great thing about the Wilderness is that they do yearly updates. I think this is great because it's not a cheap place to stay at and instead of keeping all the money for themselves, they re-invest and keep making the place better for families.

3-D Miniature Golf Courses

3-D Miniature Golf is so much fun!
3-D Miniature Golf is so much fun!

Miniature golf

Lots of fun! You can use 3D glasses to play this game of miniature golf but you don't have to. There's 2 different courses to choose from at the Wilderness Resort. One course features a water world with a surprise at the end and the other course has a wild west theme. The artwork in these courses is fantastic. I love looking at everything while we play.

Wave Pool!

Hang on to your swimsuits!! The power of the waves can pull them right off! This pool is huge and these waves are super strong, just like in the outdoor wave pool. The inner tubes are clear now so that you can see if you have inadvertently land on top of someone else. I have to admit that even though this is a favorite of the kids, it's also great fun for adults. I don't swim very good so as long as I hang onto the tube, I can do more than just stand in the water. When the waves go back down, I can stand on my feet again. If you haven't been in a wave pool, you need to check one out.

My other suggestion is to make sure that your little kids have an inner tube. I'm not sure if some people, like the parents who just watch instead of participating with their kids, realize it but you really can't control where you're going when you're riding on the inner tubes. I got a horrified look for a mom of a little boy about 5 years old when my inner tube bumped into him. If he would have had an inner tube, he would have been safer.

What's More Fun?

Which one do you think is better?

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Don't forget your swimsuit!

If you're heading to the Dells, winter or summer, don't forget the swimsuit. It never fails, one of the kids always forgets theirs and then there's a scramble to find one to use while you're there. Thankfully, there are places that you can find them at while you're there but it will save you a lot of money if you take your own with you instead of purchasing one at the hotel gift shop.

Lazy River Duck Races

Duck Races
Duck Races

Early Morning Fun

Pick out a little rubber ducky and see if it's a winner!! This water park holds ducky races every morning before the water park opens for the day. Kids can pick out a duck and then they dump them into the lazy river where they bop along until one crosses the finish line. It's something fun for the little kids.

Rubber Duckies!

Have your own rubber ducky races at home. Draw little shapes on the bottoms of the duckies and let the kids find the matches while they're in the tub.

Rubber Ducks 18ct
Rubber Ducks 18ct

These little mini ducks are ready for the duck races in the bathtub! This is a fun pack with a bunch of little ducks so you can play games with them in the tub.


Where in the world are the Wisconsin Dells?

wisconsin dells, wi:
Wisconsin Dells, WI, USA

get directions

Wagon Rides

Weekend Wagon Rides

On the weekends, you can go for a really nice wagon ride. It's run on donations but please be generous. Those horses are really expensive to feed. The horses are based at the Wilderness but you can come from anywhere. Just pull in the parking lot and park your car. It's something fun and different to do during the winter. Make sure you dress warm or bring a big blanket because there's no heat in the wagon, at least there wasn't the last time I was in it.

I hope they continue to offer this for a long time. I love the horses and I would hate to see them stop doing these rides. Horses are a big part of the Wisconsin Dells history so it's great to see them continue this tradition. The horses do a really great job pulling the wagon.

It's a Beautiful Ride


Science Exploration!

The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory is another really fun learning place for the family. It's been a few years since I've been there but the last time I went, we had a good time. It started out a little slow with the older science exhibits at the beginning. I thought it was nostalgic but other family members weren't very excited. Once you get past the older displays though, there are newer much more interesting things to see so don't get discouraged when you first enter the building.

In the wintertime, they are open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The 2015 admission prices are: Adults $15.00, kids 5-11 and seniors 65+ are $12.00, and kids 4 and under are free.

Do You Love the Dells? - Where's Your Favorite Place in the Dells to Stay?

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