Wisconsin Dells is the Waterpark Capital of the World and a great place for a family vacation. But don’t think the only Wisconsin Dells attraction is the waterparks. There are tons of great things to do in Wisconsin Dells with kids all year long.
Families will love the museums, duck boats, indoor amusement parks, strolling downtown Wisconsin Dells, skiing, nature hikes, go-karts, visiting the sandstone bluffs and more. Plus I’ll give you the best Wisconsin Dells indoor waterpark resorts to stay on your visit.
Let me show you all the fun things to do in Wisconsin Dells with kids in the winter and summer months. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway or a full family vacation any time of year. Follow this guide and you’ll know all the best attractions in Wisconsin Dells.
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30 Best Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells with Kids All Year Long
I have broken up this guide by season and Wisconsin Dells attractions. Use the menu above to skip to something that interests you or read the whole article and be fully prepared for your family vacation.
Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells in Winter
Most people think of Wisconsin Dells as a Summer getaway but there are tons of fun things to do in the Winter too.
Indoor Amusement Parks
Keep the kids busy indoors with Arcades, go-karts, miniature golf and more. On our visits, we have discovered three spots that we love to go to for indoor amusement.
Kalahari’s Tom Foolery Amusement Park is 100,000 square feet of activities and games for the whole family. I love that they have things to do for all ages. For example, they have a ropes course for little kids and a huge one for older children. You’ll also find a climbing wall, indoor mini-golf, laser tag, a huge arcade, Ferris Wheel, rides and more. If you are staying at the hotel you get a discount on the tickets for this area but anyone can come not just hotel guests.
The Wilderness Resort also offers tons of indoor attractions. The highlight for my kids was their really cool laser tag course. They also enjoyed the go-karts, sky ropes course, 3D mini golf, and escape rooms. If you want a free area let the kids climb all over the four-story Timberland Playhouse. It has slides, tunnels, and bridges to spend hours exploring. Parents can find seats below to have a coffee and just let the kids play.
Knuckleheads Trampoline & Indoor Amusement Park
Knuckleheads is an indoor trampoline park, bowling alley, and arcade rolled into one huge 80,000 square foot building. Looking for more rides? They also have a roller coaster, bumper cars, ropes course, and 4D theater. Kunckleheads has smaller rides and slides for younger children too. You can pretty much find something for everyone in the family at this cool indoor amusement park. If you plan to stay for a while look into getting one of their wristbands to help save you some money.
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
MagiQuest is located in a building next to Great Wolf Lodge so no need to stay at this hotel to play. Inside you’ll use your wand to go on quests solving riddles and eventually battling a dragon. If your kids a Harry Potter fan this will be a huge hit. Kids and adults can spend hours in this indoor facility with mesh climbers, tunnels and slides running around to conquer each level. We did this on a rainy day and it was a perfect break from the waterpark.
Snow Tubing & Skiing in Wisconsin Dells
Christmas Mountain Village
Christmas Mountain Village is a year-round family-friendly resort that offers tons for families to do. What I love are all the winter activities. Skiiers can ski down 16 different runs with a range from black diamond slopes to beginner runs. They also offer cross country skiing through their beautiful grounds.
If the kids aren’t into skiing yet try their snow tubing hill with handle tows to bring the tubes back up to the top of the hill. What parent wouldn’t love that? It’s a great way to spend a day with the kids outside but still, have the amenities of the resort such as restaurants and equipment rentals. You can also stay at this resort to be closer to all the action.
Cascade Mountain is located 20-25 minutes from Wisconsin Dells. It is a larger ski facility offering 47 trails varying in difficulty levels. Cascade also offers ski and snowboarding lessons specifically designed to teach kids ages 4-10. If you’re not ready for skiing try out their 900″ snow tubbing shoots with a lift that will bring you back up the hill. Kids and parents will have a blast!
I Skate at The Keg
Outdoor skating is offered year-round at The Keg restaurant in Downtown Wisconsin Dells. The outdoor rink uses synthetic ice that works even on the warmest days. All around you’ll find seating for the restaurant and heaters in the winter months. Let the kids go skating while you enjoy a drink or food on the patio.
Head to the Outlet at the Dells for some indoor shopping. With 75 outlet stores to shop from you are sure to find something fun at a bargain price.
Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells in Summer
Tommy Bartlett Show
If you want to see a cool outdoor show Tommy Bartlett is the place to go. Watch a 90-minute show with jaw-dropping stunts, acrobatics and water skiers on Lake Delton. Stands are set up along the lake to watch the skiers fly by you. This cool show is open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. If it’s a rainy or cool day head to the Tommy Bartlet Exploratory Interactive Science Center. Where they house 175 interactive activities about science for your family to explore.
Duck Boats and Tours
Wisconsin Dells is famous for its Sandstone Bluffs and people flock to see them. Get a close-up view on a scenic boat tour down the Wisconsin River. There are several options to choose from in the area. If you want an adventure try the Dells Duck Boats which travel over land and water. If you want more of a scenic boat ride try the Dells Boat Tours. The guided tour will tell you all about what you are looking at and the history of the area as the boat cruises down the river.
Noah’s Ark WaterPark
Noah’s Ark Waterpark is the largest Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells. This outdoor waterpark is located on 70 acres in the heart of the dells. Visitors will enjoy the 2 lazy rivers, 4 children’s play areas, 2 giant wave pools, and tons of slides. You can also go to the 4D Dive in Theatre and play a round of mini-golf. If you are not staying at a waterpark hotel this is a great option for a fun waterpark day with the kids.
Wisconsin Deer Park
If you have wildlife fans in your family head over to the Wisconsin Deer Park. Here you’ll be able to explore, feed and interact with over 100 Deer and other wildlife. Kids will love having the deer feed right out of their hands. Take photos and pet the animals in their own habitat.
Lost Canyon Tours
On the Lost Canyon Tour, families take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Lost Canyon. It’s the longest and deepest canyon in Wisconsin. You’ll ride through a mile long of cliff walled gorges that few get to see. This is a great way to tour with younger kids or older adults. It’s a beautiful ride that will be narrated by your guide.
Big Foot Zipline
If you enjoy zip-lining you’ll love Big Foot Zipline. You’ll zip through the trees on this 2 1/2 hour tour on 7 different lines. It’s a pretty thrilling experience and perfect for more adventurous families. This same company also runs a Duck Boat tour so you can create a package to save money and try out both adventures.
Tip: They also run the zip lines in the Winter. Just dress the kids warm.
Big Foot Rope Course
If your not quite ready for the ziplining adventure try the Big Foot Rope Course. It’s a huge outdoor ropes course that offers 80 different elements to climb, step and crawl. Find tons of different bridges, helicopter crawl, pyramid, jungle tracks, bigfoot, giant steps and more. This too can be added into a package with the Big Foot Zip Line and Boat tours if your looking to do it all on your vacation.
Country Bumpkin Farm
Open from April 26- October 31st Country Bumpkin Farm offers the family a quintessential farm experience. Find freshly picked fruit and vegetables in their local store. Then head over to the Lil Bumpkin Play Village and Petting Farm. At the play village, you’ll find a farmhouse, church, log cabin, and school to explore.
For some adventure try out the zip line and obstacle course. Lastly, visit the petting zoo with sheep, goats, alpaca, ducks and a miniature dwarf horse. This is a great place to go in the Fall for their Halloween activities too!
Big Chief’s Go-Karts
What kid doesn’t love to race. At Big Chief’s Go Karts kids can race their parents on a safe track May through October. You’ll race up and down hills over a river and through curves. It’s exhilarating for the whole family.
Red Ridge Ranch
Just 20 minutes outside of Wisconsin Dells you’ll find Red Ridge Ranch a primer horse ranch. Visitors can take a guided horseback rides through their 250 Acres of rolling hills and forests. There are a variety of horses for both experienced riders and beginners.
Red Ridge also offers horse-drawn wagon rides in the summer and sleigh rides in the winter. For the youngest in your group, they offer cute pony rides. Go back in time with a sleigh ride for a fun afternoon out on the ranch.
You’ll find several outdoor miniature golf locations in Wisconsin Dells. This is a fun way for the whole family to get a break from the water parks and play a game together.
We really like Pirates Cove near Downtown Dells. The setting was pretty and built into a hill. They also have 5 different courses with 91 unique holes to play. If you want an indoor course try the 3D Minature golf at Wild Fun Zone in Downtown Dells or the Wilderness Resort 3D course. Our kids were big fans of all the decorations to see in the 3D courses.
Wisconsin Dells Trolly Tours
The Wisconsin Dells Trolly Tour Company has several different trolly tours to choose from depending on who is in your party. Families will enjoy the family tour which is a shortened city and history tour geared toward children. At holiday time hop on their Santa Tour and Haunted History Tour. Adults will love their Wine and Beer Tours and Historical Tours. There is pretty much a Trolly Tour that’s perfect for every age.
Downtown Wisconsin Dells Attractions
Wisconsin Dells has a cute downtown where you can stroll along Broadway Road. It starts at the Wisconsin River and is about 5 blocks long. I will admit it is a little touristy but still a fun area to see. You’ll find shops, restaurants, arcades, museums and more.
There are several fun activities in Downtown. Here you can board the Wisconsin Dells Duck Tour, go bowling, ice skate, and play arcades. You’ll also find Ripleys Believe It or Not Museum where you can explore 3 floors of the world’s best Oddities.
Make sure to check out the little Bavarian Village and see the Glockenspiel clock that goes off every half hour telling the story of the Pied Piper. This is free and located on Broadway Rd.
I would consider the downtown area a year-round spot as you pretty much can do all of it during any season. Learn more in my Downtown Guide.
Off the downtown strip is the Dells Scenic River Walk. This free paved path takes you along the Wisconsin River where you can see the beautiful sandstone bluff without taking a boat ride. You’ll also find benches to rest and take in the view while playing on their game tables.
Find More Things to do in Downtown Wisconsin Dells.
Wisconsin Dells Indoor Waterparks & Resorts
The most popular thing to do in Wisconsin Dells is going to a Waterpark. We love the idea of staying at a waterpark hotel as it’s just more convenient. However, if you are looking to stay somewhere else many of these hotels will offer day passes so you can enjoy the fun too. Wondering which one to stay at? Let me share with you some of our favorite waterpark hotels.
Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge offers a big indoor waterpark that has three sections. You’ll find a wave pool, tons of slides for all ages, sports pool and hot tubs. What’s unique to Great Wolf Lodge is their MagiQuest game where kids use wands to solve quests and slay a dragon. This was the real highlight of this hotel for us and our kids absolutely loved it. They also offer a small outdoor waterpark area too. Get our Great Wolf Lodge review and find out hotel costs.
The Wilderness Resort is huge with 4 indoor and 4 outdoor waterparks. They boast the largest indoor wave pool in America with a glass roof that warms you with the sun. You’ll also find tons of slides, sports pools and smaller kids areas to swim. Besides the pools, they offer a ton of dry activities both indoors and outdoors. Our kids loved the laser tag, 3D mini-golf, go-karts, ropes course, and huge 4 story Timberland Playhouse. Find out more tips for your visit to Wilderness Resort.
Tip: Look into getting the Fun Pass at the Wilderness to take advantage of all the activities and save a little money.
The Kalahari Resort is the largest indoor waterpark in Wisconsin. They have a 125,000 sq ft indoor waterpark with slides, wave pool, tot areas, surfing, lazy river and more. We also love the huge outdoor water park where the slides are bigger and faster for a thrilling ride.
But what really sets this resort apart from the rest is the Tom Foolery Adventure Park. All-day at the waterpark can be a lot so the option for dry activities is key. Tom Foolery offers arcades, rides, rope courses, zip lines, bowling, and virtual reality games. You can also buy day passes for Kalahari and enjoy the fun even if you’re not staying at the resort.
Chula Vista Resort
If your looking for a little more relaxed waterpark try the Chula Vista Resort. Set along the river it has beautiful views and paths to walk. The indoor waterpark is not as big as the others but you also aren’t moving from room to room which was nice. Outdoors you will find a kiddie pool, wave pool, slides, and sports pool. One unique aspect is the Beach area where kids can dig in the sand while you have a drink at their outdoor tiki bar.
As for nonwater activities, you will find a kids’ center to do crafts and games plus an arcade and miniature golf.
Another enormous resort is Mt. Olympus. It has both water and theme parks to enjoy. This is a great place to visit both in the winter and summer months as they have indoor and outdoor theme parks and waterparks. The outdoor theme park has 5 roller coasters, go Karts and amusement rides. The outdoor water park has a wave pool with 9 ft waves, a kiddie wave pool, huge slides, a lazy river and more.
Indoors they have a smaller theme park with bumper cars, climbing walls, and smaller kiddie rides. The indoor waterpark has a mix of small and large slides, a pool area, a lazy river, and hot tubs. The indoor areas may be smaller than the outdoor area but they still have a ton for the kids to do.
If you have older children I think this waterpark and theme park has more for them to do then any other resort. That being said they also have a great mix of activities for younger kids too. On the downside, because this resort is so big your rooms are not connected to the waterpark and theme parks so you may have to drive over to the facilities. Day passes are available too.
Related Article: How to Travel Cheap on Family Vacation|Save Money on Your Next Trip.Booking.com
Camping, RV Sites & Cabins
KOA Wisconsin Dells
The KOA in Wisconsin Dells has a convenient location only 1 mile from Downtown. It’s a KOA Holiday level so the site offers lots of extra amenities like a pool, playground, movie nights, and more.
This is the perfect location to pitch a tent or park your RV. They also have several levels of cabins from basic to full kitchens and bathrooms. It has a very family-friendly atmosphere perfect for traveling with kids.
Wisconsin State Parks & Caves
When you need a break from the Waterparks head to the local Wisconsin State Parks to hike, kayak, swim and play at the beach. You will need to purchase a sticker for your car when parking in the State Parks but the fee is pretty low. A daily vehicle sticker in 2019 was between $13 and $16 with the lower fee going to Wisconsin Residents.
Devil’s Lake State Park
Just 20 minutes south of the Dells you’ll find Devil’s Lake State Park. One of the most visited State Parks in Wisconsin. Here you’ll find easy hiking trails around the lake and harder hikes up the large bluffs. The views on the top of the bluffs though are worth the harder hike.
In the summer months head to their 2 beaches to play in the sand and lake. We also really enjoyed their nature center with small frogs, fish, lizards, and exhibits.
Devil’s Lake does have facilities for food, showers, BBQs, and restrooms for visitors. On the North Shore and South Shore of the lake, you will find dining with a beautiful view of the lake. In the summer months, it gets pretty full so make sure to come earlier in the day.
Read my complete Guide to Devil’s Lake State Park WI to find out everything you need to know before you go.
Rocky Arbor State Park
The Rocky Arbor State Park is only 1.5 miles outside of the Dells but you will feel like your a million miles away from all the hustle and bustle. Here you can go on the many hiking trails, have a picnic and play on the playground. All while being surrounded by pine trees and the sandstone bluffs.
The park is open all year but the parking lot is only open during the season. You can get maps and more information here.
Mirror Lake State Park
Mirror Lake State Park is located only 15 minutes from Downtown Wisconsin Dells but it feels like another world. Visitors will enjoy easy to moderate hikes along the pretty lake and big boulders.
Then head to the beach area perfect for kids or rent a pontoon boat or kayaks to take out on the lake. There are also great spots for fishing throughout the park. Get more details in our Mirror Lake State Park Family Guide.
Cave of the Mounds
Are you interested in exploring a cave with the kids? Cave of the Mounds is about an hour’s drive south of Wisconsin Dells. It would make a great visit on your way to the Dells or on your way home. Why come here? To explore the stunning array of crystal formations and rocks found along the lighted paved pathways in the cave. You will be in Awe!
Kids will enjoy two fun hands-on activities after the tour. They can pretend to be a miner and shift though dirt at the Quarry Edge Mining Sluice to find precious stones. Then head to the Quarry Edge Fossil Dig and become a paleontologist finding hidden fossils and gems in the sand. For a fee, you can take home what you find.
Are you ready now for your family vacation to Wisconsin Dells? Can you believe all the fun things to do in Wisconsin Dells with kids? There are so many cool attractions you will be busy during your whole vacation. I would love to hear your favorite Wisconsin Dells attractions or questions. Just leave them for me in the comments.
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