Our family has been to the Wisconsin Dells twice and had great experiences. Both times we stayed at The Wilderness. In this post I’ll give a review of things we’ve done and tips.
Some tips will be for the Wisconsin Dells in general and some will be specific to The Wilderness.
Wisconsin Dells Tips
1. Print out directions – Getting to the Dells isn’t difficult but you could end up going through places where you have no/limited data coverage on your phone. If this happens to you… you’ll appreciate having printed directions and a map on hand.
2. Forget about how you look in a swimsuit – Let’s get this one out of the way. The Wisconsin Dells is the waterpark capital of the world. That means there’s a good chance you’ll be in a swimsuit part of the time.
You might not feel the most comfortable in a swimsuit. Maybe you’re a little self conscious. Don’t be! Everyone else is probably feeling the same way you are. After 10 minutes near the water you’ll realize no one is looking/judging you.
3. Bring more than one swimsuit – Bring at least two. Three if you have them. Nothing is worse than putting on a cold, wet swimsuit!
4. Get your kids bright swimsuits with stripes – This tip came from my wife. She really appreciated one of my youngest’s suits. It’s because she had no problem picking her out of a crowd when she had it on.
5. There’s a Wal-Mart nearby – Forget something? Need snacks or drinks? There’s a Wal-Mart a few minutes away. We ended up there several times.
6. Go cheap – Speaking of #5, we got a few things there on there on the cheap. $5 sunglasses, $4 swim goggles, and 98 cent flip flops. We had no problem leaving these items on a chair while we were in the water. If they would have been misplaced or stolen it wouldn’t have been a big deal.
7. Sunscreen – Apply sunscreen and apply it often. Nothing will ruin the rest of your vacation faster than a sunburn on day one.
8. Drink lots of water – You’ll be out in the sun, swimming, playing, and having fun. Keep yourself hydrated.
9. Take a break from the waterparks – The Wisconsin Dells are known for their waterparks but there are plenty of other things to do too. It’s good to take a break and get out of the sun.
10. Do a little pre-planning – Pay attention to the weather forecast and do inside things on rainy or cloudy days and save your waterpark time for when it’s sunny.
11. Have a pizza party in your room – There are lots of great restaurants to try but you may just want to “chill” in your room with a pizza. There are plenty of places that deliver. If you want to save some money your best bet is Dominoes. Check online for specials.
12. Ride the Ducks – If you want a laugh, a history lesson, and a scenic ride this is a must. There are a couple different options. Our family did the Original Duck Tour on our first Dells trip and loved it.
13. Take in the Tommy Bartlett Show – This is a must! We had a blast. There’s action, comedy, and more in this 90+ minute show. The 8:30 show has an awesome patriotic finish.
Check online or with your resort for discount coupons. Get advanced, reserved tickets. For just a few bucks more you’ll be closer to the action, have a seat with back, and don’t have to show up extra early. Jenni from Sincerely, Jenni went to this show based on my recommendation and said, “LOVED IT!”
14. Go Zip Lining – If you’re a thrill seeker go on the Bigfoot Zipline Tour. You’ll save money booking your spot in advance. My youngest daughter and I did this with some friends and had a blast!
14. Bring home some Spotted Cow – This is a good beer and you can’t get it outside of Wisconsin.
15. Bring home some cheese curds – You can get these in other states but I think they just taste a little better getting them right from Wisconsin.
The Wilderness Tips
1. Leave the beach towels at home – These are provided. You’ll have dry towels whenever you need them.
2. Get the Fun Pass – This will cost you a little extra but are well worth it. You’ll have fun mini-golfing, doing the ropes course, and more. These are great things to do when you need a break from the sun or it’s raining.
3. There’s a microwave and mini-fridge in your room – Combine this with tip #5 above and you’ll save money on snacks and drinks.
4. Do the Duck Derby – This is a fun event for kids. They get to pick out a rubber duck and put their name on it. Then the ducks race in one of the “lazy rivers”. Our experience has shown that picking a duck with a surf board or anything else to give it a little extra surface area increases your chances of winning. Even if your kid doesn’t win they get to keep their duck.