It’s easy in life to get so caught up in the serious business of everyday bustle that you forget to have fun. Happily, there’s a temporary fix to be found on the Wisconsin River, the Wisconsin Dells – at times it might be a little, well, too much fun – but it certainly will entertain you, even if it won’t garner you shorter office hours once you’re back at work.
Wisconsin Dells is the queen bee of water parks, boasting wet stuff indoors, outdoors, twisting, dropping, churning – it’s a tangle of inner tubes and boogie board cords. And for those who want a little adrenaline rush without getting wet, rest easy – there are roller coasters to go around. If you need time to digest your afternoon ice cream, consider a relaxed game of miniature golf, a trip through the haunted house or catch water-skiers strutting their stuff in a Tommy Bartlett stunt-packed show. There might not be any real celebrities lurking about, but you can get up close and personal with their wax counterparts at the Wax World of the Stars, or brush up on all things bizarre at Ripley’s Believe or Not. For a fresh look at the Dells, get your tickets now for a ride on the steam training following narrow-gauge track into the countryside.
If you think it’s time to (sort of) get back to nature, hop a horse-drawn carriage for a leisurely ride into the canyons, or saddle up for a horseback ride. You might not expect to find herds of elk patronizing the water parks (and they don’t), but they’re surprisingly close by – head to the Nanchas Elk Ranch and get a closer look at impressive bull racks au natural.
While visitors might come expecting crowds (and not in error), the flip side to this full-on fun-oriented destination are the very pretty stretches of bluff framed river just a short boat cruise away. If that sounds too straight forward, consider taking a road-river tour on a “Duck” (an amphibious landing craft that now serve a much more peaceable role), or doing some time in a canoe.
For an interlude a little less flash, spend an hour or two perusing the exhibits and photography at H.H. Bennett Studio and History Center.
Finally, winter visitors shouldn’t worry that this area peters out with first snow: there are plenty of indoor water park attractions and ski runs at Devil’s Head are only a quick drive out of the Dells.
The Wisconsin Dells are 15 miles north of Baraboo and 57 miles northwest of Madison.