We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Which Wisconsin Dells hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Rochester, New York
posts: 10
reviews: 1
If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Traveling from upstate NY to Mt. Rushmore... we have been told a good stop is Wisconsin Dells... but if we do not love waterparks, should we skip it ? What is there to do with 1 adult and a 9 and 10 year old that is NOT waterparks... (too $$$)

Any suggestions or thoughts about whether we should stop there, or somewhere a little before or after that would be better ?

Thanks !

Iowa
posts: 1,295
reviews: 327
1. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

The kids don't like waterparks either?

If you weren't travelling with a 9 and 10 year old, I'd tell you to skip the Dells. But, I do think your kids would probably like it. Non-waterpark things to do for that age group would include riding the ducks, Wisconsin Deer Park, mini-golf, Wizard Quest, go-cart tracks, and buying candy from the fudge shops;-).

I gotta say, though I think the kids at that age would love one of the waterparks. If you don't want to stay at one of the waterpark resorts (which can be $$), you could stay at a less expensive motel and spend the day at Noah's Ark.

Edited: 11:06 pm, March 01, 2013
Jackson, Wisconsin
posts: 402
reviews: 118
2. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Everywhere you turn in the dells is waterparks, mini golf , go karts and bungee jumping. There are a few nice natural areas near by Devil's Lake State Park in particular , but all the other attractions will be catching the kids eyes. If you want to do a waterparks day more reasonably stay at a basic non waterparks hotel and go to Noah's Ark Park.

An alternative area to stop for the night is LaCrosse,WI about another1-11/2 hour further west. laCrossse is right on the Mississippi River

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,742
reviews: 59
3. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Here is a link to a website that lists many, but probably not all of the Dells area attractions dells.com/wisconsin-dells-attractions/wiscon… . Circus World Museum in Baraboo is something to consider. The kids might like a ride on the Original Wisconsin Duck, which travels on land and water thru some scenic areas. The Dells is famous for the boat trips on the river, but the Ducks give you a sense of a boat ride with a little more excitement for kids.

One drawback of the Dells is expensive hotel rooms since it is such a popular tourist area.

Edited: 8:39 am, March 02, 2013
Rochester, New York
posts: 10
reviews: 1
4. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Thanks so much ! I dont want to sound like a grinch :) I actually do take my kids to lots of fun stuff. LOL I just don't want to stay at a hotel with a waterpark etc when the reality is that we want to be out exploring the area, not stuck in one spot ... I could do one day at a park, and will definitely check out that website... They would love the duck ride and circus museum... I am going to check those now..

We are actually probably going to camp at Devils Lake, so i am glad that was a suggestion :)

Will check out Noah's Ark too !

Thanks, this site's contributors sorta rawk. :o)

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,742
reviews: 59
5. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Do you have a reservation for camping at Devils Lake? I'm not a camper myself, but I understand spots fill up far in advance.

Jackson, Wisconsin
posts: 402
reviews: 118
6. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

If you cannot get Devil's Lake , Mirror Lake is also lovely and convenient . We are in the Dells right now and are staying at Cedar Lodge.

It is reasonable, log cabin style lodge on the river, but also includes passes to Chula Vista waterparks.

Rockford, Illinois
posts: 252
reviews: 125
7. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

The Dells boat tour is very nice. You go on a narrated tour of the river, then get off the boat in a few places to walk around and explore.

Minnesota
posts: 717
reviews: 297
8. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

Many of the things that you can do in the Dells you can also do in Rapid. The Dells is known for their waterparks, but since that is not your thing, I would skip the Dells and save my $ for the same or similar attractions in Rapid City.

WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
posts: 4,617
reviews: 94
9. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

If you're passing through it's worth a stop there's lots of fun area places--Baraboo's Circus World, Devils Lake State Park, the International Crane Foundation, Deer Park, the Original Wisconsin Ducks. There's the HH Bennett Studio if you like photography. The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory is funky, a blast from the past and the ski, sky, and stage show (Tommy Bartlett) is neat. There's an old time photo shop, horseback riding, and more.

Waupaca, WI
Destination Expert
for Gay Travel
posts: 563
reviews: 80
10. Re: If we don't love waterparks, should we skip Wisconsin Dells

yes