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Just starting to plan our trip

Which Wisconsin Dells hotels are on sale?
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Nebraska, United...
posts: 412
reviews: 18
Just starting to plan our trip

We are looking to take a family vacation to Wisconsin Dells this summer. We've done Mt. Rushmore, Branson, Worlds of Fun, etc, and want a new fun place that our kids (12, 7, and 3) will love. We're OK with touristy places! We've also invited my sister's family along; they have a 13-yr. old.

At first, I was thinking Great Wolf, but I'm now thinking Wilderness might suit us better. But, I'm open to suggestions! We'd love to do a condo, 3 br or so, reasonably priced.

Any suggestions on where to start? Best bang for your buck? Places to avoid? Must sees and dos?

Thanks!

Iowa
posts: 1,320
reviews: 328
1. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

We really liked staying at the Wilderness. They have several indoor and outdoor waterparks; the resort is really big. In addition to the waterparks, Wildernes also has mini-golf, go carts, laser tag, a paint your own pottery place, arcades, indoor play area, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting.

Kalahari seems to get great reviews too, but we haven't stayed there yet. Kalahari has a small indoor theme park with go carts and a ferris wheel.

For other attractions to do around the Dells I would recommend Wisconsin Deer Park. Noah's Ark also looks like fun; we haven't been there yet though. I bet your older kids would like Wizard Quest; my kids loved it. The 3 year old might be a little young to play the game but would probably still like looking around.

The Upper Dells boat tour is a scenic boat ride that the adults in our travel party really enjoyed, but my 7 year old got bored with it by the end. The duck boat tours might be more appealing to kids.

House on the Rock is about an hour's drive from the Dells, and really neat. Not sure how the 3 year old would do there though.

Minnesota
posts: 775
reviews: 328
2. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

The Wilderness has a great outdoor waterpark and is the best bang for your buck. It is nice to be able to able to be able to have the ability to use the waterpark and return to your room. Glacier Canyon has nice 3 bedroom condos but the Wyndham side of Glacier Canyon is even nicer and we have gotten better rates than we did for the standard Glacier Canyon off of Ebay. You need to ensure that your seller has a top rating.

Nebraska, United...
posts: 412
reviews: 18
3. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

Thank you! Very helpful information. I think I'm more excited than the kids!

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,076
reviews: 128
4. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

The 7 and 3 y.o. would like the Riverside and Great Northern miniature RR. All four kids would like the Rick Wilcox Magic Show. It held the attention of our preschooler. I agree with the previous comment about Wisconsin Deer Park. Everyone would enjoy that. If you are willing to take a day trip, the House on the Rock in Spring Green is a wacky, one-of-a-kind touristy destination that has something for everyone. I will warn you that it is expensive, however. Another day trip most people enjoy is the Circus World Museum in Baraboo. I've gone twice. The first time I loved it. The second time we seemed to hit Grouchy Employee Day. However, no one else has ever commented that this has been a problem, so I still recommend it to people as the attraction itself is really neat and our experience must have been a fluke. I also agree with the previous comment about the Upper Dells Boat Tour. It is very scenic, but all three of our kids were bored and antsy by the end of its three hour destination. If one adult is willing to take the kids to a more kid-friendly attraction while the others ride the boat, that is something to consider. The Ducks rides are shorter and kids like the concept of a vehicle splashing into the water.

Edited: 10:24 am, April 22, 2013
Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,076
reviews: 128
5. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

Sorry, should be "duration", not "destination."

Nebraska, United...
posts: 412
reviews: 18
6. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

Thank you 3174! Very helpful. I've heard the House on the Rock is a great tour, but I looked at the prices online-yikes. That might be a stop on our way home.

I'm very interested if anyone has stayed in a condo at the Dells. I'm looking at a 3 br at Wilderness right now. The price seems very reasonable, but I don't want to get there and have nothing included and have it cost more than just staying in rooms. Any thoughts?

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,076
reviews: 128
7. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

If you're interested in some good coupons, seek out a Culver's restaurant. They have a "Deals in the Dells" card which offers a free kids' admission per paying adult on many Dells attractions. The cards sell out quickly, so you may have to hit more than one Culver's to find one. They are only sold at WISCONSIN locations. Some have suggested requesting one through their website, but I never received one when I tried that.

3rd Chaise to the...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 31
8. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

House on the Rock is really not much for a 3-year-old. There's lots of walking and some of it is a little creepy.

Original Ducks, Deer Park, Drive In movie, maybe the new Lumberjack Show at Paul Bunyan's, Timbavati Wildlife park maybe, Tommy Bartlett Ski Show -- are all fun for all ages. Before you spend too much ahead of time on coupons, be aware that your hotel may also have some "freebies" or deals when you get there. (I bought ski show tickets while I was downtown, then checked at the hotel and they gave me 4 - D'oh!)

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,076
reviews: 128
9. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

To clarify, I should have used the word "offered" instead of "sold." The Deals in the Dells cards, if they are still offered, are free. We saved $60 using ours.

Nebraska, United...
posts: 412
reviews: 18
10. Re: Just starting to plan our trip

We will definitely look for deals. Thanks!

I think I've settled on Wilderness at the Lake for a condo. Good prices, we're not there for a 5-star, and even so the reviews are generally good. We are all ok with walking or taking a shuttle to the main part of the resort. I'm excited to take a crock pot and cook to save some cash. Plus it is healthier than eating out!

Do you all think 3 days is sufficient? Both of our families have lake homes, so we don't want to be out of town over a weekend (it's Nebraska-our nice weather is limited!), therefore we are planning for a Monday-Thursday stay, with travel on Sunday and Friday.