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4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

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Perry, Iowa
posts: 34
reviews: 32
4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

This summer will be our fourth trip to the Dells. We LOVE the Dells, but we have ridden the boat rides, checked out Ripley's Believe It or Not, went to Circus World, etc. What we love most about the Dells is the natural beauty (and the water parks, of course) so we will visit both major water parks, the Deer Park and Devil's Lake State Park again on our trip. Our kids are 9 and 15 and we are an adventurous family who loves finding off-beat, unusual, kitschy attractions. Does anyone have any recommendations for local favorites, hidden gems or other odd landmarks? Last year, we did pull over and look at the Forevertron, but it wasn't open and we only looked through the fence. Thank you!

WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
posts: 4,598
reviews: 94
1. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

there are some listed here--Top Secret, etc.:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/location/wi

if you don't get a chance to see Forevertron catch a glimpse from American Pickers:

history.com/shows/american-pickers/videos/am… (the episode may be available on youtube too).

Edited: 11:32 am, June 19, 2013
WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
posts: 4,598
reviews: 94
2. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

you could check out (for the natural beauty) Rocky Arbor State Park, Mirror Lake State Park and Parfrey's Glen (part of Devil's Lake State Park).

dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/rockyarbor/

http://mirrorlakewisconsin.com/

devilslakewisconsin.com/information-center/…

extra ideas near Baraboo maybe the Big Cat Rescue:

http://www.wisconsinbigcats.org/

The International Crane Foundation:

www.savingcranes.org

Edited: 11:36 am, June 19, 2013
WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
posts: 4,598
reviews: 94
3. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

travelwisconsin.com/blog/guest-bloggers/wisc…

If you haven't while in the area for kitschy check out the House on the Rock (day trip) in Spring Green, WI:

http://www.thehouseontherock.com/ It's a must do once attraction in Wisconsin (take all three tours, even the bathrooms) and spend about four hours there.

Edited: 11:41 am, June 19, 2013
Iowa
posts: 1,291
reviews: 327
4. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

The kids would probably like Wizard Quest, if you haven't done that already.

You could go tubing, if the weather is decent. I think it's River's Edge that rents the tubes and will pick you up when you're done. Another idea would be to rent a pontoon for the day.

For sure visit House on the Rock; it's incredible.

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,755
reviews: 128
5. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

Definitely do House on the Rock. It is the epitome of kitschy. If you are visiting Devil's Lake, try doing the free auto ferry at Merrimac. It is a short ride, but again it's free and your younger child may like the experience if he/ she has never been on an auto ferry.

3rd Chaise to the...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 31
6. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

I also endorse House on the Rock. Your kids are at the ages where they will appreciate it.

There is also a new Lumberjack show this summer at Paul Bunyan's. Have not see it yet.

Perry, Iowa
posts: 34
reviews: 32
7. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

Thanks for all of the tips! I have heard about House on the Rock, but have never visited. I also want to check out the Big Cat Rescue. One more month - I don't know if we can handle the anticipation! Visiting the Dells used to be an adventure every two years - now we are on a yearly schedule.

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,755
reviews: 128
8. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

A couple tips for House on the Rock: It is spendy, so brace yourself for that. Also, plan how you are going to do lunch ahead of time. Either eat at one of the restaurants along the tour or do a picnic lunch BEFORE the tour. Once you start the tour, it is a challenge to exit should you want to go outside for a picnic lunch. Despite these things, we still enjoyed our time there and highly recommend it.

Wisconsin Dells
posts: 23
9. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

Here are a couple of ideas - Mirror Lake State Park is no-wake so it is a great place to kayak or try Stand Up Paddleboarding. Ziplining at Chimney Rock Park Zip Line Tours - Vertical Illusions. Go back in time with a drive-in movie at Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater. If you haven't been, H.H. Bennett Studio is great to see the history of Wisconsin Dells.

South Bend, Indiana
posts: 921
reviews: 132
10. Re: 4th Trip - Looking for "Off the Beaten Path" Ideas

We just visited Cave of the Mounds down by Mt Horeb, which is about 45 minutes south of the Dells. I had never been in a cave like this and my 9 year old daughter and I loved it.

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