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Wisconsin Dells

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Trip List by TamWI

Do the Wisconsin Dells

Mar 30, 2007  
4.0 of 5 bubbles based on 9 votes

For people with small children and a limited budget.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Wisconsin Dells
  • Category: Perfect day
  • 1. Fields Park Motel
    Field's Park Motel, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    For the savvy traveler who wants the big water park without having to listen to the running up and down the hall all night or the expensive price tag. The Fields Park Motel is owned by the Wilderness and you get braclets which get you into their several indoor and outdoor waterparks. Accomodations are standard plain jane motel but it's clean and the staff is nice.

    The only drawback is that the Wilderness is on the other side of the Dells. You have to drive from the downtown area (where Fields is located within a block or two off the strip) all the way around. Also, Wilderness is big and BUSY so keep a close eye on your children.

    A few of the big hotel/waterparks have this arrangement so check out the little motels. I believe the Flamingo is owned by Noah's Ark, etc.

  • 2. Grand Marquis Resort Hotel & Suites
    Grand Marquis Waterpark Hotel & Suites, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    Slightly pricier, for people who don't want to leave the hotel to do a waterpark. A nice hotel for small children. There are 2 indoor and 1 outdoor pool. One of the indoor pools has easy water slides that our 4 & 6 year olds could go down alone. A hot tub nearby for parents so they can watch and soak. Not recommended for children over 8 or so who are looking for more drama.

    The Atlantis and the Polynesian also cater to smaller children.

  • 3. Danny's Diner

    Owner operated diner. Good breakfast buffet (they'll cook your eggs to order while you pile your plate with other things). Great at working with children. Very very clean.

    For a lighter appetite, pick up some fruit or other snacks at Zinke's Market a few blocks south of Main Street. Several of the restaurants also advertise delicious cinnamon rolls that you can take out.

  • 4. Wiley's Woods
    MagiQuest, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    Wiley's Woods is a part of Great Wolf Lodge but they do allow outsiders to enjoy for a price. Very fun for children over 4 (the younger ones can come but they won't want to race for the top, one of the adults may want to save the money and take the little ones for a walk in the Tanger Outlet mall in the next parking lot). It's a game which involved using an electronic necklace or pin which records your score. You run around doing various activities with nerf balls; shooting them from cannons, collecting them for various machines or activities. The top scores for various age groups flash up on the screens. You climb higher and higher getting as many points as you can or just enjoying the manic ball throwing, climbing, shooting.

    I've got boys and they love it, very worth the purchase price.

  • 5. Original Wisconsin Ducks
    Original Wisconsin Ducks, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    I have spent my life avoiding this because I thought it would be a lame tour. We went with 4 children under 6 and we all had a great time! Drivers speed through forest paths, splash you into the Wisconsin River and Lake Delton, and show you the beautiful substrate walls which originally made the Dells famous. Better than the hours long boat tours they have.

    Be prepared, drivers get a commission from a book they try to sell at the end of the tour. Most of them are college kids trying to make some money but it can feel awkward.

  • 6. Parson's Indian Trading Post

    This combination of Indian artifacts and gift shop has been in the Dells a long time. It used to be where Black Bart's buffet is now. There was a large park behind it to walk through and a train to ride. It was a definite must-see for every Dells visit.

    The land was sold and the building moved. It's just a large collection of Indian objects and gift store but its still worth a stop if you're interested in Indian artifacts.

  • 7. Pirate's Cove Mini Golf
    Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    If it's a beautiful day this is a fun activity. Even with the little ones (last time we went Pirate's Cove did not charge for children under 4 but still had little clubs for them) there are several courses with different experience levels (easy, moderate, hard) so you don't feel rushed by the teenagers behind you.

    While you're playing older children can read about Captain Kidd and other pirates on the progressive signs. When you're done you can play at the free playground in the back or walk down to Aunt Jenny's Got It All store.

  • 8. Great Northern Railway

    Tucked away from the hustle of the Dells is a tiny train and gift shop. It's not as large as the Mid-continental railway in Freedom, WI which has a real steam train and small museum and makes hour long rides, but if you're in town for the day this small train (the size they used in the Milwaukee Zoo) is perfect for small children and a nice quiet time for parents.

  • 9. Rocky Rococos

    Pizza extravaganza. It's probably not the best pizza in town, but its pretty good and while you're waiting you can watch cartoons on the wall screen or play skeeball in the back.

    Great for tired parents with kids who aren't ready to quit yet. Located over by Timberfalls.

  • 10. The Big Sky Drive-in Theater

    A nice drive in, just like when we were kids, located just outside of the Wisconsin Dells. The Big Sky is operated by the owner and his family and plays 2 double features May-October. A concession stand is available with everything from popcorn to Big Mama burgers. Throw your sleeping bags in the back of the van and let the kids fall asleep while you and your sweetie cuddle up for the second feature.

  • 11. Avoid these:

    The Haunted House, The Loony Bin, The 'upside down' white house, Ripley's Believe it or not. Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, Black Bart's Buffet.

  • 12. Better with older children:

    Noah's Ark, shopping on Main Street, Mt. Olympus (go-karts are great and worth the inflated price), Extreme World, trendier restaurants like the Cheese Factory (vegetarian), Sargentos, or Moose Jaw (although they do have a playroom downstairs which is great for kids if you're willing to pay the extra money for the food).