Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Kalahari Resort
- Great Wolf Lodge
- Chula Vista Resort
- Wilderness Resort
- Dry Indoor Winter Activities
- Tommy Bartlett Exploratory
- Outdoor Winter Activities in the Dells
- Cascade Mountain
- Christmas Mountain Village
- The Dells Scenic River Walk
- Devil’s Lake State Park
- Mirror Lake State Park
- Rocky Arbor State Park
- Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.
- Palace Theater in the Dells
- Outlets at the Dells in Baraboo
If you haven’t been, The Dells is hyped as the indoor waterpark capital of the world, making it the ideal winter vacation destination. But there’s way more to explore. Check out outdoor winter activities like snowboarding, snowshoeing and snow tubing plus outlet shopping when you need to warm up. ‘Cause baby it can get cold outside! Here’s everything you’ll want to do in Wisconsin Dells in winter.
I had never even heard of indoor waterparks until my sister and her sons starting taking extended family getaways from Chicago to The Dells. Actually, I’d never even heard of Wisconsin Dells.
The Dells, aka the waterpark capital of the world, is one of the top midwest getaway spots because it has so much to do, and is a short drive from Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. The winter wonderland experience ranges from wave pools to snow tubing hills, and from skiing or snowboarding to shooting down water slides.
The waterpark resorts command more square footage than the ski resorts, so don’t expect expert trails or backcountry skiing. But if you’re looking for wading, sliding and splashing in the middle of winter, there is no better place to go.
And should you find yourself in The Dells in summer, most of the waterpark resorts also have outdoor waterparks. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Read more about the waterpark capital of the world here.
Kalahari Resort, a chain with indoor waterpark resorts in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, has large and small water slides, a water tree fort, water rollercoaster and lazy river. Parents can visit the swim up bar or indoor whirlpools while keeping an eye on older kids.
If you don’t want to stay at Kalahari Resort, you can buy a day pass to use the waterpark resort.
Kalahari Resort also has indoor attractions like an adventure park with black light mini golf laser tag and go karts. The amusement park has rides including an indoor Ferris wheel. If you want to be active, there is a rock climbing wall, a zip line and a ropes course.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Activities like an escape room, virtual reality experience and arcade can really boost the cost of your getaway, so manage expectations in advance.
Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge, which also has locations throughout the US, is like an indoor theme park. The animal theme extends to wolf den accommodations, a daily clock tower show and Great Wolf character meet and greets.
The giant indoor waterpark features a wave pool, a four story water tree house, lots of water slides and a lazy river. A kiddie pool and playground offer lots of fun for young kids.
Chula Vista Resort
Chula Vista Resort has an indoor waterpark with a rain forest, a rapids, lazy river and a water roller coaster.
Join our Private FB Group for more travel inspiration and tips! JOIN HERE
You can buy day passes if you aren’t staying at Chula Vista Resort.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Make sure your child meets the height and weight requirements for the roller coast – at least 50 inches tall and 115 pounds – before promising a ride.
Wilderness Resort, aka Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, has three indoor waterparks, including one that is bathed in sunlight. This means you still have to wear sunscreen or your SPF shirts. But it keeps the waterpark bright and appealing. There is a giant wave pool, family raft rides and a swim-up bar. Another indoor waterpark focuses on tube and body slides, a lazy river and an indoor/outdoor hot spa. The third, a sport pool, has basketball hoops and a ropes course.
After you exhaust all three indoor waterparks, check out Take Flight. This simulated flying ride has several different ‘flights.’ You don’t have to stay at the Wilderness Resort to experience this.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Riders must be at least 4 years old and 32 inches tall to ride. The minimum height for unaccompanied riders is 42 inches tall. And the maximum weight allowance is 300 pounds.
Weather dependent, Wilderness Resort offers short horse drawn wagon rides. Even better, these wooded rides are free with your stay!
Dry Indoor Winter Activities
When you skin begins to prune, you need to seek out other winter activities in The Dells
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge is a live action game played throughout the resort. Groups play together, with wands, to defeat ogres and dragons. ShadowQuest is for older kids. You can play these games for the entire day, so allow enough time. There is also an arcade and a Build a Bear Workshop.
Great Wolf Lodge also has daily story times and an evening dance party if your cubs are on the hunt for more activities.
Tommy Bartlett Exploratory
The interactive science museum, Tommy Bartlett Exploratory has over 175 hands-on exhibits. There are brain-teasers, optical illusions and scientific experiments. A generator makes your hair stand on end.
Outdoor Winter Activities in the Dells
If you want to participate in these outdoor winter activities in the Wisconsin Dells, you will have to pack everything for your getaway. You need bathing suits and water shoes for the indoor waterparks and all your warm winter gear for the cold and fun outdoor winter activities.
Cascade Mountain is a great small ski resort for beginning and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. There are ski lessons and a snow tubing hill for those who don’t want to strap on skis or snowboards. There are 48 trails, four terrain parks and a 900′ long chute for snow tubing.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Cascade Mountain offers kids 12 a free lift ticket when accompanied by a paid adult.
Christmas Mountain Village
Christmas Mountain Village has 16 downhill runs for skiing and snowboarding. There is also a snow tubing hill, with a tow line to bring you back up to the top. There are cross country ski trails too.
If you stay at the resort, you can use the indoor pools, which include a slide. The rest of the year. Christmas Mountain Village has a 27-hole championship golf course, mini golf and paddle boats.
The Dells Scenic River Walk
The Dells Scenic River Walk, overlooking the Wisconsin River and the surrounding bluffs, is free and open year round. In winter, the River Walk sparkles under a cover of snow.
Devil’s Lake State Park
Devil’s Lake State Park allows cross-country skiing anywhere in the park, but does not groom trails or have rentals. If you want to go snowshoeing, the The Nature Center loans snowshoes for free.
Since Devil’s Lake reliably freezes over, you can also go ice fishing here. The state park is hilly enough for sledding, but you need to provide your own.
Mirror Lake State Park
Mirror Lake State Park has trails groomed for cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing and winter hiking is allowed on non-groomed hiking trails. Again, there are no rentals here, so bring your own cross country skis or snowshoes.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Cross country skiers ages 16 years and older have to purchase a trail pass.
Rocky Arbor State Park
Rocky Arbor State Park is open year round for winter hiking and snowshoeing. There are no rentals, so bring your snowshoes.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Check out the park maps to see when and where hunting is allowed before planning your trip.
Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.
Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. has a family-friendly menu including pizza, burgers and pasta. There is a children’s menu and a long list of microbrews for the adults.
Palace Theater in the Dells
The Palace Theater is open year round with Broadway shows and concerts. The month of December at the Palace Theater is devoted to the Christmas show. The theater, across the street from the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, offers meals with shows, but you can see a show without dining.
Outlets at the Dells in Baraboo
If you forget a bathing suit, mittens or boots, or just want to get some deals, head to the Outlets at the Dells in Baraboo.