Wisconsin Dells’ 20 Water Parks, Hundreds of Slides and More

Wisconsin Dells train station, Credit- Flickr-Loco Steve

Wisconsin Dells train station, Credit- Flickr-Loco Steve

by Joseph Sanchez,

Just because you’re a single dad, doesn’t mean you and your kids should miss out on summer vacation memories. Didn’t think the words Wisconsin and summer vacation went together? They do; in a big way. Every year, over 3 million visitors travel to a city called Wisconsin Dells, and it offers every kind of fun a father could have with his kids. Start a family tradition that you’ll all enjoy for years to come by visiting Wisconsin Dells.

What’s With the Name?

The city is the namesake of the 5-mile gorge on the Wisconsin River. Visitors come to delight in the majesty of the 100-foot high cliffs in sandstone rock formations and tributary canyons as they are able to enjoy many outdoor recreational activities within these natural resources.

The other reason people visit the Dells? It is the hottest waterpark destination in the country with over 20 parks and hundreds of slides. With engaging entertainment and attractions for everyone, it’s a perfect alternative to often high-priced Disney theme parks.

Outdoor Sports and Recreation

One of the things that sets the Dells apart from other vacation destinations is the variety of activities offered. One day you could be zooming down a zipline and the next peacefully kayaking on the river along the cliffs. By day, you and the kids can rent wave runners or a pontoon boat and go exploring the river; by night dim the lights to gaze upon the stars from your tent on one of the many campgrounds. Connecting with nature is one of the best ways to connect with the kids.

Lots to Do

Whether a weekend getaway or a longer period of time, you and the kids will have more than enough to do. Whether it’s adventure you seek (roller coasters, go-karts, jet skis, a haunted house) or a completely laid-back experience (glide along Mirror Lake State Park in a kayak, throw a line in the water and take a swim; bike through canopy-lined paths in the wilderness canyon; throw around a baseball at the Rotary Park), you can customize packages or go with the flow at the Dells.

Other outdoor activities include riding horses, hunting club, boat cruises, a riverwalk, bowling and golf. Indoors, play laser tag, take a sky ropes course, ride bumper boats, play 3-D mini golf, do crafts and play board game, paint your pottery, play in an arcade.


The Dells has the largest number of waterparks per capita in the world. Noah’s Ark is the largest of the bunch with 51 waterslides, two huge wavepools, two endless rivers and four kiddie water areas. A number of Wisconsin Dells waterparks are within resorts, some of which you have to be a guest at to enjoy. If you find a certain waterpark you have to hit, be sure you stay at that resort.

There are separate water play areas for toddlers, tweens, teens and adults so no one is left out.


Wisconsin Dells resorts are another draw to the area because they are little villages in themselves. Here are some options to explore:

  • Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort
  • Wintergreen Resort & Conference Center
  • Great Wolf Lodge
  • Noah’s Ark Campground
  • Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort

Talk with the kids and plan the trip together so they feel that they took part in the decision on where to go. It’ll make the experience that much more exciting for them and it will teach them planning and timing skills.

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