Most Popular Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells, WI

With the largest concentration of water parks in the world, how could Wisconsin Dells be anything but get-wet fun? But while it’s the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” there are plenty more fun things to do in Wisconsin Dells, WI! With its enthralling landscapes, dynamic museums, and world-class wildlife centers, this riverside city brims with family-friendly attractions.

Tour the winding Wisconsin River for breathtaking views of the area’s soaring sandstone cliffs. Revel in the tranquil beauty of Mirror Lake State Park. Experience history brought to life at the Riverside & Great Northern Railway. And, of course, get wet and wild at Noah’s Ark Waterpark, the largest outdoor water park in the country.

Ready to plan the perfect Southern Wisconsin vacation? Grab this handy guide to the most popular places to visit in Wisconsin Dells, WI, and get ready to dive in!

Must-see places to visit in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Timbavati Wildlife Park

Home to more than 400 animals from around the world, Timbavati Wildlife Park is a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts. This 25-acre haven offers plenty of ways to get up close and personal with its residents.

Hop aboard the Safari Train Ride at Timbavati Wildlife Park, and you’ll spot kangaroos, monkeys, tigers, pandas, lions, and more – all at home in carefully recreated habitats.

Explore the Waterfalls Area, a shelter for waterfowl. Hang out with some really big cats in the Feline Center. Get chatty at the Parakeet Encounter, or take a stroll in the Kangaroo Walkabout.

Drop in at the park’s on-site nurseries, teeming with new additions like monkeys and baby kangaroos. Watch park staff tending to the newbies, then stop off at the petting zoo for a truly “hands-on” experience.

Wizard Quest

Are you a fan of virtual reality games? Then venture into the magical realm of Wizard Quest, a 30,000-square-foot labyrinth of pure fantasy. Summon up your role-playing skills and embark on a supernatural scavenger hunt during your Wisconsin Dells holiday.

Wizard Quest

Your challenge: Find a way to liberate captive wizards by braving your way through a maze of mysterious rooms, hidden passageways, traps, and other trickery. Conjure up your sorcery skills and embark on your Wizard Quest adventure by picking up your magic wand and using its powers to navigate through a series of fantasy scenarios.

Travel through the Quadrasphere, journeying through realms of fire, water, earth, and air. Make it a family mission to discover clues, solve riddles, uncover secret passages – and bring back the wizards!

Noah’s Ark Water Park

When you’re visiting Wisconsin Dells, you have to sample some waterpark excitement. Just cut to the chase and go big at Noah’s Ark Water Park, the largest outdoor waterpark in the United States.

Sprawling across 70 acres, Noah’s Ark Waterpark is a quick 3-mile jaunt from downtown. With over 50 different water slides, plus a slew of pools, splash pads, and children’s playgrounds, there’s something for every water lover here.

Noah's Ark Water Park

Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline pumping on the Point of No Return body slide, plunging ten stories in five seconds. Ride a heart-pounding water roller coaster, and keep the excitement going with whitewater rafting.

Want a gentler experience? Roll with the flow in one of the park’s big wave pools – or just relax and let the current float you down the lazy river.

When you feel like drying out, check out the on-site arcade games and 4D theater, and refuel at the park’s plentiful food trucks.

Wisconsin Deer Park

If you have a special fondness for doe-eyed creatures, gaze into some big brown eyes at the Wisconsin Deer Park. Spread over 40 acres, the Wisconsin Deer Park is the perfect spot to interact with wildlife in a serene natural setting.

Animal enthusiasts of all ages can meet, feed, and mingle with a diverse population. The main residents at Wisconsin Deer Park are Virginia white-tailed deer, but you’ll also come across bison, elk, lemurs, llamas, and more.

Wisconsin Deer Park

Before heading out, fill your pockets with the park’s specialized deer feed—it’ll make you very popular with the locals—and then hit the scenic trails for some unforgettable up-close encounters.

If you’re visiting Wisconsin Dee Park in late spring, you’ll be treated to the sight of newborn fawns. During late summer and fall, pack your binoculars and camera to capture images of majestic stags in all their antler finery.

Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area

Put the hustle on hold to discover the region’s ultimate attraction: unsullied nature. You’ll find it at its pristine peak in the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area. This is the site of the Upper Dells, the towering sandstone cliffs carved out by glaciers 500 million years ago.

Today, Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area stretches five miles along the Wisconsin River Corridor. With a jaw-dropping gorge, spectacular cliffs, narrow canyons, and stunning rock formations, this slice of wilderness is a geological treasure.

Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area

Glide through this natural paradise by kayak, canoe, or boat. Gaze up at magnificent old-growth forests perched atop the Cambrian sandstone. Marvel at a mosaic of rare plant species that clings to the cliff faces. Look skyward, and you’ll spot soaring eagles and osprey.

Head ashore to River Road, and follow the scenic Chapel Gorge Trail to a small, secluded beach where you can bask in (nearly) solitary splendor.

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

If you want to sample some hands-on, family-friendly fun, take in a full serving at the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory. Part science lab and part playground, this unique attraction is bound to enthrall everyone in your entourage.

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

From humble beginnings in the ‘50s, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory has grown into one of Wisconsin Dells’ most popular attractions. Step inside, and you’ll discover a mind-blowing array of more than 175 exhibits that explore space and science in fun, fascinating ways.

Sit inside an authentic Russian space station module—one of just three ever produced—and picture yourself hurtling through space. See if you’ve got what it takes to lift a 5,000-pound vehicle off the ground with the Giant Lever. Test your tightrope talent on the SkyCycle as you pedal a circus-style bike across a highwire, and see how you measure up against competitors at the virtual sports center.

Mirror Lake State Park

Seeking serenity? Head to Mirror Lake State Park and savor slowly. This 2,200-acre oasis comes by its name honestly: the lake’s surface is often so calm it resembles glass, creating beautiful reflections of the forests and cliffs that line the shore.

With its smooth surface, Mirror Lake State Park is a paddlers’ paradise. Slide into a kayak or canoe and glide over the lake’s cliff-walled waters.

Mirror Lake State Park

Head ashore to explore over 20 miles of hiking trails. Birders will want to make a beeline for Mirror Lake Pine Oak Forest, a designated state natural area that offers lush bird habitats.

Want to make it an overnight? Reserve a spot at one of the park’s wooded campsites. You can also check out summer rental options ranging from wilderness resorts to log cabins—or stay in style at Seth Peterson Cottage, a rare Frank Lloyd Wright design.

Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk

Get off the beaten downtown path with a quick detour on the Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk. Spanning about a quarter of a mile, this beautiful public space offers panoramic views of the Wisconsin River, the sandstone bluffs, and a backdrop of majestic stands of pine.

Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk

Run, walk, or bike the Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk—but stop off along the way to check out informative markers detailing The Dells’ fascinating history. You’ll also discover game tables and park benches en route, an open invitation to pause and savor the lovely riverside views.

And here’s something else to savor: “Soul of the River,” an open-air art gallery that pays tribute to the Wisconsin River and the people who have called it home. Trace Wisconsin Dells’ rich human history in these striking photographs, then stroll to the nearby River Walk Pub to fuel up on great views, cold drinks, and live music.

Rick Wilcox Magic Theater

In the mood to ooh and ahh? You’ll discover plenty to be amazed by at the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater in Lake Delton. Sit back and prepare to be awed by one of the most unique attractions in the Wisconsin Dells: 90 minutes of mesmerizing magic.

A blend of magic, comedy, and illusion, the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater is the creation of master illusionists Rick and Suzan Wilcox. Marvel as the pair perform everything from big, bold illusions to delicate sleight of hand. The performance might begin (spoiler alert!) with a motorcycle ride and end with a snowfall!

The performing duo keeps their show fresh and fun by updating it every year with the latest in Abracadabra. Stick around after the show for a Q&A with the stars. (They just might let you in on some sorcery secrets!)

Riverside & Great Northern Railway

Soak up some history on the move at the Riverside and Great Northern Railway. Operating for 75 years, this intriguing 15-inch gauge miniature railway brings the charm of a bygone era to life.

Hop aboard Riverside & Great Northern Railway for a scenic three-mile cruise through the beautiful Wisconsin Dells countryside. Revel in up-close views of stunning canyons, amazing rock formations, and the deep woods along the Wisconsin River.

Want to refine your railroading smarts? Back at the station, check out the museum’s interactive learning workshops to pick up pointers on the mechanics of steam engines and the fine art of conducting.

Before you leave, be sure to pop into the gift shop to browse for a railway-themed memento (including Thomas the Tank Engine memorabilia).

Devil’s Lake State Park

If you’re a nature enthusiast looking for a delicious mix of breathtaking scenery and loads of family-friendly outdoor action, dig into the spectacular Devil’s Lake State Park. Stretching along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, this is the most-visited state park in Wisconsin.

And it’s no wonder! With breathtaking 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake, this outdoor enclave is enthralling. With almost 30 miles of scenic trails, swimming beaches, paddle-friendly waters, and lakeside picnic spots, Devil’s Lake State Park is the great outdoors at its best.

Devil's Lake State Park

Start at the Nature Center to prep yourself for your day and get the scoop on park activities. Check out a 3D park model to help you plan your hike. Explore the Center’s wildlife exhibits, and learn about how Devil’s Lake’s amazing landscape was formed. Let little ones enjoy hands-on displays in the kids’ exploration room.

Then hit the trail or the lake for your Devil’s Lake adventure!

Dells Boat Tours

Want to make the most of your Wisconsin Dells sightseeing? Leave the driving to somebody else! Hop aboard the Dells Boat Tours for a spectacular guided cruise along the winding Wisconsin River through the region’s stunning landscape.

Drink in spectacular views at every turn as the boat cruises past breathtaking sandstone cliffs and otherworldly rock formations. The Dells Boat Tour crew will fill you in on the region’s intriguing history as you drift through narrow canyons and rocky passageways.

Dells Boat Tours

You’ll arrive at one of the most exclusive destinations in the Wisconsin Dells: Witches Gulch. This deep slot canyon is a local icon, accessible only via tour boat. Disembark, and take a trek through scenic rocky outcrops and intriguing narrow passages.

For a truly memorable experience, book a sunset cruise to enjoy dinner, music, and an enchanting torch-lit walk through the gulch. Witchy!

Christmas Mountain Village

Wisconsin Dells really doesn’t have an “off” switch when it comes to seasons. If you’re looking for an idyllic break from the urban bustle, book into the Christmas Mountain Village, one of the state’s most popular year-round destinations.

This full-service resort is probably best known for its 27-hole championship-level golf course. But not to worry: Christmas Mountain Village lives up to its name with an abundance of winter activities. Skiers can take their pick of 16 slopes ranging from beginner to advanced, and the truly daring can go off-piste in the backcountry.

Snow fans cross-country ski, snowshoe, hit the tubing hill, or pitch a tent for an overnight stay. Or stay cozy in one of the log cabins, cottages, and villas available to rent. Dine at the on-site restaurant, or pick up some fixings for a DIY meal at the village market.

Rocky Arbor State Park

You don’t have to travel far to take a breather from the busy Wisconsin Dells vacation community. Just minutes away, you can enjoy the seclusion of beautiful Rocky Arbor State Park. Spanning 244 acres, this state-protected oasis was established in 1932 to protect the extraordinary sandstone outcrops that have been carved into the landscape over millennia.

Rocky Arbor State Park

Explore hiking trails that’ll take you through a mosaic of mesmerizing environments. Traverse thriving wetlands, or hike through pine forests and head cliffside to savor some amazing views. Take your time, listen to the sounds of the forest, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like deer, raccoons, and chipmunks.

Let the kids burn off energy on the playground, then stretch out for a meal on the picnic grounds. Want to stay longer at Rocky Arbor State Park? Stake out a spot at one of the wooded campsites, and hunker down for a night under the stars.

Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.

Looking for a family-friendly eatery that’ll be a hit with both kids and adults? You’ll score a home run at Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. This roomy, rustic restaurant and craft brewery has it all: craft beer, terrific bar eats, great kids’ meals, and an arcade where everyone can get their game on.

Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.

Dig into Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. specialties like freshly-made pizza or classic comfort foods like pasta and burgers. Check out a mouthwatering all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet featuring favorites like Eggs Benedict, Pancakes, and waffles.

This is Wisconsin Dells’ only brewpub, so when the sun’s over the yardarm, check out their selection of 12 on-tap craft brews. The brewery is on the second floor, so feel free to head upstairs and see where the magic is made!

Fawn Creek Winery

If you’re a fan of the grape, you’ll want to put Fawn Creek Winery on your must-taste bucket list. This popular, family-owned business grows its own grapes and produces and bottles its ambrosia on-site.

Nestled in the Dell Prairie forest, Fawn Creek Winery invites you to take your time, browse, and savor. Stroll through the vineyard, hit the mini-golf course, meander down to the historic sugar shack, or test your skills on the yard games scattered around the grounds.

When you want to get down to serious tasting, you’re spoiled for choice. Whether you’re a fan of rich reds, sweet whites, or fruit-infused nectars, you’ll find something to please your palate.

And on summer weekends, you’ll find plenty to please your musical palate when the winery transforms into a vibrant live music venue. Enjoy some tunes while you tipple: this People’s Choice award winner has got you covered!

Bella Goose Coffee

Care for a dash of art to go with your cup of coffee? Javaphiles flock to Bella Goose Coffee on Wisconsin Dells Parkway to fill up on both.

This laid-back coffee shop is a one-stop shop for a mind-boggling assortment of specialty coffees, including some deliciously creative lattes. Bella Goose Coffee is a small-batch roaster that sources its beans from around the world, making for super-fresh, flavorful brews.

No need to be a coffee hound to find a great sip at Bella Goose: you can take your pick from a tasty menu of teas, smoothies, and fresh juices.

And there’s more to tempt your tastebuds. Dig into made-from-scratch goodies, including fresh-baked biscuits, waffles, wraps, and pastries.

Take time to browse the displays of locally-made handcrafted goods while you sip, or take a seat on the back deck and savor a beautiful view of the winding Wisconsin River.


Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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