Despite its small population, the Dells houses some of the finest family-friendly activities in Wisconsin. From the largest waterpark resort in America to a fun day of sledding, the Dells has plenty to offer for visitors and tourists this 2020. So, if you’re looking for something fun to do with the family, here’s a list of some great activities to try out and places to see this 2020!
Ice skating is a fun winter activity for families and individuals of any age. Though it can be dangerous for an older person, it’s still enjoyable to come along and watch the family enjoy their time on the ice (and watch them struggle). There are a few different ice-skating rinks in Wisconsin Dells, including the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena and The Keg.
Lake Delton (Poppy Waterman) Ice Arena
The Lake Delton Ice Arena offers public ice skating every Wednesday night from 6pm to 8pm and Sundays from 5pm to 7pm. They also offer skating lessons for kids, have a skate club, pro shop, and plenty of fun family-friendly events. Public skate ticket prices are not on sale at the moment, but they occasionally have some deals, discounts, or promotions, so follow their Facebook page and keep an eye out. Also, if you’re interested in having the entire rink to yourself, it is available to rent for an event, team, or organization!
The Keg is a restaurant in downtown Wisconsin Dells that serves gyros, burgers, and homemade pizza, with a full bar and a patio for live music. Aside from their delicious food and lovely atmosphere, what makes this restaurant unique is their ice rink! Their ice rink is smaller than the one at the Lake Delton Ice Arena, but this one is outside and open year-round (clever use of synthetic ice). The ice rink is open on Saturdays from 11am to 8pm, and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. Follow The Keg’s Facebook page for all upcoming events and possible discounts!
The Wilderness Resort has a veritable monopoly on waterparks in Wisconsin—it’s the single largest waterpark resort in all of America! Located in Wisconsin Dells, the resort has multiple buildings occupying over 600 acres with both indoor and outdoor waterpark equipment. The entire Wilderness Resort boasts around 500,000 square feet (12 football fields) worth of waterpark activities and family-fun. The cost of the waterpark is baked into the price of lodging, so staying with the resort grants you access to everything it has to offer. When it comes to accommodation, they spare no expense; they have hotel rooms, villas, elegant and spacious condominiums, and beautiful cabins. The hotel rooms sleep up to four people at a time, while larger groups of people (14+) can rent the condos or cabins! The resort offers a variety of lodging accommodations and tons of fun activities for the family.
The resort has a bundle of deals upcoming this 2020. In January, their “Weekday Deal” offers room rentals starting at $119 a night and includes a free room upgrade. They also have a “stay 2 weeknights and get the 3rd night 50% off” deal, $25 off per night for every weekday cabin stay, and the “Weekender Special,” which includes 2 nights at the resort starting at $325. The Weekender Special and Weekday Deal extend through March, so you do have some time on those, but the others are only through February
Overall, the Wilderness Resort lives up to its title of the largest waterpark in America. It offers plenty to do, whether it be family fun with the kids or a quiet night out for drinks and dancing with your significant other.
Now that we’ve covered a fancy (and a tad spendy) resort let’s cover something simpler and much cheaper: sledding! Not much can beat grabbing some sleds and a tube and hitting a pleasant hill for some sledding. It’s cheap (free once you have the sleds), fun, and easily accessible for families with younger children. They’re a bit harder to find, but we did a little digging and unearthed a few hills in the Dells that are excellent sledding locations.
Devil’s Lake State Park
Not only does Devil’s Lake provide breathtaking scenery, but there’s also a great little sledding hill at the north corner of the park. The hill is past the campground down a road that leads to the nature center! The spot has gained popularity over the years, so it’s relatively easy to find.
Bowman Park is a perfect choice for a day of sledding with the family. It’s naturally sloped downwards, but not too steeply, making it ideal for tubing or sledding with kids. The park is also extremely convenient because of its downtown location.
Wisconsin State Fair Deals
The Wisconsin State Fair is a huge annual event with tons of attractions, shopping, and entertainment. Aside from some fantastic rides, slides, and other attractions, the State Fair has live music, animal racing shows, plays, food, delicious “Fare” favorite foods, shopping deals, barn closures, horticulture exhibits, textile & craft exhibits, art exhibits, and much more.
Though the 2020 state fair isn’t until August, the tickets are on sale now! The admission ticket prices are currently $14 for adults (12 & over), $8 for seniors, vets, and children under the age of 12. Admission for kids under 5 years old is free. Aside from buying a ticket directly from the venue, there are also a variety of ways to earn a single free ticket or multiple tickets!
Ways to score a free admission ticket:
- Donate blood: Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin is offering a free state fair admission ticket to anyone who donates a pint of blood.
- Buy accessories: U.S. Cellular, which hosts the state fair, is offering four free admission tickets to anyone who buys $100 worth of accessories at participating locations.
- Read books: This offer by the Waukesha & Jefferson County Libraries is exclusively for kids. If your child participates in the Universe of Stories Summer Reading Program, they’ll receive a free admission ticket. There is a similar promotion through the Milwaukee county library for teens, which follows a slightly different reading program.
- Buy Miller Lite: You’ll receive a free state fair admission ticket with a purchase of a 24 or 30-pack of Miller Lite or Miller Genuine Draft beer.
- Buy Leinenkugel’s Craft beer: Leinenkugel’s is also offering a free ticket with a purchase of a single 24-pack or two 12-pack bottles of their Craft Beer.