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Timbavati Wildlife Park

Timbavati Wildlife Park

Timbavati Wildlife Park

  • Timbavati Wildlife Park
  • Feed Giraffes
  • Timbavati
  • Education - Interaction
  • Timbavati Penguins
  • Timbavati Wildlife Park
  • Timbavati
  • Wildlife
  • Timbavati Wildlife Park
Timbavati Wildlife Park Map
Address:
2220 Wisconsin Dells PkwyWisconsin Dells 53965
Phone:
(608) 253-2391
Open:
May - November - Call for hours
Website:
http://www.timbavatiwildlifepark.com
Contact:
X
Phone:
(608) 253-2391
 
Phone:
(920) 765-0382
Fax:
(608) 253-3630
 
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Overview

Inside the walls of Timbavati, view, touch and feed over 350 animals representing 70+ species. Take a ride on the Safari Train or take a ride on one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world. The Safari Train used to be Engine #9 at Fort Dells. We revamped it, gave it over a half mile of new track and made it the Wildlife Ride through the African pastures. The camel goes back a little further than Fort Dells to ancient Egypt before the time of the Pharaoh’s - and you can ride one at Timbavati. What can you say about the giraffe except - wow! Feeding the world’s tallest land mammal is an experience you’ll never forget. Don’t forget the pig races, the nurseries (babies, babies and more babies), wildlife interactions, petting zoos and more. Think of Timbavati for your next group outing, birthday party, reunion, corporate outing or school trip. 

 
Convention Overview
Spend the day viewing rare & amazing animals. Feed the giraffes & enjoy our educational wildlife shows, unique petting zoo & funny pig races. Concession stands & picnic shelters on site. Gift shop, go-carts & historic train. Enoyable for all ages!
     
    Timbavati Wildlife Park Deals
    Buy One Park Admission Ticket, Get Free Safari Train Adventure Ticket

    Buy one regularly priced park admission ticket and receive a free safari train adventure ticket! With your all day admission to Timbavati's Wilflife Park, you will be able to enjoy over 65 species of animals, along with climbing aboard our safari train ride. 

      
    Valid:09/11/2014 - 10/31/2014
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    Buy One Park Admission Ticket, Get Free Safari Train Adventure Ticket

    Buy one regularly priced park admission ticket and receive a free safari train adventure ticket! With your all day admission to Timbavati's Wilflife Park, you will be able to enjoy over 65 species of animals, along with climbing aboard our safari train ride. 

      
    Valid:09/11/2014 - 10/31/2014
    Terms / Conditions:

    Monday through Friday ONLY. One coupon per person (individual must purchase admission to Timbavati Wildlife Park in full). Offer must be mentioned and presented at time of purchase. Regardless of circumstances, coupon cannot be applied retroactively. Offer is non-transferable, nonsalable, not redeemable for cash and cannot be used in conjuction with any other offer or promotion. Some restrictions may apply, contact business for most current information. 

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    Add Your Timbavati Wildlife Park Story
    Timbavati Wildlife Park
     
    Timbavati Wildlife Park Stories
    07/31/2012We visited Timbavati Wildlife Park again this year. It was the highlight experience of our trip to the Dells! We were intrigued with the "Great Wall" surrounding the attraction. But that was only the beginning. We were politely greeted and invited in to ride a beautifully restored train to meet up with a pair of elegant giraffe who peered down at us and then gently took the carrots we offered them right out of our hands. We were impressed with the habitats that the animals obviously enjoyed. Our grandchildren will have good and pleasant memories of that day. To Timbavati, our regards. Your park is beautiful and well thought out, with happy and healthy plant and animal life.
    -Rita 
    03/12/2010I was there in 1974-1975, when I was six. I have pictures in Storybook Gardens. Standing by Hump Dee Dumpy's wall, standing by Cinderalla and the Red Hen. Loved the Place. I just found out the Storybooks Garden are still here. I would love to bring my kids to see it. So they can have the great memories of this place.
    -AnnRockFalls,Il
    08/04/2009Went there 2007 with 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. Took lots of pictures. My younger daughter loved the giraffe; especially feeding them. Still have the picture on the fridge. Want to go this summer again, and take another granddaughter. Everybody was so friendly. Little Bo Peep posed with the kids, which they just loved. They still have that picture, too. It was fun!!
    -JeanneMayville,Wi.
    07/06/2009We enjoyed it so much last year. Our son was three, and he was enthralled with the different storybook characters. His favorite was Humpty Dumpty! Our daughter was only 18 months, and she loved feeding the ducks. It was such a nice little family vacation (and we spent almost 4 hours there!)
    -EmilyOnalaska,WI
    07/02/2009I remember my first trip to Storybook Gardens. I remember the feeling of awe I had sitting at THE "three little bears" table. I felt like Goldilocks. That memory has remained with me for 30 years!
    -ErinOregon,WI

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    Timbavati Wildlife Park Articles
    Happy Time-Out For Toddlers02/09/2010Tour waterparks, attractions and more that are just the right size for the little ones.Read More
    Happy Time-Out For Toddlers
    02/09/2010

    noahs-ark-toddler-friendly-water-parksWhile Wisconsin Dells has been known as a family destination for more than a few generations now, we saw a need to do something special for the smallest visitors. And our business owners really came through for us. If you have children under the age of five, you'll want to post this list on your refrigerator, right next to that great crayon artwork.

    • We're known for extreme water park rides, slides and water roller coasters. But there are plenty of water activities that cater to the kiddies. Noah's Ark Waterpark has toddler-appropriate swings, slides, tickle-your-toes geysers, squirt guns and shallow pools. Be sure to try the new Tadpole Bay at Noah's Ark.
    Great Wolf Lodge - Toddler Friendly Water Water Parks In Wisconsin Dells

     


    • Indoors and outdoors, Polynesian Resort Hotel & Suites and Great Wolf Lodge know just what the little ones like, delivering both toddler-friendly water park activities and dryland attractions.
    Knuckleheads - Wisconsin Dells Toddler Activities

     


    • Speaking of dryland, there are a number of spectacular attractions that have toddler written all over them. First up, the new Kalahari Indoor Theme Park at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center, featuring a six-story Ferris wheel and African-themed carousel. Also new this year are two indoor, 3-D, black light mini-golf courses at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, both themed to sea adventures with aquariums filled with salt water fish and a stingray touch tank. There's also Knuckleheads Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park which offers bumper bowling and cute kiddie rides and Pirate's Cove Family Fun Center with sized-right peddle go-carts, a jumping pillow and sand castle area.
    Moosejaw - Kid Friendly Wisconsin Dells Restaurants

     


    • When it comes time to feed your hungry toddler, you'll be pleased with the kid-friendly menus and atmosphere at both Buffalo Phil's Pizza & Grille, Pizza Pub and Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co., to name just a few. For breakfast, try Mr. Pancake or Paul Bunyan's Northwoods Cook Shanty.
    Timbavati Wildlife Park/Storybook Gardens - WI Dells Animal Attractions

     


    • To let kids experience the great outdoors, plan for a DUCK ride on the Wisconsin River and a visit to the Wisconsin Deer Park where children can pet tame deer.
    Circus World - Wisconsin Dells Museums

     


    • Don’t forget Circus World in nearby Baraboo, where there are animals, acrobats, circus wagons and costumes to delight children of all ages.
    Goody Goody Gum Drop - Wisconsin Dells Candy Stores

     


    • And if they're really good, perhaps you'd like to treat your sweet children to some age-appropriate sweets at the two Goody Goody Gum Drop shops in town.

     

     

    If you accomplish all of the above, everyone in the family will need a nap!

     

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    From Logging Town To Steamboat Tour Central To “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®” 07/01/2010Today’s toddlers, tweens and teenagers think of Wisconsin Dells as a shiny, new vacation spot. Little do they know that the Dells is over 150 years old!Read More
    From Logging Town To Steamboat Tour Central To “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®”
    07/01/2010

    Today’s toddlers, tweens and teenagers think of Wisconsin Dells as a shiny, new vacation spot. Little do they know that the Dells is over 150 years old! It was back in 1856 that Wisconsin Dells, then known as Kilbourn City in honor of the railroad’s president, was incorporated.

    500 Million Years Ago

    You'll be amazed how we can effectively condense 500 million years of history into a paragraph or two. But this is important, because you have to look that far back to understand how the Dells came to be what it is today. During the Cambrian Period, this community was the sandy shore of an ancient sea. Over time, the sand was compacted, and percolating groundwater cemented the sand into rock. That rock went virtually untouched for millions of years. Are your eyes glazing over yet? No? O.K., good, let's continue.

    Fast forward, way forward, to 19,000 years ago, when a glacier extended to within four miles east of the area, never touching the Dells. That glacier melted about 15,000 years ago and formed Glacial Lake Wisconsin, a lake about the size of Utah's Great Salt Lake and as deep as 150 feet. The last ice that held back the waters of Glacial Lake Wisconsin began to melt. The failed ice dam unleashed a catastrophic flood; the lake's depth dropped to 50 feet. The meltwaters cut deep, narrow gorges and unusual rock formations into the sandstone and formed the steep-sided canyons and bluffs you see today lining the Wisconsin River. The flood most likely cut the gorges in the Dells in a matter of days or weeks as the swift water eroded away the soft sandstone.

    Ho Chunk Nation Wisconsin DellsNative American History Worthy of Its Own Book

    An entire book could be devoted to the history of the Native American culture in Wisconsin Dells. The Dells area has been inhabited by native people for 2,000 years, and probably longer. You see their spirit in petroglyphs and pictographs carved and painted into local rock formations, and in ceremonial and burial mounds. While nearly all of the mounds have been destroyed by farming and floods, you can still find some examples of this ancient culture known as the "Effigy Mound Builders." One treasure is at the Kingsley Bend Wayside on Highway 16 where there are a group of some 20 burial and effigy mounds, including two 100-foot long bears, a panther with a tail as long as a football field, and an eagle with a 200 foot wingspan.

    The history of the Ho-Chunk, the largest Native American Nation in Wisconsin Dells, once called Winnebago by the French fur traders, includes immense hardship and tremendous rebuilding. In 1832, the U.S. Government began its infamous removal policy, stating that all Indians must be moved west of the Mississippi River. A series of deadly conflicts deeply scarred the culture. The Ho-Chunk were forced to leave their land and head to northwestern Iowa and south-central Minnesota. They were again moved in 1863 to a desolate reservation in South Dakota. It wasn’t until 1873, when the removal policy was reversed, that the Ho-Chunk could file claims to land in the Dells area. By then, Wisconsin Dells had already become a site for Ho-Chunk pow-wows and dancing, with tourists coming to enjoy the festivals, appreciate the culture and visit Wisconsin Dells attractions.

    Today, the 4,900 members of the Ho-Chunk Sovereign Nation hold title to 2,000 acres of land, continuing anew their dedication to preserve the Ho-Chunk culture.

    The Birth of the Dells

    In 1856, the town was incorporated as Kilbourn City, in honor of the railroad's president. The name did not stick. In 1931, it was officially changed to Wisconsin Dells, the name the locals and tourists had always used, with "Wisconsin" derived from the Native American word meaning "dark rushing waters," and "Dells" mimicking the French word "dalles" that means "layers of flat rock" to describe the bluff rock formations.

    The then local newspaper, the Wisconsin Mirror, offered a most accurate prophecy of the future of Wisconsin Dells tourism when it concluded in 1856 that "the wild, romantic scenery of the 'Dells' will always make them a place of resort for seekers of pleasure."

    wisconsin-river-44Log Rolling

    The community was also a busy logging route in Wisconsin, with pines from the north being moved to larger cities in the south. It was dangerous work, given the rapids and primitively designed dams. In fact, at one point, the whole volume of the Wisconsin River was squeezed into a fifty foot wide rocky, narrow gulch. The area's first bridge, built in the 1850s, turned logging into Wisconsin Dells tourism. About that time, the first railroad bridge was built as well. By the end of the century, a new dam, still in place today, was constructed and the successful destiny of the community was sealed.

    hh-bennett-wisconsin-dells-44The Most Recognizable Picture Still Looks Scary

    He's known as "the man who made Wisconsin Dells famous." Lest you think it was an owner of Wisconsin Dells water parks, or ski show entrepreneur, let's reveal right here and now that it is Henry Hamilton Bennett. Never heard of him? He’s considered one of the top 10, maybe even the top three landscape photographers of the 19th century. Still not ringing a bell? Perhaps his photos will jog your memory. Surely you've seen the picture of a young man leaping from one rock ledge to another. It's titled "Leaping the Chasm at Stand Rock" and is one of Bennett's most famous. The photo captures Bennett's son Ashley frozen in mid-air. At the time, many people thought the photograph was faked since stop-motion had not been invented. Until Bennett invented it, that is. The story goes that Bennett had Ashley repeat the jump multiple times to get just the right shot, a story that would make any mother cringe. His life and photos are superbly chronicled at one of the most historic Wisconsin Dells attractions, the H.H. Bennett Studio which was the photographer's original studio that still stands on Broadway in downtown Dells. There's even an exhibit devoted to the famous photo, with markers on the floor to test your own leaping ability.

    Bennett was born in the mid 1800s. A carpenter by trade, he turned to photography after a Civil War injury to his hand made carpentry work impossible. He opened his studio in the Dells, then known as Kilbourn City, in 1875. We strolled the gallery-style museum and original darkroom with Bennett's granddaughter, Jean Reese. She lovingly pointed out photos of her mother as a little girl sporting a cute straw hat with ribbons down the back. According to Reese, her mother admitted to being an impatient subject, very much disliking having to sit still while her father, ever the perfectionist, posed every shot just so.

    Along with photos of his family, it's the mystical photos of the towering bluffs and swirling Wisconsin River that drew the first tourists to the area, and ultimately sparked Wisconsin Dells tourism.

    According to the museum's director, Dale Williams, the studio may just be the longest running business on a main street in the country. Once you step inside, and take in the incredible photographic portraits of the native Ho-Chunk people, the landscapes of the unusual sandstone bluffs, and Bennett's family photos, you'll have a new appreciation for how the Dells came to be.

    Prints of Bennett's most famous photos are available for purchase. The museum at 215 Broadway is open year-round.

    Tommy Bartlett Ski ShowA Summer Evening in Wisconsin Dells

    During the 1930's and '40's, it wasn't unusual to see tourists and Native Americans line up to watch folks descend on the steamboats for a trip to the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial. In 1946, Mel Flath brought the first WWII land-to-water vehicles known as Ducks to Wisconsin Dells and set up a tour company. In the 1950's, crowds were first treated to the famous Tommy Bartlett ski show. Wisconsin Dells attractions like Storybook Gardens and Fort Dells entertained thousands in the following decades, the precursor to the Dells as we know it today. In 1994, Stan Anderson, the owner of the Polynesian Resort Hotel, decided to put a roof over a water attraction at this property, and the first indoor water park in the country was christened. One year later, both the Wilderness Resort and Treasure Island water parks opened. A few years after that, Great Wolf Lodge expanded its offerings. In 2000, the Kalahari Resort opened and then quickly expanded its indoor water park. The rest, they say, is history.

     

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    A Classic Influence Every Step Of The Way09/16/2010Pay homage to all that's classic.Read More
    A Classic Influence Every Step Of The Way
    09/16/2010

    Prefer The Wisconsin Dells Classics

    Enduring. Endearing. Those were the two words that guided the research for this story on the classic Wisconsin Dells vacation. Many of the Wisconsin Dells hotels, attractions and restaurants included below have been building up a fan base for decades and across generations. Others are slightly more contemporary classics that still say “Wisconsin Dells” in a big way. Combined, they make for lots of choices for travelers who like to go classic.

     

    classic-dells-motels-100Classic Wisconsin Dells Hotels & Motels

    A good starting point is downtown, where classic Wisconsin Dells hotel and motels right on the main street are well maintained and still very popular. There’s Fitzgerald’s Motel, where the front sign reminds you to “Smile, you’re on vacation.” Last year, Fitzgerald’s celebrated its 60th anniversary, and owner Margaret Gewont is 100% sincere when she tells you guests are more like extended family than vacationers. A peek in the guest book proves it, with the first entry reading: “Margaret is the ultimate hostess.” The list of downtown Wisconsin Dells hotels and motels is long and varied, so take your pick.

     

    downtown-wi-dells-shops-100Downtown Wisconsin Dells

    As long as you’re already on the main thoroughfare, keep your car parked and put on your walking shoes for a stroll up and down Broadway. You’ll pass fudge shops like Swiss Maid Fudge and Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge and likely succumb to the sweets being made behind the picture windows. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, with its quirky and fun-to-read-about displays from adventures of days gone by, is one of the many amusing Wisconsin Dells attractions on Broadway. As long as you’re downtown, go ahead and have one of those old-timey pictures taken. For souvenirs, Bailey’s Landing and Winnebago Gift Shop are both known for their wide selection of Minnetonka moccasins, a fashion statement in Wisconsin and on the runways of New York.

     

    wisconsin-river-tours-100Classic Wisconsin River Tours

    On your walk through the Dells, you’re sure to see a Duck or two. Not the feathered kind, but the WWII amphibious vehicle kind that takes visitors on tours of Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River. Hop on and enjoy the splashdowns and scenery. Another classic river tour choice is a tour boat, either double decker or paddlewheeler. Some even offer shore landings, which is really the best way to experience the grandeur of the sandstone bluffs in the area.

     

    dells-animal-attractions-100Animal-Related Dells Attractions

    Now on to real animals, as in the deer at Wisconsin Deer Park, one of the classic Wisconsin Dells attractions that’s been in business for more than 50 years. Here you can feed the deer and also interact with American elk and bison. Wisconsin Deer Park also acts as a zoological supply service, with deer from their park being placed in zoos all over the country.

     

    tommy-bartlett-show-100Tommy Bartlett Classic Attractions

    Two Wisconsin Dells attractions that begin with the founder’s name, Tommy Bartlett, are staples on the classic vacation itinerary. There’s the famous Tommy Bartlett Show staged on Lake Delton, the longest running water ski show of its kind in the country. It's replete with complicated ski tricks, fast boats, comedy and acrobatic acts thrown in for good measure. Plus, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center is also known for its hundreds of hands-on science experiments, a real Russian MIR space station and an exact replica of NASA’s Mercury space capsule.

     

    noahs-ark-water-park-100Noah's Ark Waterpark - A Classic Wisconsin Dells Water Park

    If you want to experience a classic Dells water park, then Noah’s Ark Waterpark is it. It opened in 1979 and is the largest outdoor water park in the country, adding something new nearly every year.

     

    classic-dells-100

    More Wisconsin Dells Classics

    There are a number of other classic finds worthy of their own mention. In lodging, Dell Creek Motel, with its pretty courtyard gardens, has some of the best curb appeal in the community. On Lake Delton, there’s Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort, a fun place for family reunions. For shopping, Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store is a third-generation Dells’ family business which prides itself on its fun selection of apparel, souvenirs, moccasins, jewelry and toys. For breakfast, try Mr. Pancake with 30 varieties of pancakes and waffles; Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty with scrumptious donuts; or Howie’s Restaurant, home of Howie’s self-proclaimed “Huge Breakfast” and, if you’re really hungry, his “Super Breakfast.”

     

    wisconsin-supper-clubs-100Classic Wisconsin Supper Clubs

    The classic Wisconsin supper clubs in the area deserve a paragraph of their own. If you’re wondering what the requirements are for supper club designation, here goes: clubby bar in which to enjoy that Wisconsin cocktail favorite, the brandy old fashioned, before you sit down to your meal; well trained staff who see to your every need and never rush you; crisp table linens; interesting architecture; relish trays and fresh baked rolls, standout wine cellar; and steaks, seafood and chops that are remarkable. If that sounds mouthwatering to you, then consider one special dinner out at the Del-Bar, Field’s at the Wilderness, House of Embers, Ishnala Supper Club, or the newest entry in the genre of classic supper clubs, Kaminski Bros. Chop House at Chula Vista Resort.

     

    big-sky-twin-drive-in-wisconsin-dells

    Drive-In Movies In The Dells

    For one last flash from the past in the Dells, the drive-in movie.  Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater shows double features of first-run movies on two screens every night during the summer. Its concession stand is kitschy and comfortably cramped, serving everything you’d want from a classic snack bar. Side note, if you stay at Holiday Shores Camp-Resort or the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, ask about their seasonal outdoor movies too, shown right on the grounds.

    That’s it, the classic Wisconsin Dells getaway, filled with sweet memories to last until the next time you visit.

     

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    Your Head Will Be Spinning When You Find Out Everything New for Wisconsin Dells in 201303/12/2013Without fail you can expect someone in Wisconsin Dells to unveil a one-of-a-kind, world’s only, country’s biggest, well, you get the picture, attraction at the start of the year. Welcome to 2013 and news that will make your head spin with anticipation of your next trip to “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®”. In other words, they’ve done it again!Read More
    Your Head Will Be Spinning When You Find Out Everything New for Wisconsin Dells in 2013
    03/12/2013
    Without fail you can expect someone in Wisconsin Dells to unveil a one-of-a-kind, world’s only, country’s biggest, well, you get the picture, attraction at the start of the year. Welcome to 2013 and news from the local Visitor & Convention Bureau that will make your head spin with anticipation of your next trip to “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®”. In other words, they’ve done it again.    
     
     
    World’s First Looping Wooden Roller Coaster at Mt. Olympus
    As if a roller coaster that plunged riders underground into complete darkness wasn’t enough excitement for one ride, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks has now converted its wildly popular Hades roller coaster into a 360 degree ride. Hades 360° is being billed as the world’s first upside-down wooden roller coaster, so hold on to your hats, scratch that, ditch your hats and hold on for the ride of your life.
     
    Surf’s Up at Noah’s Ark Waterpark
    Noah’s Ark Waterpark, the country’s largest outdoor waterpark, has just about every style of water slide and ride on the planet, and now they’re adding the perfect wave, as in their new Surfing Safari surf machine which churns 36,000 gallons of water under you, curling an ocean-worthy surf.  Exhilarating, awesome, righteous, yes, they all apply. 
    Wilderness Resort Adds a Sprayground
    Last year, the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort catered to teenagers and dare devils with the addition of the Lunar Loop and Cosmic Drop plunge slides.  In 2013, they’re focusing on their younger guests with the new zero-depth Bear Foot Island Sprayground, located in the New Frontier Outdoor Waterpark. This northwoods-themed area will include spraying fountains, exploding ground geysers, shooting water jets, a giant drenching bull frog loop and a silly spraying water bug. Seating will surround Bear Foot Island, making it an ideal spot for parents with young children to spend a warm summer day.
     
    Kalahari Resort First in State with Swim-Up Bar
    Kalahari Resort Waterpark takes a cue from the popular tropical tradition of swim-up bars with its new Mud Hut, a 1,000 square foot indoor/outdoor hot tub and swim-up bar, the first of its kind in the state. There’s also a family-friendly version of the same with capacity for 100. On dry land, Kalahari’s indoor theme park has new rides and interactive adventures including a laser maze, 5-D theater, and the state’s first “Sky Tykes” ropes course for toddlers.
     
    Futuristic FlyBoard for the Tommy Bartlett Show
    This summer the Tommy Bartlett Show debuts the FlyBoard, a high-tech, high-octane invention you’d expect to see in a superhero flick or James Bond movie. This water jet pack, tethered to a jet ski which serves as its power source, sends the operator hovering high above the water, providing a perfect position for mid-air twists and flips and stunning dolphin-like dives into the water.  As you can imagine, ski team members are clamoring for a chance to give this futuristic device a try.
     
    Roll with It at Lumberjack Show
    Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty has long been known for its tasty family-style spread of food and impossible-to-resist sugar donuts. Starting this May, they’ll also be known for an authentic lumberjack show. The Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Lumberjack Show, staged adjacent to the restaurant and with seating for 600, will feature 11 different events including log rolling and pole climbing, with both professional and collegiate athletes competing. There will be some audience participation as well. Daily shows are planned for 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. beginning mid-May and running through October. 
     
    It’s All an Illusion
    Master illusionist Rick Wilcox brings two new killer (figuratively speaking, of course) illusions to his eponymous theater, one a “first of its kind in the world” in which he cuts his wife into nine pieces using a Steampunk-inspired contraption specifically created for Wilcox. His other new illusion should have audience members raising their hands with suggestions, as Wilcox will make a member of the audience disappear. According to Wilcox, the process to perfect these high-level illusions, which are carefully timed and choreographed to original music, has taken upwards of three years.
     
    The magical illusions theme extends to Circus World Museum in nearby Baraboo as well, where they have a new “Theatre of Illusion” with twice-daily shows packed with comedy, magic and grand illusions featuring Tristan Crist.
      
    Animals + Historic Train at Timbavati
    Timbavati Wildlife Park, with its stunning exterior of wildlife murals and towering waterfalls upon entering, offers up-close encounters and interaction with giraffe, zebra, kangaroo, ostrich, leopard, white tiger, impala, lion, camel, antelope, tortoises and more. The petting zoo with exotic baby animals is a popular stop at the park too. Baby-boomers visiting with grandkids will want to take a train ride while there – it’s the vintage train rescued from the old Fort Dells attraction, Old Engine #9.
     
    Steady As You Go at Knuckleheads
    The adage “don’t look down” doesn’t hold up when referring to the new ropes course at Knuckleheads Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park. In fact, you’ll want to look down, as this 21-element course is suspended over the center’s go-kart track.   The ropes challenges range from easy to tight-rope-like, with both kids and adults fully harnessed from start to finish.
     
    Still Lost on Lost Voyage
    The Lost Voyage nighttime boat adventure on the Wisconsin River that includes an eerie hike back into Cold Water Canyon ushers in a new chapter in the ongoing mystery of what happened to the tour boat Badger that purportedly vanished years ago, with chapter two dubbed “Buried Secrets.” Lost Voyage runs nightly May 24 through Labor Day.
     
    Favorite Brews and Brandy
    Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. is now bottling its two most popular ales – Rustic Red and Honey Ale. You can pick up six-packs at the restaurant. There’s a new microbrewery in town too – the family-owned Port Huron Brewing Company. Go for a tasting in their Engine House Tap Room outfitted with a 24-foot-long handmade bar top, then purchase your favorites to enjoy at home.
    Wollersheim Winery is releasing its first 100% Wisconsin brandy. This “all Wisconsin” spirit is made from estate-grown grapes, distilled in a copper pot and aged for two years in Wisconsin oak barrels right at the winery. Brandy old fashioned, anyone?
     
    If you’re looking for some cheese to go with your beverage, check out the renovation and addition at Market Square Cheese where the grand opening featured a 600-pound wheel of cheese.
      
    Have Fun with Your Food
    Alamo Smokehouse opens mid-March in downtown Dells at the bridge. The décor at this one-and-only restaurant is a cross between Alamo-inspired and contemporary rustic Western, with the menu a mix of BBQ and Tex Mex. All the recipes here are original and they’re smoking all the meat on premise – talk about “aroma marketing.” Signature dishes include smoky roasted corn chowder and BBQ brisket pizza and, for dessert, a special treat made by a local chocolatier comprised of layers of chocolate and caramel topped with a sprinkling of smoked sea salt. The restaurant has seating for 400 and is open seven days a week.
     
    The delivery of food by miniature toy trains proved so popular at Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille that they’ve added more trains and tracks. 
     
    Dynasty Chinese Restaurant & Lounge opened next door to the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory. Here you can choose from an extensive menu that includes a buffet, house specials and family dinner options, plus fortune cookies of course.    
     
    Every Day’s a Picnic
    Yogi Bear™ Camp-Resort & Water Playground is bringing a 1950’s classic cartoon to life with a daily re-creation of Ranger Smith chasing Yogi Bear around the resort stealing campers ‘pic-a-nic’ baskets. Guests there will also have the opportunity to pan for “gold” at the new Old Faceful Mining Company.
     
    Bunk Overnight in an Airstream or a Caboose
    Ever imagine what it would be like to spend the night in one of those iconic Airstream travel trailers? Now you can give it a try at Bowman’s Oak Hill Bed & Breakfast, where they’ve completely restored a 1973 Argosy travel trailer, complete with large deck and draped outdoor cabana with side-by-side antique claw-foot soaking tubs. 
     
    Parkway Motel, located a few blocks off the main downtown avenue, is converting a retired Soo Line train caboose into a hotel room. It’s a fitting addition to the property which also includes the Rail Dog eatery which serves Chicago Vienna hot dogs out of a, you guessed it, converted caboose.
     
    Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dells
    The hottest watersport on the coasts, stand up paddleboarding (SUP for short), comes to Wisconsin Dells courtesy of Dells Watersports: Full Service Marina & Boat Rentals with lessons and tours offered by the outfitter on both Mirror Lake and Lake Delton. They’ve also stocked up on kayaks made specifically for kids 110 pounds and under. If you want to SUP on the Wisconsin River, Holiday Shores Watersports is now offering board rentals too.
     
    Get Pretty, Get Married
    Spa Del Sol and Pink Nail Bar at Chula Vista Resort has bridal party written all over it. Enjoy food and a favorite cocktail while getting fingernails and toenails buffed and polished. 

    If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind place for the wedding ceremony, the photo opps are endless at the Dells Bells Wedding Chapel where they’ve added a steeple, bell tower (couples ring the bell on their way to their new life together) and Las Vegas sign replica.

    If you don’t care to drive after the “I do’s” then reserve the 25-passenger party shuttle from Wisconsin Dells Kangaroo Taxi.
     
    If you aren't getting married, but still want to pamper yourself, St. Clare Healthy Living Center offers medically based wellness therapies like aromatherapy, Reiki and craniosacral therapy plus non-invasive body contouring and medical hypnosis.
     
    Turn at the Temple
    The freestanding Lost Temple attraction looks like a Mayan temple, making it hard to miss. Inside, you’ll go in search of the Golden Skull, with surprises and illusions aplenty. 
     
    News from Down on the Farm
    Country Bumpkin Farm Market has added a petting zoo and a new play village where kids can ride pedal tractors and play in a miniature house and church. Their Express Train Ride offers a 30-minute ride around their 30 acres. In the fall, pick your own pumpkins and try out the melon launching catapult.
     
    Another agri-tourism attraction, this one new to the area, is DiMarti Family Farms, with corn maze, barnyard petting zoo, corn slingshots and pumpkin patch.
     
    Happy Anniversary
    Finally, happy anniversary to the International Crane Foundation which turns 40 this year, Capone's Original Old Time Picture Studio also celebrating 40 years and the Mid-Continent Railway Museum which turns 50 this year. Sundara Inn & Spa celebrates its 10th anniversary with the opening of its conversation-free Tranquility Garden patio adjacent to the heated outdoor infinity pool. 

    Fans of Wisconsin Dells will find everything they need to plan their trip, including listings of waterparks, attractions, restaurants, shops, campgrounds, hotels and resorts and more, by logging on to the official tourism web site for the area, www.wisdells.com. The toll-free number for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau is (800) 223-3557.

     

    View Article
    Beyond Animal Magnetism10/22/2014What possesses one family to create an exotic wildlife park in the middle of The Waterpark Capital of the World!? Or scientists to set up a foundation where you can see all 15 species of crane, from the largest population to the most endangered? Or locals to create a park where you can hand-feed deer? Read More
    Beyond Animal Magnetism
    10/22/2014

    What possesses one family to create an exotic wildlife park in the middle of The Waterpark Capital of the World!®? Or scientists to set up a foundation where you can see all 15 species of crane, from the largest population to the most endangered? Or locals to create a park where you can hand-feed deer?


    Magnetism of the creatures is only part of the answer.


    At Timbavati Wildlife Park, the stunning wildlife murals on the exterior of the park are the tip-off to the encounter inside. Just past the front gate, the soothing sound of a waterfall greets visitors, providing a nice counterpoint to the screeches of the birds and animals, more than 60 species in all and growing. Owner Mark Schoebel is ever enthusiastic when describing the 15-acre park with its menagerie of inhabitants that includes red kangaroos, tawny eagles, camels and big cats. He said his family hasbeen in the animal entertainment business since the 1950s, and credits his wife Alice with caring for the newborn animals, a 24/7 job. When visiting, be sure to visit the giraffe area, where you can actually feed the long-limbed, long-necked animals by hand. For a bit of nostalgia, ride the Safari Train – it’s actually Engine #9 salvaged from the Old Fort Dells attraction and beautifully refitted to the grounds of Timbavati Wildlife Park.  



    Wisconsin Deer Park dates back to 1952, making it one of Wisconsin Dells’ classic attractions. It’s operated by the grandson of founder Russ Tollaksen. This 40-acre plot provides a family-friendly hiatus from all the hustle and bustle of the Dells and takesyou to a simpler time. You can feed white tail deer from your hand and see American elk and bison. Best times to visit for photo opps? May to middle June when fawns are born almost every day, and August when the bucks are sporting their velvet covered antlers.




    You can classify this next place as exotic. It’s the International Crane Foundation on the outskirts of the Dells. The 225-acre world headquarters hosts a captive flock of approximately 100 cranes, and is the only place in the world that you can see all 15 species of cranes. The campus offers live crane exhibits, an interactive education center, guided and self-guided tours, a research library, visitor center and over four miles of nature trails set among 100 acres of restored tall grass prairie, oak savanna and wetlands. 
     



    Did You Know: To prevent cranes from imprinting on humans and to prepare the birds for life in  the wild, researchers caring for the young whooping cranes wear full-length crane costumes.
     


    Circus World, in nearby Baraboo, was the home to The Ringling Bros. Circus from 1884 thru 1918 and continues to bring the circus to life with big top shows featuring skilled acrobats, horses, jugglers, dogs, clowns, aerialists and elephants. Watch as a black Celebes Ape steals the show, appearing alongside the Rhesus monkeys in Zoppe's Comedy Monkey Revue. Enjoy a thrill as you ride upon a real circus elephant.


     


    Finally, for a little horseback riding or a wagon ride, try Woodside Ranch with 1,400acres of trails and more than 100 horses in every size, from pony to Percheron. It’s located close-by in Mauston. There’s also Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable with a Mauston address and Canyon Creek Riding Stables in the Dells for short trail rides led by experienced guides.

     

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