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Wisconsin Deer Park

Wisconsin Deer Park - a Classic Dells experience

Wisconsin Deer Park - a Classic Dells experience

  • Wisconsin Deer Park - a Classic Dells experience
Wisconsin Deer Park Map
Address:
2183 Wisconsin Dells PkwyWisconsin Dells 53965
Phone:
(608) 253-2041
Open:
Mid April - October 28
Website:
http://www.wisdeerpark.com
Phone:
(608) 253-2041
 
Phone:
(608) 253-2041
 
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Overview
Established in 1952. Set out on a family adventure to explore the Wisconsin Deer Park, enjoy a 4 block stroll through a 28 acre forest setting. Feed with your own hands many varieties of deer and wild life. Located one mile south of Wisconsin Dells on U.S. 12.
Classic Experience

In 1951, Russ Tollaksen conceived of an idea to show the beauty of deer and other forest creatures in their natural habitat, so he built Wisconsin Deer Park. He managed the park until 1976 when he sold it to his son Peter, who still owns it today, with grandson Aaron now running the park. This 28-acre parcel is home to some 100 deer from seven different countries. Visitors walk through the exhibit to feed, pet and photograph the animals. The staff is always happy to answer questions and provide information about the rich history of Wisconsin Deer Park.

 
Convention Overview
Established in 1952. Set out on a family adventure to explore the Wisconsin Deer Park, enjoy a 4 block stroll through a 28 acre forest setting. Feed with your own hands many varieties of deer and wild life. Located one mile south of Wisconsin Dells on U.S. 12.
     
    Add Your Wisconsin Deer Park Story
    Wisconsin Deer Park
     
    Wisconsin Deer Park Stories
    07/23/2013I visited WI Deer Park last year and it was incredible. Also if you are worried about younger children angering the antlered animals, there is no need. The bucks are all kept separate and can be bypassed. These deer are very tame and gentle and offer a unique experience for visitors young and old as they are comfortable around humans unlike wild deer. The park also had several other wild animals such as racoons and a variety of birds, If you are passing through WI Dells, Don't Miss it.
    -JamesRichmond,IL
    09/01/2012My husband, kids and I visited the Wisconsin Dells Deer Park in July of 2011. We had so much fun. We all loved feeding the deer and some of them followed us around the park. We took so many pictures and have wonderful memories of that day. When we got home I was looking through our camera and I realized that the only pictres that we took of our entire vacation was of the deer at the Deer Park. We told all of our friends and family about it and told them if they go to Wisconsin Dells that they have to go to the Deer Park. We have even talked about going back just for the day so that we can go back and see the deer. They were so much fun to be around.
    -JenniferSabula,Ia
    08/15/2012My husband and I visited the Deer Park on 8/14/2012. It was a very relaxing enjoyable place to be. Very fascinating to all ages.... We would definitely recommend this as a place to go..
    -BarbOttumwa,IA
    05/28/2012I went to Wisconsin Deer Park on 5/26/12. Feeding the deer crackers was so fun! The way they eat the cracker out of your hand was so adorable!
    -CassieBurnsville,Minnesota
    02/06/2010We are bringing our 3 little grandsons to the Wisconsin Dells for a vacation this July and are looking for age appropriate activities for them to enjoy. The boys are 4, 4, and 2.
    -PamAbingdon,Illinois

    Have you been to Wisconsin Deer Park?

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    Wisconsin Deer 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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    Attraction & Lodging Price Guide01/06/2013Price it out, then plan it.Read More
    Attraction & Lodging Price Guide
    01/06/2013

    Price It Out, Then Plan It

    This section allows you to download numerous Wisconsin Dells area price guides. We're certain you'll land on the right dollar figure.

    2013 Attraction Price Guide (12 pages - 155KB)

    2013 Complete Accommodation Price Guide (36 pages - 323KB)

    The price lists are in a PDF (Portable Document File) format, which requires a free download of Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.

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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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    Rock A Classic Vacation08/01/2011At least once in your lifetime you should try this itinerary. These classic attractions, restaurants and resorts never go out of style. Just ask your parents or grandparents.Read More
    Rock A Classic Vacation
    08/01/2011

    At least once in your lifetime you should try this itinerary. These classic attractions, restaurants and resorts never go out of style. Just ask your parents or grandparents.

    Starting with attractions, these are all must-do’s, so be sure to schedule your time accordingly. For those traveling with little ones, Wisconsin Deer Park is worth a stop. At the deer park, which opened more than 50 years ago, kids can feed the freely roaming deer, some still with their doe spots, others with huge antlers. Staying with animal-themed attractions, Lost Canyon Tours offers its own version of the “magnificent mile” - a ride through the narrow gorges of the canyon in a quaint horse-drawn wagon.

    A tour of the Wisconsin River in the afternoon is next in order. You can head out on a Duck, an amphibious WWII vehicle that gives you a little land travel with your water tour. Choose from the Original Wisconsin Ducks® or Dells Army Duck Tours. Or you can relax aboard a double-decker tour boat. Some offer you shore landings to explore the gorges and see a trained dog make the famous Stand Rock jump from one bluff outcropping to another. Other aqua tour options include jet boats, a paddle wheeler, tours without shore landings and dinner cruises.

    Take a detour downtown and stop in the H.H. Bennett Studio, the original studio of the post Civil War photographer H.H. Bennett, the man who introduced the world to Wisconsin Dells with his critically acclaimed photos of the river, the bluffs, the early logging industry and Native American culture. Here you can try the Stand Rock jump, blocked off on the floor. The original leaper was actually Bennett’s son Ashley.

    You can’t get much more classic than the circus and that’s why nearby Circus World in Baraboo makes this list. The grounds here were the original winter home of the Ringling Bros. Today, visitors can still take in 10 different shows performed daily during the warm weather months and gaze upon the world’s largest collection of restored parade wagons.

    One evening has to be set aside to see the Tommy Bartlett Show. Even this popular ski show, going strong after 60 years, is harkening back to its classic high-energy roots with the costumes and choreography for its 2011 “Livin’ the Dream” show. After the show, take a stroll downtown for some homemade fudge or a candy-loaded caramel apple or giant sucker at one of the many confection shops. Maybe even slip into a new pair of moccasins at Winnebago Gift Shop, Bailey’s Landing or Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store.

    On another evening, pile in the car for a double feature of first-run movies at Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater. This is one of the last of its kind in Wisconsin.

    Settle down for the night at a classic hotel or motel.  There are so many to choose from in the area it would be unfair to mention just one or two. But what must be said is that these places represent the best of the mom-and-pop motel tradition, with a good number run by second and third generation families. Pull your car right up to the door of your room and make yourself feel right at home.

    The next morning, make breakfast your classic meal of the trip, with a stop at Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty (fair warning, the doughnuts are fresh and soft and irresistible); or Mr. Pancake, where matriarch Diane Thompson’s recipes for waffles and pancakes and blintzes are to die for.

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    Another Time, Same Place02/14/2013It all started after spying some vintage advertising posters at the offices of the Original Wisconsin Ducks. The posters, which depicted boat tours of the Upper and Lower Dells and the Duck rides, had a kitschy 1960s style to them that anyone who loves advertising art would instantly appreciate.Read More
    Another Time, Same Place
    02/14/2013

    Another Time, Same Place

    It all started after spying some vintage advertising posters at the offices of the Original Wisconsin Ducks. The posters, which depicted boat tours of the Upper and Lower Dells and the Duck rides, had a kitschy 1960s style to them that anyone who loves advertising art would instantly appreciate. When asked about them, owner of the Ducks, Dan Gavinski, said there were others, and pulled out a scrap book with black-and-white photos of posters displayed around town to prove it. Many of the attractions still exist, like the Tommy Bartlett ski show, Wisconsin Deer Park, and of course the Ducks and boat tours. Others have been lost to time and tourists’ tastes, like Storybook Garden and Ft. Dells. The signature of the artist was distinctive – it was Valentine with a heart over the “I” and a swoosh for the middle of the “E.”
     

    Gavinski directed us to River Moon Café, where a handful of the posters adorn the walls of the restaurant. We met up with Eric Helland, who owns the café with wife Mary, to take a closer look. “My favorite is the poster for the Indian Ceremonial, it’s so dramatic with the dark blue starry sky and the moonlit silhouette of the dog jumping at Stand Rock,” said Helland. He found the posters in storage at the old Riverview Boat Line once owned by his family, and decided they deserved a better fate then being unceremoniously stashed away.
     

    The Wisconsin Deer Park poster had us laughing, as the woman is wearing a cocktail dress with what appears to be coordinating high heel shoes. To feed the deer. Her doting husband, with camera around neck, is directing her to move closer to the buck so he can snap the perfect photo. “That one really harkens back to the ‘60s and a different time in the Dells,” laughed Helland. According to the owners of Wisconsin Deer Park, the reference to Bambi Land on the poster drew the attention of Disney, with official correspondence requesting they not refer to it as such. Wisconsin Deer Park used stickers to cover up the words rather than waste the posters.
     

    Next stop was at the offices of the Tommy Bartlett Show, where owner Tom Diehl helped to fill in the blanks. As Diehl recounted, the artist, “Val” Valentine, lived in Florida and was brought to the Dells by Tommy Bartlett (who also owned attractions in Florida), to create a promotional poster for the ski show. Interestingly, it’s the one poster of the bunch not signed by Valentine.
    This is where the story really gets interesting. “Valentine’s grandson stopped in last summer after seeing the 60th anniversary piece on the ski show that aired on NBC, wanting to know if anyone in the office was familiar with the artist who created the poster,” said Diehl. The grandson told Diehl that his grandfather was in his early 90’s and still residing in Florida.
     

    A little online research turned up references to Valentine as a master of promotion and an innovator of haunted houses who began his career working for famous animation studios. For the Dells’ posters, with the originals assumed to be painted and then screen printed, he used a florescent color palette of oranges, greens, blues and reds. Somewhat formulaic in design so they would all “hold together” when displayed side-by-side, each has a word or two in the upper right hand corner ending with an exclamation point. Spectacular! Enchanting! Astounding! Wonderful! Fantastic! Welcome Aboard!
     

    Decades apart, yet not so far from how the Wisconsin Dells brand is promoted still today.
     

     

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