Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

Family Reunion That Is Sure To Make A Splash

March 10, 2014

It’s OK to have your solitary moments, to ponder the universe, dive into that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months, or have a marathon session of watching a full season of your favorite TV series.

Then there are things that just beg for company, like vacations. In Wisconsin Dells, there are signs of “togetherness” everywhere you look. At the waterparks. In restaurants. On the beaches. At events. Shopping. Sightseeing. Like we said, everywhere.

The Dells has long been a favorite for family reunions and it’s no wonder since it’s one of those rare places that actually lives up to the promise of having enough variety to keep everyone in the group happy.

Perhaps it’s that basis in family reunions that has started drawing in other groups to the Dells. An informal survey of resort and vacation home rental owners turned up fun facts that college alumni are choosing the area for reunions, only now they’re bringing their children along. Destination high school reunions? Yes, that’s a trend too. Even neighborhoods traveling together in a modern twist on the old-fashioned neighborhood block party.

Dana Krueger, vice president at Sand County Service Company, an established vacation rental company in the area, said it’s not unusual to see groups, especially extended families, staying upwards of a week during the summer months, which bucks the trend of shorter vacations. “Even the floor plans of our vacation homes were designed to encourage togetherness,” said Dana. They have one stretch of homes along Lake Delton that are within walking distance of each other. “It’s like a moving gathering for people who book these as a group, with a real neighborhood feel to it.”
At Moonglow Vacation Homes, their Moonglow Beach property on Lake Delton sleeps 18. Owner Donna Hartsing says that property even has a grandparents’ suite on the first floor. “Creating lasting memories is our job,” said Donna. She also mentioned another reason for the allure of the Dells as a location for family reunions and milestone wedding anniversaries. “We’re a central location when family members are flying in from all over the country.”

Girlfriends’ getaways continue strong, especially bachelorette parties. For the guys, it’s golf outings, with the guys grilling out after a day on the greens. At Spring Brook Vacation Rentals, where last year they added new villas to their rental options, they get lots of guys’ groups visiting, often tied to a bachelor party/golf weekend. “It’s funny, some even call these weekends their ‘manniversary’ since they come year after year with every upcoming wedding,” said Mira Lyubomirov, reservations manager. There’s also a golf course and club house with restaurant to serve guests booking one of their 70 units. “Meals are a big group event here at Spring Brook,” added Mira.

Tourism events bring people together in Wisconsin Dells as well. It’s not unusual to see several generations rolling into town together for the spring Automotion car show. Dells on Tap, a microbrew festival that takes place every autumn, has a strong following among groups of friends who share an affinity for Wisconsin craft beers.

Even the holidays are a popular time for extended families to head to the Dells. The condos and cabins at the waterpark resorts are perfectly suited for Thanksgiving meals and Christmas morning gift openings.

We asked all three for ideas on group activities to keep the togetherness theme going and the common thread was this: Guests like the manmade attractions during the day and then the chance to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures in the evening.

Here are some ideas for both.

During the Day

  • Go for the multi-person tube rides at the waterparks or float the lazy river together.
  • Enjoy an afternoon performance at the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater. Who knows, master illusionist Rick Wilcox may even make a member of the family disappear.
  • Get teams together for some serious mini-golf competition.
  • Challenge the daredevils to go zip-lining.
  • Head downtown for souvenir shopping on Broadway.
  • Round up the group for a scenic tour of the Wisconsin River aboard a land-to-water vehicle known as Duck. These on land – in water tours are available with Original Wisconsin Ducks® or Dells Army Duck Tours.
  • Ask about renting a pontoon boat or a fishing boat for the day.
  • Bike around Lake Delton – there’s a nice bike path loop all the way around the lake.
  • If it rains, play indoors at a theme park or amusement park

In the Evening

  • Get out the bean bag toss game and the croquet set.
  • Divvy up assignments for a grill-out or potluck.
  • Take in an evening performance of the Tommy Bartlett Show. The ski tricks are still amazing after 60+ years of performing.

  • Carpool to a double feature at the Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater.
  • Make s’mores around a campfire and reminisce.


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Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

701 Superior Street, PO Box 390
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-0390
(800) 223-3557
(608) 254-4293 (Fax)

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