If you like to hang out in a hammock on your vacation, this is not the itinerary for you. Now if you like to hang out at the waterpark or from a zip line, then start making a list of all the items on this adventure vacation checklist that you’d like to experience.
Let’s get right to the must-do and that’s ride and slide your way through a favorite waterpark or two. Outdoors, it would be impossible to choose between Noah’s Ark Waterpark and Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks, so make time for both. At Noah’s Ark, their new looping waterslide called Scorpion’s Tail is the largest in the world. At Mt. O (that’s what the locals call it), crash through the nine-foot waves of their Poseidon’s Rage surf pool.
There are a handful of indoor waterparks that make this itinerary, all housed at resorts that are nearly destinations unto themselves: Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center, Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, Chula Vista Resort and Great Wolf Lodge. Water roller coasters, wild funnel rides, racing slides, even a surf machine at the Kalahari rank high on the adrenaline-inducing chart.
Amusement parks come in the outdoor and indoor varieties too. Let’s start with outdoors. Timber Falls Adventure Park has two attractions that are noteworthy - their 70-degree banked and crazy-fast Hellcat roller coaster and their end-over-end Skyscraper ride that pulls four Gs at 60 mph 160 feet off the ground. At Mt. Olympus, all their roller coasters are a scream, but top prize goes to Hades, a wooden coaster made diabolically fun with a 65-degree drop, the world’s longest underground tunnel and speeds up to 70 mph.
Moving to indoor amusement parks, the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park is the featured spot. Check out their elevated go-kart track, rock climbing wall, ropes course and laser tag. If adventure is the ticket for your little ones, there’s Knuckleheads Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park.
Next up on your adventure itinerary - zip lines. The Wilderness Canyon Zipline Canopy Tours’ takes you over Lost Canyon and an expansive tree canopy. The other zip line, BigFoot ZipLine, has four water crossings.
Still high in the sky is the next recommendation and that’s parasailing. Lake Delton Water Sports has been hoisting riders 450 feet in the air for a sail around Lake Delton for a dozen years now. They have a second location at Castle Rock Lake in nearby Mauston. Holiday Shores Watersports Center flies riders up and down the Wisconsin River with the sandstone bluffs as the backdrop for their rainbow-colored sails.
Wisconsin Dells even offers some adventures in dining. At Marley’s - A Taste of the Caribbean, a hoppin’ spot in a new location, you can sample spicy jerk chicken and rum grouper. For an after-dinner drink, try Kahunaville Restaurant & Lounge, where bartenders juggle glasses and bottles as part of their drink mixology routine.
Lest you be left with the impression that adventure is only available in the summer months, think again. In the fall, there’s the haunted boat tour of the Wisconsin River. This after-dark excursion, hosted by Dells Boat Tours® includes a shore landing and a walk deep into Witch’s Gulch, perfect for Halloween-timed getaways. Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks has haunted nights at their amusement park too. For winter, what could be better than the cold-weather version of the waterslide - snow tubing. Hop on a tube and fly down a hill at Cascade Mountain Ski, Snowboard & Snow Tube.