Don’t let that headline fool you. It does not reference a trip south to the ocean for spring break - leave that to the college co-eds. What it does reference are the many families from neighboring state Minnesota with grade school-age children who take the very-manageable drive south to Wisconsin Dells for their spring break getaway. Like the Hadden family. Mom Renee, dad Scott and sisters Ashley and Amanda hail from Victoria, not far from Bloomington. They own a condominium at the Wilderness Resort so they make a few trips to the Dells each year. Some years that includes a getaway during spring break week.
“We’ve been coming to the Dells as a family since 1998, and we try to stay at least three days when we come because two days just isn’t enough” said Renee. The often vacation with other families from the area whose children are classmates of the girls. Renee mentioned that she’s heard those families call it their “staycation.”
Ashley and Amanda are straight A students involved in lots of sports and dance, so to say life around the Hadden household is very busy. “Going to the Dells gives us the time together that we need and gives us a chance to just unwind. What we like about going to the Dells is that we don't have to bother with the airplane, rental car, and all the stresses that go along with traveling farther away. It's easy, you never run out of things to do, and the kids love going there!” offered Renee.
The family also shared how much they liked the indoor waterpark with the dome at the Wilderness Resort. “Being able to get some color and the smell of suntan lotion makes you feel like you’re in Florida,” said Renee.
But it’s not all waterparks all the time when they’re vacationing. They go to the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater and Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. is their favorite restaurant.
Regardless of the direction visitors are coming from, they can take a cue from the Haddens and take advantage of all the attractions open year-round in the Dells. Indoor amusement parks including Knuckleheads Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park, Chalet Lanes & Lounge, and Kalahari Indoor Theme Park offer bowling at its finest. At Wild Fun Zone, there’s laser tag downstairs, bumper cars on the main floor and mini golf upstairs.
If you want the kids to maintain some cerebral activity during their break from the classroom, there’s the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center with some 150 interactive stations offering experiences tied to music, robotics, holograms, space and scientific wonders of the world. There’s even a virtual sports center where kids can jump in to an extreme sports experience through a computer-created environment. For those into wizard-questing adventures, there are two full-size games in town - Wizard Quest downtown and MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge.
One final thought on spring break: Those tween and teen years, while plenty challenging at times, go by in a heartbeat. Just ask any parent with college-age children. Which is all the more reason to carve out spring break vacation time while they still want to travel with mom and dad.