NOAH’S ARK WATERPARK
Noah’s Ark Waterpark, America’s largest outdoor waterpark coming in at a sprawling 70 acres, turns 40 this year (anyone feeling old at the moment) with an anniversary bash on the books for Memorial Day weekend plus a full summer of special events to mark the occasion. Last year Noah’s Ark made big waves with the opening of its Raja waterslide, and with a few tweaks over the offseason, the world’s largest King Cobra promises to be even bigger and faster. When you visit this summer, don’t pass up playing the new 18-hole Safari Adventure Mini Golf Course there or popping into the iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs for a bite to eat.
While on the topic of anniversaries, a colossal shout-out to Circus World on its 60th anniversary. This national treasure, located on the original Ringling Bros. Circus Winter Quarters in nearby Baraboo, first rose to fame in the 1960s so it’s especially fitting the attraction is going with “A Summer of Luv Under the Big Top” theme for 2019 with a nod to mod fashion and classic rock. Be sure to explore the stupendous array of elaborate circus costumes and magnificently restored antique circus wagons, the largest collection of authentic circus wagons on earth, while you’re there.
INDOORS IS WHERE IT’S AT
TOM FOOLERYS ADVENTURE PARK
Three attractions are going above and beyond to keep families happy while on vacation, starting with a revamped theme park. Kalahari Resorts & Conventions teamed up with Disney feature film animators to bring you Tom Foolerys Adventure Park, a newly themed 100,000 square foot indoor theme park fitted with new adventures including a roller coaster sized just right for the little ones, a ropes course with an added zipline and Maximum Foolocity, a thrilling ride that goes 50 feet in the air – up, down and all around.
WILDERNESS HOTEL & GOLF RESORT
Over at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, they’ve added a trio of rock climbing walls to their Timberland Playhouse area. The three vary in difficulty and design, giving visitors a wide range of challenges.
KNUCKLEHEADS TRAMPOLINE PARK l RIDES l BOWLING
Need more Virtual Reality (VR)? Knuckleheads Trampoline Park l Rides l Bowling is slated to debut Hologate VR in the spring. This award-winning VR takes the gaming experience to a new dimension, immersing players in a realistic environment with zero motion sickness. Suitable for all ages and skill levels.
BOOBY TRAP ESCAPE ROOMS
If you’re looking for an attraction for an afternoon of family bonding, a date night or a birthday party, check out Booby Trap Escape Rooms. For the unfamiliar, an escape room is a live-action themed game that requires teamwork and critical thinking to decipher clues and complete puzzles if you are to successfully escape before time’s up.
TOMMY BARTLETT EXPLORATORY – INTERACTIVE SCIENCE CENTER
Beloved classic attraction, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory – Interactive Science Center, is wrapping up a half-million-dollar expansion and renovation, with new exhibits opening this summer. All told, there are more than 175 interactive activities here, from a giant lever to a high wire cycle to a Russian space station core module.
FUN UNDER THE SUN
I-SKATE @ THE KEG
While ice skating outside year-round doesn’t sound plausible even in Wisconsin, the owners of The Keg Bar & Grill/The Patio have made it a reality with their new, 300-square-foot, synthetic ice rink called I-Skate @ The Keg. The rink is open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day with reduced hours in the fall and winter. Skate rentals are available.
AMERICAN RESORT & TREEHOUSES
Guests staying at American Resort & Treehouses can cool off in the new Natural Lagoon - Wisconsin Dells’ first natural waterpark. The Lagoon consists of 250,000 gallons of naturally filtered water, complete with a cascading waterfall, stone grotto, and lazy stream. The Lagoon is a one-of-a-kind water feature set to debut spring 2019.
MT. OLYMPUS WATER & THEME PARK
Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park has done it again, bringing a one-of-a-kind attraction to Wisconsin Dells with its Underworld Go-Carts which take riders underground, a nice complement to their Hades 360 roller coaster featuring the world’s longest underground roller coaster tunnel.
VINE AND STEIN
BROKEN BOTTLE WINERY
The winery movement in Wisconsin shows no signs of slowing. Take it from the owners of the new Broken Bottle Winery, set to open in the spring and owned by the same family who owns the Baraboo Bluff Winery. Located next to the Antique & Craft Malls of Wisconsin Dells on the outskirts of town, Broken Bottle will feature two indoor bars plus a large front porch for sipping outside when the temperatures allow. Grapes will be sourced from the shared vineyard at Baraboo Bluff Winery giving new grapevines time to take root at Broken Bottle.
Riverfront Terrace, a stunning outdoor entertainment space overlooking the Wisconsin River in downtown Dells, opens for its first full season this spring. This hangout spot features live music, food and drinks, and, of course, spectacular views.
Kilbourn Cork, a new premium wine bar, opens this summer in downtown Dells. Along with fine wines, visitors will be able to sample whiskey and craft brews as well while noshing on small plate selections. Outdoor seating with a fire pit is sure to be a popular sipping spot here.
Another nightspot with a great view is The Vue restaurant and lounge at River Inn Resort. Enjoy food, beverages, conversation and sunset vistas of the Wisconsin River with nary a bad seat in the house.
TUMBLED ROCK BREWERY & KITCHEN
Set to open sometime in the coming year is Tumbled Rock Brewery & Kitchen. Just down the road from the popular Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, this family-friendly restaurant and brewery will feature a wood-fired oven, pizzas, pub food and 10 beers brewed in-house including alternating seasonal options.
BELLA GOOSE COFFEE
For a little caffeine to balance the libations, guests can visit Bella Goose Coffee’s new roastery located downtown Dells on Eddy Street. Customers can tour the roastery, participate in coffee tasting events and purchase fresh roasted coffee beans. Bella Goose creates a craft coffee experience with pour over coffee, seasonal smoothies and juices, and their signature waffle bar complete with toppings.
NEW LIFE LAVENDER & CHERRY FARM
When you think of the most soothing scent, prettiest pastel, and lovely flavor, it’s a sure bet the first thing that comes to mind is lavender. New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm, open June through September, is a family-run farm tucked away in the beautiful bluffs of nearby Baraboo. Here you’ll find homemade lavender ice cream and their original lavender cherry pies made fresh right at the farm. They also have a store full of handcrafted lavender soaps and lotions. Plan for a guided tour of the fields to see firsthand how sustainable agriculture works in Wisconsin and learn about the 21 varieties of lavender grown here.
THE GREENS ARE LOOKING GOOD
WILD ROCK GOLF CLUB
Wild Rock Golf Club has been selected by the United States Golf Association to host a qualifying round for the 2019 U.S. Open on May 8. This magnificent 18-hole course, built around and through a former quarry, was designed by the same duo who created the site of last year’s U.S. Open, Erin Hills near Milwaukee. A round of golf at Wild Rock will give any golfer bragging rights even if you’re nowhere near the course record of 65.
FAIRFIELD HILLS GOLF COURSE & DRIVING RANGE
A nice honor has been bestowed on Fairfield Hills Golf Course & Driving Range in nearby Baraboo – it was awarded the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin’s 2018 “Golf Course of the Year” ranking in the 9-hole category.
HOT ROCKS – SEAR.SIZZLE.SAVOR
Hot Rocks – Sear.Sizzle.Savor. is not just a restaurant, it’s a tiki-themed dining experience where you prepare food to your liking by cooking at your table on lava stones heated to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Dating back to 7,000 B.C., hot rock cooking is one of the oldest styles of cooking, and now you can enjoy it for yourself at the only restaurant in Wisconsin to feature this kind of dining experience.
FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES
The beloved burger chain, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, is famous for its juicy burgers, fresh cut fries cooked in 100 percent no-cholesterol peanut oil, and hand-spun creamy vanilla milkshakes.
McAlister’s Deli has fresh, made-to-order deli favorites and desserts including the Chocolate Lovin’ Spooncake billed as “chocolate therapy in cake form.”
FIELD’S AT THE WILDERNESS
When the winter thaw is over, dining al fresco is something that is always in high demand which is why Field’s at the Wilderness debuted “The Patio,” a multi-level patio area adjacent to the restaurant and overlooking a pond. This is the perfect place for a nightcap after a full day of activity.
SPA KALAHARI & SALON
Halotherapy, more commonly known as salt therapy, is all the rage in the spa world. Spa Kalahari & Salon has added a salt therapy room that incorporates pure organic Himalayan salt and a halo- generator to turn that pure salt into salt vapor that is released into the atmosphere. When inhaled, it is said to help detoxify the body and boost the immune system, a big plus during cold and flu season.
SUNDARA INN & SPA
Similarly, Sundara Inn & Spa added a salt therapy treatment room as part of its recently completed 40,000-square-foot expansion. In this salt microclimate, salt crystals line the floor and walls as the halotherapy generator adds to the curative feel. Also included in Sundara’s expansion – new woodland suites, a dedicated restaurant, meditation spaces, a second outdoor pool, and a signature indoor sanctuary with pools, waterfalls and replicated casts of the Cambrian sandstone bluffs seen along the Wisconsin River.
MEET IN THE DELLS
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions’ 112,000-square foot meeting and convention space expansion is set to open this fall. It includes a new ballroom large enough to accommodate 8,600, sun-drenched pre-function spaces, private meeting rooms, “recharge” lounges, and outdoor patios. With 756 rooms and 212,000 total square feet of adjoining meeting space, this expansion will brand Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Wisconsin Dells as the largest hotel convention center in Wisconsin.