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Christmas in Wisconsin Dells

A family walking at the Lake Delton Waterfront Villas.

If you’re looking for inspiration to get you and your family in an especially jolly mood this holiday season, then this story is for you. Find out what the Dells is up to with these Christmas vacation ideas in Wisconsin.

Why You’ll Want to Celebrate Christmas in Wisconsin This Year

A Christmas vacation in Wisconsin will deliver all the joy, magic, and merriment you could wish for, while making it easy on the planners, and who doesn’t love that combo this time of year! Let’s start with specific ideas for Christmas vacations for families in Wisconsin.

Christmas Activities in Wisconsin to Delight the Little Ones (Hint: Santa Is Involved)

A visit to a Wisconsin Dells waterpark resort timed to the holidays is sure to put a sparkle in the eyes of toddlers, tweens, even teens. Along with splashing around in the waterparks – no need to hop a jet for a feel of the tropics at holiday time – the kids will be thrilled with these Christmas traditions:

  • At Great Wolf Lodge, their embrace of the season is absolutely magical. We’re speaking of their classic Snowland experience, staged every year about this time. Picture snowflake story time, a family dance party to holiday tunes, Christmas crafts perfectly themed to the season, and of course, visits with Santa Claus. Yet, the most incredible thing of all is that there is a real snowfall inside their lobby.
  • If your family loves the tale of “The Polar Express,” then make a point to see the feature film at the Take Flight attraction at the Wilderness Resort. And mark our words, this is more than just a movie, it’s a joyful experience thanks to the massive 65-foot screen, seats that soar with the action, even wind, water, and scent effects. Consider this your journey to the North Pole without leaving your seat. Guests of the resort will also want to take the kiddos to visit Santa and decorate Christmas cookies. On Christmas night, their Camp Social restaurant will present a holiday fireside dinner buffet.
  • Get ready to stroll a winter wonderland when you visit Chula Vista Resort this holiday season. The indoor waterpark tunnel is transformed into Candy Cane Lane complete with holiday decorations to delight the young and young at heart. Speaking of decorations, the team of Santa’s elves at the resort will decorate your room with a Christmas tree and leave sugar cookies and decorating supplies too – just reserve in advance of your stay. One more tip: Check the activity calendar at the front desk for info on all the holiday-themed activities going on during your stay.
  • Over at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, guests will be greeted with fanciful Christmas decorations in the lobby. Visits from Santa are also on the holiday agenda. The pièce de resistance though has to be their winter holiday feast on Dec. 25. The menu features all your favorites, plus there’s a children’s buffet. Save room for a piece of seasonal cake or pie.     

Two Especially Brilliant Christmas Vacation Ideas in Wisconsin

There are two destinations in Wisconsin Dells that are incredibly bright spots amidst all the holiday fanfare that we just had to call them out separately:

  • “Nights of Lights” at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park is brand new this winter and runs through the end of January. More than one million lights transform the outdoor theme park here, turning it into one dazzling light show. As you take the half-mile walk through this brilliant display, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa along the way. Guests of the resort will also want to book their visit with Santa, where milk, cookies and candy canes are the order of the day. Both the light display and Santa’s Christmas Village are free with an overnight stay.
  • The Wisconsin Dells “Tree of Light” is another display not to be missed. Located just off the Scenic River Walk in the downtown district, visitors can feast their eyes on the towering 55-foot silver maple tree awash with thousands of lights, and then stroll the River Walk to view 75 holiday trees all sponsored by area businesses. Enjoy the Tree of Light every evening through Jan. 1. A jolly Christmas surprise: Sightings of Santa and his reindeer will be a regular occurrence on the three weekends leading up to Christmas. All of this is free. 

Best Places for Hot Chocolate and Holiday Sweets

Along with all the cute cafés and eateries at the waterpark resorts serving hot cocoa, stop in Bella Goose Coffee – Café on the River for a seasonal drink to warm the soul, and why not pair with their organic chocolate hazelnut toast while you’re at it.

No Christmas in Wisconsin is complete without a visit to a confectionary. Good thing Wisconsin Dells has a sweet tooth! Enjoy the seasonal fudge flavors and buttery homemade caramel at Swiss Maid Fudge. For a Willy Wonka-esque experience, visit Goody Goody Gum Drop. The gift boxes at Original Wisconsin Dells Fudge are perfect for the entire group to enjoy. 

Popcorn is a classic holiday snack and at Kernel Popcorn’s Factory and Oodlesmack Popcorn they’re popping up tasty seasonal flavors. Perfect for stocking stuffers, wouldn’t you agree?

Shopping Finds During Your Christmas in Wisconsin

Here are five ideas on how to spend that gift of money from grandma or Secret Santa:

Make a Holiday Weekend of It

A real gift of the season for you and yours might be to spend the weekend in Wisconsin Dells. Here’s a link to all the different lodging choices, waterparks to cabins to classic motels, that will have in you in the Christmas spirit from the moment you arrive.

Celebrating the holidays in Wisconsin Dells could also include a special dinner at one of the area’s fine dining establishments. Time to get dressed up in your holiday finery and enjoy all the season has to offer, and that includes delicious meals.

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