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Dear Dells: Is There Still Time to Plan That Family Summer Vacation I Promised the Kids?

Wisconsin Deer Park in Wisconsin Dells.

Wisconsin Dells Family Vacation, Here We Come

Parents, all is not lost. You can still come through with a phenomenal family vacation to Wisconsin Dells when you follow these getaway ideas from the tourism experts in the Dells. Trust us, your vacation won’t look last minute or feel like a soggy afterthought. Best tip of all: Lodging and attractions traditionally less busy the last two weeks of August, so try to swing your summer getaway for then.

WildThing Jet Boats in Wisconsin Dells.

A Wisconsin Dells family getaway in August can serve a dual purpose - last summer hurrah and the exciting run-up to back-to-school. Follow along as we bring you the ultimate guide to “summer vacation saved,” with a “this-or-that” theme.

What To Do in August

  • Outdoor or Indoor: Wisconsin Dells is waterpark nirvana, with Noah’s Ark Waterpark billed as America’s largest outdoor waterpark. The largest waterpark resorts in the area have both indoor and outdoor waterparks…how’s that for pleasing everyone! For example, there’s a huge outdoor wave pool at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park and an equally massive one under a see-through dome at Wilderness Resort. On the theme park front, you must try Mt. Olympus Theme Park for the go-carts and roller coasters. You’ll be screaming with delight! In case there’s a sprinkle of rain, head indoors for theme park palooza fun at Tom Foolerys Adventure Park or Knuckleheads Trampoline Park Rides Bowling
  • Slow or Fast: Compare a Wisconsin river tour on an amphibious vehicle known as a Duck or river boat to a jet boat tour. Hint: You’ll get drenched on one of these. 
  • Native or Exotic: Stroll Wisconsin Deer Park to feed the deer. Then pop across the street to Timbavati Wildlife Park for close encounters with giraffe, zebra, and kangaroos.

Mt. Olympus Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells.

Where To Stay

The waterpark resorts in the area are the ultimate fan favorite for lodging. The biggest include Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Great Wolf Lodge, Wilderness Resort, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, and Chula Vista Resort. But don’t overlook the mid-sized properties and vacation rental homes in the area too that have water activities or are situated on bodies of water, namely Lake Delton or the Wisconsin River.

Fun Splurges That Won’t Break the Budget

Your kids are sure to behave sweetly when they know they’ll get a chance to shop for fudge and old-fashioned candy at Goody Goody Gum Drop, Dells Fudge Company, Original Wisconsin Dells Fudge, Candy Connection, Swiss Maid Fudge, and Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge. There’s also Kernel Popcorn’s Factory and Aunty Jenny’s Candy Kitchen for more sweet eats.

Monk's Bar & Grill at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells.

Get the whole gang to pose for an old-time portrait at Old Abe’s or Prof. Porter’s Old Time Portrait studios.

Outfit everyone with new Minnetonka moccasins from Winnebago Gift Shop or Gifts of the World.

Family-Style Dining

With tables ample in size to fit the entire extended family, you can’t go wrong with a delicious meal at Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty, Mr. Pancake, Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co., Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille, Mexicali Rose, Monk’s Bar & Grill at the Wilderness, and B-LUX Grill & Bar.

Bonus: Back-to-School Shopping

Let this August vacation do double-duty – summer fun and school prep - with back-to-school shopping at Outlets at the Dells. There are more than 50 stores here, so wear comfy walking shoes as you stock up on new gear for the new school year. 

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