Ahhh, fall in Wisconsin, the time of year when forested hillsides take on the look of colorful patchwork quilts, the weather delivers sunshine tempered with comfortable temps, and activities and events mound up faster than a pile of raked leaves. Here’s everything you need to know about things to do in the Dells in the fall.
Best Places to Visit in Wisconsin in the Fall
It’s a cornucopia of fall fun in Wisconsin Dells. See how many of these you can check off on this year’s autumn getaway, starting with the best places in Wisconsin to see fall colors.
- The leaf peeping is absolutely sublime when viewed from the vantage point of a boat cruise or aboard a WWII amphibious DUCK o the Wisconsin River. Even the jet boats run into October. On dry land, heed the “all aboard” call of the train engineer for a ride through the colorful countryside on a restored steel coach pulled by a steam locomotive at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum or Riverside & Great Northern Railway.
- Nothing like zip lining in the fall to really get your fill of fall leaf colors in Wisconsin. You’re guaranteed to see awe-inspiring views at Wilderness Canyon Zip Line Canopy Tour, Vertical Illusions Zip Line, Dells Zipline Adventures, and BigFoot Zipline Tours.
- Hop on a horse and go for a trail ride through the woods at Woodside Ranch Riding Stables. Canyon Creek Riding Stables and Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stables are two more choices for a scenic tour before the leaves fall.
- Get in as much golf as you can before the temps drop. Take your pick of different golf experiences in Wisconsin Dells, from putting course to short course to championship challenge. Experienced golfers will want to reserve tee times at Trappers Turn Golf Club, Wild Rock Golf Club, and Cold Water Canyon. Spring Brook Resort offers a stay-and-play experience.
- A half-dozen wineries in the area makes Wisconsin Dells a wine lover’s destination unto itself. Wollersheim Winery is historic, Balanced Rock is modern, Baraboo Bluff is especially scenic, Fawn Creek is woodsy, Broken Bottle is rustic, and Prairie Hawk is tranquil. And the wines from these producers are award-winning. So, sip great wines while you soak in the saturated hues of the fall season as only the Wisconsin Dells region can deliver.
- Stock up on pumpkins and squash at Country Bumpkin Farm Market (after you tackle the corn maze). The little ones in the family will love the play village and petting farm. Speaking of animals, add Wisconsin Deer Park and Timbavati Wildlife Park to your fall vacation list.
- No need to miss your favorite fall sports event when you can watch the big game at Monk’s Bar & Grill. The downtown location opened in 1947 and is loaded with sports memorabilia. The second location in Lake Delton has 30 flatscreen TVs. The famous and extremely mouthwatering Monkburger headlines the menu at both and makes for great munching at halftime.
- Dine at Ishnala Supper Club on Mirror Lake before it tucks in for the season. And take advantage of al fresco seating at Field’s at the Wilderness and House of Embers.
Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells in October: Fall Festival Calendar
- Friday, Sept. 16 – Sunday, Sept. 18 – Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival in downtown Wisconsin Dells
- Saturday, Oct. 1, 2-6 p.m. - Fall Wine Walk in downtown Wisconsin Dells, ticket purchase required.
- Friday, Oct. 14, 5-9 p.m. – Dells Craft Beer Walk in downtown Wisconsin Dells, ticket purchase required.
- Saturday, Oct. 15, 1-5 p.m. – Dells on Tap microbrew festival at the fest grounds just off La Crosse Street, VIP tickets (with early admission at noon) and general admission tickets both
On a Budget
There are lots of economical options to round out your fall itinerary. Here are some great picks for cheap things to do in the fall.
- Stroll the Scenic River Walk in downtown Wisconsin Dells and be sure to snap lots of great fall photos of the towering cliffs, fall colorama, and meandering Wisconsin River.
- Take to the trails, with hiking at area state parks including Devil’s Lake, Mirror Lake, Roche-A-Cri, and Rocky Arbor. Paddling is another great way to see the fall foliage up-close, with rentals of stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks available from Dells Watersports, Holiday Shores Watersports, River’s Edge Boat Rentals, and Dells Kayak and Canoe Rentals.
- Share a square of your favorite seasonal fudge or split a caramel apple from Swiss Maid Fudge or Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge.
- Visit the International Crane Foundation (nominal admission fees apply) and marvel at their $10 million renovation. This is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes. Make an afternoon of it when you walk the new trails here too.
- Play some mini-golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. There are five different courses, and the landscaping is especially colorful.