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Turkey Day in the Dells

Family staying at Lake Delton Waterfront Villas

Family, Fun, Food

For the grown-ups, the draw is threefold: no cooking, no cleaning, just togetherness. For the kids, it’s the chance to play all day with siblings and cousins. We’re talking Thanksgiving in Wisconsin Dells, and this is your formal invitation to join us this month.

Nordhaus vacation rental home in Wisconsin Dells.

This year, why not float the idea of gathering in Wisconsin Dells for Thanksgiving? Here are the pros: You can be as active or as laid back as you like. You can have a potluck or you can let area restaurants do the cooking for you. Grandparents to little ones will find lots to their liking. And you can officially kick off your holiday season with nary a thought of household chores. The cons: There are none!

Lodging for Close-knit Families

First things first, choose the lodging that best suits your group. We find that lots of Thanksgiving visitors like to keep the whole family together, so they choose the large waterpark resorts where options include large suites, condos, cabins, and villas. Vacation home rentals are another fine choice for making the most of your time together. There’s Spring Brook Resort, with the largest rentals here boasting six bedrooms – talk about room to spread out – plus there’s an indoor pool, fitness studio, and miles of hiking trails on the property too. Sand County Service Company has three-bedroom rentals with all the comforts of home. Stay Wisconsin Dells has multiple properties, some right next door to each other that are ideal for extended family groups. Settle in, watch the football game, play some board games, eat, nap, it’s up to you.

Coffee from Bella Goose Coffee in Wisconsin Dells.

Fun and Food

Honestly, we can’t think of a more fun activity for the kids, and for the grown-ups too for that matter, than splashing around at the waterparks. There are kiddie play areas for the littles, extreme rides for the teens, and lazy rivers for the whole fam to enjoy.

It’s also a good way to work up an appetite, knowing the resorts love hosting guests for Thanksgiving dinner. At Wilderness Resort, for example, guests may choose from the Grand Thanksgiving Day Buffet or the Family Style To-Go Meals. The Thanksgiving Day buffet at Chula Vista Resort will feature all the classic favorites – roast turkey to savory sides to delectable desserts. Kalahari will offer its iconic Thanksgiving feast perfect for large groups, the dessert station is a family favorite. Thanksgiving Day at Trappers Turn Golf Club can mean only one thing – a spectacular chef-served feast. Large groups will be grateful they can reserve a private room at Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille or Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.

Here's a tip: Counter that sleepy feeling you get from eating turkey and carbs with a PPL – that’s Pumpkin Pie Latte - at Bella Goose Coffee - Café on the River.

Classic Thanksgiving Activities

The family that plays together during the Thanksgiving holiday escapes together. By that we mean the adventures at local escape room attractions including Booby Trap Escape Rooms, Destination of Adventure Room Escape at the Wilderness Resort, and the themed escape rooms at Kalahari Resort. If wizard questing is more your thing, head over to the new-and-greatly expanded Wizard Quest attraction.

A girl bowling at Tom Foolerys Adventure Park in Wisconsin Dells.

Along with the year-round waterpark fun, Wisconsin Dells is also known for its indoor theme parks. There’s Tom Foolerys Adventure Park with a six-stories-tall Ferris wheel, carousel, go carts, laser tag, ropes course, zip line, mini golf, and climbing wall – yes, all that is indoors. Knuckleheads has a massive trampoline park, bumper cars, go carts, and virtual reality. 

Take a hike to work off calories from those delicious Turkey Day feasts, with some mighty beautiful trails at nearby state parks, including Mirror Lake, Devil’s Lake, Rocky Arbor, and Roche-A-Cri

One last idea: While Timbavati Wildlife Park may not have turkeys, their Parakeet Encounter is a slice (figuratively speaking) of bird paradise right here in Wisconsin.

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