Holly, Jolly Happenings for Wisconsin Dells Christmas 2023
Joy is abundant all year long in Wisconsin Dells, but especially so at Christmastime. Make this the year you start a new tradition of spending Christmas in the Dells.
As if the waterparks and other fun attractions weren’t reason enough to consider celebrating the Christmas holiday in Wisconsin Dells, we now bring you even more reasons to take the mistletoe and ho-ho-ho on the road.
Magical Holiday Events
This just in – the Canada Pacific/Kansas City Southern Holiday Train of Lights will make a stop in Wisconsin Dells on Dec. 5 from 2:30-3:15 PM. What we love about this train tour is how it pairs live performances by Tenille Townes and Breland, an appearance by Santa & Mrs. Claus, food, and raffles with a chance to do good by bringing a non-perishable food item or monetary donation to benefit the Central Wisconsin Community Action Council’s food pantry and homeless programs.
If you’ve never experienced this free event, make 2023 the year, as the Holiday Train celebrates its 25th anniversary. The train will make its stop in downtown Dells at the Amtrak Depot located at 100 La Crosse St.
Pair the Holiday Train of Lights with Wisconsin Dells’ own light show – the Tree of Light, also in the downtown district. A towering 55-foot silver maple tree near the entrance to the River Walk will be covered with thousands of lights, giving a magical glow to the night sky. Stroll the River Walk to see 70 more decorated trees, all sponsored by area businesses. The Tree of Light will remain lit every night from 4:30-11 PM through January 1. Free parking is available. Check the calendar here for visits by Santa and his reindeer, caroling performances, and even an Elf on the Shelf event.
Calling all lovers of ugly Christmas sweaters – you know who you are – please wear your favorite holiday knit during the Dec. 2 Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl in downtown Wisconsin Dells. From 5-9 PM, holiday revelers aged 21+ are encouraged to be in good cheer while enjoying libations, games, and holiday swag at local pubs. Tickets are available online.
There’s also the new Christmas in the Dells Dinner Show, which includes a four-course Christmas feast followed by a multi-million dollar Christmas production complete with flying sugar plum fairies, dancing elves, and jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself, with a big band adding to the festive holiday mood. There are lunch and dinner shows running through the end of December.
The outdoor living history museum and operating railroad, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in nearby North Freedom, does an incredible job of bringing the magic of Christmas past to life for little ones with its Santa Express ride, Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2-3. Look for Santa to be one of the passengers along with his elves who will be handing out treats to all the good little girls and boys.
Here’s What’s Happening at the Waterpark Resorts This Winter
If you think the waterpark resorts are a blast during the summer season, just wait until you feast your eyes on their holiday transformations. Picture dazzling decorations, appearances by none other than Santa himself, holiday crafts for the kiddos, and, of course, sumptuous buffets featuring all your favorites.
At the Wilderness Resort, the staff must be part-elf. How else to explain all the Santa visits planned, the cookie decorating activities on the docket, and the special showings of The Polar Express – Journey to the North Pole movie at their Take Flight theater. Wilderness will also have the Christmas-themed Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan returning on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 6-9 PM.
The Great Wolf Lodge’s popular Snowland returns with holiday dance parties, arts & crafts, and scavenger hunt. The kids will be in the Christmas spirit in no time.
We can’t say enough about the chef-prepared Christmas Day feast at Kalahari Resort. We counted 50 items on the menu, including a white chocolate candy cane mousse on the dessert table that sounds amazing.
Chula Vista Resort delivers on the sentiment of this being the most wonderful time of the year with endless waterpark fun, winter hikes on the property perched above the Wisconsin River, and a chance to cozy up in front of a fireplace as you and yours exchange gifts.
Holiday merriment veritably glows at Mt. Olympus Resort with their spectacular Night of Lights display with two million lights transforming the park. It starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs through the first week of January.
It’s Ski Season Too
While in the Dells for Christmas, suggest to all the skiers and snowboarders in the group, day visits to Cascade Mountain or Christmas Mountain or both. For those who don’t ski, don’t worry, there is snow tubing too which is incredibly fun and requires no experience or special skills, just a joyful outlook.
Who wouldn’t love a horse drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the snow to get all the feels of Christmas. Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable offers these rides beginning in December, with each sleigh holding 10-15 people comfortably. So, round up the extended family, cousins included, with a promise of an unforgettable ride through 250 acres of scenic woods followed by hot chocolate around a warm campfire.
Remember Your Wisconsin Dells Christmas with a Portrait
One last idea for holiday visitors to Wisconsin Dells: Schedule an old-time portrait of your group at Capone’s Original Old Time Picture Studio or Old Abe’s Old Time Portraits.
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