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Wisconsin Dells Holiday Events 2022

Nights of Lights at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

Holidays in Wisconsin Dells

If you’ve ever wondered, why should I spend my holiday vacation in Wisconsin Dells, well, wonder no more, as we run down all the ways to experience December’s holiday magic this season.

Sure, we look forward to the holidays for the cherished memories to be made, yet most of us (OK, make that “all” of us) would gladly relinquish all the work that goes into hosting. That’s where Wisconsin Dells holiday events come in. Consider this our gift to you and yours!

Holiday Festivities and Feasts at the Waterpark Resorts

The Tree of Light in downtown Wisconsin Dells.

You can always count on the large waterpark resorts to get in the spirit of the season with dazzling decorations, bountiful buffets, Santa appearances, kids’ holiday crafts, and overnight specials. Head to the “Packages” section of the websites for Great Wolf Lodge, Chula Vista Resort, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Wilderness Resort, and Mt. Olympus Resort for all the jolly details and to get a jumpstart on planning.

Brilliant Light Displays

There are bound to be lots of bright and beautiful moments during your holiday visit to Wisconsin Dells, but perhaps none brighter than a visit to the Tree of Light located off the Scenic River Walk in downtown Dells. Every inch of a towering 55-foot silver maple tree will be covered in tens of thousands of lights, a beacon in the night, with an additional 75 decorated trees, all sponsored by area businesses, adding to the joyful scene. 

Over at Mt. Olympus Resort, check out their Nights of Lights display, a half mile walk-thru attraction featuring a dazzling light show with more than one million lights. Purchase hot cocoa along the way for an extra cozy feeling of the season. The display is free with a stay at the resort. 

Santa Express

What could be more classic than a ride on the Santa Express, a.k.a. a historic steel coach at Mid-Continent Railway Museum in nearby North Freedom, with an appearance by the jolly old elf himself. St. Nick’s holiday helpers will also be on board to hand out gifts. There are four Santa Express departures each day on Nov. 26 and 27 and Dec. 3 and 4. The ride is just under an hour long and you’ll want to buy tickets in advance.

Speaking of trains, the beloved Canadian Pacific Holiday Train makes its comeback complete with festive railcars and live performances. The train pitstops downtown Wisconsin Dells at 2:30 PM on Saturday, December 10th for a live performance and dazzling light show. Bring a nonperishable item to help the local food bank to help spread extra cheer this year. 

Gifts from Winnebago Gifts in Wisconsin Dells.

Take in the movie “The Polar Express - Journey to the North Pole” at the Take Flight attraction at the Wilderness Resort. Nothing better than a heartwarming holiday movie to get you in the spirit of the season.   

Hop on the Santa Holiday Trolley tour, complete with photo opportunities with Santa and stops at the best holiday light displays in Wisconsin Dells. Book online at Dells Trolley Tours.  

Stocking Stuffers

Stuff the stockings of everyone with seasonal sweet treats from one of the local sweet shops, including Swiss Maid Fudge, Goody Goody Gum Drop, Aunt Jenny’s Candy Kitchen, Original Wisconsin Dells Fudge, and more. 

There are bound to be super-cute holiday home décor items at Winnebago Gift Shop, DooHickey’s Gifts, and Outlets at The Dells, perfect for gift-giving. For all the good little girls and boys, pick up a classic toy at the Made With Love boutique.

Peaceful Hikes and Exhilarating Skiing

Take a moment for seasonal serenity with a family stroll along the Scenic River Walk that follows the Wisconsin River’s path in downtown Dells. Cross-country skiing at Mirror Lake State Park is another way to balance all the merrymaking of a holiday in Wisconsin Dells with an equal measure of tranquility. Pack your snowshoes for a silent sport workout at Devil’s Lake State Park. Enjoy an easygoing winter hike at Rocky Arbor State Park.

A family in a horse-drawn carriage at Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stables in Wisconsin Dells.

We’d also add to the “peaceful” list a sleigh ride at Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable

For those who like to keep active with downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing during their holiday break, keep an eye on the Travel Wisconsin website for their up-to-the-minute snow report, and bookmark websites for Cascade Mountain Ski, Snowboard & Snow Tube and Christmas Mountain Village Ski, Snowboard & Tube for updates on snow-making activity at both ski destinations.

One more activity to consider for the holidays that may come as a surprise – ziplining. Yes, a chance to zipline over snowy treetops is offered by Vertical Illusions and Bigfoot Zipline Tours. How merry!  

Where to Find Deals

Start planning ahead with deals definitely more tempting than Grannie’s fruitcake, all conveniently grouped under the “Find Great Deals” page.

P.S. Wisconsin Dells goes all out for the “bookend holidays” of Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve too, just to plant those holiday Wisconsin Dells ideas! 


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