Wisconsin Deer Park - Unique Family Petting Zoo & Attraction | WisDells
Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

Wisconsin Deer Park

Wisconsin Deer Park - a Classic Dells experience

Wisconsin Deer Park - a Classic Dells experience

Wisconsin Deer Park Map
2183 Wisconsin Dells PkwyWisconsin Dells 53965
(608) 253-2041
Mid April - October 28
(608) 253-2041
(608) 253-2041
  • Info
  • Deals
  • Events
  • Video
  • Stories
  • Articles
Established in 1952. Set out on a family adventure to explore the Wisconsin Deer Park, enjoy a 4 block stroll through a 28 acre forest setting. Feed with your own hands many varieties of deer and wild life. Located one mile south of Wisconsin Dells on U.S. 12.
Classic Experience

In 1951, Russ Tollaksen conceived of an idea to show the beauty of deer and other forest creatures in their natural habitat, so he built Wisconsin Deer Park. He managed the park until 1976 when he sold it to his son Peter, who still owns it today, with grandson Aaron now running the park. This 28-acre parcel is home to some 100 deer from seven different countries. Visitors walk through the exhibit to feed, pet and photograph the animals. The staff is always happy to answer questions and provide information about the rich history of Wisconsin Deer Park.

Convention Overview
Established in 1952. Set out on a family adventure to explore the Wisconsin Deer Park, enjoy a 4 block stroll through a 28 acre forest setting. Feed with your own hands many varieties of deer and wild life. Located one mile south of Wisconsin Dells on U.S. 12.
    Wisconsin Deer Park Videos
    Add Your Wisconsin Deer Park Story
    Wisconsin Deer Park
    Wisconsin Deer Park Stories
    2013-07-23I visited WI Deer Park last year and it was incredible. Also if you are worried about younger children angering the antlered animals, there is no need. The bucks are all kept separate and can be bypassed. These deer are very tame and gentle and offer a unique experience for visitors young and old as they are comfortable around humans unlike wild deer. The park also had several other wild animals such as racoons and a variety of birds, If you are passing through WI Dells, Don't Miss it.
    2012-09-01My husband, kids and I visited the Wisconsin Dells Deer Park in July of 2011. We had so much fun. We all loved feeding the deer and some of them followed us around the park. We took so many pictures and have wonderful memories of that day. When we got home I was looking through our camera and I realized that the only pictres that we took of our entire vacation was of the deer at the Deer Park. We told all of our friends and family about it and told them if they go to Wisconsin Dells that they have to go to the Deer Park. We have even talked about going back just for the day so that we can go back and see the deer. They were so much fun to be around.
    2012-08-15My husband and I visited the Deer Park on 8/14/2012. It was a very relaxing enjoyable place to be. Very fascinating to all ages.... We would definitely recommend this as a place to go..
    2012-05-28I went to Wisconsin Deer Park on 5/26/12. Feeding the deer crackers was so fun! The way they eat the cracker out of your hand was so adorable!
    2010-02-06We are bringing our 3 little grandsons to the Wisconsin Dells for a vacation this July and are looking for age appropriate activities for them to enjoy. The boys are 4, 4, and 2.

    Have you been to Wisconsin Deer Park?

    Add Your Story
    Wisconsin Deer Park Articles
    Happy Time-Out For Toddlers2010-02-09Tour waterparks, attractions and more that are just the right size for the little ones.Read More
    Happy Time-Out For Toddlers

    Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

    Wisconsin Dells has been known as a family-friendly vacation destination for more than a few generations, and this includes activities perfect for the littlest members of the family too. If you have children under the age of five, here are a few suggestions on where to stay and where to play.

    Where to Stay Great Wolf Lodge is ideal for families with little ones, both the accommodations and the waterpark. Wilderness Resort, Chula Vista Resort, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, and Kalahari Resorts & Conventions made toddler-friendly play areas a priority too. Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort on Lake Delton is a classic with modern amenities. Lots of mid-size resorts with water playgrounds too, like Atlantis Waterpark Hotel & Suites, Alakai Hotel & Suites, Meadowbrook Resort, and Grand Marquis Waterpark Hotel & Suites. Spring Brook Resort offers easy vacationing in their rental homes and condos. If you like to camp, Sherwood Forest Camping & RV Park is a sure choice, with a toddler-friendly splash pad.

    Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

    Where to See Animals Timbavati Wildlife Park has behind-the-scenes tours where the children can get up-close with the exotic animals. At Wisconsin Deer Park, they can feed the gentle deer. Don’t forget about the ducks, as in a scenic tour of the Wisconsin River aboard an amphibious DUCK land-to-water vehicle. Circus World, a national historic treasure in nearby Baraboo, has different shows daily under the Big Top.

    Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

    Where to Eat Meals are delivered by miniature train at Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille. MACS - Macaroni and Cheese Shop has two locations, with gourmet mac and cheese offerings for mom and dad too.  For breakfast, Mr. Pancake is a tradition, as is Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty.

    Stroller Friendly The Scenic River Walk downtown is stroller friendly and the views are stunning. Great for family selfies.

    Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

    View Article
    Attraction & Lodging Price Guide2013-01-06Price it out, then plan it.Read More
    Attraction & Lodging Price Guide

    Price It Out, Then Plan It

    This section allows you to download the Wisconsin Dells area price guide. We're certain you'll land on the right dollar figure.


    View Article
    A Classic Influence Every Step Of The Way2010-09-16Pay homage to all that's classic.Read More
    A Classic Influence Every Step Of The Way

    Prefer The Wisconsin Dells Classics

    Enduring. Endearing. Those were the two words that guided the research for this story on the classic Wisconsin Dells vacation. Many of the Wisconsin Dells hotels, attractions and restaurants included below have been building up a fan base for decades and across generations. Others are slightly more contemporary classics that still say “Wisconsin Dells” in a big way. Combined, they make for lots of choices for travelers who like to go classic.


    classic-dells-motels-100Classic Wisconsin Dells Hotels & Motels

    A good starting point is downtown, where classic Wisconsin Dells hotel and motels right on the main street are well maintained and still very popular. There’s Fitzgerald’s Motel, where the front sign reminds you to “Smile, you’re on vacation.” Last year, Fitzgerald’s celebrated its 60th anniversary, and owner Margaret Gewont is 100% sincere when she tells you guests are more like extended family than vacationers. A peek in the guest book proves it, with the first entry reading: “Margaret is the ultimate hostess.” The list of downtown Wisconsin Dells hotels and motels is long and varied, so take your pick.


    downtown-wi-dells-shops-100Downtown Wisconsin Dells

    As long as you’re already on the main thoroughfare, keep your car parked and put on your walking shoes for a stroll up and down Broadway. You’ll pass fudge shops like Swiss Maid Fudge and Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge and likely succumb to the sweets being made behind the picture windows. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, with its quirky and fun-to-read-about displays from adventures of days gone by, is one of the many amusing Wisconsin Dells attractions on Broadway. As long as you’re downtown, go ahead and have one of those old-timey pictures taken. For souvenirs, Bailey’s Landing and Winnebago Gift Shop are both known for their wide selection of Minnetonka moccasins, a fashion statement in Wisconsin and on the runways of New York.


    wisconsin-river-tours-100Classic Wisconsin River Tours

    On your walk through the Dells, you’re sure to see a Duck or two. Not the feathered kind, but the WWII amphibious vehicle kind that takes visitors on tours of Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River. Hop on and enjoy the splashdowns and scenery. Another classic river tour choice is a tour boat, either double decker or paddlewheeler. Some even offer shore landings, which is really the best way to experience the grandeur of the sandstone bluffs in the area.


    dells-animal-attractions-100Animal-Related Dells Attractions

    Now on to real animals, as in the deer at Wisconsin Deer Park, one of the classic Wisconsin Dells attractions that’s been in business for more than 50 years. Here you can feed the deer and also interact with American elk and bison. Wisconsin Deer Park also acts as a zoological supply service, with deer from their park being placed in zoos all over the country.


    tommy-bartlett-show-100Tommy Bartlett Classic Attractions

    Two Wisconsin Dells attractions that begin with the founder’s name, Tommy Bartlett, are staples on the classic vacation itinerary. There’s the famous Tommy Bartlett Show staged on Lake Delton, the longest running water ski show of its kind in the country. It's replete with complicated ski tricks, fast boats, comedy and acrobatic acts thrown in for good measure. Plus, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center is also known for its hundreds of hands-on science experiments, a real Russian MIR space station and an exact replica of NASA’s Mercury space capsule.


    noahs-ark-water-park-100Noah's Ark Waterpark - A Classic Wisconsin Dells Water Park

    If you want to experience a classic Dells water park, then Noah’s Ark Waterpark is it. It opened in 1979 and is the largest outdoor water park in the country, adding something new nearly every year.



    More Wisconsin Dells Classics

    There are a number of other classic finds worthy of their own mention. In lodging, Dell Creek Motel, with its pretty courtyard gardens, has some of the best curb appeal in the community. On Lake Delton, there’s Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort, a fun place for family reunions. For shopping, Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store is a third-generation Dells’ family business which prides itself on its fun selection of apparel, souvenirs, moccasins, jewelry and toys. For breakfast, try Mr. Pancake with 30 varieties of pancakes and waffles; Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty with scrumptious donuts; or Howie’s Restaurant, home of Howie’s self-proclaimed “Huge Breakfast” and, if you’re really hungry, his “Super Breakfast.”


    wisconsin-supper-clubs-100Classic Wisconsin Supper Clubs

    The classic Wisconsin supper clubs in the area deserve a paragraph of their own. If you’re wondering what the requirements are for supper club designation, here goes: clubby bar in which to enjoy that Wisconsin cocktail favorite, the brandy old fashioned, before you sit down to your meal; well trained staff who see to your every need and never rush you; crisp table linens; interesting architecture; relish trays and fresh baked rolls, standout wine cellar; and steaks, seafood and chops that are remarkable. If that sounds mouthwatering to you, then consider one special dinner out at the Del-Bar, Field’s at the Wilderness, House of Embers, Ishnala Supper Club, or the newest entry in the genre of classic supper clubs, Kaminski Bros. Chop House at Chula Vista Resort.



    Drive-In Movies In The Dells

    For one last flash from the past in the Dells, the drive-in movie.  Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater shows double features of first-run movies on two screens every night during the summer. Its concession stand is kitschy and comfortably cramped, serving everything you’d want from a classic snack bar. Side note, if you stay at Holiday Shores Camp-Resort or the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, ask about their seasonal outdoor movies too, shown right on the grounds.

    That’s it, the classic Wisconsin Dells getaway, filled with sweet memories to last until the next time you visit.


    View Article
    Rock A Classic Vacation2011-08-01At least once in your lifetime you should try this itinerary. These classic attractions, restaurants and resorts never go out of style. Just ask your parents or grandparents.Read More
    Rock A Classic Vacation

    At least once in your lifetime you should try this itinerary. These classic attractions, restaurants and resorts never go out of style. Just ask your parents or grandparents.

    Starting with attractions, these are all must-do’s, so be sure to schedule your time accordingly. For those traveling with little ones, Wisconsin Deer Park is worth a stop. At the deer park, which opened more than 50 years ago, kids can feed the freely roaming deer, some still with their doe spots, others with huge antlers. Staying with animal-themed attractions, Lost Canyon Tours offers its own version of the “magnificent mile” - a ride through the narrow gorges of the canyon in a quaint horse-drawn wagon.

    A tour of the Wisconsin River in the afternoon is next in order. You can head out on a Duck, an amphibious WWII vehicle that gives you a little land travel with your water tour. Choose from the Original Wisconsin Ducks® or Dells Army Duck Tours. Or you can relax aboard a double-decker tour boat. Some offer you shore landings to explore the gorges and see a trained dog make the famous Stand Rock jump from one bluff outcropping to another. Other aqua tour options include jet boats, a paddle wheeler, tours without shore landings and dinner cruises.

    Take a detour downtown and stop in the H.H. Bennett Studio, the original studio of the post Civil War photographer H.H. Bennett, the man who introduced the world to Wisconsin Dells with his critically acclaimed photos of the river, the bluffs, the early logging industry and Native American culture. Here you can try the Stand Rock jump, blocked off on the floor. The original leaper was actually Bennett’s son Ashley.

    You can’t get much more classic than the circus and that’s why nearby Circus World in Baraboo makes this list. The grounds here were the original winter home of the Ringling Bros. Today, visitors can still take in 10 different shows performed daily during the warm weather months and gaze upon the world’s largest collection of restored parade wagons.

    One evening has to be set aside to see the Tommy Bartlett Show. Even this popular ski show, going strong after 60 years, is harkening back to its classic high-energy roots with the costumes and choreography for its 2011 “Livin’ the Dream” show. After the show, take a stroll downtown for some homemade fudge or a candy-loaded caramel apple or giant sucker at one of the many confection shops. Maybe even slip into a new pair of moccasins at Winnebago Gift Shop, Bailey’s Landing or Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store.

    On another evening, pile in the car for a double feature of first-run movies at Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater. This is one of the last of its kind in Wisconsin.

    Settle down for the night at a classic hotel or motel.  There are so many to choose from in the area it would be unfair to mention just one or two. But what must be said is that these places represent the best of the mom-and-pop motel tradition, with a good number run by second and third generation families. Pull your car right up to the door of your room and make yourself feel right at home.

    The next morning, make breakfast your classic meal of the trip, with a stop at Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty (fair warning, the doughnuts are fresh and soft and irresistible); or Mr. Pancake, where matriarch Diane Thompson’s recipes for waffles and pancakes and blintzes are to die for.

    View Article
    Another Time, Same Place2013-02-14It all started after spying some vintage advertising posters at the offices of the Original Wisconsin Ducks. The posters, which depicted boat tours of the Upper and Lower Dells and the Duck rides, had a kitschy 1960s style to them that anyone who loves advertising art would instantly appreciate.Read More
    Another Time, Same Place

    Another Time, Same Place

    It all started after spying some vintage advertising posters at the offices of the Original Wisconsin Ducks. The posters, which depicted boat tours of the Upper and Lower Dells and the Duck rides, had a kitschy 1960s style to them that anyone who loves advertising art would instantly appreciate. When asked about them, owner of the Ducks, Dan Gavinski, said there were others, and pulled out a scrap book with black-and-white photos of posters displayed around town to prove it. Many of the attractions still exist, like the Tommy Bartlett ski show, Wisconsin Deer Park, and of course the Ducks and boat tours. Others have been lost to time and tourists’ tastes, like Storybook Garden and Ft. Dells. The signature of the artist was distinctive – it was Valentine with a heart over the “I” and a swoosh for the middle of the “E.”

    Gavinski directed us to River Moon Café, where a handful of the posters adorn the walls of the restaurant. We met up with Eric Helland, who owns the café with wife Mary, to take a closer look. “My favorite is the poster for the Indian Ceremonial, it’s so dramatic with the dark blue starry sky and the moonlit silhouette of the dog jumping at Stand Rock,” said Helland. He found the posters in storage at the old Riverview Boat Line once owned by his family, and decided they deserved a better fate then being unceremoniously stashed away.

    The Wisconsin Deer Park poster had us laughing, as the woman is wearing a cocktail dress with what appears to be coordinating high heel shoes. To feed the deer. Her doting husband, with camera around neck, is directing her to move closer to the buck so he can snap the perfect photo. “That one really harkens back to the ‘60s and a different time in the Dells,” laughed Helland. According to the owners of Wisconsin Deer Park, the reference to Bambi Land on the poster drew the attention of Disney, with official correspondence requesting they not refer to it as such. Wisconsin Deer Park used stickers to cover up the words rather than waste the posters.

    Next stop was at the offices of the Tommy Bartlett Show, where owner Tom Diehl helped to fill in the blanks. As Diehl recounted, the artist, “Val” Valentine, lived in Florida and was brought to the Dells by Tommy Bartlett (who also owned attractions in Florida), to create a promotional poster for the ski show. Interestingly, it’s the one poster of the bunch not signed by Valentine.
    This is where the story really gets interesting. “Valentine’s grandson stopped in last summer after seeing the 60th anniversary piece on the ski show that aired on NBC, wanting to know if anyone in the office was familiar with the artist who created the poster,” said Diehl. The grandson told Diehl that his grandfather was in his early 90’s and still residing in Florida.

    A little online research turned up references to Valentine as a master of promotion and an innovator of haunted houses who began his career working for famous animation studios. For the Dells’ posters, with the originals assumed to be painted and then screen printed, he used a florescent color palette of oranges, greens, blues and reds. Somewhat formulaic in design so they would all “hold together” when displayed side-by-side, each has a word or two in the upper right hand corner ending with an exclamation point. Spectacular! Enchanting! Astounding! Wonderful! Fantastic! Welcome Aboard!

    Decades apart, yet not so far from how the Wisconsin Dells brand is promoted still today.


    View Article

    First Name:

    Last Name:









      Send Me The Wisconsin Dells Newsletter

    Get the inside track on Wisconsin Dells activities, festivals and events, seasonal specials and key information.

      Sign Me Up For Market Research

    I am also interested in participating in periodic research studies about Wisconsin Dells. I agree to allow the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, or its market research partner, to contact me up to three times a year to participate in the studies.

    **By submitting your experience, you warrant you are the sole owner and author of these items. You understand and agree that all submitted information will become the sole property of the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau and will not be returned. You also give us permission to use your comments as we see fit and you understand that we may even contact you via e-mail or phone for more information. While under no circumstances will your personal information be shared with the general public, we may share your contact information with businesses you've identified in your story.



    Our monthly e-newsletter gives you the scoop on things to do in Wisconsin Dells, so sign up today!

    Privacy Policy

    Wisconsin Dells respects your privacy. Your information will not be shared, sold, or used for any other purpose.

    Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

    701 Superior Street, PO Box 390
    Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-0390
    (800) 223-3557
    (608) 254-4293 (Fax)

    This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System