Coolest Things to See in Wisconsin Dells (That Are Not Waterparks): Top 5

Being that we live so close, my son and I have been to Wisconsin Dells several times since he was small. It was also an (almost) annual vacation spot for my family when I was growing up.

We’ve been to Great Wolf Lodge, Chula Vista, Kalahari and more. Don’t forget the random stops at the Cracker Barrel restaurants along those magic filled journeys.

Many of us Chicagoans use Wisconsin as a quick vacay to get away from the city life and enjoy the nature, or the massive waterparks in the Dells. Wisconsin Dells is truly known as the, “Waterpark Capital of the World”, and I don’t know any other place that would be able to steal that title. Not in the United States, or the Midwest that is.

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In Wisconsin Dells there are at least 15-20 major waterparks. Aside from the waterparks, there are also plenty of other things to do and some pretty neat tourist attractions.

From nature themed activities, to mythical quests, to two headed creatures; I’ve compiled a quick list here with a brief explanation of some of the coolest ones that you don’t want to miss on your next visit. Let me know in the comments which one you plan on going to, or if you will go to them all.

  1. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
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Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is conveniently located in the downtown Wisconsin Dells area. The Ripley’s museum in Wisconsin Dells is full of some of the most bizarre and interesting items you can imagine.

My son and I have been to the Wisconsin location twice now due to his request of wanting to see the unusual wax figures and the abnormal artifacts.

We’re kind of super into the unconventional and peculiar things in life, so this is always on our go to list. We plan on visiting more Ripley’s Believe It Or Not locations in the future because we love this one in particular, so much!

One of my favorite exhibits in the museum is the Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Dracula – The First Vampire) display. It’s upstairs, and there are a few little secret rooms that you can explore that are not for the faint of heart!

Once you finish exploring all of the oddities that Ripley’s has to offer, you can make your way into the little gift shop where you can even buy a two headed frog plush for your little one. It will make for a great conversation with your friends and family once you get back home.

2. Wisconsin Deer Park

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This quite possibly is my favorite spot in all of Wisconsin Dells. The Wisconsin Deer Park is absolutely incredible. It sits on 40 acres of land and has white tailed deer roaming freely throughout the park.

You are able to go inside the park, walk amongst the deer and even feed them with the little feed cups provided by staff (that are available for purchase in the lobby).

During our visit to the deer park we saw some other animals too, including pigs, goats, and I think a bison if I’m not mistaken. We hung out with the animals for a significant amount of time and were even lucky enough to see little Bambi and his mom.

There were many fawns out with their mothers that day. The deer are super friendly, safe for kids to be around, and some of them will walk directly up to you especially if you have food.

Just make sure you only feed them what the Wisconsin Deer Park provides. Some are a bit more shy and timid, and they will retreat the forest areas to hide or rest.

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3. Lost Canyon Horse Tours

Sure, there are plenty of stables to go horseback riding in Wisconsin. One place that is unique and really stands out however, is Lost Canyon Horse Tours.

The reason Lost Canyon is on my list of the coolest non-waterpark spots in the Dells is because it’s a family friendly activity and you will have an unforgettable experience.

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Another plus is sitting in a carriage, so you won’t be physically on top of the horse. This is great for people who have limited mobility.

Their carriages will take you through a canyon of sandstone that is thousands of years old. Some parts of the canyon are a bit chilly and have not seen the light of day in over 50,000 years.

The horses are beautiful and strong, and the tour guides are quite entertaining. They will share the history of the canyon with you during your tour. Our tour was even more exciting because we had to stop the horses right on the trail so a family of deer could cross the path.

It was extraordinary to see nature just taking its course, right in front of our eyes. The tour is not too long, but it is well worth it if you want a laid back and fun experience.

4. Wizard Quest

Being a mythology lover also means that I love wizards. Fairies, dragons, wizards, gods, goddesses (hence the name All Goddess Official), are part of my every day life! If you also adore these kinds of worldly creatures, you will appreciate Wizard Quest.

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Dungeons and Dragons fan? Yep. This is for you! Wizard Quest is an interactive exploration labyrinth where you will star as the main character.

It is your humble duty to answer riddles and solve puzzles that lead you to clues on how to save the day, and find all of the hidden wizards. Be aware of the dragons and trolls, some come from other realms that are much different from our own!

Are you ready to go to another dimension and find the old wizards? This quest won’t let you down. Wizard Quest is also expanding to a much larger location in Fall of 2021!

As of now, it is conveniently located next to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in the Dells. You should still be able to purchase a discounted ticket for both activities at this time.

5. The Jet Boats & Witches Gulch

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Okay, so here is the low down. Jet boats are awesome and hellishly entertaining.

Your Captain will be sure to whip you around the Wisconsin River and make sure you get splashed more than once.

It’s the best feeling ever to have the cool breeze of the river blowing through your hair during the heat of the summer. If you’re wearing a hat you should probably hold onto it for dear life, or simply just take it off!

The Jet Boat Tours in the Dells are wildly exciting, and in my opinion not long enough in duration. Part of the Jet Boat Tour is stopping at another canyon-like nature made exhibit called Witches Gulch. When the boat stops you will have roughly 10 minutes (it felt like 2 minutes) to explore the picturesque canyon.

This allows you enough time to take some photos, feel the spirit of nature and buy some overpriced snacks from the little restaurant at Witches Gulch. I don’t recommend buying any snacks or drinks because you will not be allowed to carry them back with you on the Jet Boat Tour.

Here is a secret: You don’t need to take the Jet Boat Tour to access Witches Gulch. You can drive there as well. If you want something more mild, you can ride on the ever famous Wisconsin Ducks. It’s a classic tourist attraction, and never disappoints.

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Bonus Ideas:

Don’t forget to try some homemade Wisconsin fudge, cheese and beer. You can easily find those items in the downtown Dells area. Those items are part of a true Midwestern experience. Feel free to share your Dells ideas and experiences, or questions in the comments section below. We love hearing from our followers.

Kimberly Anne is a freelance writer and aspiring author. She is currently in school working towards her BA in Creative Writing and English. Besides work and school, she is writing her first novel and helps small businesses design their websites and brands. You can follow @kimberlyanneinc on IG and Twitter.

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