Things to do in Wisconsin Dells

When is the Best Time to Visit Wisconsin Dells?

Wisconsin Dells may have begun as a hub for fur trading and logging, but as word of its scenic beauty began to spread – with the help of H.H. Bennett’s incredible photos – the tourist destination we know it as today started to take shape. These days, the “Waterpark Capital of the World” is renowned for its water slides, resorts, and unique attractions. There are exciting adventures and relaxing getaways to be had year round. But what’s the best time to visit Wisconsin Dells?

The peak season for Wisconsin Dells is the summer, when the lazy rivers are flowing, the roar of go-karts fills the air, Pirate’s Cove is open for the plundering. June, July and August are the best times to experience everything this quirky town has to offer.

But if wave pools and zip lines aren’t your thing, the off season offers an entirely different and wholly unique experience.

To help you decide when is the best time to plan your trip, we put together this handy guide of the best things to do in Wisconsin Dells during each season.

Canyon trail in Wisconsin Dells


Camping, water parks, and wilderness

Summer is the quintessential time to visit Wisconsin Dells. Noah’s Ark, Mt. Olympus and other water parks are in full swing. Ducks and boat tours will take you up and down the river and into the winding canyons. Pet some ferocious reptiles, giant snakes and two-headed critters at Alligator Alley. Feed your children to the…er…let your children feed the deer at the Wisconsin Deer Park. Get a blast from the past at the Totally 80s immersive art exhibit. Step into real circus history at Circus World. Challenge yourself on the Bigfoot Ropes Course. Feed your hard-earned money into slot machines at Ho-Chuck Casino.

And don’t forget the slew of live entertainment at places like the Showboat Saloon, Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Opry, and the Rock Wilcox Magic Theater.

You might like: 21 tips to save money at Wisconsin Dells

Haunted Mansion in Wisconsin Dells

Zombies Gene Simmons and Elvis Presley at Haunted Mansion


Fall colors and spooky adventures

The real adventure begins when the crisp air starts to move in for the fall season. This is a great time to explore at the fall colors (and Lovecraftian horrors) at Devil’s Lake State Park, hop on the trolley for a haunted history tour, voyage into a chilling canyon on the Ghost Boat, or wander the halls of the Haunted Mansion. We’re clearly big fans of the Dell’s spooky side. But fall is also a great time to check out the arcade and laser tag at Wild Fun Zone, or experience an epic adventure at Wizard Quest.

Don’t forget to grab some Dells fudge, get an old timey family photo, and take the kids to see the Museum of Historic Torture Devices.

The annual Wo Zha Wa Days Fall Festival is a weekend-long extravaganza that happens mid-September and serves as the last hurrah before the summer season officially comes to an end.

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Wisconsin Dells Christmas Train

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train of Lights


Christmas train and cozy resorts

Wisconsin Dells becomes something of a ghost town during the dark winter months, but when you catch a glimpse of the giant snow-covered Trojan Horse, you’ll realize it’s a frozen wonderland. And there’s no better way to experience that than from inside a warm cabin, or through the steamy indoor waterpark windows of the Kalahari. There are few things better than relaxing in the jacuzzi in front of the flickering fireplace of your log cabin-themed hotel room at Great Wolf Lodge while the temperatures plummet outside.

Experience some holiday joy during Christmas in Wisconsin Dells when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train of Lights rolls into town, and take a stroll along the River Walk with Christmas lights and more than 70 unique Christmas trees creatively decorated by local businesses. Then make sure to check out the 55-foot silver maple Tree of Light brightly illuminating the night with thousands of glittering white lights. Nights of Lights transforms the Mt. Olympus outdoor theme park into a dazzling walk-through light display.

Celebrate the holidays the way God intended, with the pyrotechnics, lasers, flying sugar plum fairies, singers, dancers, comedians, live animals, figure skaters and four-course feast of The Christmas in the Dells Dinner Show.

Winter is also the perfect time to visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, which is open all year. There will be far less people getting in your way of seeing the real mummified head of Peter Kurten.

Automotion Classic Car Show in Wisconsin Dells

Automotion Classic Car Show at Mt. Olympus


Wine and wheels

The water parks haven’t quite thawed yet, but the hiking trails and other natural wonders might be. If not, Knuckleheads has everything you need: Indoor go-karts, trampoline park, bowling, arcade, and rides.

The annual Spring Wine Walk transforms downtown Wisconsin Dells into a wine tasting destination, with more than 20 participating businesses handing out wine samples and hors d’ oeuvres.

In May, over 1,000 classic cars roll into for the Automotion Classic Car Show at Mt. Olympus.

Water parks open again on Memorial Day weekend, and if you’re looking for Wisconsin Dells deals, this is a great time to find free or discounted tickets in the month of June when the weather and the water can still be a little too cool for the crowds.

What’s your favorite time of the year to visit Wisconsin Dells? Tell us why in the comments below!


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