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While the water parks are single biggest attraction in the Wisconsin Dells, there are tons of other great sights and activities the area has to offer. You can hit all of the attractions in this article in a week or less. All of these are family friendly, and many of them are appropriate for a wide range of ages.
1. Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Right in the downtown strip in the Dells, Ripley's Believe It or Not! is an inexpensive, fun attraction. You can walk through the whole thing in 1-2 hours. Some of the things there are pretty gross or just creepy, so beware.
2. Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf and Family Fun Center
Miniature golfing at Pirate's Cove! What vacation would be complete without miniature golfing? Pirate's Cove has several different courses of varying degrees of difficulty. They give coupons each time you play so return games are cheaper.
3. Mt. Olympus Resorts
Yes, you can go to Mt. Olympus just for the water park. We were mostly curious to see what the park is like since it has a national reputation. The amusement park is very old school. If you enjoy wooden rollercoasters and go carts, you'll have a good time there. We walked through the water park, too, which is huge. There's something for everyone.
Hades Wooden Roller Coaster at Mount Olympus: Front Seat View
4. Circus World in Baraboo
Baraboo, WI (just 15 minutes south of the Dells) is the home of the Ringling Brothers and the site of their original circus. The museum exhibits are wonderful, and all of the circus acts are top notch. Circus World is definitely worth the side trip.
5. Devil's Lake State Park
If you make the trek down to Baraboo for Circus World, you should also visit Devil's Lake State Park. If you want to make it a day trip, there are lots of hiking trails and picnic areas. If you want to make a longer trip, you can camp there.
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6. Paul Bunyan Restaurant
Even if you're not into all you can eat buffets, the breakfast at Paul Bunyan's is worth it for the homemade donuts alone. They also have very good lunch entrees. What we did try from the buffet was very good. The décor and gift shop also make this place worth the visit.
7. Top Secret
Once you've spent a couple days in the Dells, you've driven by this place enough times to be very curious about what it looks like inside. We didn't have a great tour guide when we did go inside. It would have been helpful to have someone who knew more about the actual White House. But the inside is almost as cool as the outside.
8. Comedy/Hypnosis Show
I honestly don't remember which comedy club we went to in the Dells. There are a few of them, which all have good reputations. We saw an adult comedy/hypnosis show. If you've never been to a hypnosis show before, it's worth doing at least once. They have family and adult shows at most, if not all, of the clubs.
9. Wisconsin Deer Park
The deer in the park are very tame so you can get very close to them and feed them. They have lots of different kinds of deer as well as goats, lemurs, and a few other animals. We were able to see a couple fawns while we were there.
10. Duck Boats
Of course, it wouldn't be a visit to the Dells without a duck boat ride. If you've done a duck boat ride in another city before, you don't have to do it in the Dells again. But if you've never been in one before, it's worth it.
11. H. H. Bennett Studio
We got free passes from Circus World for another Wisconsin historical site so we visited the H. H. Bennett Studio which is right in the downtown Dells strip. If you get these free passes, it's worth the visit.
12. House on the Rock
If you're traveling to the Dells from northeast Iowa or southwest Wisconsin and will go right by House on the Rock on WI-23, you should definitely go see it. Even if you only have a few hours, you can see one section of the house. If you have the time, it's well worth taking a day on the way to or from the Dells to tour the entire house.