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Top 12 Wisconsin Dells Non-Water Park Attractions

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


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.


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.


no on August 09, 2019:

Thank you for this wonder full page!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 14, 2012:

Thanks, Cyndi! If you're ever out this way, you should check it out. There is a lot to do there, and the location is beautiful. There are some great opportunities for hiking in the area.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on August 14, 2012:

Hmm, I haven't been here, but you make this place look like lots of fun with lots to do! I'll have to visit there sometime! :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 14, 2012:

Thanks, Bill! That's neat that you've been to the Dells. You're right that you can't miss it if you're traveling on I-90/94.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 14, 2012:

I've actually been to this place several times. It's hard to avoid it if you are travelling west to east on I-90....great job of highlighting the places to see.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 27, 2012:

Thanks Jeannie! The Dells are a lot of fun. Wisconsin is a great place to visit.

I'm glad that you enjoyed this, Amber! You should definitely try writing about the Dells sometime. I don't write a lot about travel or locations, but it's fun once in a while. Thanks for sharing your history with the Dells. :)

Amber White from New Glarus, WI on March 27, 2012:

OMG! I about flipped when I saw this hub! I went to high school in the Dells and my family is still there. I love seeing a hub written by someone not from there. I have toyed with writing about the Dells, but didn't realize the interest in it. I visited there in the 70's as a child, and didn't know anyone lived there, then I moved there in 1983. Wow. Used to work at Pirate's cove, I have friends that own some of the attractions you wrote about and it is so nice to see them get written up. Many of these attractions get lost in the hype. Thank you for the great hub! Shared with followers and shared on FB with my Dells peeps. Maybe I'll write about it some too. We'll see, more comfy with recipes so far.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on March 27, 2012:

This looks like so much fun! I've honestly never even been to Wisconsin, but I want to go now. Thanks for sharing!!!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 15, 2012:

That's awesome, CL. :) Thanks!

CLStigs on March 15, 2012:

Love thinking about the Dells! From Menomonee Falls, a teacher, and loving your hubs!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 16, 2012:

Thank you Kenneth! I'm very glad that you enjoy my hubs and look forward to having you as a follower.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on January 16, 2012:

Hello,randomcreative, on Jan. 16, 2012 . . .

GREAT read! Amazing presentation. Informative and very helpful. Voted up and away for I love your writing style and I am now honored to FOLLOW you.

Please keep up the great work and I Invite YOU to check out my hubs, that is if you need a good laugh.

And I would love for you to be a follower. That would make my day. Highest Regards,

Kenneth Avery,

from Hamilton, a small (but proud) town in northwest Alabama that reminds you of Mayberry, that sweet town we loved on

The Andy Griffith Show. Much Peace and Success to you!

I LOVE Wisconsin. I have relatives in Kenosha. Go, Badgers.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 02, 2011:

Maybe we were there at the same time! I'm glad that you had a good time there. There is so much neat sight seeing stuff there. That's awesome. :)


Marissa from United States on November 02, 2011:

Last June (maybe we were there at the same time!), my husband and I drove to Wisconsin to see his sister and spent one of the weekends in the Dells. What a neat place! Just driving through on the main road is fun for sight-seeing. We ended up at the Chula Vista indoor waterpark, which is right outside of the Dells. It was an awesome time!

Great hub! Thanks for sharing. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 10, 2011:

Thanks! I'm glad that this was helpful for you. I would definitely go back again and recommend it as a vacation spot for anyone. I hope that you have the chance to go sometime. :)

Sima Ballinger from Michigan on June 10, 2011:

This is a very useful hub. My sister used to live in Wisconsin and their family would go to the Dells. I always talk about going their.

It is high on the list for this year now that I have read your hub.

Thanks a bunch and Welcome to HubPages!

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