If you’re anything like me, you’re already missing the warm weather and dreaming about your next escape. While we haven’t had any heavy snowfall…yet…in the Chicago area, the chilly temperatures already have me getting a little stir-crazy and thinking about where I want to go next. At the moment, that dream contains water, bathing suits, and family fun. It’s a recurring dream, really, and I can’t wait to get away. But with the holidays literally around the corner, I know I don’t want to stray too far from my home base. I need a destination within driving distance – and a vacation that won’t break the bank!
Located in Wisconsin Dells, approximately 200 miles from Chicago (about a 3-hour drive), the Wilderness Resort, offers everything I am looking for – and then some! From multiple waterparks and restaurants, to an arcade and laser tag, this hotel has it all – it’s like an entire city located on one property. I promise, you will never find yourself with nothing to do. In fact, you never even have to leave the resort!
A few months ago, my family had the pleasure of staying at the Wilderness Resort and I can already tell you that we are eager to return. My four-year-old (who is not one for rides or fast movements, by the way) had an absolute blast at the resort’s many water parks. The Wild WaterDome, for instance, was one of our faves. A 70,000-square-foot indoor waterpark that features a see-though-roof (very cool to catch some of the sun’s rays even when it was too cold to swim outside) that bathes the entire park in natural light and actually allows guests to tan all year long! The Great Wave, also known as America’s largest indoor wave pool, was probably where we spent most of our time. Just seeing my son’s huge smile whenever the wave hit him was probably worth the trip for me.
There are also plenty of life vests at the First Aid Station that kept the “Helicopter Mom” in me happy.
The other water parks at the resort offer plenty to do for the whole family – from lazy rivers to fast-paced slides – but we loved the Bonanza Bluff at Klondike Kavern best. Wilderness also offers 4 outdoor waterparks during the summer months, but we visited off-season so we didn’t get to experience those. Just another reason for us to return!
Family-friendly amenities don’t stop at the waterparks either. The Wilderness Resort offers so many things to do – there’s never a dull moment here! Their indoor amenities are fantastic! You can ride go-karts indoors, play laser tag, complete a sky ropes course, ride bumper boats, try your hand at mini golf, or spend hours playing games at the arcade.
Our room, while located a bit far from all the water park amenities, was another hit with my family. For one, it was HUGE. There was a separate seating area (with a sink and counter) from the bedroom that really came in handy when my son was ready for bed. My husband was still able to catch up with all the sports channels, causing minimal noise, allowing my little one to fall asleep quickly.
I also have to give a HUGE shout-out to one of Wilderness Resort’s employees at Tommyknockers Lounge – Madison. We had the most positive interaction with her, and my four-year-old was immediately smitten. She was so sweet to my son, and I would definitely like to publicly thank her (and tell her that we still use her name when we want to get him to do something.) Thanks, Madison!
Overall, our stay at the Wilderness Resort was really great. My family loves the year-round fun that the resort allows – and kids adore the many water parks this hotel offers. I urge you to check out this resort if you’re in town – you won’t be disappointed! Better yet, if you’re looking for a spot to ring in the New Year, Wilderness could be just what you’re looking for. Wilderness Resort is offering a guest-exclusive New Year’s Eve Party that will provide some serious fun with music, dancing, party favors, laser lights two ballrooms with DJs playing popular hits! There will even be a midnight balloon drop in one of the ballrooms. The cost for this fun event is $12 in advance ($15 at the door) for adults 21 and over (includes two drink tickets. IDs are required). It is $7 in advance ($8 at the door) for kids ages 3-20 (and this fee includes punch). A great price for what looks to be a super-fun event!
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