Anyone else done with winter? Between the subzero temperatures and insane snow drifts in the Midwest, I am ready for sunshine and swimsuit weather. Unfortunately, we have a long time to go, which is why I planned a trip to the Wisconsin Dells for my family and our friends! It turned out to be the perfect way to break up the winter monotony and spend some much-needed quality time with some of our best friends. I had never been to the Dells before, nor have I actually been to an indoor water park in this century! Between our friends and my family, we had four kids under 5: ages 1, 2, 3 and 4. Wilderness Resort was highly recommended, so I made reservations in one of their four bedroom condos for the eight of us. I loved that the drive was only 3 hours from the northern Chicago suburbs, making it a two DVD trip.
We stayed in a 4 bedroom Wilderness Frontier Condo and each of the kids had their own sleeping area down a hallway that was separated from the main room by the kitchen. This was a fantastic feature since the adults wanted to stay up and have a Bachelor viewing party (shhh...the husbands secretly love that show too!).
The condo included everything we needed and more: a dishwasher, washer/dryer, cozy fireplaces, and a massive whirlpool tub. The decor was traditionally "cabinesque," with log accents, moose print furniture and an antler chandelier over the dining room table.
What To Wear
Since I have a baby girl, I now realize where all my money will go this summer: buying her bathing suits. Is there anything cuter than little girl suits?! I headed to Target for both her bathing suits and mine, and my friend Wendy purchased hers there as well. Make sure to pack water shoes or flip flops for the kids- it is a lot easier than putting on socks and shoes! I also brought along a Wet Brush- a must have if your girls have long hair. Sunglasses might seem silly, but one of the water parks has a dome that lets the sunlight in. Also, a cute hair bow will keep her hair out of her face! My favorite place to get girl's hair bows for cheap: Forever 21.
Circo Girls One Piece Hawaiian Floral Swimsuit at Target, I Play Floral Swim Diaper at Target, The Wet Brush Squirt, Sunglasses (super cute ones here) and Sandals (adorable ones here) both Old Navy, Hair Bow from Forever 21
I brought along a beach coverup from Coolibar, and paired it with leggings and sandals (and made sure to update my pedicure). Although we were there during incredibly freezing temperatures, we were never outside for more than a few seconds. I just tossed winter coats over our beach attire and we hopped on and off the shuttles which ran constantly.
Coolibar Tunic- similar here, Silver Beach Bag- similar here, Mossimo Strappy Halter Bikini Top and Mossimo Strappy Bikini Bottoms both Target, Metallic Strappy Sandals- similar here, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Kooka Mango
I just loved the fact that two of the parks had baby seats which allowed little ones to dip their feet in the water! Charlotte could have hung out all day, but she had mini slides to conquer and lazy rivers to ride down. Bryson, my 3 year old, actually tackled the water slides with his dad and was thrilled beyond belief. There was truly something there for every age, and during the 2 days we stayed, I never heard the dreaded "I'm bored" phrase uttered once.
For older kids, they have the nation's largest indoor wave pool and some pretty incredible water slides. They also have family raft slides that allow up to four people, which our 3 and 4 year old kids demanded to go on again and again. For adults, they have a swim up bar and indoor/outdoor hot tubs.
Food is always tricky, but we found it easiest to bring groceries and stock the fridge for meals. You cannot bring outside food into the water parks, so we headed back to the room for the majority of meals. They do have a number of restaurants to choose from, one of which includes a free kids buffet (kids 8 and under) for each adult buffet purchased.
We received Wild Fun Passes for the family, which includes access to all of these attractions and cost $24.95:
- 1 Admission to the Northern Lights Sky Ropes Course
- 9 Holes of black light mini golf at the Wild Buccaneer
- 9 Holes of black light mini golf at the Wild Abyss
- 1 Bumper boat ride at the Wild West Bumper Boats
- 1 Game of laser tag at the OK Corral Lazer Arena & Lazer Maze
- 1 Admission to the NEW Wilderwoods Indoor Go-Karts
- $1 Off hand-blended ice cream at Pistol Pete's
It was nice to get out of the water for a bit and enjoy some of the activities. Our older boys had a blast in the bumper boats and family water slide with their dads...and I think the dads almost enjoyed it more than the kids!
I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the cocktails that Wilderness has to offer. With four kids under 5, a fabulous drink was a welcome refreshment! The liquor was top shelf, unlike many of the all inclusive resorts we visit. I had a strawberry margarita and my friend had a mojito- we were pleasantly surprised that they were expertly mixed and totally hit the spot!
The moms left the kids during nap time and headed to the outlet mall, which is just a few minutes from the Wilderness Resort. They include some of my favorite stores like Banana Republic, Coach, Gap and J. Crew Outlets. Check out the adorable skirt I purchased from the Banana Outlet, which I plan on pairing with SO many different sweaters, blouses and tanks this spring! Imagine this with a cute black crop top and red heels...or paired with cobalt or emerald tops? Perfection!
Although the resort was packed, we didn't feel claustrophobic or crowded. The lines for the water slides were a tad long and it was tough to snag a table, but our kids had an amazing time nonetheless. We decided to make this an annual trip and will definitely be back to the Wilderness next year! The boys are already asking when we can go again!
Disclosure: I was provided with Wild Fun Passes for our group, but all opinions are honest and my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which doesn't affect the price you pay but I may receive a small commission if you purchase through the link.