Andrea Loewen Nair: Connect-Four Parenting


Visit the Waterpark Capital of the World: Kalahari Resorts

An Amazing and HUGE indoor/ outdoor park in Wisconsin Dells

Did you know there is a place called Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, which is cited as the “Waterpark Capital of the World?” I did not until we happened to pass through that area on our 2,044km (1270 mile) road trip from London, ON to Winnipeg, MB.

Our family was excited to discover a place that is only a day’s drive from our home, which accomplished many feats. Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells got us exploring a new location, helped us through a long winter, and was super fun.

Wisconsin Dells happened to be exactly halfway on our road trip so we were ready to get out of the car and run our ya-yas out. The kids had done pretty well during the ride but they were starting to lose their ability to stay friendly.

It was fun watching the kids as we walked into the lobby of the Kalahari Resort—an African feeling vibe with LOTS to look at. My oldest son actually started bouncing while shouting, “wow.”

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Beyond the lobby we discovered a 125,000-square-foot indoor waterpark and another 77,000 one outside (although it wasn’t warm enough yet to be out there). Both parks have lots of waterslides, lazy rivers and activity pools. The inside one had something they call the “Flowrider” for stand up surfing, an indoor/ outdoor family hot tub and even a swim up bar!

This is a picture of my guys trying hard to use their "walking feet" instead of sprinting through this waterpark.

The resort has a central area with the lobby, restaurants, and waterpark. The rooms are across the lot, but easy to get to through shuttles or in the case of the Sands building, a huge skywalk system. Running back and forth on that skywalk (oh sorry, I’m not sure if we were really supposed to be running) was so awesome for my boys who had felt really socked in by our long winter.

We also went to the indoor theme park while there. Again, this is a mind-blowing place for kids with a six-story Ferris wheel, ropes course, climbing walls, go-karts, mini-golf and bowling.

This is my oldest son up on the ropes course! (I was probably more scared than him)

Here are some suggestions to get the most out of a Kalahari Resort visit:

Go to the Waterpark early!

We are all early risers and were the first ones at the restaurant and first to the water park. No line-ups for us! We noticed that as the morning progressed, line-ups started to happen on the most popular water slides. By the time that happened, we were happy to flop around in the lazy river.

Bring your leftovers back to your room

All of the rooms, suites, and theme rooms in the resort have a mini-fridge and microwave. I noticed this when heading out for my first meal so we ordered something that could easily be eaten the next day as a snack.

Take breaks

Fun theme parks like this are wonderful, but can also cause kids to get compromised quickly. Watch your children for sensory overload. Loud sounds, flashing lights and other people around can drain a person’s “friendly tank” quickly. I noticed that after about two hours, my kids and I were ready to take a quiet walk or head back to the room for a short break/ snack. The parks give you in and out privileges all day so come and go as you need.

Eat wisely

There are many spots for awesome-tasting sweets and treats so make sure to fill your children (and yourself!) with the good stuff, too, to prevent energy and mood meltdowns later in the day. The restaurant called “The Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet” is full of fruit, vegetables, and yummy healthy food the kids are sure to love. We started our day there.

Bring these things from home:

  • Plastic food containers for leftovers
  • One or two sets of cutlery for your room
  • A microwave-safe plate for your room
  • A bathing suit cover up and flip flops. You can walk around the whole resort in your bathing suit, robe and sandals!
  • Comfortable (closed toe) runners for the indoor theme park.
  • A fan. I ALWAYS bring a small fan with me when staying in a hotel. This provides white noise to block out any hallway sounds.
  • Your work out clothes: there is a great fitness center on site.
  • Old clothes for the kids. There are activities like cookie decorating, colouring and arts and crafts so bring clothes that can get painted on our marked up.

Our family had a wonderful time at the resort! After spending a day there, we were certainly ready to crawl into the car for another ten hours of driving. Families living in southern Manitoba and southwestern Ontario could get to Wisconsin Dells with ten hours of driving time. 

Our family loves to travel -it there a place you've been to that you think we'd love? Please do let me know over on my Facebook page.