Way back before I was married and had a baby, a New York friend asked me why anyone would want to go to the Wisconsin Dells.
Oh, I don’t know, because it’s awesome?
Say what you will about the Dells being a cliché or a haven for the overfed. I don’t care. When it’s cold and rainy out everywhere else, nothing beats spending the weekend at a warm waterpark. On our last trip to the Dells, my husband and I took our son, Kyle, and my niece, Lizy, to the Kalahari Resort . The Kalahari is this gargantuan 125,000-square-foot, African-themed waterpark and resort where you can bowl, golf, go-cart, play in the water and see real-life lion cubs.
Pretty sure you can’t do that in the Hamptons.
At the time of our trip, our son was two years old. He’s a dare devil, but still too little to go down most of the water slides by himself. I am too old ― sorry, make that too fat ― to accompany him on many of the contraptions in the children’s area, faced with a 100-pound maximum weight limit. But Lizy is a lithe teenager who was able to hang out with him without getting a dirty look from the lifeguards. (I knew we made a good decision when we invited her on the trip.)
The parental units weren’t completely useless, though. We stood nearby with a camera to capture the moments. (Panasonic loaned us a waterproof camera to test out ― it worked surprisingly well underwater.)
While not nearly as fancy as a resort like Atlantis in The Bahamas, the Kalahari offers a good return for your travel buck, especially when it comes to the meals. Be sure to hang onto all the coupons you’ll get when you check in. Many of them offer free or discounted breakfasts for kiddos or a free appetizer at lunch or dinner.
Speaking of food, dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants included an impromptu sing-and-dance-along to “YMCA.” Since my son had just learned his ABCs, he was thrilled to get to pantomime along with the rest of the diners. One of the servers thought he was so cute she snuck him a free dessert.
Read more in the New York Post.
For info about my first visit to the Kalahari — sans child — click here.
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