Traditional Memorial Day Road Trip to Wisconsin Dells Kicks off Summertime Family Fun

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Wisconsin Dells is an easy drive-to destination ripe with a mix of activities for the entire family; a great way to start the summer travel season.

Tommy Bartlett Show water-skiers launch off the jumps in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

We have attractions that will give you a thrill, make you laugh, cool you off, rev you up and keep you coming back for more.

It is located in the heart of the Midwest, midway between Chicago and Minneapolis, and is home to everything from waterparks and go-carts to water-ski shows, boat excursions and unique land-and-water “Duck” tours. Wisconsin Dells ranks as one of the nation’s top family vacation destinations. Memorial Day weekend begins the traditional start of the summer vacation season, luring in more than three million visitors each year to this family fun hot spot.

“We are the hub of all that symbolizes family fun. We have attractions that will give you a thrill, make you laugh, cool you off, rev you up and keep you coming back for more,” said Tom Diehl, president of the Tommy Bartlett Show, a long standing water-ski and thrill show production now in its 58th year.

Vacationers know summer has officially arrived when the Tommy Bartlett Show kicks off its summer run each Memorial Day weekend. The Show’s forte is its fast-paced waterskiing, showcasing some of the best water-skiers in the sport today. Located on the shores of Lake Delton, the Show performs twice daily and includes daring water-ski stunts, wakeboarding, ski jumping and high-powered speed and jump boats. Onshore, the adrenaline keeps pumping with a thrill show display featuring world-class aerial artists, acrobatics, juggling and comedy.

“We are truly one of the last classic variety shows around,” said Diehl. “The Tommy Bartlett Show appeals to all ages and spans the generations of families that come to see us.”

Attractions and activities the entire family can do together are a big draw for Wisconsin Dells visitors. The area has a variety of excursions through Dells Boat Tours that take the entire crew out onto the Wisconsin River to see the towering rock formations – “the Dells” – that have been drawing sightseers for more than 150 years. From leisurely scenic cruises to full-throttle Jet Boat Adventures, there are plenty of ways to get out on the water. Unique modes of transportation like the Original Wisconsin Ducks are another great way to load up the troops for a tour of the region. The authentic WWII vehicles are amphibious, meaning they can travel from land to water for an adventure to see the natural side of the Dells, lumbering through lush wooded trails that lead to the tops of the river bluffs for spectacular views.    

“It is often said that you haven’t done the Dells, if you haven’t done the Ducks,” said Dan Gavinski, general manager of Original Wisconsin Ducks, who adds that the distinctive tours are an essential part of any Wisconsin Dells family getaway. Original Wisconsin Ducks operates the largest fleet of tour ducks in the nation and celebrates 65 seasons this year.

The water in Wisconsin Dells is a natural draw, even that of the manmade variety. With the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks, the area has claimed the title “Waterpark Capital of the World®” and has earned major kudos from family vacationers. Wisconsin Dells was recently named #1 Family Destination in the U.S. and #3 in the world in the 2010 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

While summertime is a big vacation season, Wisconsin Dells is a year-round destination featuring a variety of lodging options, including elaborate indoor/outdoor waterpark resorts, small to midsized hotels and motels, bed & breakfast properties, cabins and condos, as well as camping. Visitors can learn more about the area’s attractions and lodging options at the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau’s web site or by calling 1-800-223-3557.

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Andrea Novotny
Novotny Communications
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