We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Not staying at resort- Day passes and water park suggestions

Ames, Iowa
Level Contributor
49 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Not staying at resort- Day passes and water park suggestions

Hello All,

We are a group 6 adults from Iowa, we are planning to stay at madison Wisconsin and will be travelling to Dells. Can you please suggest which waterpark give out day passes for the people staying outside.


Noah’s arch


Chula vista

I heard Mt olympus is not so good as compared to others.

I am also planning to do jet boat tours and canyon tours. Are these tours worth doing.? Please recommend

Also looking for nice restaurants suggestions which give a nice local feel, any cusine preferred.

Appreciate your feedback



2 replies to this topic
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
839 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Not staying at resort- Day passes and water park suggestions

My thoughts on the waterparks:

Noah's Ark - water will be very cold Memorial day weekend. Last summer the water was still freezing at the end of June. Last year, they only heated two kid's areas.

Kalahari sells day passes. From their website it was $49.99 per person for 5/26. They have indoor and outdoor areas. Outdoor areas will be open dependent on weather. Pricey for 6 people.

Wilderness - waterpark only for their guests. Spread out, so it doesn't feel crowded. Nice large indoor wave pool. Fields Park motel (downtown) also includes waterpark passes for their guests. There was a 2 room suite for $168 for Friday night 5/25, it includes 4 waterpark passes and extra are $15 per person. (You might be able to book a room for 4 and just buy 2 additional passes, not sure. You wouldn't need to stay there, but it is cheaper than Kalahari or Wilderness for a room.)

Chula Vista - never was there. Husband was there for a conference, but didn't feel the need to return. (We like Wilderness and Kalahari.)

Mt. Olympus - I would avoid.

Level Contributor
998 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Not staying at resort- Day passes and water park suggestions

Mt. Olympus is geared more for kids. I think Chula Vista sells day passes. Your best bet is Noah's Ark but if you are coming Memorial Weekend (you didn't really mention when you are coming) and the weather is nice it will be crowded. Kalahari sells day passes based on capacity. If their rooms are full or close to full you may not be able to go there - call ahead. For restaurants, High Rock (downtown) is nice and has an interesting menu. River's Edge Grub and Pub has a good menu and has fresh water fish tanks with native fish and a northwoods theme. If you really want to go high end, you have to go to Ishnala. It is on Mirror Lake and has a beautiful setting in the woods on the shore of the lake. Even if you don't eat there, go for a drink. Since it is a tourist area, all the restaurants will be a little more expensive than you are probably used to. Other places to check would be Mac's Macaroni and Cheese, River Walk Pub - good outdoor dining, Ravina Bay has a huge deck for outdoor dining and is on the lake. Haven't done the jet boat tours yet but I highly recommend the Upper Dells boat tour. It's about 2 hours long and you get off the boat twice. Beautiful scenery and information about the history of the Dells.

Reply to: Not staying at resort- Day passes and water park suggestions
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Wisconsin Dells
Recent Conversations