WHEN YOU’RE “THE WATERPARK CAPITAL OF THE WORLD,” YOUR ‘WHAT’S NEW’ STORY LEAD IS NATURALLY A NEW ‘WORLD’S LARGEST’ WATERSLIDE
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (Mar. 6, 2018) – The news is out, and it is exactly what waterpark devotees were hoping for. Wisconsin Dells, Wis., the community known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®”, will debut a thrilling new waterslide to ride this summer. Plus, there’s a new wedding venue to say your “I do’s” at, a new winery where you can sip not only wine but hard cider and mead, and a destination spa that’s more than doubling its footprint. In addition, we’ll whet your appetite for a big convention center expansion coming soon. For more on all that’s new in Wisconsin Dells, log on to the area’s official tourism website.
Noah’s Ark Waterpark is adding a new waterslide for the 2018 season. This won’t be a traditional waterslide mind you, but the tallest and longest of its kind in the world. “Raja™ – The World’s Largest King Cobra” will make for a spectacular visual, with a vivid cobra design embedded right in the fiberglass. Riders will race side-by-side on two-person tubes from six stories up. Those brave souls will snake through more than 335 feet of twists and turns at speeds of up to 30 mph, with a sudden 37-foot plunge into the mouth of the massive king cobra serving as the ride’s finale. Look for the slide’s 65-foot tower next to the park’s iconic ark structure and Flash Flood boat ride at the entrance to the grounds. Noah’s Ark is America’s Largest Waterpark, featuring more than 50 rides and attractions spread out over 70 acres.
Vennebu Hill Wedding Barn & Event Venue is a brand-new facility owned by a local family with Norwegian roots. The name, “vennebu,” a Norwegian word meaning “a gathering place for friends and family” encompasses what the venue is all about. Set on a hill with views of the Baraboo Bluffs and Wisconsin River, the original Gothic barn was dismantled board by board and the distinctive ceiling arches reinstalled in the second-floor ceremony and reception space. The first floor is the dining space with seating for up to 350 people. An outdoor patio will serve as a picturesque second ceremony space. Vennebu begins hosting weddings June 2018. Open year-round for family reunions, anniversaries, and other special gatherings as well.
Board & Brush Creative Studio follows the trend of connecting with your inner artist and DIY’er by teaching participants the techniques needed to create a personalized piece of wooden décor. All supplies provided, just bring your creative juices. Speaking of “juices,” libations are available for purchase. Board & Brush is open year-round.
Fairfield Inn and Suites Wisconsin Dells adds to the lodging landscape in Wisconsin Dells, with 105 spacious rooms and amenities including free breakfast, an indoor pool, and fitness center. Ideally suited for visitors attending conferences in the area and business travelers, Fairfield also is a welcome spot for reunions and bus tours.
Additions, Expansions, Renovations
Sundara Inn & Spa is adding 40,000 square feet to its much-awarded spa resort, more than doubling its footprint. This $13 million expansion includes a second outdoor pool, fitness studio, retreat space, restaurant, demonstration kitchen, rooftop greenhouse, salt treatment room, glass-walled meditation room, eight new villa-like suites in the woods, and miles of hiking trails. A grand opening is planned for summer and is certain to be a highlight of Sundara’s 15th anniversary year.
River Inn Resort has undergone a transformation, emerging as a bona fide boutique hotel. Visitors will find a modern river theme throughout, a nod to the hotel’s location on the Wisconsin River. Be wowed by the views of the sandstone bluffs enjoyed from the riverside deck, the indoor pool or while sipping on a craft libation in the new lounge, Drinker’s Landing. Located within walking distance of downtown only adds to the appeal of this property.
Chula Vista Resort had little ones in mind with their new attractions. There’s the Chula Choo Choo, an authentic 1/8 scale railroad train that kiddos can hop on for a ride around the outdoor waterpark, a bungee trampoline, and an inflatable obstacle course. Indoors, the Lazer Frenzy game challenges players to dodge a maze of lazers in a race against the clock.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions has broken ground on a 112,000 square-foot expansion to its convention center, with an opening planned for September 2019. The extra space will bring the footprint to 212,000 square feet in all. Included in the expansion is a new 52,000 square foot ballroom large enough to accommodate 8,600 in theater-style seating. Massive sun-drenched pre-function spaces, “recharge” lounges and outdoor patios are also included.
International Crane Foundation has announced a $10 million expansion to include a new visitor center, expanded crane exhibits, and renovation of the off-exhibit breeding space for endangered cranes. This is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, and it serves as a gateway to the group’s mission to save the cranes and the environments in which they live. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2020.
Affordable Leather and More is upping its retail game with an additional 2,000 square feet of shopping space. It is now home to the largest selection of Minnetonka Moccasins in the Midwest.
Winnebago Gift Shop, a fixture in downtown Dells since 1949, has reinvented itself as a chic boutique, with new items arriving each week. Shoppers will find more than 40 new product lines, from apparel to home décor, hand-picked by the new proprietors. Now open year-round!
D.O.A. Room Escapes, located at Wilderness on the Lake, added a Titanic-themed escape room. Props were created to match actual items from the ship, and every clue tells part of the true story of that fateful 1912 voyage of the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic.
Mid-Continent Railway Museum, a working museum, has one of the largest fleets of restored wooden cars in North America and is always adding to its collection. Look for a new display shed to open this summer, housing upwards of a dozen wooden rail cars plus a steam engine and other rail equipment. Make time for a train ride while you’re there.
Food and Drink
Prairie Hawk Winery is a new family-owned winery just a short drive from Wisconsin Dells in the heart of farm country. The scenic backdrop is perfect for sipping Prairie Hawk’s chardonnay, riesling, and rosé, all made in small batches using imported grapes. They also offer hard cider made from locally sourced apples and, in the works for 2018, mead, a wine made from honey. The tasting room seats up to eight, while the patio can accommodate more than 50, plus there’s a pavilion in the works. This “fair weather winery” is open mid-April through October.
Wollersheim Winery & Distillery released their first-ever rye whiskey in February to great fanfare. It’s made with locally-grown grains and aged for more than two years in American oak barrels on-site. Other distilled spirits offered by Wollersheim include their wildly popular brandies, plus gin, vermouth, and even absinthe. The property was first cultivated by European vintners more than 150 years ago.
Ishnala Supper Club is adding a new bar and lounge area on the lower floor. This gives guests more room to enjoy the views of Mirror Lake and linger over a classic cocktail and tasty appetizers while waiting for their table. Outdoor seating has been expanded, and the pathway to the restaurant has been made more easily accessible. Ishnala was voted the #1 supper club in Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s 2017 “Supper Club Showdown.”
Summer House is a family dining spot on Lake Delton serving up beautiful waterfront views, a rustic “Wisconsin summer house” décor, and a menu that highlights handcrafted dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Patrons may arrive by car, on foot or by boat, with outdoor seating available. Opening summer 2018.
First Full Year in Business
BigFoot Ropes Course offers adventure seekers a year-round ropes course with 80 different elements for all levels of physical fitness. This attraction includes an elevated viewing area for those who prefer spectating over scaling.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions added “Wrath of Anubis” escape room to its already long list of attractions. Up to six people at a time can work together to solve puzzles themed to ancient Egypt, tombs, pyramids, and immortality, moving from one room to another on the path to escape.
VR Universe – Virtual Reality Arcade provides artificial worlds to explore with themes of action, adventure, music, sports and more. Visitors will be able to interact with virtual features using special head-mounted goggles.
DEZ Tactical Arms, Inc. is a family owned, family-friendly shop dedicated to producing high-quality and custom-built firearms along with a wide variety of accessories. Full-service gunsmithing also available in-store. Open year-round.
Wilderness Resort provides a VR offering with its CYvrSPACE Virtual Reality Arena. Here you’ll use your body as the controller as you twist, duck, kneel and dodge at top speed, controlling all the character’s actions one-for-one with your movements.
To stay on top of the latest developments, breaking stories and more, be sure to bookmark wisdells.com.
Order a 2018 Wisconsin Dells Vacation Guide online
My husband Joe is a lifer when it comes to sports. He was a three time, All American football player with stints playing in Europe, Arena Football, Minor leagues and has been worked out by the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.
No matter how time goes by he will always find an excuse to play more, especially if we can make a travel weekend out of it!
In January we headed to Bradenton, Florida, for the U.S. National Flag Football Championships, along with 400+ other people from all over the nation. Everyone had one thing in common: the desire to win. No matter the age, it is always the same; bring home the W!
Joe’s team was cut after 3 games but that was not without Joe having a 57 yard field goal and taking 2nd place in the punting contest. Just goes to show that even though he just turned 40, you can’t keep a guy from doing what he loves!
This past weekend we took a girls trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to celebrate one of my good friend’s Bachelorette party. We stayed at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue and LOVED it! The weather was not perfect every day but the amazing grounds and amenities sure did their best to make up for it!
SEE MORE IN MY PHOTO JOURNAL:
We chose to change it up this year and drive to Alabama to visit our friends for Christmas and made a pit stop in Nash Vegas on the way back! Nashville is only 7 hours (and a few extra minutes) from downtown, Chicago and is a great place for a night, or couple of nights, getaway!
This trip we discovered a newer Fairfield Inn located in The Gulch, a trendy, up and coming area near all of the must sees downtown! They have a MASSIVE hot tub (the size of a small pool) and a stellar rooftop patio and lounge!
Check out our stay in my photo journal:
We had the pleasure of visiting Montréal over Labor Day Weekend and we were not disappointed! We ate and drank our way through this amazing culinary city with no regrets!
Every single bite of food and swish of wine was more than spectacular. There is no wonder why Montréal is named one of the top gastronomic cities, boasting over 3,000 restaurants!
From markets, cafe's and bistros to high end dining in the hippest and laid back settings, we were surprised left and right!
We highly recommend these restaurants on your next visit to Montréal:
SeaSalt & Ceviche
We recently had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful island of Curaçao, a true gem tucked away in the south-western Caribbean.
One of my best friend's turned 30 on our trip and we were looking for a unique, fun experience on the island. The waters surrounding Curaçao beg for you to partake and partake we did! Smallfield Adventures took us for a day of exploring, snorkeling, drinking local beer, snacking on fresh caught Ahi and what an experience it was!
Captain Derek is a skilled fisherman who loves the open water and will make sure that you and your guests do too! With a warm welcome he guided us throughout the Spanish Waters, telling us historical and humorous stories about the island and it’s sea life.
We enjoyed fishing right off of the boat, snorkeling together, sharing stories, laughing and more! What an amazing, memorable experience!
Captain Derek is also a brilliant chef, preparing fresh Ahi two ways for us to enjoy with an ice cold brew; delish!
We had an amazing time with Captain Derek and Smallfield Adventures, learning much about the sea life and history of the island. We didn't feel like we were on a guided tour, we felt like we were with friends!
Spending the day together in the sun without a care in the world was truly rhe best gift! We absolutely love Curaçao!
Have you ever wanted to get a group of girls together to go on a fun trip but it seems you can never get everyone to commit?! Two weeks ago i was able to gather a group of 12 HITC women to head to VEGAS for a social media and influencer conference (ConnectHer17)! How awesome!! 12 of us Housewives in the City chapters representing the sisterhood under one roof!
We received VIP treatment courtesy of Giordano's, Johnny Rockets, Got Milk? and Deutsch Family Wines, met awesome, strong boss babes from around the united states and were inspired to keep doing what we are doing and make it great!
Of course, whatever the reason that brings you to Vegas one must PLAY and there was LOTS of it!
Until next time Vegas!
Of course it is always a bonus when your husband comes with you and you get to see old friends!
We had an AMAZING experience in Curacao last month. I have to say, I have been to over 30 countries and normally do not want to revisit places, but Curacao WILL be a repeat destination for years to come!
This island has one of the most beautiful ocean habitats I have ever seen. The water temperatures, sea life, reef variations and quality of the water itself are absolutely mesmerizing!
We snorkeled all day, every day for 8 days! It never grew old, every beach had something different to offer and the water became only more inviting with each meeting.
As if the beautiful waters were not reason enough, this island is packed with endless amounts of diversity. Boasting culture from Europe, Africa, South America, the Caribbean and more. The endless offerings of delicious foods, friendly people, colorful and unique architecture and constant sun combine to make a truly wonderful environment.
There are areas with high population, city life, casinos and traffic as much as there are areas with nothing but cacti and open spaces for miles. There is something for all ages and personalities on the island. Relaxing beaches to cliff diving, literally everyone will find something they enjoy.
My personal highlight was hiking a mile on the coast, in the desert to find the Blue Hole; a cave located on the edge of the coast. I never thought I would be brave enough to jump into open water and swim into a cave in search of the unknown….I am SO glad I did! A truly amazing, memorable experience!
We rented a house on Air B&B - BEST IDEA EVER! I highly recommend it! You will not be disappointed!
With love… for Curacao.
Panama City, Panama is exploding since the return of the canal and being on the American Dollar. Banks from all over the world are setting up shop, building sky-scrapers with their name on it, attracting big names like Trump and Waldorf Astoria.
We were pleasantly surprised by not only the size of the city, but the height as well! Panama City is becoming quite the contender in the concrete jungle!
We were also blown away by the price; everything in Panama is much cheaper than the States so it is very easy to have a luxurious vaca while maintaining your budget. We stayed at Trump tower for under $200 a night, played $5 blackjack on a Saturday night and drank $4.50 mixed drinks... and that is the norm! We had such a warm welcome and amazing experience, the people were extremely friendly and the food was outstanding!
While I don’t think you need more than a few days in this city, it was a pleasure to explore and should be a must on your bucket list.
**Note that though Panama City has come along way, there are still many areas that are heavily crime stricken and not safe for solo travel. We recommend booking a driver with your hotel and being very intentional about what sections of the city you see, especially after the sun goes down.
Their endearing love for all things under the sea was not only compelling, but also created a genuine need to return to Curacao; it is without a doubt one of the most (if not the most) incredible places we have ever been.
Myronchi Trip has two important goals:
THESE PHOTOS ARE PROPERTY OF MYRONCHI TRIP, AT SEA CURAÇAO + CHICAGO HOUSEWIVES
Edwin, our amazing captain from At Sea Curaçao, ensured our experience was safe and fun! His boat, Dí Luca, was originally a lifeboat from a large ship and cannot be capsized.
Dí Luca's generous width makes room for a relaxing seating area, communal table and shade, topped off with a grill to boot! His grilled pita sandwiches are the perfect ending to a morning or afternoon of snorkeling! Delish!
Hi, I'm Ally!
I am a transplanted Chicagonlander who absolutely loves experiencing life! Many years of traveling, living all over the world, experiencing many hard and equally as wonderful things have led me to where I am today and I am so happy to share that with you through our GNO events, on our sites and by connecting with all of you!