Friday, April 13, 2012

Mel's in the Dells!

No, I'm not talking about the farmer kind - I'm talking about the Waterpark Capital of the World!  :D

If you're unfamiliar with Wisconsin Dells, it's an area about 50 miles north of Madison (Lake Delton).  It began as a tourist destination because of the sheer beauty of the place; it grew exponentially because of all of the unused land.  When I was a kid (about 10-15 years after this brochure was printed), all that the Dells had for kids to do was the Tommy Bartlett Water Show and some magician (sorry, illusionist) whose name escapes me.  When I was in high school, the first water park made its debut - Noah's Ark, and it's still there.  According to my 14- and 12 year-old nieces, it's awesome.

Now, however, the Dells has EXPLODED with resorts - and in order for them to compete, almost all of them have these behemoth indoor water parks.  That's where we're headed this weekend.  I've never stayed at one of these and I probably wouldn't if we weren't going to be with Brian's niece and nephew.  Looking at the PDF online, though - wowie!  This place has seven restaurants, a spa, two 9-hole mini golf courses - all indoors!  Sounds like it's going to be a hoot.

You probably guessed this already, but even though I could probably snag a ton of new ephemera, I'm a sucker for the old stuff.  From the brochure, above, to the vintage postcards - you can see why people flocked there.  It is gorgeous, especially in the summer.  I've taken a tour of the Upper Dells before and the scenery is wonderful.  Lake Delton is a man-made lake and in the summer of 2008, was completely drained due to massive flooding that occurred.  Whole houses were taken with it, and the road completely washed away.  That was a bad tourism year for the Dells, and it was the year right before the Recession.  Thankfully, everything is back to normal and it once again resembles the old postcards.

There are also LOTS of antique stores in the Dells area and Brian and I are hitting those first - WOO HOO!  Wish me luck - hopefully I'll have some fun new ephemera to show you next week!


  1. Don't forget to visit the Forevertron!! (We didn't have time to go the the army surplus place next door alas) Also Brian might enjoy HH Bennett's Photographic Studio. Have fun!

  2. You saved the best for last: "There are also LOTS of antique stores in the Dells area"! .... Now that's piqued my interest the most. Great post!