Spring Break..I’m breathing a big sigh of anticipated sadness right here. I have been lucky enough to work in a profession where that term still means something exciting. I have also been blessed with a beautiful child to celebrate it with. He and I are certainly the dynamic duo of travel adventures.
Last April I surprised him with a trip to the Wilderness Lodge Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. I had seen this particular resort on the Travel Channel way back in October or November. It was on a “World’s Biggest” edition, and this place was billed as the “biggest indoor water park in North America.” I booked it for Spring Break right then and it became his “big gift” for Christmas.
I expected big. I got big. The “Hurricane” water slide is the biggest water slide I have ever been on in my entire life. My son’s wide eyed expression on that first drop was worth the entire trip.
I expected to find lots of activities that the two of us could do together. The Wilderness Resort came through here too. There was 3D miniature golf, arcade games, pots to paint (had we been organized enough to do it), movies to watch, lots of restaurants to go to and more water activities than I could ever have anticipated.
There’s nothing like playing Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” on Guitar Hero with your 12 year old son…and reminding him (once again) that you are a bad-ass disguised as the woman that reads bedtime stories and insists on buying wheat instead of white bread.
What I didn’t expect to hold my attention were all the other families that were there having their own Spring Break adventure. My son and I were newbies to this place but I could see from all the gear and snack food loaded in that we were sharing space with pros. The resort charges by the room and the room can sleep six. There is also a microwave and a mini fridge in every room. For families of 5 or 6, this was a fantastic and economical way to spend time together.
I saw more dads in action than I had ever seen, and plenty of family bonding moments that I appreciated. I saw beautiful women with their beautiful kids, and was reminded again that the version of “hot young thing” that I am generally surrounded with on a college campus blossoms with age and experience and seems to radiate more noticeably from people that are genuinely happy.
While my son and I were walking toward one of the big slides I saw a very large shirtless and hairy man with his head back and his eyes closed as his 3 or 4 month old baby girl slept on his chest. I wish I was a photographer. It was a beautiful picture.
The Wilderness Lodge Resort is a fantastic place for families to enjoy their children while they are young. My son and I both loved it. It gave me a chance to “be” with my son and fully participate in his life. It also gave me a chance to find beauty where I hadn’t expected it.
We would absolutely visit this place again. Next time I’ll be packing my own snack supplies and will do a better job of planning out our time to ensure we get an even bigger bang for the buck.