Wisconsin Deer Park is just a mile from Broadway Street in Wisconsin Dells and allows kids and the young at heart an up-close view of one of Wisconsin’s most prevalent wild creatures-deer. You even get to feed the deer by hand! The park allows you to wander through the deer enclosure and see a variety of other animals, including deer, elk, and even “mini” longhorn steers. There are also goats, ducks, chickens, and peacocks on display. Read ahead for more information and tips on how to make your trip the best it can be.
Operating Hours of the Wisconsin Deer Park
They are open Mid-April through Mid October from 10-4 pm, and during peak season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, they are open from 9 am -7 pm. Parking is easy and right out front of the building. The whole place is stroller friendly.
We tend to go on shoulder season at either the start or end of the season, and crowds haven’t been a problem. Per reviews, people recommend going earlier in the morning if you are there during peak season. That way, the deer are still hungry and interested in coming over to say hi and get a snack.
Cost of Admission and Animal Food
Visitors ages 12 years old and up cost $16, while kids ages 3-11 years cost $12. Two years old and under are free. Those are admission costs, but make sure to take into account the cost of deer food. Being able to feed the animals is a big part of the fun. Bring cash or be prepared to use the ATM machine in the ticket building.
At the entrance, they sell packed pellet food that looks similar to a large cracker. These cost $6 for a package. We usually get one container per person, but if you have a less-than-enthusiastic adult, you might be able to get by with less. The food comes in graham cracker-sized pieces, and you can break it up to get the most bang for your buck.
They also sell ice cream cones filled with dried corn throughout the park for $1 each. We usually find the dear like the corn better, but I’ve heard that their preferences can vary.
Tips and Tricks for Visiting Wisconsin Deer Park
The first section nearest the entrance/exit has goats, lemurs, and birds/ducks, all of which have their own cages. You can feed the goats but not the lemurs. This area does not have free-range deer. There is a large grassy area with several large animal sculptures and a place to run and play.
After you proceed through this first area, you go through a gate to access the section with the free-range deer. The path goes in a loop. On the inside of the loop is an area where humans are not allowed so the deer can rest. The deer seemed hesitant at first, but soon we were surrounded and had plenty of furry visitors coming to get the food.
On the outside of the loop, there are pastures with various larger or less friendly animals. This includes emu, other species of deer, mini longhorn steer, elk, a couple of buffalo, and more. Some of these animals can come right up to the fence, and you are welcome to feed them. Some have a PVC pipe that you can drop food into.
We spent approximately an hour with my 3 and 5-year-old. It would have been easy to spend a bit more time there, but we had a lot of other plans for the day. A small gift shop with toys and clothes is at the entrance/exit.
Nearby Outdoor Activities
Right across the street from the Wisconsin Deer Park is the Timbavati Zoo. We love going in the winter for a personalized experience, but the zoo is also fun in the summer. Try the Safari train or sign up for the animal encounters, where you can pet a sloth or feed a red panda.
The classic outdoor Wisconsin Dells activity is to take a Duck Tour. These WWII-era vehicles drive on land and then drive right into the water, where they become a boat! Check out the comparisons of the two companies here. These companies also offer traditional boat rides, ghost boat trips, a ropes course, and a zip line adventure.
For the little ones, there is a nice public playground at Bowman’s Park off Broadway. Newport Park is a free public beach with limited play equipment.
For inside activities for kids, try MagiQuest, which is part of the Great Wolf Lodge or WizardQuest, designed for a slightly older crowd but is still family-friendly. You can also grab food at Buffalo Phils where the food is delivered by train, and stop by Knuckleheads Trampoline and Arcade next store when you are done.
Nearby State Parks
There are two beautiful Wisconsin state parks that showcase the Dells, the original thing that drew tourists to Wisconsin Dells. Rocky Arbor is on the small side and has a playground as well as a 1-mile hike.
Mirror Lake State Park is over 2,000 acres. There are trail options for both a quick jaunt and longer hikes. There is a small beach as well as a place to launch kayaks for a better view of the dells. Our favorite shorter hiking trails are Echo Rock and Pulpit Rock trails.
For a good reason, Devil’s Lake State Park is Wisconsin’s most popular state park. It has a large beach area and lots of hiking and rock climbing options. This is a favorite for the adventurous. Check out the steep and challenging Balanced Rock trail for stunning lake views.
Similar Animal Parks in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Deer Park is a fun and family-friendly way to engage with one of Wisconsin’s most common wildlife animals. Whether you have an animal-loving kid or are an animal lover that is young at heart, spending an afternoon at Wisconsin Deer Park can be a ton of fun. I wish there were more educational signs around the park so we could learn more about the awesome animals we were interacting with. I also think the face value of the admission costs is a bit misleading because going without buying food for the animals would really take a huge part of the experience away. My family and I had fun and wouldn’t hesitate to return.