Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gluten Free Vacation in the Wisconsin Dells

My husband and I want to take a winter vacation up to a water park resort. I know that Wisconsin is not in Lake County, but we all need to get away at some point! This will be our first water park vacation since the celiac disease diagnosis. I thought it would be easy to look up online which properties can best serve our dietary limits. But I only found one GF reference to a Wisconsin water park resort!! I found no information on resort websites nor on any blogs. So, I spent 5+ hours researching options. And I now want to share what I learned to save everyone some time. I was looking for a hotel/indoor water park property in Wisconsin with a pool suitable for young children. And because my kids like french fries, I asked specifically about their availability. Here's what I learned:

Timber Ridge (Lake Geneva)- no gf menu, very willing to accommodate but only offer naturally gf foods, can serve safe french fries, aware of safe cooking practices.

**UPDATED 2/28/10** Timber Ridge now offers a breakfast, lunch, & dinner GF menu at Smokey's restaurant (

Blue Harbor (Sheboygan)- no gf menu, very accommodating, offered to cook us items that I bring like pancakes/pasta, no gf ice cream options, can serve french fries.

Chula Vista (WI Dells)- no gf menu, offered to be very accommodating but can only provide oven-cooked items. No fries, no ice cream. At breakfast there is only a buffet with no option for cook-to-order food.

The Wilderness (WI Dells)- no gf menu, very UNaccommodating, told me that they will bend their rules and allow me to bring my own food into their water park and restaurants. I actually think that Jay who returned my call did not work in food & beverage and was probably not the best person to respond to me.

Kalahari (WI Dells)-they have 2 gf menus, aware of safe cooking practices, no french fries, only serve naturally gf food. For example, menu lists BLT sandwich (hold the bread/hold the fries) and a panini (hold the bread/hold the fries)-- can you picture what is left?!?. Only safe starches are mashed/baked potatoes. Possibly an OK option for an older child/adult.

Great Wolf Lodge (WI Dells)- they have a gf menu, VERY accommodating, they prepare gf pizza, gf pasta, gf pancakes, gf sandwich wraps, gf brownies/baked goods. John Williams is the food & beverage manager- everything gf they make to order from scratch (including pizza dough) so it takes longer to sanitize cooking area and cook from scratch. Baked gf goodies ARE available in their sweet shop but kept in a separate area. And yes, they have safe french fries. Reportedly there is a website re-design coming soon that will include this wonderful GF information.

So, come February, off we go to the Great Wolf Lodge! I will report back upon our return.


  1. My boyfriend and I just returned from a trip to Wisconsin Dells. The only location in the Wisconsin Dells area that we are aware of having gluten-free food is Uno's. The manager, Blake, gave outstanding service and was very accommodating. On the way there, we stopped at Boston's Gourmet Pizza in Middleton, WI. They have other food items that are gluten-free, but my boyfriend is a big fan of pizza and this is the best he has had since his celiac diagnosis 5 months ago. On our return trip home to Chicago, we stopped at Flat Top Grill in Madison that offers gluten-free food. Boston's Gourmet Pizza does not provide a gluten-free menu, however they have a thorough website on food and their various allergens. I was excited to read the post about Kalahari having gluten free options, but later came across a post about one person's experience at the restaurant. Here is the link:

  2. Being gluten free is a big thing now. We are going to Chula Vista, in March, and hate packing a suitcase just for me to eat.

  3. I live near Wisconsin Dells and they have many more gluten free options than the internet can tell you about. Marley's offers some gluten free items, also Monk's near the wilderness is very accomodating, Uno's has a nice gf menu, Pizza pub has gf pizza, and the High Rock Cafe I only know of them having gf desserts. If you take the time to call around many of the restaurants are very knowledgeable about gluten free foods!

  4. I learned of the Cheese factory in Wisc Dells, 608-253-6065. They have a great Veg. and Vegan menu as well as MANY GF options.
    Moose Jaw Pizza has GF pizza.
    Uno Chicago grill has Gf Pizza
    Sprechers is very accomidating and "gets it" , ask for the Mgr. when ordering.

  5. thank you for the info!!!!!
    my son has been recently diagnosed as allergic
    to gluten AND dairy and I truly appreciate those
    with similar issues sharing this helpful information.

    now i feel much more confident for our trip to the dells.


Please leave me a message letting me know you were here. If you have a great suggestion for GF dining let me know that, also.