The name Tommy Bartlett is synonymous with Wisconsin Dells. This water ski show on Lake Delton has been an area must-see since 1923, drawing huge crowds who “oooh” and “ahhh” at skiing stunts, pyrotechnics and circus-style acts. Bartlett passed away in 1998, but the show continues to be a quintessential part of a summertime trip to the Dells. It’s staged twice a day, rain or shine, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory, meanwhile, offers year-round, indoor family fun with exhibits that examine the fun and silly side of science. Highlights of the more than 150 hands-on activities include an interactive High Wire SkyCycle that gives visitors a chance to ride a bicycle on a tightrope 12 feet in the air, and the Van de Graaff generator, which makes your hair stand on end with the help of more than 10,000 volts of static electricity. The museum also has a number of exhibits related to space exploration, including a full-size replica of a mercury space capsule initially built for the Kennedy Space Center, and the original Russian Space Station MIR Core Module.