Last month we went on a mini-vacation to Wisconsin Dells. On our way there we made a slight detour off our route because I had arranged for my family to go on a press tour of Cave of the Mounds, a National Natural Landmark. I had never heard of this cave before July but it sounded really interesting so it was worth the 45 minutes or so of additional drive time.
Once we arrived at Cave of the Mounds we signed up for a cave tour time and then went into a little gift shop filled with beautiful rocks and gemstones.
In the gift shop were bags of sand for purchase. These weren’t just filled with sand but some had gemstones hidden inside and some had fossils in them. We chose to dig for gemstones. Once we got the bags we went to the “mining” area and dumped the bags out into sifters.
At first the boys just dug through the sand and then rinsed the rocks off in the water. Eventually though they immersed the whole sifter of sand in the running water and found the smaller rocks that way.
The boys thought this mining process was lots of fun. Each boy found about 15 rocks/gemstones in their bag of sand. After we did our mining it was time for our cave tour. The small group of people on the tour are first led into a small room where we watched a movie about the cave and it’s history.
I found the movie really interesting though it was kind of hard for the kids to sit through because they are used to animated shows. Once we watched the movies we were led into the cold, dark cave. I really wasn’t sure what to expect.
The inside of the cave was beautiful. All these rock formations had formed inside and our tour guide explained how this cave had been built over thousands of years.
The tour ended up lasting a lot longer than I thought it was going to. The boys behaved pretty well during it and only started getting antsy at the end.
I took so many pictures inside the cave but the pictures don’t really do it justice. It’s really something you just have to experience yourself :)
Once the tour was over Lucas wanted to dig for more gemstones. We went to a big sandbox full of gemstones where the kids could use shovels to dig for goodies they could take home.
Look at this pretty rock I found!
Also, on the grounds are a beautiful garden area and plenty of greenery. We wanted to finish our trip to the Dells so we didn’t get a chance to check out the garden area but it looked nice and serene.
Overall, we had a great afternoon at Cave of the Mounds. It was a fun way to enjoy nature and was definitely worth the drive. Learn more about Cave of the Mounds, National Natural Landmark, here.
(Disclosure: We received press tickets but all thoughts are my own.)