When I say my son has become a water park connoisseur by the age of five, it’s a status earned. He has visited many across the country, some more than once, and can give you a detailed breakdown of everything he loves (or doesn’t love) about each one.
But one of my all-time favorites to top the list over and over is Great Wolf Lodge. It really comes down to the little details of the experience, and GWL always has a little something special in store each time. I have even met the people in charge, and I’ll just say this – they are extremely passionate about their job and your stay at their resort and treat my son (and all the kids!) as one of their own – even getting on the floor to crawl and play. And this is something I don’t take lightly in a world that lacks customer service – at Great Wolf Lodge, you will surely get every penny’s worth of your vacation.
Not to mention all the incredible activities, water park and services they already offer, Great Wolf Lodge also plays into certain themes throughout the year – and right now it’s Snowland (running through January 1, 2018). And it’s beautiful.
Ok so – Yes, Santa will be there, and you a can even WRITE and MAIL Santa a letter here….It’s like walking right into a magical winter wonderland and here’s why:
1. They Literally Deck the Halls
I mean, they really do – each themed-room comes with it’s own Christmas tree, twinkling lights and even a crackling fireplace. So not only are you in a “log cabin” lodge, but it’s the halls (and rooms) are literally, decked out. Also with the room comes your own copy of the Snowflake adventure book, and cozy blanket to keep and take home.
2. It Snows – REAL SNOW – inside
When I say real snow, I mean REAL snow. Not fake paper snow or glitter, but really melt-on-your-tongue snow. If that’s not pure magic to a child over the holidays I don’t know what is. They let the snowflakes fly daily (usually after story time).
3. You Can Have dinner inside a REAL gingerbread house
And yes it’s real, so please don’t try to EAT the house. But you can actually book reservations to have dinner inside this candy-coated cabin. Also, the small donation you make to eat in here goes directly to the Ronald McDonald House! If you’re not up for dinner, you’ll still have chances to check the schedule and make cookies with Mrs. Claus inside the gingerbread house during the day.
4. Storytime with Characters – and SANTA!
I love that they really pay attention to detail here, and even close the waterpark EARLY so kids have time to enjoy the other activities they include at Great Wolf Lodge such as story time (our favorite!). You can come out to the lobby in your pajamas and slippers and cozy up at the fireplace to read a book with the life-size characters. Plus you can take photos with them afterwards (and might have some special visitors from the North Pole this time of year!). They even serve popcorn (and snow!), and wine for the parents. Which leads me to ….
6. Wine Down time
This is the best thing invented for parents. Isn’t it hard going on vacation with the kids when they need to go to bed but you just really want to stay at the bar? Not to fear, Great Wolf Lodge feels you – and now offers a “wine down” service where they will personally deliver wine and treats (like chocolate covered strawberries) to your room so you can relax while the kids snooze off that all-day play they just had.
And that’s not all….
There are so many other great pieces of Great Wolf Lodge – but we will leave you to experience them yourself. But as a parting tip, I’ll just say, if you have younger children, you’re going to want to go make one of the stuffed characters. First you start with their Creation Station, and then they have a scavenger hunt adventure you can even take them on – and my son has not let go of his new friend “Oliver” since we left.
In Fact, Great Wolf Lodge has these Paw Passes you can purchase that include all the activities (or some) from 4D movies, Character Creations, MagiQuest and more…. They have three different levels of paw passes for all family budgets (and just trust me – you’ll save money by grabbing one of these in advance!).
Have other questions about what to expect at GWL? You can see all their info on their website, here, or just pop me an email and I’ll give you my insider advice – but don’t wait long! The lodges sell out for the holidays, so you’ll want to scoop up your rooms fast!