A few years ago the Great Wolf Lodge came to Michigan when they built one of their indoor water park resorts in Traverse City. Since then it’s been one of those things that’s been on our list to take our girls to ‘someday’. Well now ‘someday’ has come, and we are headed off today for a fun-filled and water-soaked weekend. And we can’t wait. 🙂
We were invited, along with a group of other bloggers in Michigan, to attend the kick-off of the month-long Snowland festivities, an annual holiday tradition at Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.®. This December is the fifth anniversary of Snowland, which “welcomes families into the Lodge to celebrate in a unique, family-friendly way”. I’m excited to be a part of this event, to meet the other bloggers and their families, and to experience the Great Wolf Lodge for the very first time. My family is thrilled too – and my kids have been unable to talk about anything else for the past week in anticipation of the trip. I realized that this is the first family ‘vacation’ that we’ve ever been on since our youngest daughter was born – and she’ll be four years old in January. It may only be for a weekend, but the trip will make memories that will last for years.
What it is:
The Great Wolf Lodge is more than just an indoor water park – it’s a destination facility with family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy. From the Family Raft Ride, Fort Mackenzie and Crooked Creek to the Whooping Hollow Kiddie Slides, Chinook Cove Activity Pool and Alberta Falls, there are water-based rides, slides and pools for all ages. Outside the water there are opportunities for shopping, spa activities (for adults and kids), dining and more. Every night there’s a storytime after the Clock Tower show. And for the next month the Lodge will be filled with Snowland festivities as well.
The winter wonderland experience starts as soon as guests enter Great Wolf Lodge through the Grand Lobby. Images of snowflakes, icebergs, twinkling lights, decorated trees and other festive decorations fill the space. And several times a day, holiday music plays to compliment the three times daily Snow Show – yes, that would be real snow falling from the snow-making machines hidden in the rafters, showering the children below.
“The holidays are always a special time here at Great Wolf Lodge,” said Melissa Wheeler, vice president of brand at Great Wolf Resorts. “We focus on the family all year long, but when families choose to spend their holidays with us, we try to make it as happy and memorable as possible.”
The holiday experience continues with a variety of themed activities throughout the Lodge:
- Holiday Story Time with Mascot Rowdy the Reindeer
- The Writing Depot, where children can write, decorate and mail letters directly to Santa
- Polar Wolf Walk, a wintery nature hike for kids to site penguins, polar bears and more
- North Pole University, complete with educational activities to earn a diploma and special gift
- Toy Creation Station, where children can create toys to keep or give to a friend
- Wrapping Depot for guests to have presents wrapped on-the-spot
- Special musical guest performances
- Holiday caroling
- Santa appearances
- Animated Great Clock Tower holiday performances
Events may vary by property location.
“This year marks our fifth celebration of Snowland, and every year it just keeps getting better,” said Wheeler. “To see the look on children’s faces as it snows in the Lobby or to watch a family sing holiday carols, it reminds all of us what this season is about – family, friends and spending time together.”
Snowland wraps up with the celebration of New Year’s Eve and the annual Snowball, a family-friendly event that includes music, dancing and special waterslide duck races (with prizes). Naturally, all stays include passes to the 84-degree indoor waterpark.
Over the next couple of days I will be tweeting (using #greatwolflodge), taking a ton of pictures and soaking up as much fun as I possibly can. Even the head cold that I’m still working on getting rid of isn’t going to keep me from enjoying the weekend to the fullest. We will be heading out early in the morning – first to my 7-year-old’s cheerleading competition, and then getting on the road for the 2-1/2 hour drive up to Traverse City right afterward. I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to blog much while we’re gone, but I’ll update and share all about our trip when we get back, if not before.
Here are the other bloggers who will be attending, along with their families:
- Jennifer (@5_dollarshake & @geekyjenn) – http://fivedollarshake.net/blog/
- Wendy (@MoneyMamaInMich) – http://moneysavingmamainmichigan.blogspot.com/
- Lisa (@OaklandCtyMoms) – http://www.oaklandcountymoms.com
- Tonia (@americanmom) – http://allamericanmommy.blogspot.com
- Jamie – http://thesimmonswardfamily.blogspot.com/
- Rachel (@warmhearts4) – http://apps.detnews.com/apps/blogs/momblog/
- Maggie (@royaldixie) – http://www.supersavvymommy.com/
- Sarah (@grshortstop) – http://grshortstop.blogspot.com/
- Jill (@DiaperDiaries)- http://thediaperdiaries.net
I can’t wait to meet them all in person and to read all about their experiences afterward as well! 🙂
You can also read updates and see photos by following my story on Whrrl: