courtesy of great wolf lodge


If you’ve never been to Great Wolf Lodge during the holiday season, you’re missing out on a seriously festive experience. We spent a weekend checking out Snowland, the resort’s annual winter celebration, and it instantly got us into the spirit. Here are six reasons why it’s worth a trip with the kids before the new year:

courtesy of staff


You can eat in a life-sized gingerbread house.

It’s the first thing you’ll see when you enter the lodge and it’s as amazing as you’d imagine. Made from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, 1,300 pounds of sugar and hundreds of colorful candies, the house is decked out with gorgeous holiday decorations inside, too. We had breakfast inside and it made for an amazing photo op. Reserve a meal there and Great Wolf will make a donation to Ronald McDonald House.

courtesy of staff


The holiday decor will make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland.

Filled with twinkling lights, Christmas trees and gigantic snowflakes, the lodge’s lobby really does feel like a winter wonderland. Throughout the season, there’s a holiday version of the lodge’s Forest Friends show around the fireplace followed by a holiday dance party that’s capped off with an indoor snow shower.

The Snowland-themed suites are decorated, too.

Each suite is decked with twinkling lights, garland and your own white Christmas tree. Our TV was tuned to a yule-log like crackling fireplace. A stay in one of these special suites comes with a plush Snowland blanket, Great Wolf’s own Unique as a Snowflake picture book and an evening milk and cookies delivery by a Wiley or Violet the Wolf, the lodge’s signature characters. There are a limited number of Snowland suites so call in advance if you’re planning to reserve one.

courtesy of staff


There are plenty of winter and holiday-themed activities for the kids.

For starters, the kids will get some quality time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. On top of a visit from Santa, they’ll have a chance to decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus inside the Gingerbread House. The kids can end their night in their PJs watching a holiday movie in the lobby. And there are plenty of holiday-themed activities during the day including North Pole University, where the kiddos get to tackle holiday-themed assignments around the resort for the chance to earn their own “Snowplomas.”

There are sweet treats for the kids AND the adults.

From cake pops, lemon bars and chocolate mousse cups to snowflake cookies and tiramisu, dessert options abound and they’re all amazing. And while the kids sip on hot cocoa, you’ll get to try a spiked version. The lodge also offers other festive holiday cocktails including a blue prosecco frost, a S’mores martini (super sweet and my personal fave) and a snowflake martini.

courtesy of staff


The lodge’s year-round activities will keep you and the kids busy.

With so many holiday activities, you’ll need to plan your visit to make time for the many other staples of a Great Wolf stay starting with the water park. You won’t want to miss slideboarding, an interactive slide that lets the kids test their gaming skills, or the ginormous hydro plunge. There are plenty of other slides, a lazy river, two hot tubs and so much more.   

Outside the water, the kids can embark on a MagiQuest, which sends players on a scavenger hunt of sorts all around the lodge. They can start by purchasing their own magic wands, and can embark on several quests around the resort in an imaginary world. Each one will log your progress, so you can do it in pieces depending on skill level. And the kids will get a workout going up and down stairs looking for gems and wizards. If your kids are old enough, you can leave them to tackle the quest sans adults throughout the lodge.  

If your kids are younger, you may want to try a scavenger hunt featuring Great Wolf characters in stuffed animal form. Much like Build-a-Bear, the kids can make their stuffed forest friends complete with a chip that allows them to go on a digital adventure to find their characters using kiosks around the resort.  

courtesy of staff


Make sure to leave time for the arcade, glow-in-the-dark golf, bowling and a yoga session you can try with the kids, dubbed Yoga Tails. A visit to Scoops Spa is perfect for a kid who appreciates a good cotton-candy scented pampering session. And if you can find the time, get a massage at Elements, Great Wolf’s spa. Once the kids are asleep, treat yourself to the resort’s Wine Down service. We loved the Prosecco with dark chocolate covered strawberries but there are plenty of other pairings to choose from, too.

Great Wolf Lodge 
1 Great Wolf Dr., Scotrun, PA
Call 570-688-9899 or visit the site for rates.