Great Wolf Lodge opened here in Southern California a little over six months ago, and our post with tips for experiencing Great Wolf Lodge with little kids has seen a ton of traffic. Apparently, you guys love the idea of a water park-turned-hotel. We can’t blame you, the concept pretty much rocks!
Readers email us questions about the resort constantly, which is awesome because we’ve gotten to know our local one pretty dang well. We even got to see the Grapevine location on our trip out to Texas this summer. The boys now lovingly call it the “water hotel” and whenever it’s their turn to pick a weekend destination, this is their go-to pick.
Great Wolf Lodge Southern California invited us last week to preview some of their festive celebrations, and we wanted to share them with you all while they’re fresh in our minds. There is SO much to see! They have fun seasonal stuff running from October through the end of December, kicking off with a not-so-spooky Halloween theme and ending with a big New Year’s Eve bash. If you’re thinking about a trip to Great Wolf Lodge during the holidays, here are the experiences that should be top of your list.
Decorations. Great Wolf Lodge goes OVERBOARD with their decorations, covering the entire resort from top-to-bottom in seasonal sights. This here is a giant balloon spider and web that’s taken over the lobby for Halloween. You can bet they don’t hold back for Christmas, either!
Special events. Great Wolf Lodge celebrates a full month of “Howl-O-ween” in October, complete with costume parades and a Trick-or-Treat Trail. They’ve also transformed their storytime with a spooktacular twist and turned their nightly epic dance party into a Monster Bash! On November 26, they shift into winter festivities with a life-size Gingerbread House, “Polar Wolf Walk,” Santa visits, snow showers and more!
The water park. This isn’t particularly festive, but the 84-degree water park is the feature attraction at Great Wolf Lodge and is just as enjoyable as ever during the holiday season. When you book a room, you automatically get free entrance (in fact, the only way to get into the water features is by registering as a guest). If you’re part of a family that likes to visit warm beach destinations for winter break, Great Wolf Lodge offers that splish-splash experience PLUS a whole lot of specialty holiday sights all in one place.
Hands-on projects and activities. Great Wolf Lodge offers a ton of FREE activities year-round, from ear decorating to games and more. A lot of the properties tailor their activities seasonally, so make sure to check out the calendar before you go and plan your visit based on what looks most exciting for your wolf pack.
Family memories. The holiday season isn’t complete without ALL the relatives! One of the things I love most about Great Wolf Lodge is that they’re very friendly towards big families. They even have suites that can fit up to eight people. We brought Oma and Opa and stayed in the Grizzly Bear Suite last time, which had a room big enough for four plus a living room with a pull-out couch and bathroom with separate vanity, as well as a master bedroom with its own bathroom. Nate and I took the master and enjoyed some much-needed sleep while the rest of the gang had a “sleepover” complete with an in-room movie on their own TV. Bliss.
The buffet. The food at Great Wolf Lodge is phenomenal. As a family with several food intolerances, the plethora of options here is a BIG deal for us. I also love that they vary their offerings seasonally. Nate and I occasionally opt for a hotel on Thanksgiving instead of doing a big shindig at home, and Great Wolf Lodge would be the perfect destination for that. Last week, their main buffet already had pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake and seasonal favorites like cranberry sauce and a turkey-carving station.
The rooms. The themed Wolf Den and KidCabin suites are perfect for an early fall “campout,” complete with in-room character animations and bunk beds. Come winter, you’ll definitely want to book one of the limited Snowland Suites that come adorned with twinkling lights, garlands, a fully-decorated tree and a copy of Great Wolf Lodge’s own winter story book, “Unique as a Snowflake.”
The add-ons. We had milk and cookies delivered to our room (such a perfect idea for Christmas Eve!) and the boys could barely contain their excitement. This service is actually included with any Snowland Suite reservation. Of course, you could also nab some sweets at the on-site Bear Paw cafe and up your trip experience with special indulgences like a poolside cabana, MagiQuest games, Scooops spa pampering and more.
Pin these ideas for your own seasonal visit, and don’t forget to check out our post about Great Wolf Lodge with little kids to see some of our other favorite picks at the resort for all ages (we have some money-saving tips in there as well!).
Have you ever celebrated a special occasion at Great Wolf Lodge?