Wintry weather means folks from Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and the nearby Twin Cities of Minnesota are thinking about places to warm up. While most families venture to waterparks to beat the heat, ours tends to travel to places with streaming slides, lazy rivers, and even a Howlin’ Tornado to thaw our toes and nose. If you hit Great Wolf Lodge -spend your howl-iday there and we’re sure you’ll have fun! We’ve recently found that the BEST time to do so is in December, when the entire lodge is alight with Snowland magic! There’s so much going on, you’re going to need this guide to make the most of your stay!

Instead of mountains of gifts this year, head to the Wisconsin Dells to make the holidays special and a little wild! Great Wolf Lodge Howlidays are best!

Photo Credit: Amanda Williams / Rural TravelingMom

Snowland in December

Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells (as well as several other locations in the US and Canada) is a fantastic family experience for the holidays. The chain can offer respite from the snow and cold (or just the mundane) to make memories and have wild times this winter!

A Snowland suite is the perfect way to add a little magic to Great Wolf Lodge getaway! The $50 upgrade is well worth the money. You get a keepsake Great Wolf Lodge Snowland fleece blanket and kids character story book featuring the familiar furry faces of the Great Wolf Lodge animals.

The room is festively decorated with snowflakes and a full-size decorated tree and lighted garland along the headboards of the beds. The night of check-in you’re able to select a time that works well for your family for a special visit. One of the Great Wolf Lodge gang in costume will bring you milk and cookies!

We had an abundance of sugar during our fun weekend getaway, so the kids were in heaven! The special touches are very much worth the up charge since you’ll get those priceless scenes of surprise and wonder when your kids experience a hotel room with Christmas flair AND themed fun in the comfort of your room!

Instead of mountains of gifts this year, head to the Wisconsin Dells to make the holidays special and a little wild! Great Wolf Lodge Howlidays are best!

Photo Credit: Amanda Williams / Rural TravelingMom

Snowland Sweets

I really mean SWEETS! It’s a sweet deal to upgrade to a Snowland suite in December – but there are also plenty of sweets that go with the $50 price tag!

We entered our double queen suite to find a plate of homemade fudge and chocolate dipped Swiss cake-style rolls on a stick, rolled in M&Ms and sprinkles. The entire plate had a bed of loose M&M minis and sprinkles too. Thank goodness there was milk to wash down all that sugary goodness!

The kids (and the kids-at-heart) will enjoy the lighted full-size Christmas tree and lighted garland that brighten the room. The tree is complimented by snowflakes hung from the ceiling. This creates the most wonderful ambiance in the evening, as little ones wait for the scheduled visit from one of the Great Wolf Lodge characters.

We got to meet Violet (who brought more cookies and milk) and we got a chance to take a few photos without any lines or crowds. Dedicated time with the big lady wolf was so fun! After that, you can settle down and snuggle under the special Snowland keepsake blanket to read your wintry themed kids book about snowflake making critters (you get to take that home too!)

It’s well worth the $50 to add bonus fun and seasonal holiday magic to your stay. The suite itself isn’t too remarkable if you were to remove the decorations, but it’s big enough to sleep six people comfortably if you fold out the sleeper sofa.

Great Wolf Lodge Classics

You will get waterpark access (exclusive to overnight guests at Great Wolf Lodge, so crowding is not an issue) when you check in. You’ll also get wolf ears (for adults and kids if you wish!). Be sure to tell the front desk staff if anyone in your party is a birthday kid (within a few days or so) and they’ll get special birthday party hat wolf ears.

You’ll be able to see the traditional Great Clock Tower Show and even meet a few of the pack of friendly characters known to frequent the lodge.  They provide ample time for mom and dad to snap photos and are full of high-paws for the youngsters. Most activities can be found in or near the lobby. Other fun and mostly free activities (some have a small fee for supplies) can be found on the handy events itinerary you will get with your ears at check in.

If you find you need a little intro to Great Wolf Lodge OR MagiQuest, both have their own resort channel on the in-room televisions. There’s also a Great Wolf Lodge cartoon that plays on a loop, if you need something kid-safe for a bit! There is a ton of action related to the holiday season from Polar expeditions in the morning (usually after yoga) to visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There is no shortage of fun.

Instead of mountains of gifts this year, head to the Wisconsin Dells to make the holidays special and a little wild! Great Wolf Lodge Howlidays are best!

Photo Credit: Amanda Williams / Rural TravelingMom

More Winter Wonders in the Wisconsin Dells

 There is a special station during the holiday season to write a postcard to Santa and drop it off in the big red post box. The Life-Size Gingerbread house is a great seasonal opportunity to do something unique AND pay it forward to Ronald McDonald House Charities.
One amenity we loved and found convenient was the check in early policy – receive a text when your room is ready! That means a few extra hours in the waterpark on the day you arrive! Put that suit on before you leave the driveway so you’re ready to go when you get to Great Wolf Lodge!
Give your family at least two nights to really have enough time to enjoy the lodge activities AND the waterpark. That’s probably a minimum if you’re going to also take in programmed activities and do things like sleep and eat. It’s a really fun place and even with an entire weekend. We were all wishing we’d had just one more night to really howl at the moon!