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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

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In Holiday Guide Blogs

Snowland at the Great Wolf Lodge is popular with guests.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Lots of sweet, family moments on site.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

The real gingerbread house is amazing.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Santa arrives in the rain by reindeer.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Plenty of holiday entertainment with mechanical people and animals.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Mail a letter to Santa and receive a response.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Decadently delicious hot chocolate.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

The lobby sparkles with thousands of lights.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

The rest of the water park gets in the spirit, too.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Great Wolf Lodge is Native American themed.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

The bar and restaurant offers a fun, Up North-y environment.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

The slide offerings range from mellow to thrilling.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

The wave pool gets pretty wild.

In Holiday Guide Blogs

Adult beverages make excellent water park survival devices.

Great Wolf Lodge offers great holiday escape


This weekend my family and I had the pleasure of visiting Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells to witness the opening of Snowland, located in the water park's lobby throughout the month of December and stuffed with holiday entertainment and events.

This weekend's inaugural events included the lighting of a 24-foot Christmas tree, the ribbon-cutting of the life-sized gingerbread house, the arrival of Santa via real reindeer, a holiday chorus, storytelling and "snow" periodically falling inside the lobby.

The gingerbread house impressed us the most. It's made from 100 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of frosting, 300 Pop Tarts, 40 pounds of sprinkles and 75 pounds of candy.

For $20 over the cost of the meal, up to six guests can dine inside the gingerbread house. The $20 goes to the Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Santa will return to Snowland on Saturday, Dec. 8, 15 and 22 between 5 and 7 p.m.

Snowland will also host a magical knights dance and pixie party on Saturday, Dec. 22; a frosted holiday cookie party on Sunday, Dec. 23 and a snowball dance party on New Year's Eve.

We found Great Wolf Lodge – which has three water park areas – to offer a wide range of water thrills, from a very relaxing lazy river to the howling tornado which scared the sugarplums out of us the first time we went down it. (And then we proceeded to go on it about a half dozen more times.)

Whether we were partaking in holiday-related activities or not, the warm, festive vibe resonated throughout our stay. It's a really fun time of year to visit and we hope to make it a family tradition.


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