By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 03, 2012 at 11:04 AM

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.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.