As you may remember, we visited the new Great Wolf Lodge Gurnee last year and had a blast. So when the birthday boy requested a stay at Great Wolf Lodge, we happily obliged. We were even more excited to enjoy the holiday festivities including their Snowland celebration which transforms the resort into a winter wonderland.  It was the perfect place to get away for a few days as well as to celebrate a birthday.

Great Wolf Lodge Holiday Highlights:

  • Festively decorated. Great Wolf Lodge transforms into a magical wonderland with twinkling lights, shimmering holiday trees, daily snow showers, and other cheerful decorations. Much of the whimsical holiday décor is centered around the Grand Lobby. You better believe there are tons of photo ops!

Great Wolf Lodge Gurnee celebrates the holiday with their Snowland celebration featuring indoor snow showers, Santa visits, hot cocoa bar, and more.

  • Snow! Yes, you’ll see snow showers in the Grand Lobby. At one of our dance parties, the kids were treated to some fluttering snow. 

  • Visits from Santa. Time to say hi to Santa! Santa will visit on Fridays and Saturdays through Saturday, December 21st.  If you don’t catch him, make sure to write him a letter and “mail” it in the mailbox.
  • Helping a good cause. Great Wolf Lodge is looking to help grant wishes for children facing critical illnesses by partnering with Make-A-Wish® on a special holiday-themed wolf ear promotion. Starting Nov. 24, Great Wolf Lodge will sell festive Santa Hat Wolf Ears for $8.99 at the front desk and Buckhorn retail outlet, with $2 from each sale being donated to Make-A-Wish.
  • Yoga. This may have been my favorite activity! We woke up, popped down to the lobby with our PJs and took part in the holiday version of Yoga Tails called ‘Twas the Morning Before Snowland. I loved that they incorporated a story while actually doing yoga.   The moves were just right for kids — easy enough for the kids and adults. 

  • Frosty Fest. In order to spread extra Snowland cheer this year they have added Frosty Fest, extra festive complimentary activities! This includes interactive games such as Feed the Snow Monster, Reindeer Antler Toss and Pin the Nose on Mr. Snowman, craft times, dance parties and more!

  • Special story time. During Snowland, they’ll be reading their signature holiday story, Unique as a Snowflake. Who knows? A few of your favorite characters may make a surprise visit too.
  • Hot cocoa bar experience.  You can’t have a winter wonderland without hot cocoa. Great Wolf Lodge delivers with their Hot Cocoa Bar. Guests can customize their drinks by adding peppermint, cinnamon sticks or enhanced flavors like vanilla or caramel. Parents can even add their own “adult enhancement” to their cocoa such as peppermint schnapps, Kahlua (my fav), Baileys and more. (small fee) 

  • Snowland Suite. To truly get in the spirit of the holidays, consider booking one of the whimsical Snowland Suites. These suites are decked out and are oh-so-cute!  With giant snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, an in-room Christmas tree and other seasonal accents, these special suites bring to the life the magic of Snowland and immerse families in the spirit of the holidays. To make it even more special, consider booking a bunk bed suite. (Guaranteed to gain cool points with the kids!) (Snowland Suites are an extra $50-$125 based on the suite size; use code SNOWFLAKE when booking) 

    Great Wolf Lodge Gurnee celebrates the holiday with their Snowland celebration featuring indoor snow showers, Santa visits, hot cocoa bar, and more.

Other fun things to do at Great Wolf Lodge:

Not only can you enjoy all the festivities that Snowland offers, but you can also take advantage of the many (and I mean MANY) things to do at Great Wolf Lodge Gurnee. One of the newer things added is the 40,000 square foot Great Wolf Adventure Park, a family entertainment center with a ropes course, climbing wall, arcade and more.

  • Magi-Quest. My 7-year-old and 9-year-old absolutely LOVED MagiQuest. On our last visit, we had no clue what we were doing. Now that we were a little bit more experienced and could take our time exploring, they were able to finish some of the quests and had a blast! 

  • Make a new buddy. It’s become a new tradition to Build-A-Bear for birthdays, and my son was so excited to see a Build-a-Bear was onsite. 

  • Bowling. The small bowling alley is so cute and just perfect for kids. Kids are able to throw smaller balls with ease plus you can choose to have bumpers or not. So much fun!
  • Fun at the arcade! The arcade is always a guaranteed good time. They have tons of fun games, and the staff was super helpful in helping us out by showing us their favorite games and how to play the new-to-us ones.
  • Mining. This time around we tried gem mining. The kids love gems and rocks so this was automatically a favorite activity.

  • Awesome ropes course. This is the highlight of the park, but my non-adventurous kids shied away from trying it out. It spanned a few stories and looked so cool. They also had a fun climbing wall.
  • Plenty of food. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never go hungry at Great Wolf Lodge. This time around I had a chance to try their farm to table restaurant, Barnwood, and thought everything was delicious. We did also get to try some food from their “food  truck” and it was pretty good (don’t miss the huge chicken tenders and mac n cheese.) Did I mention there was a Ben & Jerry’s onsite? They also have a Dunkin Donuts, a pizza place, and food inside the waterpark. Like I said, you’ll never go hungry!

  • Have a sweet time! They even have their own candy store with all types of candies. Fill a cup with any kinds of candy you wish – jelly beans, gummy bears, yum!
  • Mini-golf. The small 9-hole course is perfect for younger kids. It was a great way to get acquainted with the activities offered at Great Wolf.
  • Wine down. At the end of the day, Great Wolf Lodge knows that parents will need a reward. What’s more perfect that wine? Choose from different wine packages (wine and cheese, wine and chocolate strawberries, wine and crackers, etc.) 


Waterpark Fun:

If you do happen to stay overnight, you will no doubt enjoy the 80,000 square-foot water park waterpark. Float on the lazy river, splash away in the wave pool, or hang out in the kids playground with multiple levels, slides, and water toys. You’ll also find plenty of thrilling rides.

Bottom Line:

I can’t recommend Great Wolf Lodge enough! We had a fantastic stay, and an even better time celebrating the holiday season and birthday!

Nitty Gritty:

When: The Snowland Celebration is from now until January 5, 2020 
Address: 1700 Nations Drive, Gurnee, IL 60031

Great Wolf Lodge Gurnee celebrates the holiday with their Snowland celebration featuring indoor snow showers, Santa visits, hot cocoa bar, and more.

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