Believe It or Not, It’s a Howl-iday Time at Great Wolf Lodge

Post and Photos by Kristen MacWilliams My family was invited by Great Wolf Lodge New England to get a preview of their Howl-iday events, that begin on October 9th.  My two daughters and I, ages 13 and 10, happily accepted.  We were treated to a sneak peek at their Howl-O-Ween activities first, with make your own treat bags, and a single stop Trick-or-Treat trail with a ton of treats!

PEEPS Pumpkins and Ghosts

What better way to start off Howl-O-Ween than with…PEEPS, and Great Wolf Lodge!  Continue reading for more details on Great Wolf Lodge’s upcoming Howl-iday Season.

In addition to learning all about Howl-O-Ween, we were treated to a preview of their other winter Howlidays as well.  A Thanksgiving dinner was served buffet style – I’m already scheming to try to get their chef to take over duties at my house this year – everything was outstanding!!

Great Wolf Lodge Howl-idays

No winter season is complete without Snowland!  We got to see real snow inside the ballroom, while kids decorated cookies and wrote letters to Santa.  If Mom or Dad wanted to sign the back of the letter we were told our little ones just might receive a response at home.  Check with me in a few weeks for any update on that! The best part of this preview to me was the simply amazing mug of hot chocolate we were served!  Make no mistake – this was not hot cocoa – it was hot CHOCOLATE!  It tasted at good as the best chocolate you can imagine in hot liquid form – absolutely fantastic!

Great Wolf Lodge Howl-idaysGreat Wolf Lodge Howl-idays

Since we spent the night we got to experience the room and amenities in more detail than during Great Wolf Lodge New England’s grand opening celebration. Our room was a Family Suite room which had 2 queen beds and a fold out sleeper chair (twin sized bed).  Brynn, my 10 year old, loved the sleeper chair.  The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was large and modern.  The whole resort was recently renovated from top to bottom.  Our room had a mini refrigerator and a microwave.  It was a very comfortable room!

Great Wolf Lodge New England

We purchased a wand and game of MagicQuest and tried our hand at that.  Once your wand is named and activated, you select one of 9 quests.  Using provided riddles, you find objects particular to your chosen quest, and once all are found, you earn the rune associated with that quest.  I regret to share that we were not particularly good at this.  Some of the items were easy to find, but others were much more cryptic and we ended up giving up after walking through the hotel a few too many times.  If you try this, keep in mind reading skills are necessary, and it will be helpful to have an adult along if your child is under about 10 years old.  Even with me along we didn’t do too well though!  After completing 5 quests you move on to 3 Adventures where you find and slay a dragon, but we didn’t complete enough quests before leaving.  Next time!

Great Wolf Lodge New England

Of course Great Wolf Lodge is probably best known for its indoor water parks!  GWL New England has two different parks – one on each side of a hallway.  We spent nearly all our time in the brand new one which includes 3 pretty amazing water slides.  The Howling Tornado was a blast!  We got in a tube shaped a little like a 4 leaf clover and were pushed down the slide…into a giant funnel!  We went way up the sides of the funnel, up and around and then down the slide.  We laughed and screamed and enjoyed it thoroughly!  Afterwards, we went up again to try the River Canyon Run.  This tube was circular – the slide itself was big and long but no special tricks.  This was perfect for the whole family.

Great Wolf Lodge Howlin' Tornado

The 6-story “Howlin’ Tornado” funnel water slide highlights the Great Wolf Lodge New England indoor water park resort. Courtesy Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge New England

They had a third slide for singles that I couldn’t resist trying.  According to the web site, the Wolf Tail is exclusive to GWL New England.  You step into a phone-booth sized compartment, cross your ankles and arms across your chest, and wait for the floor to literally drop out from under you.  Whoosh – down, down, down!  This was fun, except I highly recommend blocking your nose with your hand as you drop – I got a noseful of water!

Great Wolf Lodge New England

The Howling Timbers Play Park includes some indoor rides, bowling, mini-golf and the Howlers Peak Ropes Course.  Only Brynn tried it (she was the only one with sneakers – open toe/heel shoes are not permitted).  Once harnessed up she climbed up and navigated across obstacles, 30 feet in the air.  It doesn’t look that high from below, but it was high enough to bother her.  Once back on solid ground she was proud to have tried it, but glad it was over too.  You and your kids’ mileage will vary!

Great Wolf Lodge Howl-idays

Howl-o-ween runs from October 9 – October 31. Events include Trick or Treating (of course) and Monster Ball Bashes on Friday and Saturday nights.  Don’t forget your costume so you can dazzle everyone at the Costume Parade!  There is also a Howl-O-Ween scavenger hunt where guests can be entered to win a Trick or PEEPS! package if they find 10 of 12 PEEPS hidden around the resort.  A winner will be drawn every night during Howl-O-Ween.

Trick or PEEPS

Snowland runs from November 29 – January 4. This event includes a life sized ginger bread house, which we were told has already begun the baking process!  Santa visits on November 29th and then as his schedule allows up until his big night.  Kids can write him letters at the North Pole, and even enroll in North Pole University with the opportunity to earn their own “Snowploma.”

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

DISCLOSURE: Kristen and her family were hosted by Great Wolf Lodge to experience their Howl-iday offerings and provided with complimentary meals and accommodations for the purposes of writing this blog.  However, all opinions expressed are those of the author.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Kristen MacWilliams

Kristen is a mom of two girls, three dogs and two cats (who have Disney inspired names) and avid runner. For some reason she does most of her short races close to home, but travels to Disney for longer races and challenges. Like many, her yearning for travel far exceeds her bank account. Still, she's managed three trips to China, one to Costa Rica, and is losing track of the number of Disney trips. Europe is yet to be conquered!