4 Things to Know: Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland in Concord

011018 0075manew
COURTESY Great Wolf Lodge

Throughout the year, Great Wolf Lodge in Concord offers a nearby getaway that combines an indoor waterpark, a robust arcade, storytimes, and other activities—all in one sprawling, wolf-adorned complex. And then comes “Snowland.” During this time of the year, GWL’s Christmas theme takes over and adds several new, holiday-flavored components to the mix. In a recent visit, I was able to visit with my wife and a few unpaid interns (4 years old and 18 months old, respectively), and enter the wild, wonderful “Snowland.” Here are four things we observed:

1. The Grand Lobby Shows Get a Holiday Upgrade.
Any time you can create the effect of snow indoors, you get Christmas magic. Throughout the weekend, the lobby shows not only feature the animatronic creatures singing seasonal tunes, but also a finale that gets all the kids on their feet. The artificial snow—along with elaborate decor (and yes, there are still many, many wolves around)—make it feel like winter, event when Charlotte’s weather is less cooperative.

2. Enroll in North Pole University.
Our kids were a bit young for this feature, but “North Pole University” is a challenge that comes with a list of activities to cross off across the resort. In the end, you get a “Snowploma” for your hard work: a win for kids and pun-enthusiast parents.

3. Santa Makes an Appearance.
The Great Wolf Lodge cast of characters are beloved by frequent child visitors. (My toddler was especially fond of Oliver Raccoon, who brought milk and cookies to our room before bedtime. This is available as part of an ongoing package at the resort.) But Santa, the most important character of the season, makes frequent appearances throughout these months. Make sure you check the calendar to confirm he’s not away, presumably toiling inside the workshop that night.

4. There's a Life-Size Gingerbread House.
Really. Months in advance, the kitchen begins working on this sweet-filled creation. You can book a meal inside the room, and your payment goes toward the Ronald McDonald House Charities.


Some non-seasonal advice, for any time of the year:
• Lost in the hallways? Look at those silhouetted wolf lights. The animals are always pointed toward the direction of the Grand Lobby.

• Have a baby in tow? You don’t have to bring your own crib. Request a Pack ‘N Play at the front desk.

• You can head down to Dunkin' Donuts for morning coffee, but a handy menu in your room also gives you a chance to get it delivered. Just put it on your doorknob before the time on the card to avoid long 8 a.m. lines.


Andy Smith is the digital content director for Charlotte Parent.