Coloradans get excited about snow in any form, so I wasn’t surprised when a big crowd gathered in the lobby of Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs for the big kickoff to the resort’s seasonal “Snowland” events, which we’d heard would involve a small storm in the lobby.
When we joined the curious crowd, carolers were singing from a second-story balcony, then Santa and Mrs. Claus appeared, lit the tree, and then, to everyone’s delight, it snowed—bubbles, falling from five machines spread around the large room. My 4-year-old joined a few other kids at a table where they spread the white suds around, while the older kids looked up and ran around, chasing the falling “flakes.”
Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs (the 14th location of the nationally known water park in the United States) rises from the plains just north of Colorado Springs. One end of the building curls with crazy, colored water slide tubes as they exit and re-enter the building; the other end is anchored by a 10-story hotel and conference center. In the main building between the hotel and water park, there are several restaurants, an adventure park, mini-golf, bowling, arcade, and, of course, story time and special events in the lobby — kids yoga classes, pajama dance parties, and the kickoff for seasonal events.
When we visited in November, 2017, looking out the northwest-facing window of our suite, I could see cattle grazing, Interstate-25 flowing north and south, and, across the highway, the US Air Force Stadium and Rocky Mountains. It’s apropos that the structure (formerly a Marriott Renaissance Hotel and conference center) itself looks a little like a giant ship cutting through the grass, parking lots, and suburbs. Once your family checks in to Great Wolf Lodge, there is not much reason to leave and you may as well be on an all-inclusive cruise, but only an hour’s drive south of Denver.
Snowland is the seasonal theme that Great Wolf Lodge puts on in all of its properties. It also features a giant gingerbread house in one corner of the lobby. You can take pictures of the structure from the outside, or book a meal inside — the extra fee you pay goes to benefit local Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Other Snowland features include photo ops with Santa Claus near the ropes course; a “snow show” and special story time in the lobby, live caroling, crafts, hot cocoa, special scavenger hunts, snow ‘n glow dance parties, and—I think you get the picture. It’s a festive time to visit, whether it’s snowing outside or not.
IF YOU GO: Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs has 311 suites, differently configured, themed, and spaced to accommodate families of all sizes; rates begin at $199 per night and include access to the water park. Pro tip: bring a bathrobe and flip flops, but they supply towels.
Related article: “Great Wolf Lodge’s water park in Colorado Springs brings indoor water thrills: A three-year, $100 million renovation focuses on family fun” (The Denver Post, Feb. 8, 2017)[Disclosure: the author visited the property as part of a media trip in Nov. 2017.]