Have a Howling Good Time at @GreatWolfLodge in PA

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Great Wolf Lodge is a terrific place to take your kids to year round, not in the least because your hotel was also your waterpark, restaurant, activity center, and more. All I had to do was park the car and bring in the luggage and we were good to go.
The  huge indoor waterpark is reserved for guests only, guaranteeing that you will never have to wait on a long line.

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Making it “snow” from the decorated ceilings at Great Wolf Lodge

Once you arrive, you are greeted and checked in by friendly staff, and you make your way to your room.  It is decorated for the season right now, and so pretty.  From the minute you walk in, the ceiling to the floors are decked out for the season. Even the characters are wearing their holiday best as they meet the kids and walk around the resort.

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Great Wolf hosts its annual Snowland celebration for guests from November 28th to January 3rd, where they turn the resort into a winter wonderland complete with indoor snow showers, spectacular decorations, visits from Santa Clause, “Polar Wolf” Walks, North Pole Letter Depot, a Great Clock Tower Howl-iday Show, and more.

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New this year, Great Wolf Lodge will introduce special Snowland Suites complete with twinkling garland, decorated tree, oversized snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and a plush blanket and Great Wold Lodge book to take home with you. To up the holiday ante, Wiley and Violet the Wolf will also be hand delivering cookies to each suite booked.  My boy got a milk and cookie delivery from Oliver, and he was so excited.  We’ve never met Oliver before, and my son couldn’t have been happier to see him. He stayed for some hugs, too, and let mom take a few photos- what a nice holiday critter.

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Families are also invited to celebrate the magic of the season by dining inside the world’s only life-size, dine-in gingerbread house. Featuring more than 5,000 candies, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough and 1,320 pounds of sugar, each house will be baked, iced and candied to perfection, providing the setting for a memorable holiday feast. The appetizing walls of the lodge-baked abode have as much heart as taste as the proceeds for each meal go to charity.  I’m not sure how much this costs, but give them a call and see- you for sure need an RSVP to do this one.

In addition, your family can try the all-new interactive game, Clubhouse Crew, partake in various Snowland-themed activities, and enjoy a $50 credit to explore the lodge at your leisure.

Holiday Trips

Mailing his letter to Santa


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Dutch Wonderland Theme Park

This time of year, one of the best ways to escape the summer heat (and tedium if you are home with kids) is a day at a theme park.  One of our semi-local favorites is Dutch Wonderland, home to Duke the Dragon (whom my son loves). Located in Amish County, in Lancaster PA (another favorite place of ours) it’s a great place to spend a holiday as well.

6 20 14 and waterparks 102Dutch Wonderland has tons of rides and games, as well as many food and drink stands. Some favorites are the “Panda Party”, which is an adorable ride in which the kids ride in Panda Bears and go around the beehive in circles, the Leapin’ Frogs, which bounce around causing the kids to erupt in giggles until the ride hops to a stop, and the Double Splash Flume, a classic ride with two drops (but not too scary or steep that would frighten the kids).

6 20 14 and waterparks 101New this year is Exploration Island, where you can walk among more then 20 dinosaurs the roar and move as you view them.

“Exploration Island is a rediscovered island of adventure and fun where guests will have the opportunity to walk with over 20 lifelike dinosaurs, dig for fossil remains, take a spin on the newly relocated and lengthened Turnpike ride and travel the Island canals on the classic Gondola Cruise.
This once under-utilized area of the Park has been re-purposed to house not only our dinosaur families, but our Turnpike ride as well. The Turnpike was one of the four original rides at Dutch Wonderland when it opened in 1963. We have moved this classic ride to Exploration Island and more then doubled the ride length in the process giving guests more spectacular views of dinos and the surrounding farm landscape.
We’ve also discovered dinosaur fossil remains and set up a permanent archeological dig at Dino Dig, where young explorers can unearth the fossil remains of dinosaurs. Brushes, buckets and diggers are available for use.”

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Other things to try while at Exploration Island are;
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Wordless Wednesday – Fun At @SesamePlace

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Meet Me at @SesamePlace #ThemePark

One of my son’s highlights has been his recent trip to Sesame Place in Buck’s County, PA. I grew up with Sesame Street, and as a teacher I love the educational, social, and cultural values it helps to instill. As a parent- I love it, too! There are versions of Sesame Street all over the world- from Russia to Mexico. Something about knowing that this sweet, educational show unites kids globally (literally) really touches me- and even more so now that I myself am a mom, teacher, and travel enthusiast. You can’t see the world until you go out and experience it- start young, and make a little global citizen. But I digress!

We had so much fun at the theme park, there are all sorts of fun rides- and for once, they are ALL aimed at little ones.

One of Little Man’s favorite rides was the Flyin’ Fish, which had Elmo faced fish of all kinds- with a unique Sesame twist, of course. After all, what is a catfish without ears and whiskers? LOL Kids can press a button in the ride, and make it rise up and down as it spins (slowly).

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Sahara Sam’s New Water Park

waterparkSahara Sam’s Oasis is expanding once again. The new two acre outdoor water park is scheduled for in a few short months, May 2013. The 5 million dollar outdoor expansion will feature a 25 meter leisure pool (The Blue Lagoon), a children’s splash park (Splish-Splash), a full service bar (The Wipeout), volleyball courts and a 12,000 sq ft wave pool (The Rip & Roll). The Oasis also includes an 8,000 square foot building addition featuring new kitchen facilities, restrooms, expanded party facilities, and a recently opened 350 foot body slide, The Nile Mile.
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Wordless Wednesday – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head…(PLUS LINKY)


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The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center

One of the nicest resorts we have been to in a long time, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center was a vacation all in itself. With lovely rooms, several restaurants and dining options right on site, as well as shopping available, and it’s own pool and water park, you won’t need to leave the campus to have a great time. Beautiful gardens with running rivers and waterfalls, fish (including mangrove snappers, redfish, snook, stingrays and tarpon) and koi fish, alligators, turtles, and other aquatica abound in over 360,000 gallons of water, you may forget you are indoors as you stroll around the atrium.
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Meet Me at @SesamePlace #ThemePark

One of my son’s summer highlights has been his trip to Sesame Place in Buck’s County, PA. I grew up with Sesame Street, and as a teacher I love the educational, social, and cultural values it helps to instill. As a parent- I love it, too! There are versions of Sesame Street all over the world- from Russia to Mexico. Something about knowing that this sweet, educational show unites kids globally (literally) really touches me- and even more so now that I myself am a mom, teacher, and travel enthusiast. You can’t see the world until you go out and experience it- start young, and make a little global citizen. But I digress!

We had so much fun at the theme park, there are all sorts of fun rides- and for once, they are ALL aimed at little ones.

Do my feet match Big Bird’s?

One of Little Man’s favorite rides was the Flyin’ Fish, which had Elmo faced fish of all kinds- with a unique Sesame twist, of course. After all, what is a catfish without ears and whiskers? LOL Kids can press a button in the ride, and make it rise up and down as it spins (slowly).
(more…)