Winter Family Getaways

How a quick winter getaway helped my family bond before the holidays

The holiday season is hectic for every family—blogger Britt Havens and her brood are no exception. She explains why taking a whirlwind winter vacay at the beginning of December put them on the right track.

For us, December is about connecting as a family. Slowing down, getting together, making new traditions and having fun. So, when the opportunity came to kick our Christmas season off with a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, we jumped at the chance! We had heard such good things about Great Wolf Lodge from so many of our friends but had never been. We knew it would be the perfect time to get away as a family and our friends/neighbours before the busyness of the holidays was upon us.

We stayed in the Timber Wolf Cottages which were beyond what we imagined: So cozy, warm and spacious. They have a full kitchen and sleep up to 10 people. The kids went crazy over the oversized bunk bed located in the second-floor loft, while we were big fans of the main area’s huge ceilings and windows, not to mention the beautiful fireplace. We loved watching the snow fall outside while cozied up by the fire.

Winter getaway: Britt Havens' and Natalie Young's kids hug at Great Wolf Lodge

Havens’ and fellow blogger Natalie Young’s kids hug at the Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Britt Havens)

While on the way to the main building, we took a short walk outside and noticed a large outdoor fire pit with Muskoka chairs all around. We didn’t have time to hang out there this trip, but it looked like such a fun spot to sip hot chocolate that we made a mental note for next time.

Upon arrival, the kids received their own Paw Pass. This is an amazing addition to your stay at Great Wolf Lodge if you are traveling with little ones. The Paw Pass got them access to so many cool activities, experiences, and gifts around the lodge. We got started right away on checking activities off of their Paw Pass list: A little toy from the spa, their own plush wolf ears, a cute stuffie, a craft in the cub club. There are so many incredible things to do at Great Wolf Lodge, and the Paw Pass ensured that we experienced it all for the best possible price. The kids had an absolute blast.

We finished our first night with the most delicious buffet dinner. The restaurant was strung with Christmas lights and the food was incredible. We were tired after a long day and it was so nice to sit and eat as friends and family.

Winter getaway: Havens and her two kids plus friend Natalie Young's child pose outside the lodge water park in swimsuits

(Photo courtesy of Britt Havens)

The next morning, we couldn’t wait to head to the arcade and waterpark. We stopped in for the breakfast buffet (which had Paw Waffles!), ate way too much food, and then ran straight to the arcade. Our kids had so much fun playing the games and choosing a small toy at the end.

Then we were all ready to check out the water park that we had heard so much about. We got settled and changed, and I noticed a huge rack of life jackets. I was so relieved that they were available for use, because we had totally forgotten our puddle jumpers at home. The kids got measured and received a coloured bracelet indicating the waterslides that they were allowed to go on and it was off to the races. We were amazed by how large and beautiful the water park was. They even had waterslides decorated with Christmas lights for the festive season. There really was something for everyone, whether you prefer a shallow wave pool, splash pad, lazy river, or speedy waterslide. We spent the whole day there taking turns riding slides with the big kids and splashing with the babies in the smaller pools. Our favourite slide was the Canada Vortex, which was just the right combination of scary and fun.

Winter getaway: Haven's two kids stand inside the water park wearing life jackets

(Photo courtesy of Britt Havens)

We had lunch at the water park, and it was so convenient to be able to quickly eat and then hop on a couple more slides before packing up for the day. It was so amazing feeling like we were having a summery pool day complete with snacks and drinks while the snow fell beautifully outside the huge glass windows. Seriously the coolest moment!

We had the best time at Great Wolf Lodge and loved it as a cozy and festive getaway. The Christmas lights, festive food, and beautiful cabins totally got us in the holiday spirit. After all, the holiday season can be such a busy time for our family; taking this trip was an amazing way to connect and have fun as a family before all the hustle and bustle of December. We’ll definitely be back.

Looking to plan a trip of your own?

Save up to 25% when you book a trip at Great Wolf Lodge from Sunday – Friday between January 5  – March 12, 2020. Must book by February 10, 2020. Offer Code: TPFUN

Britt Havens
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Britt Havens is a wife and homeschooling mama of three from London, Ontario. She loves sharing about motherhood, fashion, and travel on her Instagram (@britthavens) and blog (britthavens.com).