Thursday, December 20, 2018

Beat Winter With a Stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee

We've hit the official beginning of winter and sadly that means months of cold and snowy weather are ahead. If you want to escape for a night or two from the Midwest winter without traveling to the Caribbean, you'll want to make plans for a visit to Great Wolf Lodge, which opened in July in Gurnee, Illinois. 

The Great Wolf Lodge has so many features and activities that there's something for everyone - no matter what age. I was there shortly after they opened with three teenagers and they had a blast. 

The attractions include mini-golf, bowling, gemstone mining, ropes course, Creation Station (where you make your own stuffed animal), arcade and more. The biggest hit with them was MagiQuest, which I enjoyed myself. Each player gets a special wand and it's like a virtual scavenger hunt where you have to stop at various portals for clues.

The Snowland celebration in underway and runs through January 4 with daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby and visits from Santa Claus. There’s also a life-sized gingerbread house constructed from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough and 1,300 pounds of sugar. 

Guest can enjoy Hot Cocoa with the Great Wolf Kid, Cookies with Mrs. Claus and the Polar Wolf Walk. There will also be holiday movies playing in the decked out Grand Lobby. Kids can attend North Pole University to earn a Snowploma.

Other fun everyday activities such as kids’ yoga, story time and family bingo will keep the kids busy when they're not in the water.  And in the water park are pools and slides and play areas for splashing. There's a four-story tandem tube ride, a family raft ride, wave pool, a lazy river, kids’ play pool and more. Cabana rentals are also available.

Keep in mind that when you reserve a room, you get access to the water park for both the day you check in and the day you check out. If you want to arrive early and splash around you can do that and if after you check out, you're not quite ready to head back out into the cold, you can stay and enjoy the water park until closing time. For more info on rooms and amenities  go to

Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort

While we all have Santa on the brain during the holiday season, I wanted to share a little about one of my favorite little towns, Santa Claus, Indiana where we've spent time in the summer and fall seasons. It's the place where it's Christmas all year long and even in July you'll spot Mr. Claus. One place you may happen to see him is at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort where he may be cruising around on a golf cart. 

The resort is situated right next to the town's big attraction - Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, which makes it a super convenient place for lodging when you visit the area. There's a walkway that leads to the amusement and water park and there are also shuttles that run throughout the day. There's also a lot of activities in the resort itself if you plan to spend a day or more hanging out there, including a water park, two playgrounds, two basketball courts, a family pool and kiddie pool, a fishing lake, miniature golf, paddleboat and kayak rentals and more. 

Although it's an RV park, you don't need an RV or even a tent. More than half of the sites are RV rentals or cabins. Rudolph's Christmas Cabins feature electric fireplaces, upscale appliances, Christmas decor and a large covered deck - definitely the way to go if you are more of a glamper than a camper.

Cabins do book up in advance for the summer season, so if you're planning out your travel for 2019, now is the best time to make your reservations. Keep in mind that they also have a full itinerary of fall fun during their Halloween Weekends.

The resort has been named National RV Park of the Year and has been named Best RV Park in Indiana by Reader's Digest.

For more information, visit

Prairie Guest House, Fishers Indiana

On a recent media trip in Indianapolis, I spent a little time in Hamilton County, staying at the Prairie Guest House Bed & Breakfast in ...