Area families can do good for others this season and enjoy a holiday meal in a unique location — all at the same time.
Through Jan. 3, Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg will be offering guests the chance to eat inside a life-size gingerbread house, constructed as part of the resort’s seasonal Snowland winter wonderland.
“We charge a $10 dining fee, which gets entirely donated to Ronald McDonald House,” says Andrew Dorough, general manager. “Guests can reserve to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner inside. And it’s not just for guests, anyone from the community can come.”
Last year, the Fitchburg resort raised $2,600, which translates into 260 meals in only 28 days.
As of press time, numbers had yet to be finalized for this year’s house, but last year the team used 6,000 pounds of gingerbread, 400 eggs, one ton of sugar, and 750 pounds of royal icing. The delicious dwelling will measure about 120 square feet — 16 feet tall at its highest peak — and can seat six people. Approximately 2,000 gingerbread veneer bricks will used to decorate it.
“It’s a lot of teamwork that goes into making the house,” Dorough notes. “It’s going to be a bit different than last year’s house. We are sticking with blues and whites to correspond with the Snowland decorations.”
Snowland will take over the Lodge through the new year, complete with snow falling from the ceiling and Santa visits.
“We have customized some games to have a Snowland theme this year and we even have new, Snowland-themed suites for our guests,” he adds.
The new Snowland Suites come complete with glimmering garlands, twinkling lights, and a fully decorated holiday tree. There are also Snowland throw blankets for guests to take home, as well as a copy of a winter storybook. Kids will also get a surprise with an evening milk and cookies delivery by one of the Great Wolf characters.
In keeping with the holiday spirit, Santa visits the lodge regularly throughout December as well, giving families an opportunity to get those important pictures taken.
In addition to winter-related activities, there are also several new features at the resort. “In the water park, which is 84 degrees all the time, we added lights to the outside of the tornado slide,” he says. “Now, instead of it being dark inside, it changes the whole dynamic of the ride. We are going to change the colors for winter, as well.”
Dorough also mentioned that they have been rotating their arcade games to cycle in new games as well as favorites. A new addition is the Clubhouse Crew, an interactive game based on the plush toys created at Creation Station, which brings kids all around the resort. There is also a new version of the similar “Magiquest” game, which is geared toward older children. The game takes guests to various interactive stations throughout the lodge, having them battle dragons, collect treasure, and save the pixies.
“Our winter season is incredible,” Dorough says. “Last season exceeded our wildest expectations. People up here really are looking for an escape from the cold, New England winter. This is perfect because you can be warm and still experience snow. It’s a great feature of our resort.”