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Snow in Forecast Nightly at Valley’s Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resort

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Great Wolf Lodge, the family-oriented resort hotel in Manteca, is much the same as when it first opened in 2021. But, now it has snow.

The winter promotion offers grand holiday decorations, a large Christmas tree in the lobby, visits from the Big Guy himself, and “snow” blowing down on nightly dance parties for kids.

Other holiday-themed events include bingo, scavenger hunts, and plenty of photo opportunities.

The holiday festivities last through Jan. 6. The hotel is offering a deal, 30% off for rooms booked between now and March 2. The deal expires Dec. 16. Use the codeword WINTER.

Wiley the Wolf is the Great Wolf Lodge’s character-in-chief. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Let It Snow

The “snow” comes in the form of foam bubbles falling from machines in the ceiling. It’s the highlight of the 9:30 p.m. dance party in the lobby, although I spotted flurries at other times of the day.

There is a stage in the lobby to host various parties and games. The hotel has its own cast of characters, led by Wiley the Wolf, who make regular appearances.

Santa, with the Taub kids, makes appearances at the Great Wolf Lodge through Dec. 23. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Water Park Ideal on a Rainy Day

My family recently explored Great Wolf Lodge on a rainy weekend. Good thing the water park is indoors. The 95,000-square-foot area is heated to 84 degrees. While you can stay warm, it is a bit humid.

The water park offers a variety of waterslides — 10 total — to keep multi-aged youngsters happy. There are big slides, enough to make an adult like me dizzy; medium slides, and baby slides.

A family favorite — two slides, side-by-side, with tubes. My competitive kids liked to race. One on one or two versus two are options.

The park also features a “lazy river” and water basketball. If there one thing I’d wish they add, it would be just a regular pool or hot tub — some still water where adults can relax.

A Loud Hotel

Great Wolf Lodge caters to families, with several activities geared toward children 12 and under. Nightly dance parties, morning yoga sessions, and activities throughout the day mean things are nonstop and loud.

I overheard one mom say “let’s go to the room. This is too chaotic for me.”

The resort hotel is not a place to sit and read a book or find a quiet spot to collect your thoughts. The lobby is nonstop, and the rest of the resort is full of loud events such as a rope course, bowling, miniature golf, and gold panning.

If there is a silver lining, at least it is the joyful noise of children laughing.

MagiQuest a Draw

The interactive game MagiQuest may be the part of Great Wolf Lodge my kids (14, 12, 9) enjoyed the most. Each “magi” is given a physical wand that can unlock magic powers at various stations throughout the hotel.

Point the wand, and a treasure chest will open; crystals will light up; and a “sword in the stone” may release (even with my strong muscles, I couldn’t make it budge).

Some of the stations are hidden in plain sight.

There are some video game like screens, where “magi” can point and thwart an enemy.

MagiQuest is an interactive game at Great Wolf Lodge. (GV Wire/David Taub)

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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