Several children scampering around the lobby of the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord recently stopped what they were doing and looked up at the rafters when it started "snowing."
The resort hotel and waterpark's snow (actually a formula with a liquid soap that dissipates when it hits the ground) is part of its "Snowland" holiday decorations populating the lobby.
So no matter if the weather outside is not frightful, there will be snow inside Great Wolf Lodge three times a day. The snow falls at the end of the animatronics creature performance at the clock tower at 10 a.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Great Wolf information technology manager Omar Sidak said.
Other parts of the display include wreaths, trees and giant snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, all backed up by holiday music.
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One of the Christmas trees will be a "tree of giving" where people can donate presents for Big Brothers/Big Sisters programs in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, Great Wolf general manager Phil Cunningham said.
All of the displays are open to the public, he said, and visitors are already responding well to them. That includes Barb Charters of Bethlehem, Ga., who said she extended her stay an extra day so she could see the holiday displays go up.
Looking around the lobby, guest Lori Massey said the place really felt like a lodge. The Greenville, S.C., woman was at the hotel with her husband, Byron, and their 21/2-year-old child, Lawson, and said they were waiting to see the snow.
Nearby, 4-year-old Julia Whiteneck, who was with her mother, Sarah, had a simple description of the snow. "Very neat," the Raleigh girl said.
Other components of the holiday activities include appearances by Santa, stories and an area where kids can write, decorate and mail letters to Santa.
This is the first winter holiday display at the $123 million Great Wolf complex, which opened in the spring.
It has 402 suites and a centerpiece 80,000-square-foot indoor water park available, part of a 475,000-foot complex. The water attractions are available only to hotel guests, although the rest of the complex is open to anyone.