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Minnesota Vacation Poll 13 – Cragun’s Resort Summer 2016
Minnesota Vacation Poll 13 – Cragun’s Resort Summer 2016
Cragun’s Brainerd Resort “Making Friends & Fun Memories For 76 Years”

What’s Your Favorite Cragun’s Memory?

1. Loved Both Experiences?
2. Always Something To Do?
3. Fun Hanging Out?
4. Fabulous Family Memories?

 (Cast Your Vote Below)

1. Loved Both Experiences

Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN

This time last year, we headed to Cragun’s for family vacation. We had a rough spring and were looking forward to enjoying time away with our two young boys. We were excited to make long-lasting memories. And boy, did we get them!

We checked in on Sunday, hit the pool (it’s all the kids could talk about), and attended the delicious welcome dinner. Then, the storm hit. Yes, THAT storm. The one that shut the resort down for two weeks! When my phone sounded the emergency alert, we left our suite and found a hallway without windows that was somewhat underground. Shortly thereafter, the winds hit, the lights went out, and the doors at each end of the hallway started rattling. Another family, also with two boys found us and sat with us. Their company was shockingly welcome at that moment in time! Some maintenance workers (with flashlights!) also found us and told us to stay put, as long as we were safe.

We did just that until the storm subsided. We were shocked to see the damage when we got to a window. There were trees on cars, power lines snapped in half, and waterfalls of rainwater rushing down the hills. We obviously had no power and vehicles couldn’t get in our out, so after speaking with the front desk and wandering around to survey the damage (from a safe distance), we realized we had no choice but to hunker down for the night, in the dark, and do what we came to do – RELAX! In the dark, with one candle, we bathed our kids, put them to bed, and sat on the balcony listening to the loons and…chainsaws. It was surprisingly relaxing, given the circumstances.

The next morning, we received direction from the staff to pack up and leave once we could safely do so. They assured us they would call to close out open bills once power was restored and re-book our stay if possible. Those logistics were obviously important, but the heart that these employees showed to all the guests in the face of such devastation (and lack of sleep) is what stands out to me about our experience. Yes, we were disappointed that our stay was cut short. But Cragun’s staff showed up in abundance that morning, walked to work (because cars couldn’t get through), cut up downed trees, and stepped on dead power lines, just to help us get our car to a spot where we could start our drive home. Throughout the chaos, these employees kept smiles on their faces. They made a tough situation surprisingly easy to navigate.

My kids still haven’t stopped talking about that storm OR the memories that were made when we returned, exactly one month later (sans a few hundred trees). We enjoyed four days of glorious weather, swimming, feeding the ducks, canoeing, and enjoying the horse-drawn buggy rides. We loved both of our experiences at Cragun’s last summer (for very different reasons) and cannot wait to return!



2. Always Something To Do

We spent some time at Cragun’s last summer with our kids. Our daughter enjoyed the crafts and paddle boating! As a family we went down to the beach, enjoyed the indoor pool and the outdoor theater. Our son was 5 months old and enjoyed the stroller rides and watching all of the activities. There is always something to do! We loved our time at Cragun’s and can’t wait to go back!



3. Fun Hanging Out

We had a wonderful family vacation at Cragun’s. We made lots of great family memories, while enjoying the resort, the lake, and all the great activities. It was the week of my 17 year old’s birthday. Hanging out with parents isn’t always the first choice of teenagers, but I think the 3 days we spent at Cragun’s showed both our boys that they can have fun hanging out with their parents. We went tubing, fishing, sat on the beach, went for walks, paddle boarding, enjoyed the evening bonfires, used the Sports Centre and fed the ducks. I didn’t even have to tell them to put their phones away. It was a great vacation to reconnect as a family. We talked about when we’re going back on our car ride home.



4. Fabulous Family Memories

We were thrilled with our first experience at Cragun’s! There are lots of family-friendly fun activities planned throughout the day, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate for outdoor activities. We enjoyed the scavenger hunt and horse drawn carriage rides. Bingo was definitely a family favorite! The food was exceptional and the staff was very accommodating. Add Cragun’s Resort to your bucket list….it’s a must do!


Have another favorite Cragun’s memory? (Submit here)