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With 76% of the votes, the winner of last week’s “Favorite Cragun’s Memory” poll was “Unforgettable Winter Getaway” from Joni.
For Christmas 2009, instead of giving gifts, my parents instead asked all of us siblings if we would rather go on a winter weekend trip to a water park. Ideas for Wisconsin Dells and other large water park hotels were thrown around, but when I brought up the idea of Cragun’s instead, everyone became curious.

Cragun’s came to my mind as I actually worked at the resort in the housekeeping department while attending college in Brainerd years early, and I had always wanted to make the 3-1/2 hour drive back to visit the fantastic resort. Now that I am married and have kids of my own, I thought it would be an excellent idea for a family winter getaway! I looked online and saw the Winter FunFest package and Grandma booked 4 rooms to accommodate our whole family and we had an unforgettable weekend!

Our son Riley was 3 years old at the time and had a blast swimming and having Grandma teach him how to ice skate for the first time on the lake. I think his favorite part about ice skating was afterwards where he got to warm up by the bonfire and roast marshmallows. While the husbands were ice-fishing for the afternoon, my son and I went on a dogsled ride which was one of the many highlights of the weekend, not to mention the Clydesdale sleigh ride, the traveling zoo show and the delicious buffets that were included in our package. There was never a dull moment.

The hospitality and accommodations are superior and the whole family was impressed that Mr. Cragun himself made a point to stop at every table at dinner to chat with his guests; not something we have ever had at any other resort or hotel for that matter. No one missed the chaotic and noisy water park atmosphere and instead thoroughly enjoyed our poolside room where we could enjoy appetizers and drinks on our patio while watching the kids swim, not to mention relaxing by the pool after putting the kids to bed.

Unfortunately, and definitely disappointing to the kids, we did not get a chance to make it back up to Cragun’s for the 2011 Winter FunFest. This winter, however, we will not miss the FunFest weekend and we plan on making it a yearly winter tradition, encouraging our family and friends to join us.

Thank you Cragun’s for the unforgettable memories!