Busch Gardens Williamsburg wolf
One of the wolves at Busch Gardens today

I’d hardly believe it if I hadn’t heard it myself. A wolf with a snowy mottled coat, standing in the valley below, howling to the heavens.

John egged him on, of course. We were on a behind the scenes tour of Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia, visiting with the zoological department before the start of their summer season and their 40th anniversary celebration of the park.

Busch Gardens Juvenile bald eagle
Juvenile bald eagle from the Birds of Prey Center in Maitland came to Busch Gardens to live

Where I didn’t expect we’d stay the night is a themed hotel, the Great Wolf Lodge. This is firmly a family-with-kids destination, not the sort of place we’d seek out ourselves. But we’re with a group to learn about Unexpected Williamsburg, and this is certainly unexpected!

Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge

It’s all about the kids, from rooms with built-in kid-sized cabins and tents adjoining the parent’s bed to pint-sized bowling, ice cream and candy shops, character photos, and storytelling time in front of the trees in the lobby.

Indulgent? You bet. A mini-spa for the little ones, a massive indoor water park, and a version of MagiQuest that has kids dashing down the halls waving wands at everything on the walls and shelves.

Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park
Indoor water park
Wands for sale
Wands for sale for MagicQuest inside the lodge
Kids spa Great Wolf Lodge
Kids spa at Great Wolf Lodge

Everything is in a wolf theme, the rooms and lodge itself evoking the North Woods.

Great Wolf Lodge taxidermy
Numerous wolves look down into the lobby

So, wolves in Williamsburg? You bet!