We just took the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge on a budget for a little stay-cation. I mean, it’s only 30 minutes from our house, so that’s close enough to call it a stay-cation right? (really I just like to use the word stay-cation, alright?) I guess it’s more of a near-cation. Anyway, we had a blast. The kids LOVE it.
We took them last year, too. So, I guess now it’s a tradition! Both times we stayed only one night. Both times we went in the winter. Both times we went in the smack middle of the week. I highly recommend all of these things. Winter is just a great time to go. The kids are restless and feeling all cooped up, it’s cold and nasty outside, Christmas is over and Spring is so so far! Going in the middle of the week AND in the winter means no lines, tons of vacancies and good deals! We didn’t tell the kids we were going either year, we just picked them up from school and drove. haha. They freak out when we pull int! This year they REALLY freaked since they recognized it and knew what they were in store for! haha. It’s an impressive building with GIANT wolves carved into the front. (At night it kinda looks like the hotel from the Shining – but don’t be scared – it’s so big and pretty!)
This year we booked the ‘Kids Cabin’ room. It has a little cabin with bunk beds, a table and a TV built right into the wall of the room. Yeah. They thought that was AWESOME!
Inside the water park there are things for any age to do.
- Lots of slides. Lots and lots of slides. Big ones, small ones, some enclosed ones that go outside of the building and come back. Roller coaster slides, baby slides, family slides, individual slides.
- A wave pool that makes you really feel like you’re at the beach.
- Lilly pads and logs to jump across
- A lazy river for tubing.
- A zero depth area for the kiddos
- a hot tub for adults and a warm tub for families
- a huge fort that has all kinds of water activities, dumping buckets, water guns, sprinklers.
- Cabanas that you can rent to hang out in for the day.
- Story time at night in the lobby, in your jammies! (free)
- Characters that come and say hi. (free)
- Crazy animatronic trees and animals and people in the lobby that put on a little show every few hours. The kids seem to enjoy it, but I think it’s a little creepy. I feel bad for the employees, same songs every time! haha (free)
- A cute ice cream shop and a few restaurants. (not free, we only tried the pizza. It was reasonable and tasty!)
- A cute spa to get manis and pedis that is ice cream shop themed. (definitely not free – we haven’t gone in)
- A room for the kids to go and do some crafts. (some free things – which are the one we choose.)
- A game called MagiQuest. You have to buy the wand, but then you get to go all around the whole hotel on a scavenger hunt the whole time you stay. The kids loved making things open, glow and talk with their wand. (not free – wand is about $15, game is about $10 – we bought one to share this year.)
- A Build-a-Bear workshop. (I think each one is about $25 – looks cute, but we haven’t tried it yet)
- Squash a penny. (not free. It’s 51 cents each! We splurged and got two! haha. They really love this little souvenir!)
- An arcade. The kids LOVED this last year. The games are reasonable, but you have to win a million tickets to get anything other than a dum-dum or silly band. They longingly looked at the arcade every time we used the elevator, because they loved it last year, but we did MagiQuest this year, instead. They have a little bowling alley in there and the kids LOVED that last year. It’s cute.
- Starbucks! Heck to the yeah! Right in the hotel! But, the prices are not the same as other Starbucks….so beware. 😉 (And they have no blonde roast.)
If you haven’t stayed at a Great Wolf Lodge….I recommend it. We love it every time. The kids have a blast. There are often Groupons or other coupons and deals floating around the world wide web. Check them out. That’s what we do. Also, once you stay, you get coupon codes in the mail for other stays. Bring a friend or bring Grandma and Grandpa. Some rooms accommodate up to 7 or 8!
You can save money lots of other little ways too. We bring our own breakfast and lunch and snacks and drinks. We buy a pizza at night and hang out in the room. There are fridges in the rooms. Don’t forget paper plates! (yeah, we forgot those this year.) We just head up to the room to eat. There are also tables in the water park you can use. (Just like an outdoor pool!) We also really like late checkout so that we can have lunch in the room. The themed rooms are so cool, it’s a shame to waste them. Some of the Groupon deals include late check out, be sure to look. You get to stay at the park after you check out, just put your stuff in a locker.
It’s a great little family getaway.
I received a discounted rate from Great Wolf Lodge and all thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.