Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge Recap

Now that I've caught up on laundry, gone grocery shopping, & we have gotten back to our normal routine, I wanted to share my thoughts about our weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. As you know, last weekend I participated in the Pacific NW Blogger conference at Great Wolf Lodge. I got to meet & spend time with some amazing NW bloggers, including:

If you're considering a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, I wanted to share a few thoughts after our 2 nights there.

The accommodations are great! We stayed in a Family Suite, which was more than enough for us. It had 2 queen beds, mini fridge, microwave, & a sitting area with a pull out couch & table & chairs. The beds weren't too hard (I hate that) & there were several types of pillows (soft & firm) so everyone was happy.

The lodge is amazing. There are animals all over that move & talk to you, there is a massive stone fireplace in the main foyer area, arcades, a spa, Cub Club, numerous dining options, you name it, they likely have it. Of course, the real attraction is the water park.

My daughter's favorite was the wave pool. She absolutely loved jumping in the waves! There are several different water slides, a kiddie pool, hot tub, & more. The lifeguards are nationally certified, & it's amazing to watch how they keep track of what's going on in the water. As you can see by the photo above, my husband certainly had a blast!

Dining isn't an inexpensive option at Great Wolf, but I honestly expected it to cost more than it did. We had dinner on Saturday evening at the Camp Critter restaurant. The food was okay; not great, but not bad, either. I was a little annoyed at how long a wait we had when we went down around 5:15. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I didn't expect to wait approximately 30 minutes. Maybe they needed more servers, or maybe we should have picked another dining option. My daughter did fall in love with the wolf ear headband she received with her kids meal, though!

Here are a few tips if you are going to stay at Great Wolf:

  • Spend some time eating meals in your room. You can order pizza for lunch or dinner & with the mini fridge & microwave you could easily make oatmeal, soup, mac & cheese, etc. Or just have muffins & juice for breakfast. This will cut down on your expenses, but more importantly, it will give you a little down time. The lodge is very stimulating & it was nice to just chill out in our room for breakfast on Sunday.
  • Get there early. Check in is at 4pm, but you can arrive early & get your water park wristbands. We got there around 5:15 & check in took far too long. There were 3 clerks working check in, however 1 left (to go on break, I assume), then 1 went to deal with a customer's question, so that left 1 clerk checking in an insanely long line. I think check in took us about 25 minutes, which seems like too long. Check in early to avoid some of the wait & get in the water park early (there are locker rooms to change into your suits since you can't get into your rooms until 4).
  • Stay late! Check out is at 11am, but again, you can use the water park & the locker rooms to change when you are done. Get the most out of your time there!
  • Consider eating outside the resort. There are numerous options within a 10 minute drive. We ate at Burgerville on Friday night (yum!). There's even a restaurant called Burger Claim just across the parking lot from the lodge that I heard good things about. We got the menu & the prices are very affordable. I wish we had tried it!
  • Go mid week. The room rates tend to be lower & I'm guessing it would be less crowded.

One thing that surprised me is that there is 30,000 square feet of conference rooms at Great Wolf Lodge. I asked if they ever do weddings, & was told they do. Recently at another Great Wolf Lodge, a couple got married at the top of a water slide. Right after they kissed, they hopped on, & started their marriage off with a real splash! (Yes, I realize that was a corny pun, but I couldn't resist!) I think a wedding, in particular a second wedding where there will likely be lots of kids, at Great Wolf would be incredible. Fun for everyone!

We loved it there & my daughter told us she wanted to stay "for 100 years." She's already asked me twice when we can go back. If you are wondering whether or not you will enjoy it, the answer is yes. There is enough to do to keep everyone occupied. I highly recommend you check out Great Wolf Lodge; you won't regret it!

(Note: Great Wolf Lodge provided me with a discounted room rate. However, all opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this post.)


  1. I had fun getting to meet you and thank you for all the great tips on organic foods.

    We ate at Burger Claim and it was DELICIOUS!

  2. Heather, you are such a HOOT!! I'm so glad I got the chance to hang with you. Such a vibrant, fun personality you have. I loved reading your thoughts about the lodge.

  3. Ah, you guys are so sweet. Missy, thanks for coming to all of the events; you certainly got priority seating. ;) Angela, you are such a wealth of knowledge & so much fun. Your kids (daughter especially!) are charmers, too. :)

  4. I had such a wonderful time at the GWL! Thanks for sll of your helpful information, you have seriously inspired me :)

  5. Maryann, you were a hoot! However, you inspire me. How you feed everyone you do on that budget...& feed other families as's awe inspiring!


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