Great Wolf Lodge is a fun family indoor wilderness experience and water park. The first resort was built in Wisconsin in 1997. Today there are 15 locations (with two more opening soon) in 14 different states and a resort in Canada. Most recently, the indoor water park was named the best of 2017 by USA Today’s 10 Bestaward.com Readers’ Choice Awards. Here’s what we love.
Right when you walk into the lobby of a Great Wolf Lodge property, you are taken away with the high vaulted ceilings, roaring fireplace and campy theme. The children will love seeing the howling wolf perched high in the rafters.
The fun wolf theme is carried throughout the resort with the 84-degree indoor water park as its main attraction, but there’s plenty of fun to be had without ever putting your bathing suit on. Most of the parks are similar in size with the same types of slides and water activities. The largest of all the water parks is located in California. Some of the coolest waterslides are Slideboarding, Chinook Cove and The Double Barrel Drop.
The resorts have a team or “pack” of character mascots. The leader of the pack is Wiley the Wolf, who is described as “outgoing, courageous and always fun to be around.” Each member of the pack has their own fun-loving personality and encourage children to follow their example. They can be spotted throughout the resort and ready for high fives and selfies.
There are various activities at the different locations, including everything from yoga, crafts and a nightly story time hour. A nature-inspired power walk and children’s yoga is available every morning before the water park opens. There is a scheduled break in the middle of the day to make crafts, face paint and create balloon animals and, of course, refuel with some lunch. At night, children gather in the lobby in their pajamas for all sorts of bedtime fun, featuring plenty of games, a bedtime story and a dance party with different programs for younger and older kids.
In the Pocono Mountains, there is a rope course, a 4D theater, a family-friendly bowling alley and much more. Other locations feature things like mini golf, an adventure park and laser tag.
A fun addition to each lodge is “MagiQuest” which lets children participate in an adventure. With the purchase of a magic wand the entire resort is transported to an enchanted land filled with dragons, pixies, and other mythical creatures. After finishing up their own quest each person can then take their wands home as a souvenir.
When you need to relax head down to the Elements Spa, which is available at any location. Spa services include pedicures, manicures, waxing and a variety of massages. Different packages give parents and teens a chance to share in the fun. There’s a Scoops Kid Spa for the little ones in the family and an ice cream-themed foot soak, sherbet scrub and plenty of cute nail polish colors to choose from.
At the Great Wolf Lodge, guests can experience the great outdoors without ever stepping foot outside. The KidKamp Suite sleeps six and offers a chance for kids to sleep in a tented sleeping area with bunk beds, a queen-sized bed and full-size pull-out couch. The Wolf Den Suite also sleeps six but includes a cave theme. The KidCabin Suite sleeps seven and features a log-cabin theme.
There are plenty of dining options available, such as Starbucks, counter service including classics like pizzas and salads, a waterpark snack bar, a bar and grill and buffet dining, as well as room service.
By Carey Reilly