I recently stayed at Great Wolf Lodge with my 3 1/2 year old daughter -you know the half ages are important in preschool! My husband had to be out of town on a business trip, so it seemed the perfect time for our first official “Girl’s Trip!”
We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge – Grapevine. As always, it absolutely exceeded my expectations! And I did pick up a few ideas I thought might help other families preparing to make a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, either as they head out of state for a vacation…or if like us they live nearby and want a “Near-cation!”
I will be doing another post soon with some video footage of the room and our trip, but first here are a few tips if you are planning a Great Wolf Vacation this summer!
TIP #1: Pack Smart!
Did you know that all Great Wolf Lodge rooms include a small refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave? They do, and that means that you can pack some of your families staple meals… think milk & cereal, Frozen meals, microwavable ravioli or cup of soup etc… you get the idea. Also, consider a bottle of wine to chill for mom and dad to enjoy out on the balcony after the kids crash! There are also plenty of places to eat on premises! So no need to stress about food choices while there!
TIP #2: Be sure to Pack a swim suit cover up.
One of the most unique parts of Great Wolf Lodge is the huge indoor water park that’s just for guests. If you have a child like mine…you will be spending a lot of time there. And when its time to go get lunch, or go back to the room, or take a break at the arcade…you wont always be up to changing in and out of your swimsuit. Especially, when you know you will be getting right back in it! Having a swim cover up for everyone in your party will make it easier to walk around the lodge comfortably, but still be ready to go back to the pool on a moments notice if the family wants to!
TIP #3: Get a Paw Pass
A Paw Pass is a lanyard your child gets to wear around their neck that is a “ticket” to experience all of the fun little extras Great Wolf offers. It saves you a significant amount of money over paying outright for those activities, but that’s not why I’m recommending it. It can also act as a bit of a map for first time visitors, letting you know all that’s available to do. It gave us tokens to the arcade- so we went and found the arcade. It gave us a chance to get a glitter tattoo and make a stuffed animal…we found those places. One of my favorites was the chance to decorate a pillow case at the Cub’s Den. I am quite sure we would have overlooked this out of the way oasis – and it was a lovely chance to sit with my daughter and color a keepsake. We talked and had some great bonding time there that I will not soon forget. The pass also allows you a wand and a chance to play an interactive hotel game, more on that in a minute. Bottom line- that pass was the best way to know about and take advantage of what the Lodge offers.
TIP#4: MagiQuest isn’t just for older kids. Or just the boys!
We almost skipped MagiQuest because of my daughters age – I’m glad we did not. While we didn’t follow the clues in the game that appeal to older kids, my daughter loved waving her “wand” at pictures and statues all over the resort and hearing them magically talk to her or light up. We took a “walk” each night just to do that. That said- my heart has rarely been so warmed to see grown men and teenage& preteen boys hanging out together! They were having the most amazing time running around the Lodge trying to “solve” the puzzles. It was really quite hysterical to see how serious they were on their “quests.” *Hint* if you go to the Grapevine TX location..Be SURE to visit the pixie room no matter what age you are! Serious about playing? Check out this post on all the Magi Quest Tips and Tricks we learned!
TIP #5: Wear your Pajamas to the “Good Night Show”and be sure to go!
Every night (sometimes twice a night) there is an absolutely precious story time that is preceded by animatronic animals singing. My daughter got into her bath and pj’s in record time every time I said we could go. It has a really sweet message, and the children can come in their jammies ready for bed after. It’s a great winding down time and kids get to have pictures taken with one of the Mascots of the Lodge like Wiley! My favorite picture of our trip was taken at the Good night show. It was a photo I snapped surreptitiously without looking, while my daughter and I sat cross legged on the floor. I didn’t want to draw my daughters attention…but during the show she reached over and took my hand, and I had to capture it. She held it the whole show, with a small smile on her face. For me- that made the whole trip worth it.
(My favorite Great Wolf memory!)
Have you gone to Great Wolf? Do you have tips to add? I’d love to know!
-Want to learn more about Great Wolf Lodge? Check out this post on – tips for playing Magi Quest.