Great Wolf Lodge Makes A Great Family Vacation

As part of our Celebrity Parents Magazine Takes On series, we visit Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, PA.

We believe that exploring the world is one of the best ways to learn about life. And what better way to do it than with the people you love the most — your family? So take your tribe on an adventure of a lifetime, whether it’s to a destination on your bucket list or a road trip that allows you to roam. The most important thing is that you wander often — and together.

When it comes to family vacations, you really can’t beat the all-inclusive options. Let’s face it: just being able to show up to a place where you can unpack (and unwind) is ideal without having to think about where you’re going to have to go, changing hotels, or what you’re going to eat. Which is what makes Great Wolf Lodge a must-go destination for parents and their pack of pups.

Great Wolf Lodge is a chain of indoor water parks throughout the United States. They can be found from California to Colorado, Massachusetts to Michigan. When you book your stay, you’ll get all-day access to the water park, free WiFi, and other kids activities. But if you thought that Great Wolf Lodge was just about the water park (which is pretty impressive), think again. There is so much to do that you’ll find yourselves happily exhausted at the end of each night. .

Great Wolf Lodge offers themed suites that really get you into the lodge-style vibe. The KidKamp Suite has a tent-themed sleeping area with bunk beds, a queen bed, and a full-size sofa sleeper, while the Wolf Den Suite has a cave-themed sleeping area, a queen bed, and a full-size sofa sleeper.

Once you’ve unpacked, it’s time to hit the water park. Even for the most seasoned of water park patrons, the one at Great Wolf Lodge is awesome. It’s a steady 84 degrees Farenheit, so you’ll always be warm even when moving from one part of the park to the other. Towels are provided free, and smell fresh and clean. And since Great Wolf Lodge limits the number of guests, there’s never a long line for a ride.

Of course, the main attraction at Great Wolf Lodge is its indoor water park, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. For the adventurous at heart, try the Double Barrel Drop, complete with crazy twists and turns (that will also have your stomach in knots), or the Hydro Plunge, with a staggering 52-foot vertical drop. For a gentler water experience, younger kids can opt for the Slap Tail Pond, a wave pool that scores high in crashes and laughter. Kids can also climb up Fort Mackenzie, a water fort tree house that offers a splashtastic time for little ones. And ideal for all ages, the Crooked Creek just requires an inner tube and a chill attitude for a fun time just floating.

 

While nothing can replace parental supervision, Great Wolf Lodge is known for its high safety standards. As such, the lifeguards you see on duty aren’t just dozing; they’re patrolling. Each one is assigned a small section of the water park, whether it’s the Chinook Cove, Big Foot Pass, or Cub Paw Pool. And you’ll see them pacing back and forth, almost military-style, ensuring the safety of all swimmers, both great and small. It’s pretty spectacular to watch.

Parents who want to decompress while kids splash to their hearts’ content can take a soothing soak in the South Hot Springs. Reserved for adults 21 and over, it can be a much-needed respite.

 

For non-aquatic antics, you and your kids can have a blast playing mini golf at the Howl at the Moon Glow Golf, or spend some time in the Northern Lights Arcade, which is bound to please even the tiniest of gamers. Score a strike at the Ten Paw Alley bowling alley, or mine for gold (or just smiles) at the Moonstone Mine.

 

But by far, the most popular dry attraction is MagiQuest. Once you’ve purchased a wand at the store, your mini Harry Potter will race around the resort looking for clues to complete her quest. MagiQuest can take a few hours to complete, so be sure to leave yourselves plenty of playtime.

 

By now, you and your pack are sure to be starving. No worries; Great Wolf Lodge has plenty of dining options for every family—and every budget. Hungry As a Wolf is a great grab-and-go option, offering pizza, subs, and sandwiches that you can eat in your room. The Loose Moose Family Kitchen is a buffet sure to tantalize even the pickiest of eaters, and is a great option for breakfast, too. Can’t get your kid out of the water park? Buckets Incredible Craveables offers everything kids want (think burgers and fries) which can be eaten poolside.

After a long day of swimming and splashing, your clan can wind down with a sweet story courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge. A beloved tradition, Story Time typically takes place in the main lobby. Dress your kids in their jammies and be prepared for the nightly Story Time event to come to life. Plus, a Great Wolf Kids character (such as Wiley or Violet) always makes an appearance, and it’s a super cute photo opp to get your child’s PJ-clad pic snapped with one of the characters.

But that’s not the only character appearance you’ll find at Great Wolf. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good character appearance. Great Wolf Kids often appear at the Wake Up with Wiley and Friends, during the Lunchtime Lineup (where your child can have his face painted), or during the PJ Party with the Great Wolf Kids.

 

If your kiddo is craving a souvenir to remember their stay, Great Wolf Lodge has got you covered. Souvenirs can be personalized in The Name shop, while your child can also take home a mini Willey in the Great Wolf Lodge Kids Store. No trip would be complete without candy, so brace yourself for buying loads of sugary treats in the Great Wolf Candy Company store.

 

Great Wolf Lodge is truly an amazing vacation spot for families. It offers everything you’ll need for a great time without ever having to leave the resort. And with so much to do, you’ll probably want to schedule a second (or third) visit, just so your pack can do it all. Overall, you (and your little pups) will have a howling good time at Great Wolf Lodge.

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