Traveling while being on a gluten-free diet can be quite stressful, as you are never sure if there will be something available for you to eat. I was so happy to find that was not the case during my recent visit to Great Wolf Lodge. I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Uselman, the Director of Food & Beverage at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg. Chris assured me there were a variety of options available, many that are standard Great Wolf fare, just a gluten-free version. Chris stressed the importance of making sure gluten-free individuals, especially children, do not feel left out or disappointed with limited food options during their stay.

From hot dogs, to hamburgers and pizza, everyone can feel comfortable eating breaded foods at Great Wolf Lodge due to the resorts' availability of gluten-free breads, dough and mixes. Due to the possibility of cross-contamination, these options are prepared separately to ensure its safety. There is a gluten-free menu available in The Loose Moose Bar and Grill, but food options are available to eat in the water park snack bar as well as Hungry as a Wolf. Chris also recommends that anyone speak with a server or ask the chef about any special requests or questions. While I personally eat gluten-free, the lodge culinary staff is fully trained and well-equipped to deal with a variety of allergies and dietary needs. 

Even without asking for special preparations, I found a myriad of naturally gluten-free options readily available during the breakfast and dinner buffet. For breakfast, I chose cheese eggs, potatoes and fruit. For dinner, I was able to eat fish, couscous, sweet potatoes, baked beans, mashed potatoes and more. I was more than pleased with what was available and felt comfortable knowing I could ask for something else if need be. Being able to adhere to my diet while I vacation at Great Wolf Lodge - without sacrificing quality and taste - is just one more reason why I love Great Wolf Resorts!

-Kira Riley, Ask a Mom Panelist for Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg

So the first time I ever set foot in the Great Wolf Lodge was down in Williamsburg, VA.  My mom took my sister and me for a few days during our break from school.  I was almost 6 and couldn’t understand why my mom was taking us to a waterpark in the middle of the winter. 

Coloring at Cub ClubOnce I saw the waterpark I was so excited.  This was back before Williamsburg did the addition, so the Lodge was small.  We stayed in a family suite—which is a standard room.  I remember playing for hours in Fort Mackenzie. My sister, who was 14 at the time, wasn’t as excited as I was.  But being my big sis she went with me on all the slides—at least the ones I was tall enough to go on—and she loved them.  I colored my first Great Wolf Lodge t-shirt at this Cub Club, the Cub Clubs have gotten so much bigger since then.  

It was at the Lodge in Williamsburg that we realized that there were Lodges all over the country.  It was there I challenged my mom to go to all of the Lodges.  Little did I know she would take me up on it.

Trying the Wolf Rider Wipeout

So flash forward a couple of years later and the Lodge in Williamsburg has become one of my favorites.  Why?  When they did the addition they added the Wolf Rider Wipeout (the ride that simulates surfing).  It is not as easy as it seems.  One visit my friend came with us and my mom allowed us to take the group lesson after the waterpark closes.  Cool to be in the waterpark after it has closed. We had one-on-one instruction and learned a few tricks, mostly how to hold on. My friend Eric discovered that it is pretty funny watching others on the  Wolf Rider—especially when people wipe out.  

The trip that Eric went with us we stayed in a Majestic Bear Suite.  In this suite there are actually bedrooms.  My mom had her own room with a Jacuzzi bathtub and us boys shared the second bedroom.  We still had the living room with the sofa and fireplace.  Eric said this was the suite that his family got when they went with another family—plenty of room for every one. 

Ask A Mom Son

RJ H.

RJ is the son of our Ask A Mom Panelist, Leslie H.  Like his mom, he has visited all 11 Great Wolf Lodges. Stay tuned for more from RJ and his mom Leslie.

 

Great Wolf Lodge Cub ClubI have been going to Great Wolf Lodge for as long as I can remember.  My mom and I have been to all eleven of the Lodges. Some Lodges, like the Poconos, I have been to many times.  Others like, Kansas City, I have only been to once.  I am going to start my blog off by describing the 5 general areas of the lodge….I will get into more details and funny stories in my future posts.

The Waterpark

The waterpark is the main attraction—it’s why everyone goes to the Lodge.  The waterpark is a fun place to go any time of day.  There are (at most lodges) 4 regular tube slides and 2-3 big tube slides (which I recommend). The big slides have names like the Double Barrel Drop and the Howlin’ Tornado.  In addition, there is a kiddie area, a wave pool, 2 hot tubs, a giant water fort with 2 body slides and a recreational pool where you can play water basketball.  There is even a lazy river!  There is so much fun to be had in the waterpark!

gr8_space

gr8_space is a place where teens (like me) go to chill out and dry out.  There are snacks and drinks so that you don’t have to go back to your room.  Inside, there are 15 different TVs, one big screen, 3 Xboxes and 3 Wii's along with PS3's.  Countless computers are available to go online.  There are contests and dance parties.  You could spend hours there.

Northern Lights Arcade

The arcade is the last thing closed in the evening so you can stay there for a while.  With over 100 games to play, the fun never ends.  One token is one quarter.  There are games for ticket hunters and games just for fun.  The prizes are pretty cool too—hundreds to pick from (although I am not allowed to bring home anymore stuffed animals). So much to do, so little time.

The Food

I am now a teenage boy so food is important to me.  My mom always packs snacks but I have to tell you the food is pretty great.  The Loose Moose Cottage has a buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner, which leaves you with hundreds of food choices.  There are 2 big restaurants—Camp Critter and the Loose Moose, there are smaller places like Spirit Island and Pizza Hut Express. Yum!  Everything always sounds so good.  One time at lunch I had pork with BBQ sauce and it was truly amazing!

MagiQuest

MagiQuest

MagiQuest makes you feel like a powerful wizard. I, myself, have played this game for countless hours—it is so addicting and fun.  First, you have to do quests to earn runes.  When you collect all the runes you can move on to bigger quests like dragon slaying or Pixie helping.  You get to keep your wand so the next time you stay at a Great Wolf Lodge, you can pick up right where you left off.  I have played at all the Lodges where MagiQuest is offered.

So there is my overview of the Great Wolf Lodge….stay tuned for my fun adventures.

 

Ask A Mom Son

RJ H.

RJ is the son of our Ask A Mom Panelist, Leslie H.  Like his mom, he has visited all 11 Great Wolf Lodges. Stay tuned for more from RJ and his mom Leslie.

 

We (and by we I mean my son RJ and I) have been to all eleven Great Wolf Lodges.  That's right, all eleven lodges. There is just so much to share and talk about.  Do I start at the beginning or end?? Wolf Rider Wipeout Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg

We are actually going to the Great Wolf Lodge in 2 weeks for our annual swim team trip.  Where else would you take a bunch of kids that love the water? 

Two years ago we had our first adventure traveling with a bunch of people.  RJ and I usually travel as a duo.  The group thing from start to finish was very cool.  To start, I was paired up with a Pack Member who specialized in groups.  I was guided step-by-step through the process.  We booked as a group, but once there everyone had the ability to set up to charge to their room.  Very convenient.  We all ended up with rooms near each other in the "forgotten hallway."

The best part of this trip for me was watching all the “newbies” come into the Lodge….priceless to see the faces of the kids as they looked into the waterpark. Much like my last blog about my husband not believing us, I am guessing some of our friends didn’t believe us either until they saw it that first night.

MagiQuest Great Wolf Lodge WilliamsburgThe kids took off running to the waterpark.  We had to remind them that they had all weekend.  A great tip when traveling with a group—send the kids down to the waterpark when it first opens to get seats for the adults who are still enjoying their coffee.  RJ thought it was great that he had so many people to go on all the slides with. Both the family raft ride and the water roller coaster are much more fun with friends than with mom. 

It was a great day—the adults played board games, chatted and even got wet in the waterpark.  The kids played until they were waterlogged.  Then they dried off and went to try out the “dry “activities.  We had pre-planned a dinner in the Loose Moose Cottage—including the Loose Moose birthday song.  The kids didn’t want the night to end, but hibernation hours start at 11pm.  This was where being in the forgotten hallway worked out great—the kids were directed to the Lobby.  Duck duck goose at midnight!  I enjoyed sitting by the fireplace! 

The next morning some of the kids tried out MagiQuest.  Hopefully they remember their wands so they can continue their game when we go in 2 weeks.  Most of the group stayed until dinner time before heading back home.  The second year we went we had twice as many families as the first year.  Oh and did I mention that when you do a group trip the room rates are very reasonable?? So grab your friends, teammates or family and head on down. 

 

Ask A Mom Panelist

Leslie H.

Ask Leslie, or any of our Ask A Mom panelists, a question at askamom.greatwolf.com

Ask A Mom Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, Washington This photo is from one of our first trips to Great Wolf Lodge and it’s a favorite of mine, they have grown so much since I took this picture. 

As you exit off the highway and turn the corner, there is no mistaking where you are!  This is the time in our car when the screaming of excitement begins. At the entrance of the lodge stands two mammoth, beautiful sand sculptures of a mama wolf and her cubs, the other a lone wolf. 

My husband has a demanding job and gets very little time off, so when he is able to take a few days and enjoy a mini vacation with the family it is so nice to be able to escape and reconnect as a family. We live in Port Orchard and with the recent highway improvements it takes less than 2 hours for the fun to begin. 

We have 4 kids at home ranging from ages 9-16. There is plenty of fun and family entertainment for all and my favorite part of the trip is the wind down time in the evenings when we get dry clothes on and have a family dinner at Camp Critter Bar & Grille.  It has become a family tradition to watch Alpha and Omega the night before our trip to get into the Great Wolf spirit.

 

Ask A Mom Panelist

Grand Mound Lodge

Lani M.

My son and I had been to the Great Wolf Lodge many times, but my husband had never been.  We had, as a family, just suffered a tremendous loss—our 16 yr old daughter Beth had passed away suddenly two weeks earlier. My son RJ who was 8 at the time and was at sleep-away camp in upstate NY (he had insisted on going). 

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls, OntarioWe needed to go pick him up and decided to surprise him by taking him to the Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  I had always known that my hubby didn’t believe us when we told him about all the stuff in the indoor waterpark, but it didn’t really hit me until I saw his face when we went to check in.  He was amazed, staring at the slides like a little kid. 

RJ and Jimmy went on all the slides!!! It was great for me as I got to sit and rest a bit.  RJ loved it because dad spent far more money in the arcade than mom ever did. The best part of the trip was when I was getting ready to pack the room —the boys had gone downstairs for breakfast.  I was speaking to the housekeeper when I heard my room number come over her radio.  Something about not checking out...I was like "What did they say?"  She smiled and said “Go relax.  It looks like you are staying another day.”

The boys came back to the room all full of smiles.  They were so excited that we were staying another night.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them I already knew about their surprise.  RJ and I still take most of our trips to Great Wolf Lodge without dad but at least we know he believes us now.

Ask A Mom Panelist

Leslie H.