Announcing a New Lodge in New England

New England families will soon have something to howl about—we are excited to announce that Great Wolf Lodge has official begun construction in Massachusetts on a new resort.

Great Wolf Lodge - New England will give families more than 100,000 square feet of entertainment and lodging space to enjoy together—all under one roof. The centerpiece of the resort will be the indoor waterpark—the largest in the state with more than 68,000 square feet of fun for the whole family.

Of course it will have some signature Great Wolf Lodge water rides like the Howlin’ Tornado, Slap Tail Pond wave pool and everyone's favorite—Fort Mackenzie with its 1,000 gallon tipping bucket.

Just like all of our lodges, Great Wolf Lodge - New England will feature guest suites that provide the perfect place for families to relax after a day of waterpark fun. Families can choose from several suite styles, like the popular kid-themed Wolf Den and KidCabin suites.  The resort will also debut never-before-seen suite styles—the Majestic KidCabin and the Grizzly Wolf Dens.

The Majestic KidCabin will sleep 11 people and will have two bathrooms, a separate king bedroom, two queen beds and a themed cabin for kids, complete with a daybed and a set of bunk beds. The Grizzly Wolf Den will sleep ten people, have two separate bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room area and themed kids Wolf Den, complete with bunk beds. Two awesome new additions to our line up of comfy suites.

You can also find a ton of other activities throughout the lodge that are perfect for kids of all ages, like:

  • The brand’s first and only indoor dry play area—over 16,000 square feet of entertainment complete with a multi-level ropes course and indoor miniature golf
  • MagiQuest
  • Scooops Kid Spa
  • Ten Paw Alley mini bowling
  • The Great Clock Tower Show and evening Story Time

Great Wolf Lodge - New England will also feature several restaurant options like our new Lodge Wood Fired Grill restaurant and bar, Bear Paw Sweets & Eats, Hungry as a Wolf and a Dunkin’ Donuts®.

As always, the indoor water park is exclusive to resort guests and waterpark passes are included with each suite—a great value and the perfect place to spend time together as a family.

Great Wolf Lodge - New England will be our twelfth resort. Located off Route 2, 45 minutes from Boston—Great Wolf Lodge - New England is expected to open in late spring 2014. 

To stay up to date on all the building progress, visit www.greatwolf.com/NewEngland, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

0 Comments

Just a Dad Living in a Diva's World

We recently announced our 2013 Ask-A-Mom (and dads)—our resident parent experts who provide their tips and tricks for a great trip to the lodge.  Over the coming weeks, we are going to introduce you to each of them and give you a look at why they love Great Wolf Lodge.  Today, meet Chris Lewis for our Traverse City lodge—father of two girls blogging about the trials and tribulations of living (and surviving) in a Divadom on a daily basis. 

As a father I am always looking for experiences that will leave lasting memories in the minds of my daughters. Whether this is small day-to-day events, or big scale vacations—all are things that I work hard on so that they can look back on their childhood with fondness. What I love about Great Wolf Lodge is that it provides families of all income brackets the opportunity to get away on either a mini or extended vacation that will leave lasting memories. Whether you enjoy water and spending time in the waterpark, racing down waterslides and having tons of water dump on top of your head or you want to go on a magical journey battling dragons and hanging out with fairies, there is so much to do at Great Wolf. On top of all of this, Great Wolf employees are so down-to-earth and friendly and are there to make the experience magical, at least the ones that I have met have.

These are some of the larger scale things that stand out in why we love Great Wolf Lodge. I have to go further though and say that it is more than this—it is the smaller moments with the characters that make my children smile. It is the family oriented menu at the restaurant. It is seeing all of the kids coming together for a bedtime story or a morning trek which both educates and entertains. It is all of these things that make this resort special and one that I have constantly shared with all of my friends.

The final thing that I love about this resort is that for me, they are close enough that I can drive, but far enough away that it makes my whole family feel that we are getting away from home to a fun location.

So for me—a dad that makes it my aim in life to be present and engaged with my daughters—this resort, and its staff go out of their way to make it easy for me to bring something special and magical into their lives (outside of what I already provide at home). Also, the absolute joy shown on their faces when we arrive at Great wolf is simply priceless.

0 Comments

Meet Dan

We recently announced our 2013 Ask-A-Mom (and dads)—our resident parent experts who provide their tips and tricks for a great trip to the lodge.  Over the coming weeks, we are going to introduce you to each of them and give you a look at why they love Great Wolf Lodge.  Today, meet Dan Anderson for our Grand Mound lodge.  Dan is a husband, father to a son, two Golden Retrievers and a bearded dragon named Spike. 

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound Ask-A-MomMy family enjoys having fun together, which is why we love Great Wolf Lodge—there is something for everyone and we can experience it all as a family.

My 4-year-old son, Matthew, loves playing in the water and has been taking swim classes at our local pool. Although he is not yet ready to conquer the big thrill rides, Great Wolf offers plenty of fun appropriate for his age. The indoor waterpark is perfect for him and the giant tipping bucket dumping on his head is always a highlight. Of course, it is more fun when mom and dad play along, which is why the design at Great Wolf is so great for our family.

My wife, Amy, is partial to the Starbucks in the lobby—we truly can’t start our day without a good cup of coffee. Having our favorite coffee place in the lobby makes all the difference and makes you feel like home. While my wife and I have our coffee, Matthew always gets a cup of steamed milk which he also refers to as “coffee.”

I am a bit of a technology geek, which is why I get a kick out of Great Wolf Lodge’s innovative games like MagiQuest. It is neat how Great Wolf has used the technology to create a fun experience that can keep families entertained for days. I also like MagiQuest because it is something that my family can do together.

The overall value is a larger part of why my family loves Great Wolf Lodge. Family vacations are expensive and we try to make the most out of every trip. With a visit to Great Wolf, our admission costs are bundled into the price of the room. This is great for us because we don’t have to worry about paying separate fees for admission to the park, like we have to do with trips to Disneyland.

The rooms at the hotel are wonderfully themed, especially the Wolf Den Suite, which is another reason why we enjoy visiting Great Wolf Lodge. My son loves having his own space to play and sleep in. My wife and I love that we’re not all crammed into a small hotel room, and actually have space to spread out and enjoy being away from home.

The best part of Great Wolf is that it is nearby for a quick escape. Living in the Pacific Northwest can be tough when you go for several weeks without the sun. Having a warm, indoor waterpark within driving distance is a huge perk and makes those cold winter days more bearable.

My family loves having fun together and Great Wolf Lodge is one of our favorite places to visit. There is something for each of us, but the best part is that we can enjoy it all together.

 

0 Comments

The Social Parent

As a family entertainment brand, we are always interested in articles about families—moms, dads, kids, grandparents.  As a social media manager for a family entertainment brand, I’m especially interested in articles about how all these family members use social media. 

There have been a bunch of new articles released containing information about parents on social media. More specifically—why they are on Facebook.

One recent article by Mashable says that one in two parents join Facebook to keep tabs on their kids.  They even included a fancy little infographic with all the specifics.  We are seeing more and more kids on our Facebook page letting us know how much they love us.  And of course, we see parents doing the same. 

This growing trend of parents on Facebook got me wondering, why do parents “like” Great Wolf Lodge on Facebook?  Sure, there are tons of articles out there about why people like brands, but I want to know straight from you, the fans. 

So here you go, let us know why you “like” us on Facebook. Do you want to see fun photos from the lodges?  Do you like to watch Great Wolf Lodge videos?  Or do you just love sharing your own photos for the Facebook world to see?

Or do you prefer the world of Twitter?  Why do you follow @GreatWolfLodge?  Is it everything you hoped it would be?

Leave a comment and let us know.

0 Comments

Save for Your Next Family Getaway

We excited to share another great blog by special guest author Suzanne Rowan Kelleher from MiniTime.com, the family trip-planning site that makes traveling with kids easier. As a go-to travel expert, Suzanne has appeared on national TV and radio programs including CNN, ABC News Now and NBC News. She is married with three kids.

Early in the New Year is the perfect time to start thinking about your next family vacation. Admittedly, the least fun part of trip-planning is figuring out how you’re going to pay for it. But coming up with some strategies and sticking to them is the best way to make sure 2013 includes some fun time away with the kids, whether you’re heading to Kansas City or Niagara Falls.

Saving is a valuable life lesson, so don’t hesitate to involve your children. “The most important thing kids need to learn about managing money is how to make choices, which comes up all the time in planning a family vacation,” says Janet Bodnar, who writes the Money Smart Kids column at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Here are a few 5 strategies for financing your next family getaway:

Make it a team effort.  Start brainstorming with your kids about simple ways to save here and there to meet your goal. Hold a garage sale. Collect your loose change in a vacation jar. Cut back on how often your family orders in and dines out. As you track your progress, point out those valuable lessons. “Small amounts really do add up over time. Having patience really can pay off,” says Bodnar.

Turn on auto pilot. “The very best way to save money is to take it off the top before you even see it,” says Bodnar, who suggests setting up an automatic transfer into a savings account earmarked for your vacation. A $150-a-month contribution adds up to $1,800 in a year!

Figure in your paycheck.  Do your employee benefits include paid vacation days? If so, you don’t need to save up 100 percent of your vacation’s price tag, says Bodnar, since you can finance part of your spend with your paycheck. “Whatever you would have spent at home for food and recreation during the same period can be put toward your vacation budget,” she explains. So if your family of four typically spends $250 on groceries and $80 on recreation and entertainment in a week, that’s $330 you won’t have to save for your weeklong getaway.

Devise a pay-off plan. If you’re only able to sock away half of what your vacation will cost, Bodnar says it’s vital to pay off the remainder within six months of returning home. “It’s so important not to get in over your head,” she says. “For most people, six months is a manageable amount of time.”

How is your family saving for your next vacation? Share your favorite travel tips and stories with the MiniTime community. Tell us how you saved up for your vacation to your favorite Great Wolf Lodge:

Charlotte/Concord, NC
Cincinnati/Mason, OH
Grand Mound, WA
Grapevine, TX
Kansas City, KS
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Pocono Mountains, PA
Sandusky, OH
Traverse City, MI
Williamsburg, VA
Wisconsin Dells, WI

For more tips on how to save for your next Great Wolf Lodge vacation, visit www.greatwolf.com/value.

0 Comments

Howl at the Moon Glow Golf

After spending the day riding all the waterslides in Bear Track Landing and playing MagiQuest throughout the resort, families at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains can now enjoy a round of putt-putt golf in the dark at Howl at the Moon Glow Golf.

The newest attraction to the Pocono Mountains Lodge is the place where the forest meets mini golf fun. Families can take an evening stroll through the woods, along this themed golf course, no matter what the clock says. With our uniquely indoor “moonlit” sky,  

Don't worry; we didn’t turn off all the lights. With the help of backlights and glowing pathways, you will Putt your way to victory along the wooded path. You will even have a perfect line of sight for a hole in one. Just be sure to yell "fore" so you don’t startle our forest friends.

Howl at the Moon Glow Golf

For avid golfers, leave your clubs at home and share the joy of the greens with everyone in your family. The team at Great Wolf Lodge has thought of everyone, and the course offers golf clubs that are perfect for every age and height. Just bring your imagination and get ready to hit the mini links.

Located along Main Street on the first floor of the lodge, just across from Ten Paw Alley, plan to visit Howl at the Moon for nine holes of indoor fun. Keep an eye out for the little creatures who call the golf forest their home – they will guide your team along the putting green to an above PAR delight.

At just $5 per person, this experience is the perfect way to spend time together complete with friendly competition. And, don’t worry. We took out all the sand traps to help ensure everyone feels like a winner at the end.

Next time you're at the Pocono Mountains Lodge be sure to try your hand at this new addition to our array of entertainment and activities. This new experience is not your average shot in the dark.

Is your family a big fan of mini golf fun? Guests at the Great Wolf Lodge resorts in Concord, Kansas City, Traverse City and Williamsburg can enjoy our outdoor course at the Howl in One Mini Golf or Wacky Wilderness at the Niagara Falls lodge. These are open each summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

0 Comments

New Year, New Attractions

Last summer, guests at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine had a chance to try some new attractions. For the thrill-seekers there is Howly Wood XD Theater, while the agile could take a turn at Lazer Frenzy to race against the clock. Both replaced a tween themed activity space at the resort and have allowed the whole family to join in the fun.Howly Wood XD Theater at Great Wolf Lodge

Howlywood XD Theater takes the rider on three different adventures. For the true thrill, families can take a ride on a roller coaster through space. With the wind rushing through your hair and hydraulic-powered seats, this is not your average movie theater. Families will feel like they are actually flying through space.

The Grapevine Lodge also added an interactive, time-challenge game called Lazer Frenzy. Families can challenge each other or race against the clock to slink through the laser beams to the other side before time runs out. You won't want to fail this mission.

Lazer Frenzy at Great Wolf LodgeBoth of these interactive games were part of the 2012 facelift to family entertainment at all of the Great Wolf Lodge resorts. From new attractions like Howl in One Glow Golf in the Pocono Mountains and Oliver's Time Challenge in Williamsburg to updates like the Northern Lights Arcade renovation—we are committed to providing the best in family entertainment.

This year, we will be making even more updates and additions to a lodge near you.  Stay tuned for more information about all of the new family entertainment in store for 2013.

0 Comments

Northern Lights Arcade Gets a Facelift

Great Wolf Lodge strives to constantly add new venues and forms of entertainment at all of our resorts. This year, in addition to providing new attractions and amenities, we have focused on enhancing the guest experience. Most recently, several of the Great Wolf Lodge properties focused on one of our most popular entertainment outlets – the Northern Lights Arcade.

With the addition of the new games for all ages and skill levels, families can now use the latest technology in hands-on gaming—PawPoints! Instead of purchasing tokens to activate the arcade games, families can load their PawPoints cards, again and again, and enjoy hours of fun. The cards are reusable and save your points, too. So if you don’t win enough tickets to earn the prize you really want, save your PawPoints card bring it back with you to reload, reuse and redeem during your next visit. Another cool benefit of the PawPoint card? You can enter all of your earned tickets, and store your total on the card. No need to keep each individual ticket—the card makes ticket total storage easy.

For our guests who just can’t get enough of the arcade—or want to visit after the waterpark closes so they can maximize splishes and splashes—we have added hours of operation to the Northern Lights. 

In addition to the many new games and prize-winning opportunities, the overall look and feel of the arcades has changed drastically. From vibrant carpet to brightly painted walls, the arcades truly reflect the family fun atmosphere our Great Wolf Lodge resorts are known for.

Currently, the Northern Lights renovations are complete at the Grapevine Lodge and Kansas City Lodge. This month, the lodges in Williamsburg, Sandusky and Pocono Mountains will receive their gaming facelift and our remaining resorts will be complete by the end of the year.

Has your family challenged each other to a game of Skeeball recently? Do you have a favorite game? What do you think of the Northern Lights arcade? I hope you enjoy these changes as much as I do, as we continue to find ways to enhance your guest experience at each of our Great Wolf Lodge resorts.

0 Comments

Stress Free Vacation

Vacation comes packed full of stress! As moms we carry the "stress" for the family and typically do all the planning. Which means we worry about what to pack, what to wear, where to go, how to get there, what to do when we are there, what to eat, what the weather is going to be like, and so on. BUT I didn't have to worry about any of that while at the Great Wold Lodge! My kids were always entertained, and it didn't matter what the weather was like! I purchased the Pup Passes for the kids, so they knew exactly what they were able to do—so complaining was obsolete. Everything was provided for—I really had nothing to worry about. I actually was able to sit back and enjoy my children. Isn't that what vacation is all about?

We had an amazing time! You can find a full review on the lodge at my blog, Home Grown Families

Name: Melissa Brouillette
City: Greenville
State: SC
Email: momtosprouts@yahoo.com
Lodge: Charlotte/Concord, NC


 
0 Comments

Chef of the Week - Lymont Stoutingberg in Kansas City

During the summer months, I’ll have the opportunity to introduce you to our talented culinary team. Our executive chefs work each day to provide delicious, healthy, fun meals to our guests. I look forward to introducing them to you so you can learn a little more about what makes them howl in the Great Wolf Lodge kitchen.

Executive Chef at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas CityAs the Executive Chef at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Chef Stoutingberg opened the resort in Charlotte/Concord as the Executive Sous Chef before moving to the Sunflower State of Kansas.

Chef Stoutingberg has been working in resort kitchens since 1991. His passion for the culinary field comes through in every dish he creates for families at Great Wolf Lodge.

GWL  What is your all-time favorite food?

Chef Stoutingberg – My favorite item are the crab cakes on our menu in Camp Critter. They are served as an appetizer with our signature red pepper aioli and corn salsa (recipe below).

GWL – What makes a meal at Great Wolf different from other places?

Chef Stoutingberg  The family friendly atmosphere where the entire family can enjoy a meal while the kids can still interact with Magi Quest be entertained by Wiley and friends and even splash in the water while mom and dad enjoy their meal..

GWL – Please share any career achievements/highlights or awards that you have earned as a chef either prior to or during your time with Great Wolf.

Chef Stoutingberg  I’ve had the honor to prepared and served meals for many notable dignitaries and events in my years as a chef. Some of them include the Queen of England, Presidents Clinton and George Bush, opening event of USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier and the opening of Great Wolf Lodge in Concord.

 

Broiled Crab Cakes 

with Red Pepper Aioli and Corn Salsa

Ingredients:

Crab Cakes Red Pepper Aioli Corn Salsa
  • 1 C mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat
  • ¼ C breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ C roasted red bell peppers, drained, patted dry
  • ¼ C mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of lime juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 fresh ears of corn
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tsp chopped red onion
  • 3 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

To make the crab cakes:

  1. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, cilantro, lemon juice, Old Bay, bread crumbs and egg.
  2. Gently fold in the crabmeat.
  3. Form four crab cakes, spray skillet with pan spray, lightly cook on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Top with Red Pepper Aioli and serve with Corn Salsa (recipes below).

To make the aioli:

  1. Finely chop the garlic in the food processor. Add the peppers and blend until almost smooth.
  2. Blend in the mayonnaise, and lime juice with the machine running, blend in the oil.
  3. Season the aioli, to taste, with salt, cayenne and pepper. 

To make the corn salsa:

  1. Grill jalapeno skin-side down, until charred but still firm, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; finely chop.
  2. Roast corn in 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, after cooling cut kernels of husk.
  3. Mix with rest of ingredients jalapeno, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lime juice, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
0 Comments

Our First Trip

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.

0 Comments

Chef of the Week - Greg Kaufman Sandusky, Ohio

During the summer months, I’ll have the opportunity to introduce you to our talented culinary team. Our executive chefs work each day to provide delicious, healthy, fun meals to our guests. I look forward to introducing them to you so you can learn a little more about what makes them howl in the Great Wolf Lodge kitchen.

Executive Chef Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, OhioAs the Executive Chef at the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio, Chef Greg Kaufman has been a part of the pack since 2001. Chef Kaufman has also helped open numerous Great Wolf Lodge resorts and train new Food and Beverage pack members in the kitchens.

With degrees from Bowling Green State University and the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Chef Kaufman enjoys creating delicious food for families at the resort.

GWL  What inspires you most?

Chef Kaufman  My inspiration would have to be presentation.  I like trying new ideas for plating and presentation.  I look for thing to have a “wow” factor before they leave the kitchen.

GWL  What would you like to tell someone who wants to become a chef?

Chef Kaufman  If it is your dream then follow it whatever it is.  This profession takes a lot of dedication and patience to get ahead.  If it is your passion then the time will fly by and always remember that you can learn something from everyone no matter how talented you or they are.  Every day is different; no two days are the same in this profession.

GWL  What makes being a chef at Great Wolf Lodge so special?

Chef Kaufman – With so many properties there is always someone to reach out to for brainstorming on a variety of topics.  Having so many chefs in so many different regions makes this job entertaining and enjoyable.

GWL – What is your favorite tool in the kitchen?

Chef Kaufman - My favorite kitchen gadget is a simple one - a high heat rubber spatula.  It’s simple and never melts.  You can leave it in a hot pot or skillet and don't have to worry about it burning.  Personally everyone should have one, and they'll never have to buy another one again because they are so great.

0 Comments

Welcome to the Pack

As one of the newest members of the Great Wolf Lodge Pack, I have been excited and enamored with all things, “Wolf!” During my first week, I took part in Wolfology; that’s Great Wolf Lodge-speak for “employee onboarding.”

The class took part at our Wisconsin Dells Lodge, and included two of my colleagues from the Corporate Office and several new employees from our many important resort areas. Over the years, I have taken new employee classes at other companies. While each had its own spin and tone – no such class ever asked me to howl before!

As a guest at our lodges, you have probably learned how to “Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, HOWWWLLL” – but did you know that pack members do it, too? We even have our own little version of the Howl that is slightly different at each lodge. For instance, the Wisconsin Dells Lodge is our first Great Wolf location. Pack members in the Dells proudly say, “Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, Howl! Number one!”  Our Grapevine, Texas Lodge pack members welcome all new pack members by taking them to the lobby and having them yell, “Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, Howl! Yee-hah, y’all!” I love that!

Wolfology then went on to discuss the Great Wolf Guest. With are so many options for family entertainment these days, we are honored each time you choose us. It truly is our responsibility to do all we can to ensure that our properties are clean, inviting, exciting and as wonderful as our advertising makes us out to be. We must exceed our guests’ expectations. Call me a little geeky – but that makes me proud. (More on that later when I write about my first experience as a guest.)

Soon, we were knee deep in Great Wolf Lodge lingo: “pack members” – employees of Great Wolf Lodge; “dens” – employee offices; “wolf wear” – employee uniforms. Do you like to give the celebratory High Five from time to time? At Great Wolf Lodge, we give the “High Paw.” Teach your kids to do it tonight! Start with your hand open, palm facing out. Then, bend each finger inward at the knuckles. Lastly, raise your paw and howl. You can’t help but smile as you do it.

Welcome to our pack!

Susie

0 Comments