Every year, each Great Wolf Lodge resort transforms into a winter wonderland during our Snowland celebration. The lobby is adorned with giant snowflakes hanging from the rafters, twinkling lights, and holiday décor. However, the true centerpiece of it all is our life-size gingerbread house.

Our gingerbread houses aren’t ordinary gingerbread houses by any means. Made with over 550 pounds of gingerbread, these 20-foot tall houses are absolutely awe-inspiring. It takes each resort about one month to design, bake, and construct these one-of-a-kind edible cottages. The best part? Families can dine inside for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for a small fee, because (let’s be honest), it would be a shame for these houses to sit empty during Snowland. The proceeds from dining in the gingerbread houses are donated to each resort’s local Ronald McDonald House.

New this year, we’ve made it even easier to book your family’s meal inside the gingerbread house. With our new online reservation system, you can book breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the gingerbread house before you even step foot in the resort. To book your reservation, visit greatwolf.com/snowland and select your resort from the property list. This will re-direct you to your resort’s Snowland page and on the right sidebar, simply click on “Now taking reservations online!” underneath the gingerbread house. You can then select your date and time preference, as well as the total number in your party, and pick from the available times. And, just like that, your family is on its way to enjoying a delicious meal within the candy-adorned walls of a life-size gingerbread house while supporting a great cause.

Are you celebrating your howlidays at Great Wolf Lodge? Don’t forget to share your photos with us using #GWLhowlidays!

There are so many things to remember when traveling with young children.  Parents must pack several changes of clothes, extra bottles and sippy cups, the treasured lovey, snacks, and above all else, diapers. As the parent of a toddler, I have a tendency to over-prepare. I pack each day’s clothing in its own plastic bag. I include extra socks, extra sets of clothing. I check and re-check that I have my son’s favorite stuffed toy. I pride myself in thinking ahead.  

However, I  admit it wasn’t until I took my son on his first overnight trip  - incidentally to the  Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells - at the age of seven months that I encountered something I had not prepared for.

After getting settled in our suite, I changed his diaper. He was giggling and happy and clean. I, on the other hand, was left standing with a used diaper. Of course, I did not want to leave it in our suite. Nor did I want to stick it in the hallway. We definitely had quite the stinky conundrum.  In the end, I bagged the diaper and took it down the hall to the garbage near the vending machine (apologies to anyone who got a late night bucket of ice during our stay).

After our amazing visit, the diaper debacle was quickly forgotten. That is until earlier this year, the Great Wolf Lodge team discussed a new idea to ease the stress – and smell – of traveling with children in diapers.

Each and every day, our pack members strive to provide exceptional guest service and help our guests make special memories together.  As family-focused destinations, our twelve resorts were designed to help bring families closer together while having fun.  Half of our guests are under the age of ten and we know they have unique needs. Pack ‘n plays are provided free of charge and every suite comes with a complimentary fridge and microwave so parents can easily store snacks and prepare baby food and formula. And of course, the resorts feature entertainment options and activities for guests of all ages.

Now, Great Wolf Lodge has launched a new service to make family travel even easier for parents and our youngest guests! This month, we introduced the Diaper Den Service to each of our res orts. Re cognizing used diapers are not a fun part of vacation; our resorts now provide parents with young children an in-room Diaper Genie Elite for easy disposal of dirty diapers during their stay.

To bring this new service to life, we are proud to partner with Playtex, makers of the original Diaper Genie. As millions of parents already know, the Diaper Genie Elite is the perfect solution for the disposal of diapers. The all-in-one diaper pail features a 7-layer refill bag and double-lock design to seal away stinky diaper odors. It is also the perfect solution for families staying together in a resort suite.

How do families take advantage of the Diaper Den Service? It’s simple. Families can easily request to borrow a Diaper Genie at time of booking or during resort check-in. In addition, to help ensure our youngest guests fully enjoy everything Great Wolf Lodge has to offer, families also receive a voucher for a complimentary swim diaper redeemable onsite at the resort’s Bear Essentials Swim Shop.

The Diaper Den Service was first introduced at the Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains earlier this summer and we are excited to now fully share it with all of our guests.

I’m almost sad my son is now fully potty trained. Almost.

With summer road trip season in full swing, we created a DIY project sure to make your pups howl about summer travel. The Great Wolf Kids luggage tag is a simple, yet, creativity-inspiring craft that will also help focus all of their pre-trip excitement! It's a great way to announce an upcoming trip as a fun surprise, too.

Have your kids pick their favorite Great Wolf Kids character, customize the look, and attach it to their bag. That's it! Now they're ready for a fun-filled adventure at Great Wolf Lodge! They may even meet their friend in real life at Great Wolf Kids events like Story Time or Wolf Walk.

The PDF template, which can be found here, features each of our Great Wolf Kids characters.


Step 1: Gather your supplies. You’ll need a few different items you probably already have around the house.

  • Paper to print the template (we recommend heavy stock paper for durability)
  • Adhesive (we used glue sticks and glue)
  • Colored pencils, crayons or markers
  • Single hole punch
  • Ribbon, yarn, or string

Step 2: Color your luggage tag. Get creative, or stick to your character’s signature look. The choice is yours! If you’re wondering what Wiley, Violet, Oliver, Rachel, Sammie, or Brinley look like, you can find out here.

Step 3: Cut out all three pieces of your luggage tag.

Tip: follow the dotted lines rather than the solid ones for an easier cutting path.

Step 4: Using the adhesive of your choice, attach the name badge and character to the base circle in the location of your choice.

Tip: Attach the name badge to either the bottom, or the back of the tag. This allows for plenty of room for your Great Wolf Kids friend.

Tip: For added durability, consider laminating the tag with a laminator or packing tape.

Step 5: Locate the small dotted line circle on the base of the tag. Use your single hole punch to punch a hole over the dotted line.

Step 6: Cut a six inch piece of ribbon, yarn or string. Thread one end of the ribbon through the hole made in step 5. You should now have about one half of the ribbon on either side of the tag.

Step 7: Thread one side of the ribbon through the handle of the luggage. Tie a knot in the ribbon, fastening the tag to the luggage.

Step 8: Sport your new luggage tag on your next trip to Great Wolf Lodge, or wear it on your backpack!

Summer is a time of adventure. Every year, parents across the U.S. pack up their cars. They cram the kids, games, snacks, the dog, and anything else they can fit, into the family car to take trips across the country; sightseeing and experiencing adventure along the way. Some families travel to state and national parks, while others are thrill seekers – chasing theme and water parks across the country.

What all of these families have in common are the memories they make together along the way. We see these memories every day. Families take pictures of their adventures at Great Wolf Lodge and share them with us on social media. We enjoy seeing their photos of journeys soaring down Mountain Edge Raceway, getting soaked by the Tipping Bucket, wielding wands on their quests to become Master Magi’s, and enjoying family time along the way. These memories are kept forever, whether they are storied in photo albums and smart phones or in their hearts.

Family memories made during summer trips are special, and we believe they should be cherished. That’s why this summer we’re challenging you to document the family fun. We want you to take pictures of all the fun things your family does together; whether at Great Wolf Lodge or elsewhere, we want to see how you spend your summer, and give you the chance to spend part of it with us.

Take pictures of it all. Document the fun times, because having pictorial reminders of the adventures will provide a lifetime of reminders as to why the summer of 2015 was the best summer yet. Then, choose your best photo and post it to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using #GWLMakeMySummer for the chance to win a two-night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge of your choice (U.S. properties only).

We’re excited to see all of the fun times had, and we thank you in advance for sharing your family adventures with us. Have a blast this summer! We hope to see you at the lodge soon.

Sweepstakes Details:

Post a photo of a summer activity to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #GWLMakeMySummer between July 1, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. and July 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. to enter the sweepstakes. The winner will receive a voucher for a two-night stay in a family suite at the Great Wolf Lodge of his or her choice (U.S. properties only). Official Rules: http://gwld.gs/1R4yD4I

I recently went on quite the adventure. I was hangin’ at Great Wolf Lodge, minding my own business, when Waymb the Woodchuck was up to no good. He was causing trouble all over the resort and it was my job to find him! Luckily, with the help of Wiley and the other Great Wolf Kids characters, I was able to track down Waymb and officially join the Clubhouse Crew. Seriously, I have a photo to prove it!

OK, so maybe this isn’t exactly how it happened – but as part of our new Clubhouse Crew adventure, guests can work “hand-in-paw” with their very own Great Wolf Kids character to join the rest of the Crew in an adventure that takes place throughout the resort. Your Clubhouse Crew experience starts at the Creation Station. After bringing your favorite Great Wolf Kids character to life, Wiley informs you that Woodchuck Waymb is creating mischief and it’s up to you to find him. Wiley instructs you to visit different stops around the resort to see where Waymb has been causing trouble. At each stop, you must solve puzzles or complete different activities to receive your next “clue” from a different Great Wolf Kids character. 

With a number of checkpoints, the Clubhouse Crew adventure is a great way to explore the resort while completing your “mission.” Sammy the Squirrel even takes a photo of you and your Great Wolf Kids character. The photo is instantly emailed to you and is the perfect souvenir. 

For the many guests, young and old, who love the Great Wolf Kids characters, this is the newest experience our resorts offer to have fun with your favorite Great Wolf friend during your stay. There’s no limit to how many times you can play the Clubhouse Crew; once you complete the adventure, you can do it over and over throughout your stay.

The Clubhouse Crew experience is opening at many Great Wolf Lodge resorts this spring. It has already opened at Great Wolf Lodge resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Pocono Mountains, New England, Grapevine, Williamsburg, and Grand Mound. Guests will also be able to play the game this summer in Concord, Mason, Kansas City, and Traverse City. 

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer activities. Families across America will pack up their cars and take the first trips of the season. Some trips will be annual traditions and others are to new ​destinations and experiences.

While many families equate summer travel with camping, families who prefer hotels have avoided the activity. However, the new trend of glamping, or “glamorous camping,” has been adopted by many hospitality brands as a way to bring the experience of the great outdoors, indoors.

At Great Wolf Lodge, glamping is not new at all. In fact, we are the leaders of the hotel pack! We like to think we started the trend in 1997, long before the name glamping was created.

Families visiting Great Wolf Lodge resorts have made memories glamping in our KidKabins, KidKamps, and Wolf Dens. Millions of children have slumbered in themed suites, dreaming of the adventures they took while playing in the waterpark and dueling MagiQuest dragons. They made one of a kind memories together while glamping “fort-style” in their suite.

As the summer travel season begins, we want to see how your kids glamp at home. We know that your children love to build forts by gathering every available blanket, pillow, flashlight, and even the family pet to build unique structures and tents, often right in your living room. Now – we want to see them!

Beginning May 23 through June 6, we invite your family to show us your best household fort. It can be indoors or outdoors and it should celebrate your children’s wildest fort-building dreams. Grab all the blankets and pillows you can find and spend quality time together with your family as you build your fort and glamp in your home. Share a photo with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #GWLFort2Win and your family could win a one-night stay at the U.S-based Great Wolf Lodge resort of your choice. Let us help you glamp, Great Wolf-style.

We’re excited to see your children’s ideas come to life. And who knows, your family could be our lucky winner for the chance to start a new summer travel tradition, with our pack at Great Wolf Lodge.

The contest:

Between May 23 and June 6, 2015, post a photo of your best homemade fort to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #GWLFort2Win. After the contest concludes, a panel of judges will choose one winning family to receive a complimentary one-night stay at any of our U.S. locations. Please see official rules for details.

May is National Water Safety Month. At Great Wolf Lodge, water safety is on our minds every single day. Each year more than one million families visit our resorts to make memories together. The waterparks provide hours and hours of fun. And that fun is closely watched by our dedicated and diligent aquatics teams. Our lifeguards keep a close eye on all of our guests, ready to assist at a moment’s notice if anyone needs an extra hand.

As the weather gets warmer, families start to plan vacations that involve swimming, boating and all kinds of water fun. This is also the time when we encourage families to take a moment to think about staying safe while enjoying such activities.

In honor of National Water Safety month, we asked our talented team of Great Wolf Lodge Aquatics Directors to share their thoughts about water safety. Each of them was asked to share one important tip about how to safely enjoy the water.

“The tip I always I tell my friends and family is they should never take a lifejacket off their child until they are certain they are done with all water activities. Wearing a lifejacket can mean the difference between life or death.” 

- Keenan Weiss, Grapevine

“Knowing how to swim is very important. Parents should put their children in lessons as soon as possible. Learning how to swim at an early age, and wearing a lifejacket around water can truly be a lifesaver.”  

- Adrianne Newman, Wisconsin Dells

"My most important tip is that you should stay calm when in the water and master the simple skill of treading water. While knowing how to swim may come naturally to many, it can be tough for those who might be afraid of the water. Knowing how to tread water can make all the difference.”  

- Brett Garrett, Kansas City

“No one should ever swim alone. Period. Parents should participate with their children while they are in water and everyone should remember that even the most experienced swimmers may need unexpected help.”

- Justin Yacob, Sandusky 

“It is important to understand the dangers of COLD water! I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have a lot of glacial and snow runoff. Even in the summer, bodies of water can be as low as 40 degrees. Cold water constricts the body’s blood vessels, causing a person to have trouble breathing. Before you jump in the water, be sure to check the temperature to ensure it is safe you to enter.  

- Cory Wynn, Grand Mound

“Parents should ALWAYS be with their children. Children often think they are better swimmers than they really are.  It only takes a second or two before a child can find themselves in water over their head and slip below the surface.”  

- Jason Arthur, Mason  

“Lifeguarding is a shared responsibility. Lifeguards do their absolute best to ensure the safety of all of their guests however parents know their child’s swimming abilities. Parents should always keep their children within arm’s length at all times.”  

- Adam Jones, Pocono Mountains

“Research has shown that struggling swimmers cannot stay above the water surface for more than ten seconds and can be difficult to recognize. They rarely call for help or splash at the surface. When enjoying water activities with your friends and family, continually verify that each swimmer can comfortably keep his or her head above the water. If someone’s head is below the water, even if they appear to be playing, that individual may actually need assistance. If you are not sure, notify a lifeguard right away.”  

- Nick Licastro, Concord

“The most effective way for parents to watch their children is not from the pool deck; rather they should be in the water within arm’s reach of their child. This is by far the safest and much more fun way for both parent and child.”  

- Charlie Mullaney, Williamsburg




There’s no doubt that the classic grilled cheese sandwich is a favorite amongst most families. With a warm, gooey center and perfectly golden buttered bread, there’s simply nothing not to like about a simple grilled cheese. In order to properly honor this delectable delight this Sunday for National Grilled Cheese Day, we’re sharing our Grilled Cheese Shooters recipe.

The Grilled Cheese Shooters’ appetizer-sized portion makes it perfect for sharing with the whole family. With warm, crisp, buttered bread filled with melty cheese and the perfect amount of tomato soup for dipping, we’re sure it will give you something to howl about.

Great Wolf Grilled Cheese Shooters

You’ll need:

  • 2 slices of white bread, crust cut off to square the slices
  • Butter, melted and warm
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • 4 oz. Campbell's Healthy Choice Tomato Soup (hot)


  1. Evenly butter both slices of white bread with butter and place on a flat top grill, butter side down.
  2. Place 1 slice of American cheese on each slice of bread for 1 minute, or until evenly browned and the cheese is melted.
  3. Remove bread from flat top grill and place slices together, cheese side together.
  4. Cut finished sandwich from upper left corner to lower right and then cut the opposite way upper right to lower left, creating 4 perfectly shaped triangles. 
  5. Using the hot tomato soup, fill 4 shot glasses about ¾ of the way.
  6. Place 1 sandwich triangle on top of each to the shot glasses. The flat side of the triangle should be up, with the tip of the triangle just touching the soup.
  7. Place each on a rectangular plate in a straight line. Serve immediately.



It’s cold outside… it’s snowy… and the groundhog has officially predicted six more weeks of winter.  We’re tired of the bitter cold, and we know you are, too, so we’re showing our appreciation for our loyal social media fans and followers by warming you up this FeBRRRuary with a cup of Howlin’ Hot Chocolate.

All of our social media fans and followers that visit Great Wolf Lodge during the month of FeBRRRuary can redeem a complimentary Howlin’ Hot Chocolate from Bear Paw Sweets & Eats (US) or Bear Claw Café (Canada). Just how do you redeem your complimentary Howlin’ Hot Chocolate? You need to prove that you’re a fan, of course!

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Become a fan of Great Wolf Lodge on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.
  2. Find this image: 
  3. Visit Great Wolf Lodge and show the social media post mentioned above to a pack member in Bear Paw or Bear Claw.

In just seconds (or however long it takes you to drive to Great Wolf Lodge), a delicious Howlin’ Hot Chocolate can be yours! Oh, and we should mention that this isn’t just any old hot chocolate…it’s our uber secret recipe for the best hot chocolate (in our humble opinion).

Unfortunately, we can’t change the weather, but hopefully this little bit of scrumptious chocolately goodness will ease the winter weather blues, even if just for a moment.

Promotion is valid now through February 28, 2015. Please limit one Howlin’ Hot Chocolate per person per family.

As we're heading into Super Bowl weekend, there are three important decisions we all must make:

  1. Who am I going to cheer for?
  2. What am I going to eat?
  3. What am I going to drink?

If you haven't thought about the perfect beverage to serve your Super Bowl party guests, may we suggest our Smokey Bloody Mary? This Lodge Wood Fired Grill® specialty is sure to be a game-changer and not to mention a crowd-pleaser. Not down for the alcohol? No worries – just eliminate the vodka from the recipe and we promise the end result will be just as delicious. Cheers!

You'll need:

  • 1.5 oz. Grey Goose® Vodka
  • 1 tender celery stalk, with leaves (from center of celery stalk)
  • 10 oz. Great Wolf Lodge® Bloody Mary Mix

Great Wolf Lodge® Bloody
Mary Mix

  • 1 qt. tomato juice (unseasoned)
  • 3 tbsp. chipotle sauce
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 tsp. grated horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Combine all ingredients, mix well, and chill for at least 4 hours before using.

To serve:

  1. Squeeze fresh lime into a mason jar, rub the lime along the rim of the glass, dip into sea salt, reserve lime.
  2. Fill mason jar with fresh ice.
  3. In a mixing tin, add ice, Grey Goose Vodka, and 10 oz. of Great Wolf Lodge Bloody Mary Mix.
  4. Shake well and strain into the prepared mason jar.
  5. Garnish with celery stalk and reserved lime.

When I accepted my first job (many) years ago, a friend told me my career would take me to “new heights.” This week, that prediction came true during a visit to Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine.

Earlier this year, Great Wolf Resorts added an all-new and unique guest experience to four resorts: the Howlers Peak Ropes Course. With an indoor version debuting in New England, and three outdoor courses added to the Pocono Mountains, Grapevine and Grand Mound respectively, these attractions took fun to an entirely new level. This week, I got to try the multi-level balancing experience myself.

My first thought when I saw the ropes course was focused solely on its height. It is tall. Rising 50 feet into the sky, Howlers Peak is four levels of fun. Zip lines allow you to fly through the air from one side to the other, while strategically placed ropes, steps, and small wooded shapes, create pathways that require some concentration, some balance and a sense of adventure.

The highlight of Howlers Peak is the “quick jump” or as I jokingly called it, “the death drop.” It sounds simple enough, 45 feet above the ground, you step right off the platform and sail on down to the awaiting landing pad – complete with a signature Great Wolf Lodge paw. Friends and colleagues had told me the quick jump experience was a lot of fun and as I watched several people glide down, I decided I was next.

Happily, I zip lined toward that corner of the attraction. Then I balanced on a thin rope and “crab crawled” my way across to the platform. A pack member calmly adjusted my harness, told me what to do, checked in with his partner below, yelled, “Jumper!” and opened the gate. Bravely, I smiled, headed to the edge and….nothing. I couldn’t do it. I stood for about five minutes and could not find my courage. Apologetically, and with my proverbial tail between my legs, I unharnessed and zip lined away.

Internally, I negotiated with myself. I decided I didn’t need the quick jump; I could zipline, and balance, and walk and climb with the best of them. But my inner voice nagged and said, “This is not over.”

Suddenly, a movie reference popped in my head. I grew up crushing on Harrison Ford, and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” started playing in my mind. Remember the scene with Indy standing at the edge of the cave, with no path or bridge ahead of him and a huge abyss below? It was the “leap of faith” scene. If he took one step forward and believed he would be alright, he would. He just needed to move forward. (Spoiler alert – he took the step and a bridge magically appeared beneath his feet.)

I knew a bridge would not appear under my feet at the quick jump site, but I also knew that if four year old kids (YES!) could do it, I could, too.

So, with thoughts of Hollywood magic in my head, I went back up to the platform. Moments later, I took a bold step forward - ok, more like, slight stumble and ungraceful trip – and WHEEEEEEEE! A moment of flying, couple seconds of floating and a HOWL of delight. I did it! I conquered Howlers Peak.

Everyone clapped, a few cheered, and I promptly removed my harness. Check the box for another amazing, unexpected Great Wolf Lodge moment. And a quiet thank you to Indiana Jones.

It’s that time of year! The 48 Hour Sale is BACK and this time around, you can save up to 25% on your family’s next getaway. This sale only comes around a couple times each year and offers the best savings on one or multiple night stays at Great Wolf Lodge. If you’ve never taken part in one of our 48 Hour Sales, here are a couple tips to make your experience as simple as possible:

Once the sale is announced, the clock starts ticking. You’ll have 48 (or so) hours to book a trip to Great Wolf Lodge and take advantage of the savings.  To make sure you’re ready for every 48 Hour Sale, sign up for our ePack to receive deals and promotions straight to your inbox.  You’re probably familiar with the saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” Well, in this case, ePack members are the birds and the 48 Hour Sale is the figurative worm. Members of our ePack are the first to be notified about the 48 Hour Sale. If you want to be among the first to receive deals and promotions, sign up here.

Do you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter? Following Great Wolf Lodge on social media is another easy way to stay in the know about upcoming deals. We post information about promotions on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. If you ever have any questions about the 48 Hour Sale (or any other promotion), social media is a great place to ask.  One of the most common questions we receive is, “Are you having a 48 Hour Sale anytime soon?” Although we can’t always share this information, as it would take the fun out of our “pop up” sale, here’s an insider tip: when we encourage you to sign up for our ePack, there’s usually a good reason for it!

Our 48 Hour Sale is a deal that you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Have you ever wanted to visit Great Wolf Lodge during Howl-o-Ween? This is your chance! The 48 Hour sale can save your family up to 25% on stays now through October 31st. Want to learn more? To view the details for your lodge, visit greatwolf.com/48hour.

If you have been to any of our lodges over the last few months you may have received a Boogie Wipes Plush at one our weekend dance parties, or an in-room sample of Boogie Wipes Gentle Saline Wipes.

Didn’t have a chance to make it to the lodge? You can still partake in the benefits of this partnership.  Great Wolf Lodge® and Boogie Wipes® have teamed up to bring you a family getaway this summer! You and your family can enter for a chance to win a 2-night stay at any of the Great Wolf Lodge locations, plus a $150 gift card to use during your stay.  Entering is easy at boogiewipes.com.  Saturday, May 31st is the last day to enter, so hurry!

Boogie Wipes, part of Little Busy Bodies, Inc. are the first ever saline nose wipes and were developed to help kids’ sore, red, runny noses.

To learn more about this great sweepstakes and Boogie Wipes visit boogiewipes.com. 

In late 2013 we were excited to debut a brand new dining option at the Great Wolf Lodge resorts in Mason, Ohio and Grapevine, Texas. As we get ready to open new locations at our other resorts we took a few moments to speak with Chef Chris Hammond, Corporate Director of Food and Beverage for Great Wolf Resorts to learn more about the Lodge Wood Fired Grill.

Where did the idea for the Lodge Wood Fired Grill come from?

Every day we strive to exceed our guests’ expectations and dining is one of those areas that we focus a great deal of attention on. About a year ago we partnered with a consulting agency to help rebrand our current food variety and look at new outlets and options. This included also taking a “discovery tour” which entailed visiting and trying many restaurants to look at trends, ideas, menus and atmosphere.

We decided to begin with our Great Wolf Lodge properties in Mason and Grapevine.  We worked with the consulting team to develop on a brand new menu, which took over three months to develop. We had the culinary teams at each resort create their own drink menus to incorporate many local favorites, such as draft beer, to provide authentic regional taste.

From there, we reviewed and sampled every dish, as well as conducted a professional photo shoot and food stylist of each item. Hard to believe but it took three days, 34 hours and 1500 pictures to get the photos you see on the menu today!

Then the real fun began! We spent two weeks full training our teams – both the culinary team and the serving so they could accurately – and deliciously – describe each menu item to our guests. We were so excited to officially open the first two Lodge Wood Fired Grill restaurants last November!

How is the Lodge Wood Fired Grill different from the other dining options at Great Wolf Lodge?

The Lodge Wood Fired Grill is the only a la carte restaurant at the resort. But even more important, this restaurant has an identity, it has a soul, and everything has a purpose. From the fresh ingredients to the local beers and crafted cocktails, everything was inspired to give our guests a dining experience that they have not previously had at Great Wolf Lodge.

Are there plans to open a Lodge Wood Fired Grill in any of the other Great Wolf Lodge resorts?

We are excited to continue to add this restaurant to the Great Wolf Lodge family. It will open this year at our resorts in Grand Mound, Washington; Concord, North Carolina and our newest resort, Great Wolf Lodge New England in Massachusetts.

What is your favorite item on the menu? Are there any guest favorites?

That is such a tough question to answer as I spent so much time on this project, especially with the food. The spaghetti with lobster and shrimp is an amazing “wow” and so is the shrimp and farro salad. Come to think of it, I love the artichoke too, oh and the hummus, and the BBQ Platter….


Want to learn more about one of Chef Chris’ Lodge Wood Fired Grill favorites? He has shared the recipe below!

What do you get when you simultaneously bring together hundreds of families across three time zones under the glow of a full moon? An event that is truly something to HOWL about!

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, our ten Great Wolf Lodge resorts across the United States offered a unique challenge to our guests: come together for the chance to set a new world record for the most people howling at the same time.

Earlier this year, we read about a record attempt in St. Cloud, Minn where students from St. Cloud State University gathered together to set a record for most people howling. Their event attracted 296 people.

Howling is a fun tradition at Great Wolf Lodge resorts. Guests stomp, clap and howl alongside Wiley the Wolf and his cast of lovable characters every day. It is a part of the Great Wolf Lodge experience.

Each October the resorts also all celebrate Howl-O-Ween, complete with trick or treating through the lodges, Monster Bash dance parties and more. After reading about that record attempt in Minnesota, we knew we could not only beat that record – but also set a new one that would REALLY have everyone howling!

When planning a world record attempt, in order to “beat” the existing record, you must re-create the same circumstances as the original. For us, that meant bringing everyone together in one spot, outside and having them howl for 60 seconds. The full moon provided the perfect setting across the country for everyone.

Of course, we still had to put our own unique Great Wolf Lodge flair on our record attempt: as a special surprise, we gave everyone who took part a limited edition set of bright orange wolf ears to wear while howling at the moon!

At exactly 8:45 p.m. EST our resorts counted everyone down and the howling began. 4,341 people of all ages howled for one minute! I’m sure wolves in the wild all paused and perked their ears at that time, wondering just what was inspiring so much howling that night!

Were you at one of our resorts? Curious how many people howled alongside you? Check out our totals below. And next time you see a full moon, take a moment to howl, Great Wolf Lodge-style!

Great Wolf Lodge Concord, NC – 605

Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains, PA – 615

Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, VA – 412

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, WA – 412

Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City, MI – 381

Great Wolf Lodge   Kansas City, KA – 346

Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells, WI – 261

Great Wolf Lodge Mason, OH – 492

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, OH – 478

Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine, TX  - 339

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The sky is bluer, the birds start chirping and tulips bloom in the front yard. 

To really get into spring, I reached out to our talented team of chefs and asked them to share their favorite treats for spring parties and family get-togethers. Their answers truly are delicious and something that someone with very little baking ability, like me, can do!

So—if you have not yet figured out what to bring to your next springtime celebration, here are two great ideas:  

Fruit Pizza

Executive Chef Lymont Stoutingberg from the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City told me about this treat. Who doesn’t love eating fresh fruit in the spring? And of course, pizza is a year-round staple!

During a recent segment on WDAF-KC TV, Chef Lymont shared his recipe for the treat:

  1. Start with one package sugar cookie dough.
  2. Prepare the following toppings:
  • 8 ounces soft cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ounces condensed milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 4 kiwi peeled, sliced
  • 2 large orange, sectioned
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Flatten cookie dough onto a 6-inch pizza pan.
  3. Bake until firm to touch, about 11 to 15 minutes. Cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar.
  5. Spread the baked cookie with the cream cheese mixture and decorate with sliced fruit.
  6. Top the pizza with remaining berries and chocolate mixture.
  7. Slice and serve immediately.

Blooming Cupcake Bouquet

Cupcakes are definitely the “in” dessert right now. From TV's Cupcake Wars to cupcake bakeries popping up around town, what was once a dessert staple is now the treat to be reckoned with. Chefs Russ Meeks and Amie Hanrahan shared with me how they take a simple cupcake and create a signature centerpiece that is as beautiful as it is delicious.

While I leave the actual cupcake recipe up to you, here are the steps to create your beautiful bunch of floral-inspired treats!

  1. Prepare the following items:                    
  • 7 large cupcakes              
  • 4 cups butter cream icing                                            
  • 4 pastry bags                                                                     
  • 4 decorating tip (1M)                                                    
  • Food coloring – your choice for as many colors as you want to use                          
  • 14 toothpicks (2 per cupcake)                                                                   
  • 1 vase or flower pot
  • ½ of a floral or regular Styrofoam ball that fits in vase or flower pot
  • Green tissue paper or decorative leaves              
  1. Steps to create your bouquet:
  • Using two sheets of green tissue paper, fill vase/flower pot, and leave the corners sticking out. If using a glass or clear vase, take 1/3 piece of tissue paper, roll into a loose ball and place gently into bottom of the vase.                                                    
  • Place the 1/2 foam ball on the top of tissue paper.                                                          
  • Using toothpicks push 2 together around the half foam call and leave about 3/4 in. of the toothpick sticking up. The toothpicks will secure the cupcakes to the ball.                                                     
  1. Decorate the Cupcakes:
  • Using food coloring, create your desired icing colors.
  • Using the pastry bags and tips fill each bag with icing. Use one color per bag.
  • Begin piping icing on your cupcakes in a circular motion starting in the center, and work your way out using even pressure. Decorate until you have the desired color scheme and look.
  1. Create your display:
  • Arrange your cupcakes around the Styrofoam ball as you would a real flower bouquet.  (Be sure to push cupcakes far enough onto toothpicks so they are secure on the ball)
  • Using the tissue that is sticking out around the ball, and your decorative leaves, fill in any gaps to give your arrangement a finished look.                     
  1. Take photos, share your yummy treats on Pinterest, and don’t forget to tell everyone Great Wolf Lodge inspired you!                    





Last fall we launched a nationwide search inviting moms and dads to join our 2013 Ask-A-Mom panel—our resident parent experts who provide their tips and tricks for a great trip to the lodge.  After reading every submission and watching every video (there were a lot) we’ve finally made our selection. 

Here they are folks, our new Ask-A-Moms (and Dads)!

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts introducing you to each of our panelists.  In the meantime, head over to askamom.greatwolf.com to ask them a question.

Did you just book your first trip to the lodge?  Curious about all of the slides that we have?  Or are you just missing your favorite and want to reminisce?

You can visit our website or YouTube channel and watch over 40 videos of your favorite slides.  Shot from a first-person angle, you can see what it’s like to ride the Niagara Rapids Run or slide down River Canyon Run.

Now that you’ve watched them all, which is your favorite?  Leave a comment and let us know.  Good luck choosing just one.

Are you making something special for your Valentine? I remember as a kid making big cards out of construction paper and working really hard to make the perfect heart shape and adding frills with doilies. There’s just something about a homemade gift that makes your heart smile.

This past week, our Pastry Chef Amie Hanrahan and her team at the Grand Mound Lodge baked some Valentine-inspired sweets for their guests. If you are waiting until the last minute and still looking for the perfect gift, I invite you to bake these Great Wolf Lodge-inspired Sugar Cookies on a Stick.

After reading the recipe and drooling over the photos, I went home and made some this weekend, too. With a little creativity of your own, you might just be on your way to joining the culinary team at your nearest Lodge!


Sugar Cookies-On-A-Stick

(Makes about 4 dozen cookies)


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter- softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 each large eggs
  • 48ct Popsicle sticks

Your choice of edible decorations (Icing, sprinkles, chocolate chips, candies)


  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Put dough into freezer for five minutes, to make inserting sticks easier. Pull dough from freezer. Insert a stick into the dough from the side. Make sure the dough on sticks has room to allow the cookies to spread without baking over other sticks.
  3. You can add sprinkles or chocolate chips to the raw dough, so they bake in, or wait until the cookies are baked and cool to add your decorations.
  4. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. After the cookies have cooled completely, you can apply frosting and attach edible decorations of your choice. Have Fun!!


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.

Chef Kuan Yu is the very talented Sous Chef at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA. Since March 2005, Chef Yu has introduced his Asian-inspired talents to many families staying at the resort.

With degrees from the Japan Culinary Academy in Tokyo and a former instructor at Johnson & Wales University, Chef Yu not only create culinary works of art, but also mentors and encourages rising chefs to do the same.

Some of Chef Yu’s signature dishes at the resort include sushi and General Tso’s Chicken. His Asian flare even earned her the People’s Choice Award at the Taste of Williamsburg for three years in a row. As Sous Chef at Great Wolf Lodge, Chef Yu admires the family-centric approach the resort has towards meal time.

Great Wolf Lodge  What is your all-time favorite food?

Chef Kuan Yu – I love rice. It is especially good in my General Tso’s Chicken prepared just for Great Wolf Lodge. With my training in Asian-style cuisine, it is my favorite dish to prepare for families.

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

Chef Yu – Food at Great Wolf Lodge is prepared with love and passion. This is not something I’ve seen in previous kitchens. Not only is it a fun work environment, but I like to think our guests taste the difference our staff puts into food preparation each time they visit the Lodge.  

Great Wolf Lodge  What have you brought to Great Wolf Lodge during your time as a chef?

Chef Yu – Since starting at the Lodge, I have introduced the art of making sushi to the food and beverage team. This is such a popular dish with our guests and the quality of fresh seafood available here makes this a must-have for our menu – and for families to try.

Great Wolf Lodge  What inspires you most as a chef?

Chef Yu – It is important to cook with love. Your feelings and emotion are exemplified in the final dish. It is important to share your love for cuisine with each guest who is dining in the restaurant. 

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

Chef Yu – The emphasis on making a special memory for each family at that time is so important. To create the environment for them to spend quality time together is remarkable to observe.