My family and friends stayed at Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky AGAIN this weekend. I wanted to let you know what a great experience we had. 

  1. They upgraded our room do to vacancies. Which was great! We usually do the KidsCabin Suite, but couldn't afford it this time around.
  2. The room was so clean, and the bed was extremely comfortable.
  3. All of the staff was kind and courteous!
  4. And can we talk about your lifeguards!? Holy....greatness! Extremely attentive. I was worried because this was the first year we were there when my 4 year old could swim with no life jacket. With the lifeguards attentiveness, I was stress free, SCORE!  

Thank you for a wonderful stay. We will be back either around Halloween or Christmas time for my daughters birthday. Tough choice between the two holidays!

Thanks again!
Nowosielski Family

Name: Melissa Nowosielski
City: Perry Township
State: Ohio
Lodge: Sandusky, OH

Recently we visited Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains and had the chance to check out the brand new Howl at The Moon Glow Golf located on Level 1 of the resort as part of the newly added Main Street. Our family loves mini golf and could not wait to see what Howl at The Moon Glow Golf had to offer.

I loved that it was reasonably priced at $5.00 a person for 10 holes of mini golf fun.  Our family could not wait to dive into the fun.  We each chose a different golf ball, club and score card.  I am happy to say they had clubs of all sizes and weights so you could pick the one just right for you!

Howl at The Moon Glow Golf is a unique way to play mini golf. Everything glows under the black lights!  The mini golf course is fun and has surprises around every bend. It's yet another great addition to Great Wolf Lodge's Main Street!  It's a great family activity and fun for all ages.

Our family had a blast and already cannot wait to get back and play again!  Howl at The Moon Glow Golf is a themed mini-golf and the theme is perfect. It fits right into the whole Great Wolf mode and makes you feel like you are taking a walk through a forest filled with animal friends!

If you visit Great Wolf Lodge Poconos, be sure to check out Howl at The Moon Glow Golf for yourself. You will love it, too!  You may even get a Hole in One like my son Adam.

Name: Diane Sullivan
City: Newark
State: NJ
Lodge: Pocono Mountains, PA



I come from a family of memory keepers—whatever the event; you better believe they are going to capture it.  First day of kindergarten?  Grab the camera.  Just got back from vacation?  Time to post a few albums on Facebook.  We have hundreds of memories hanging on our walls and nestled in perfectly labeled photo albums.  And I know I’m not alone.  Guests post dozens of photos to our Facebook page every day.  Families smiling and splashing.  Babies in wolf ears.  Kids asleep on the ride home.  They love to capture their entire trip and share the memories with us.

That’s why our new partnership with Shutterfly is so exciting.  We are giving guests the opportunity to take all the great memories they collect from their trip and keep them in one place—a Great Wolf Lodge Photo Book.  Did I mention it’s free? (yes free!)

Starting today, guests at our lodges will find a card in their room with a special code.  After your stay you can visit, enter the code and upload photos.  You can even add captions so you won’t forget a thing.  Shutterfly lays them out in a Great Wolf Lodge themed photo book and sends it to you.  Perfect for my fellow memory keepers.  Display it proudly on your coffee table for friends and family to see. Tuck it on the shelf with your photo albums and bring it out to show the kids as they grow up.  The perfect souvenir to capture the memories you made with us.  Whether it’s your first trip or your 20th—we are giving you the perfect plays to keep your memories.    

So next time you stay at the lodge get your code and start making memories.

How well do you know the Great Wolf Kids characters?  Did you know that Wiley the Wolf’s favorite color is green?  Or that Violet loves gardening? 

You may have met our friends Wiley, Violet and Oliver, but did you know that there are even more Great Wolf Kids characters to love?

Good thing we put them all in one place for you to enjoy—the new!

The new site introduces you to all of our friends, like Oliver’s sister Rachel and little Brinley Bear.  You can even find the story of how the Beaver Brothers built the entire waterpark. 

We also have a ton of new games like River Canyon Run where you explore the lazy river and try to navigate Wiley around the rapids.  Or Nab the Nails featuring the builders of our waterpark, Tooth & Nail.  Just watch out for the wrenches and hammers, those hurt.

Looking for fun kids activities like coloring sheets, printable games, recipes and stuff to do in the car?  You guessed it—all on

So the next time you are looking for a fun way to get your kids excited for a trip to the lodge, or if they’re just looking for some fun, send them to

And check out our Facebook and Twitter pages in November.  We’ve got a fun contest planned using some of the activities on the new website.


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.

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 Ron Market has been a longtime member of the Great Wolf Lodge Food and Beverage pack. Two years ago, he took on the role of Executive Chef at the Lodge in the Poconos Mountains.

Starting as a Sous Chef at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, he soon worked his way up to Executive Sous Chef. At the same time, he also helped train the new food and beverage teams as resorts opened in Grand Mound, WA and Concord, NC.

Chef Market’s passion for culinary arts combined with his talent for taking the staples of family dining and making them extraordinary means that guests at Great Wolf Lodge receive memorable meals each time they dine. His leadership style motivates the Food and Beverage teams at all six outlets at the Pocono Mountains Lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge  What inspires you most as a chef?

Chef Ron Market  Having one of our younger guests stop me to say “Thank You! I ate a lot and had fun” is such a great feeling - especially after a demanding day. It also reminds me why we do this every day – to create a memorable vacation for families.

Great Wolf Lodge – Have you created something in the kitchen just for Great Wolf Lodge guests?

Chef Market  With the help of our very talented Sous Chefs, it would have to be our “Wolf it Down” pizza. It is a hand tossed brick oven-style pizza sold in the resort. Just recently, we opened a storefront near Bear Paw Eats & Sweets. Our guests love this easy dining option for lunch and dinner.

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

Chef Market – We strive to provide great comfort and specialty foods in a relaxed, kid-friendly environment. Our menu allows each member of the family to find something they enjoy to eat without sacrificing flavor.

Great Wolf Lodge  What new service(s) have you brought to Great Wolf Lodge?

Chef Market – During my time with the company, I have helped implement a strong allergy program. Our chefs go tableside to discuss the allergy directly with the guest and will then prepare a unique menu that is safe and enjoyable. This really takes the stress off the family and allows them to experience a fun meal together. Most families who deal with allergy issues on a daily basis are limited as to where they can go out to eat; we don’t want that to be the case at the Lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge  What advice do you offer to someone who wants to become a chef?

Chef Market – To be a great chef, you had better LOVE it. If you do love it, then every day in the kitchen is like coming home to your family!


In a food allergic world, where you are so limited with choices of places to dine at or vacation with, our family has found Great Wolf Lodge to be out of this world! Executive Chef Ron Market has made it his mission to safeguard his guests with food allergies by getting his entire Food and Beverage team on board. Each visit just gets better and better with the knowledge that your chefs have the options and the fact that they "get it". This has been a no-brainer when it comes to choosing where we'd like to spend time away from home and the comfort level is just amazing. My boys do their "Great Wolf" chant the whole way in to the Lodge and when we leave they cry and ask "when are we coming back?" We just love the whole team there and I hope more people choose to experience what we have because they will be amazed!

Name: Sue Harrison
City: Marlton
State: NJ
Lodge: Pocono Mountains, PA


We are very excited to celebrate the recent Pack Member promotion of James Anderson to General Manager of the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. As a long-time Pack Member, James truly understands what it means to create family traditions, one family at a time.

“I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the best leaders in the industry here at Great Wolf Lodge and I’ve learned so much from each of them,” says James. “As the new general manager in Wisconsin Dells, I’ll share this wisdom with my Pack Members. Two lessons I learned early on are: To be available and be fair, and to take care of the team, so that in turn your guests will be taken care of with the service they deserve.”

During his 13 years as a Pack Member with Great Wolf Resorts, James has held many roles. Starting as a lifeguard at the Wisconsin Dells Lodge in 1999, he transferred to Food and Beverage, Housekeeping, and ultimately, Guest Services. In 2001, he moved to the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio. He also held leadership roles at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, Wis. and most recently, served as assistant general manager at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington.

Originally from New Mexico, James is excited to return to Badgerland with Laura, his wife of nine years, and their three children, Evelyn, 8; Hazel, 6 and Henry, six months. He is looking forward to leading the 400 Pack Members at the company’s first resort and the many new opportunities that lay ahead.

Next time your family visits the Wisconsin Dells resort, be sure to stop by and say hello to James. He is excited about his new role and continuing to ensure families like yours have safe, memorable and fun times at Great Wolf Lodge.


Earlier this summer we set out to give our Facebook fans the ultimate Summer Bucket List.  Each week we posted 10 must-do items on our Timeline and asked fans to contribute their ideas.  And contribute they did. 

We had so much fun on Facebook that we took to Twitter to get even more Great Wolf Lodge fans involved.  It was a great summer filled with great ideas.  To say farewell and thank everybody for participating, here is a peek at some of the good times we had this summer.

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 Russ MeeksStarting as a line cook at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Executive Chef Russ Meeks understands what it means to be a park of the “pack”. Serving in multiple roles over the last 12 years, he currently oversees the culinary team at the Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina.

With degrees in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, Chef Meeks understands the entire operation of food prep and team building.Through his innate creativity, he has developed his own twist on a few southern classics for guests to enjoy at the lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge – Do you have a favorite recipe or culinary treat that you have created just for our guests?

Chef Russ Meeks  During my time at the Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte/Concord, I have perfected two very popular recipes for our guests - my Signature Southern Sweet Tea Barbeque sauce. After tasting my signature barbeque sauce an upcoming client requested two gallons to share with their office. It has become a very popular menu item at the lodge.

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

Chef Meeks – In addition to my Signature Sweet Tea Barbeque Sauce, we offer our guests a unique blend of chocolate and spices with my signature Howlin’ Hot Chocolate. During the holidays and cooler months in North Carolina, our guests enjoy this sweet indulgence. We are even working on a plan to sell a pre-portioned version for our resort guests. It is a very close replica for our guests who would like to enjoy a warm cup of Howlin’ Hot Chocolate at home.

Great Wolf Lodge  What inspires you most as a chef?

Chef Meeks  I was is inspired to be a Chef working the kitchen with my Grandmother. She encouraged me as a boy to help her make various things and taught me many secrets of cooking I still use today. It is a tradtion I continue to share with my family and friends.

Great Wolf Lodge  What advice do you offer to someone who wants to become a chef?

Chef Meeks – Have a passion for it! Live it! Learn something new every day! Being a chef takes constant change and the ability to adapt. For me, it is a great reward when I can showcase a new twist on a traditional recipe. Without a passion for the culinary arts, it can be very tough to excel in the dayo-to-day.

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

Chef Meeks – Working for the lodges over the years I have learned a lot. Something that is very special to me is our allergy program. After working with these families in our restaurants I am inspired to make the experience something special for each guest.  These families tell us, the only time they get to eat out together is at the lodge. 

It’s that time of year again. Most of you have probably purchased school supplies and helped pick out the official “first day outfit”.  Some of you have even laced up shoes, helped strap on backpacks and walked your little one to the bus stop.

Back to school means a lot of things—the end of summer, new friends and new adventures. It also means that homework is once again part of the daily routine. And no matter where you live, or what grade your child is in, everyone is united by that first proverbial assignment, “How did you spend your summer break?”  Whether it’s drawing pictures, writing essays, giving speeches—the topic is one that schools across America love to kickoff each new year with.   All of us at Great Wolf Lodge want to get in on the fun with our version of this time honored assignment. We invite you to take part in our Back to School Contest

We want to hear your favorite Great Wolf Lodge memory.  Maybe your family visited this summer, and you can actually write about how you spent your summer break.  Or you can write about the very first time you met Wiley or Violet.  Does your family spend every Christmas with us for our Snowland celebration?  Whatever the memory, whatever the story, we want to hear it.

Your assignment is to write a 300 – 500 word story about your all-time favorite Great Wolf Lodge memory.  Get creative, because our judges will be picking three winners based on creativity, originality and of course, sticking to the assigned topic.

This contest is open to Great Wolf Lodge fans in the US (including DC) and Canada (excluding Quebec), age 13 and up.  Your assignment is due Noon CT on September 18th.  And don’t forget the photos of your stay, not only do we love seeing them, but at least one photo is needed to enter.  Entering is easy, just visit the Contest section of our blog.

So pull out those spiral-bound notebooks and #2 pencils and start writing!

For official rules visit

Every summer my parents (65 & 66 years old), 6-year old niece and 11-year old nephew and I (39 years old) take a vacation together. This year the kids picked Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas after seeing commercials on one of the New Orleans TV Stations.

Our vacation was awesome. We checked in to the Great Wolf Lodge at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, went to the indoor waterpartk and played til 8:30. We order food from the snack shop, which we thought was resonably priced, ate then we went straight to our room for the night. The kids were so tired that they did not even want to play video games or participate in the MagicQuest game. 

The next morning we got up to go eat with Wiley and Violet at Camp Critter Bar & Grille, but were told we had to make reservations, so we made them for 9 and hung out in the lobby for an hour.  We couldn't pass up the chance to eat with Wiley and Violet.  After eating with the characters, which was well worth the money, we headed to our room, the KidCabin, packed up and at about 10:30 checked out of our room, put our luggage in the truck and enjoyed both the indoor and outdoor waterparks.

At about 2 pm both kids were ready to shower, dress and hit the road to explore the Grapevine Area. We had a blast! The only thing we think can be inproved upon is the room lighting and when you check in the front desk should tell you that you need to make restervations for the Camp Critter Breakfast. Other than that we can't wait to come back hopefuly next year!

Name: Michelle LeBoeuf
City: Houma
State: Louisiana
Lodge: Grapevine, TX

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.

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.

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 Tom Hanrahan Grand Mound, WAChef Tom Hanrahan’s passion for cooking began at the age of 14 and has continued to grow and increase with each step he has made in the profession. At the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA., Executive Chef Hanrahan leads the culinary team and delivers exceptional guest experience throughout the resort.

Chef Hanrahan has a passion for the Northwest and enjoys the opportunity travel to other Great Wolf Lodge locations to collaborate with his fellow chefs.

Great Wolf Lodge – Do you have a favorite recipe or culinary treat that you have created just for Great Wolf Lodge guests?

Chef Tom Hanrahan – One of my signature recipes for guests in Grand Mound is for Roasted Corn and Crab Chowder. We use local ingredients to make fresh chowder each day.

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

Chef Hanrahan  The ambiance, the fun and the exceptional food we provide is something families will be hard pressed to find other places. We engage the whole family in the dining experience to make it something enjoyable from beginning to end.

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

Chef Hanrahan – One of my passions as a chef is healthy dining for all ages. From our restaurant menus and outlets like Bear Paw Eats & Sweets to our banquet and meetings menus, we continue to add healthy options for families to choose. Secondly, an increased awareness in our allergen training has been instrumental for the Food and Beverage Pack Members. We see it as an extension of our promise to deliver quality food to our all guests. 

Great Wolf Lodge  What inspires you most as a chef?

Chef Hanrahan – One of the most inspiring things is training people from the ground up. It’s great to see people start as an aqua chef and make it to culinary management. Each step along the way you can see their growth and drive to succeed. It’s a great feeling to help others fulfill their dreams.

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

Chef Hanrahan   The people that I work with on a daily basis make the difference.  There are so many inspiring people at my resort and throughout the company. To be able to share ideas and build that camaraderie is something unique to Great Wolf Lodge and the people who choose to work here.


Dungeness & Roasted Corn Chowder



6 oz. Pancetta, ground
1 ¼ C Onions, small dice
1 ¼ C Celery, small dice
1 ¼ C Green peppers, small dice
1 ¼ C Red peppers, small dice
1 ¼ C Flour
48 oz Chicken stock
3 lb Whole cob corn char grilled and cut off cob
3 lb Potatoes, small dice

2 Bay leaves
25 oz Heavy cream, scalded
20 oz Milk, scalded
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
Worcestershire, to taste
8 oz Rock crab
8 oz Dungeness crab


  1. Render the pancetta.  Sweat the onions, celery and peppers in the rendered pancetta.  Add the flour and cook to make a blond roux. 
  2. Add the chicken stock gradually, whipping to work out lumps. 
  3. Bring the soup to a simmer.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes. 
  4. Puree half of the corn and add it to the soup with the potatoes.  Add the whole corn kernels and bay leaf and simmer until the corn and potatoes are tender. 
  5. Combine the heavy cream and milk; add to the soup.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  6. Add both kinds of crab.  Adjust the seasoning with salt, white pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, to taste.

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
Lodge: Charlotte/Concord, NC


This week, my blog entry has been written by a young friend from my hometown. I hope you enjoy her personal story of her family's first visit to our resort in Sandusky. - Susie

Hi! My name is Evie Parfitt, and I love traveling!  I am 11 years old and live in Rochester, New York.  I also have my own blog, AlwaysEvie, and I sometimes guest write for my dad’s travel blog, Adventures by Daddy. I love brownies and videogames - as well as traveling! Here's my story about visiting Great Wolf Lodge.

It was a Friday Morning, the last weekend in June. I was super excited for the weekend to come! Because we were going to Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky.

It was supposed to be a five hour drive from Rochester, NY, to Sandusky, OH, but unfortunately, it took us seven and a half. All because of traffic! But, the drive was worth it, because the moment we got to the resort, I knew my family and I would have a great time!

When we first walked into our room – it was a family fireplace suite – we saw a box of cookies on the counter and milk in the fridge. We immediately felt at home. I got one of the queen beds, Mom and Dad got the other, and my teenage sister happily accepted the pull-out couch, due to the extra privacy behind the half wall. We settled in a bit, then went to dinner at the Gitchigoomie Grill. It was very nice and filling. I got the kids' chicken fingers, which came with a pair of complimentary wolf ears! They were AWESOME!

Then we went to the waterpark and I went around the Lazy River about 15 times! Then we went back to our room and enjoyed our cookies. (Which, by the way, were great!)

The next day, we had a delicious and filling breakfast at Lumber Jack’s Cook Shanty. Then, we visited some local attractions. At 3:30, my sister and I had manicures at Scooops Kid Spa. (And yes, it does have 3 o’s!) I got a very bright shade of purple, and my sister got a sparkly blue. We had warm towels put on our hands, got lotioned up, and then our nails were painted. It was very nice and relaxing! We then went back to the waterpark, where I went around the Lazy River another 20 times! After that, we just hung out and went to bed. (We were all exhausted!)

The next day, we packed up, and got breakfast at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats. After that, we hung out at the waterpark, then we had an AMAZING lunch at the Gitchigoomie Grill. I had a pulled pork sandwich. Then, bummer, we had to drive back home.

Overall, my experience at Great Wolf Lodge was GREAT! My favorite part was the waterpark! It had tons to do, I could stay there all day! I had an absolutely FUN time, so I really think everyone who wants a fun family vacation, should go to Great Wolf Lodge!

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 Tim Reardon Great Wolf Lodge WilliamsburgStarting as a Sous Chef at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Chef Tim Reardon was promoted to Executive Chef 10 months after joining the team.  His desire to learn and be creative with the resort’s meals is reflected in all that he does.

With culinary arts training from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Reardon brings over 13 years of restaurant and culinary leadership experience to the resort.  Most recently, he won the 2010 Williamsburg Iron Chef Competition and the top two awards at the Taste of Williamsburg 2010. He looks forward to the opportunity to show off his award-winning cuisine with families at the resort each week.   

Great Wolf Lodge - Do you have a favorite recipe or culinary treat that you have created just for Great Wolf Lodge guests?

Chef Reardon - The Mahi Fish Tacos at the outdoor pool is a dish I am very proud of at the Lodge. It is a big hit with guests and a fun seasonal item. My year-round favorite is the Pepper Jack Chicken Quesadillas. While I’m not the one who created the recipe, it is something I could have once a week.  

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

Chef Reardon - The fact that it is a great atmosphere for kids, but also caters to adults with great regional cuisine. Our range of menu items makes it easy for every member of the family to find something they like to eat.

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

Chef Reardon - Since joining the culinary team at Great Wolf, we have really have raised the bar on food quality.  I have also worked on the initiative to create a standard appetizer menu for all of our resorts, added healthy options for the Spirit Island menu and created an order guide for all properties. While these are things done behind the scenes, everything is to help us continually improve the guest experience at all the lodges.  I hear great feedback from our repeat guests.

GWL - What inspires you most as a chef?

Chef Reardon - Probably the fact you cannot be complacent in this field. The ever-changing variety and ingredients to work with create new challenges and change each day. Being able to use creativity on a daily basis is a passion of mine and something I try to instill in my staff.


Pepper Jack Chicken Quesadilla


1 each -12 inch Tomato Flour Tortilla
4 oz Chicken Fajita Breast Strip Precooked  
2 ½ oz Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
2 ½ oz Fire Roasted Tri-Peppers
2 oz Pico De Gallo
2 oz Sour Cream
1 each Lime Wedge
1 Sprig Cilantro


  1. Assemble Quesadilla as follows: Chicken, Pepper Jack and Tri-Peppers.
  2. Cook on flat top until browned and cheese is melted thoroughly.
  3. Cut in fours and plate as shown.
  4. Serve with a side of sour cream and Pico de Gallo for dipping.

Great Wolf Lodge Splash MobWhat do you get when you bring together 380 cheerleaders, Wiley the Wolf and a huge waterpark? A HOWLIN’ good time! Last week at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas we presented our first-ever Splash Mob to the surprise and delight of our guests.

This year we knew we wanted to create something that would take place in one of our waterparks. We wanted an event that was memorable and captured just how fun Great Wolf Lodge is for summer travel, but would also show us in a unique light.  

It quickly dawned on us that we also had an amazing opportunity to highlight one of our larger groups of resort guests – the Universal Cheerleader Association (UCA) summer camp attendees. Each year, several of our properties host week-long cheer camps. The attendees work hard on their stunts, routines and cheers, and also enjoy all that Great Wolf Lodge has to offer.

The more our Splash Mob concept evolved, the more we knew the perfect partner was UCA. Months of emails, conference calls and planning led us to August 6, when we met the cheerleaders for the first time and told them WHAT they would be doing a mere two days later.

Our Splash Mob was our way of celebrating the summer games in London. We reached out to Dallas-area resident, Carrie Garten, a former member of the US National Synchronized Swimming Team and invited her provide input for the event. Carrie taught the cheerleaders a few signature arm moves and fan kicks from synchronized swimming that were easy to coordinate into the routine. 

On Wednesday, August 8, I woke up excited and ready to share the Splash Mob with the world. Our UCA staff partners, Adam Slutka and Jamie Graham, and their camp attendees were going to bring our little idea to life.

I can’t describe how it felt to see the camp attendees wearing Splash Mob t-shirts and our Great Wolf Lodge wolf ears and tails. When the music started, the energy level at the pool soared. First a few cheerleaders started their routine. Then a few more hopped into the pool. Suddenly, they were cartwheeling out of the cabanas – and soon our entire pool and pool deck – was filled with cheer. My favorite moment was seeing Wiley the Wolf join in – he knew the routine and danced with everyone.

Bet you wish you were there, too, right? Check out our video, and you’ll feel like you were:

Long ago I was given the advice, find what you love to do, and do it. That way, “going to work” won’t feel like work – but instead it will be something you enjoy. Standing on a balcony, watching 380 cheerleaders, a dancing wolf and excited resort guests, was definitely a “work event” that reminded me I love what I do. And I’m proud to do it for Great Wolf Lodge!

Wiley Golfing

While August is one a popular time to visit Great Wolf Lodge, it also means “back to school”. Kindergarten, grade school, high school and college - all of the above. This fall, 11 students are heading to college with a little bit of help from our dedicated Great Wolf Lodge Pack.

When I joined the Great Wolf Resorts team, I was excited to learn more about our Great Wolf Resorts Scholarship Program. Two years ago our CEO, Kim Schaefer, took part in the CBS prime-time show “Undercover Boss”. During her time visiting our resorts, and filming segments for the show, she met Pack Members who worked at Great Wolf Lodge while attending college. Upon returning home, she shared her desire to find a way to help with the cost of tuition. From that desire, we created the scholarship program.

Last fall we held our first ever fundraising golf outing – and then we shared the news of the scholarship with the Pack Members working at our resorts, corporate offices and the reservations center.

Flash forward to today and our inaugural class of scholarship recipients has been chosen! We are awarding $48,000 to 11 deserving Great Wolf Lodge Pack Members to put toward their college education for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. To apply for a scholarship, interested Pack Members submitted a letter of recommendation, an application and a personal essay for consideration.

Great Wolf Lodge Scholarship

I’m so excited to share that Pack Members from four Great Wolf Lodge resorts, located in Concord, N.C.; Grapevine, TX; Sandusky, OH and Traverse City, MI; as well as our reservations office in Madison, WI, make up the first group of scholarship recipients. 

The entire company is proud of the more than 100 applicants and 11 recipients of this year’s scholarship. A great Howl of congratulations is extended to the following Pack Members as they pursue their higher education goals this fall:

Pack Member Great Wolf Lodge resort College Attending
Elena Aleman Central Reservations Office, WI  Edgewood College
Kristina McNeill   Central Reservations Office, WI Edgewood College
Virginia Lytton Concord, NC Univ. of NC at Chapel Hill
Stephanie Walton Concord, NC Univ. of NC at Greensboro
Kelly Swanson Concord, NC Univ. of NC at Chapel Hill
Alexander DeRossi Grapevine, TX Texas Tech University
Kedric Rose Grapevine, TX University of Texas at Arlington
Mackenzie Keegan Sandusky, OH University of Toledo
Stephanie Hollis Sandusky, OH Terra Community College
Natalie Radocy Sandusky, OH Lorain County Community College
Erin Kuhn Traverse City, MI Grand Valley State University
We are already looking ahead and planning for of our next class of scholarship winners. The 2nd Annual Great Wolf Resorts Scholarship Golf Outing will take place next month here in Wisconsin – and I just know we’ll raise even more money to assist our Pack Members’ with their education.