For July 4th weekend we did what so many other families did: visited Great Wolf Lodge! And while there is always so much to see and do there is no denying the waterpark is the only thing that REALLY matters to my three year old. Waterslides, spray features and swimming are the perfect water trifecta for myin his eyes.

My son is fearless and he loves the water. He jumps in, he tackles waterslides and he moves fast. There are so many “tips” for “Keeping your child safe in the water” and while some tips seem so obvious, is not always easy in real life.

At Great Wolf Lodge, safety is the number one priority. As both a proud pack member and “helicopter mom” – here are a few things I share when describing how Great Wolf Lodge keeps the waterpark safe and fun.

Life jackets

Life jackets for various age ranges and sizes are provided FREE of charge at all Great Wolf Lodge waterparks. Located at each park’s entrance, lifeguards help parents choose the proper size and fit for their child.

If you have a stubborn child like I do, a limited number of puddle jumper life jackets are also available. My son refuses to wear a life jacket, but with a puddle jumper, he has more mobility. These jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved, are sized for children weighing 30-50 lbs. and have an adjustable buckle on the back for a snug, secure fit.

And while no device is a substitute for mom or dad – having access to these safe life jackets is just one way Great Wolf Lodge helps make vacation a little less stressful.

Wiley’s Safety Club

Great Wolf Lodge removes the guesswork, as well as potential tears, from determining if your child can safely ride certain attractions.

As soon as they enter the waterpark, children can stand by the Wiley the Wolf® measuring sign and receive a color wristband based on their height. Each color designates what attractions they can go on either alone, or with a parent. Signage throughout the park reflects this color coding system, and together, you and your child can see what color they can ride before reaching the top of the stairs. (And if your child is disappointed their color band limits them - you can say Wiley is keeping everyone safe and as he or she gets taller – you’ll keep coming back.)

Lifeguards

This may seem obvious, but I always look at the lifeguards no matter where we travel. Again, lifeguards are not a substitute for a parent, but knowing a trained aquatics team is constantly watching the water means a great deal. At Great Wolf Lodge, they are constantly moving and scanning the water, ready to assist at a second’s notice and they can be found at just about every attraction – indoors and out. Company-wide, Great Wolf Lodge employs over 1,000 lifeguards. Wow!

Becoming a Great Wolf Lodge lifeguard is not easy. Candidates must be at least 16 years old, eligible for employment by Great Wolf Lodge, pass a background check, complete a minimum of 24 hours of lifeguard training and earn certification from a third party company. Once hired, the Aquatics Team layers in tests, drills and mandatory “in-service” training each month for each lifeguard. Phew! This is no easy summer job.

 

You

As I helped my son down the kiddie slides hundreds of times on July 4th, I was also reminded that safety is a shared responsibility.  As parents, we know our children’s abilities; we know what they are drawn to, and we can often anticipate where they will go. If we have concerns or questions about whether or child should try something, it is our job to read the posted safety signs, talk to the aquatics supervisor and even listen to our inner parent voice. I don’t leave my son when he’s in the bathtub at home – why would I at a waterpark?

Summer is here, and this July 4th, we had the happy smiles and the wrinkly skin to prove it. More water-filled adventures are ahead of us – at Great Wolf Lodge, at the beach, at the pool. And if there is something we can all agree on – a safe summer is truly the most fun of all.

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.

08
Apr
2013

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.

 

02
Apr
2013

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 Jenna Jackson for our Mason lodge.  Jenna is a wife, blogger and stay-at-home mother of two boys and one spoiled dog named Harleigh. 

Three Reasons Why My Family Loves Great Wolf Lodge

1. AWESOME STAFF - This past summer my husband and I, our two boys, ages 4 and 7, and my 78 year old grandmother all took a road trip and traveled to Wisconsin Dells, WI for our summer vacation.   This was our very first experience at a Great Wolf Lodge. Our first impression of the lodge started at the front desk with the very accommodating staff.  We informed them that my grandmother was with us and has a hard time walking long distances and they asked us which floor we preferred.  Although the room wasn't ready yet, they went ahead and gave us our room keys and waterpark wristbands, took my cell phone number and told us that they would call as soon as it was ready and to go ahead and start enjoying the park. Within the hour they called with our room number and we were all set.  Our room was conveniently located right around the corner from the entrance to the indoor waterpark, which was great for grandma. We appreciated the staff's kindness and it made our stay so much better knowing she was comfortable and could enjoy the amenities that the park had offered without walking a mile.

2. AWESOME ACTIVITIES - Who knew you could go to a Great Wolf Lodge and never have to leave.  Honestly there was so much to do for our whole family.  The indoor waterpark was huge and offered both indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family. The fun didn't stop in the water, though.  Our boys loved hanging out in the arcade and couldn't wait for Story Time when the Clock Tower came alive.  We also loved that the facility offered a spa, numerous planned activities throughout the day and a fitness center.

3. AWESOME RESORT AMENITIES - We loved the dining options at Great Wolf Lodge, again you never have to leave the facility.  The Great Wolf Lodge in the Dells offered The Loose Moose Bar and Grill, Camp Critter Buffet, Wolf's Den Snack Bar, Bear Paw Sweets & Eats and our favorite—pizza!  

Great Wolf Lodge is officially a favorite of the Jackson Family.

 

Ryan Potter at Great Wolf Lodge

For the past four years, Great Wolf Resorts has proudly partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. As a former “Big” myself, the rewards of volunteering and providing financial assistance to a worthwhile cause are endless.

While spending time with my Little Sister, we would do many activities in the community. Many times the activities we took part in were donated by local businesses and were a good opportunity for us to meet other Matches.  It was a good time for both of us to just have some fun and allow us both to be kids. The donations, in-kind and financial, to our local chapter gave us ideas of things to do and also the resources to maintain and grow our relationship.

Working for Great Wolf Resorts gives me the perspective of the rewards the local business reaps, as well. It is more than just a financial contribution, but an investment in the community. Each Match created is another life in the community impacted by Big Brothers Big Sisters. And raising the funds is actually pretty fun around here!

Carter Oosterhouse at Great Wolf Lodge Traverse CityIn 2012, we raised over $276,600 between all 10 U.S. based Great Wolf Lodge resorts. We could not have done it without help from our guests and Pack Members across the country. They came together to help us raise awareness and funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in their surrounding communities.

While all of our resorts came together to support their local Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are so proud of our top three resorts—Concord/Charlotte, NC; Grapevine, TX; and Traverse City, MI. Combined, these resorts raised over $190,000.

These donations were raised one dollar at a time through community day pass sales, dining in the life-size Gingerbread Houses during Snowland, online guest donations and Bowl For Kids’ Sake.   Through their work to provide positive relationships, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ family-centric approach aligns perfectly with our mission to create family traditions at the lodge.

Through our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, our resorts also provide complimentary passes to the waterparks for Bigs and Littles to use to spend a day together.  On specific nights throughout the year, each lodge provides a night for the pairs to experience the thrills of the indoor waterpark and continue to foster their mentoring relationship.

Thank you to everyone who helped us to achieve our fundraising goal this year. Your generosity helps us assist Big Brothers and Big Sisters positively impact the lives of children in communities across America. Next time you’re at Great Wolf Lodge, be sure to check out how you can partner with us in our continued support of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

05
Dec
2012

Great Wolf Lodge is all about family traditions.  And there are so many traditions that surround the holiday season.  Whatever you celebrate, traditions abound. 

Growing up, everything about the holidays was the same, year after year.  Same cookies.  Same decorations.  We even watch the same movie on Christmas Eve.  But my favorite of all the traditions is the letter to Santa. 

Each year we would break out the craft supplies and end up with impressive creations that only a child can make.  Once complete, we set them by the fireplace and waited for Santa’s magic to carry them up the chimney to the North Pole. 

A curious little tradition that led me to Santa Claus’ impressive Wikipedia page.  According to Wikipedia, kids in Britain actually burn their letters in the fireplace so that the wind can whisk them off to the North Pole.  In Mexico, some children even send them via balloon.  So many ways to send one man a letter.

During Snowland, Great Wolf Lodge offers more than just the fun of an indoor waterpark resort, we also make it easy for little ones to get their letters to Kris Kringle.  At our writing depots, children can write a note to Santa on a special postcard and slip it into the official mailbox located in the lobby.  Santa will even write back if you include your name and address. 

This year, we decided to share our postcards for everybody to use.  Just click to download, and start writing.  

What are you asking for this year?

It started like any other event in our life.. .I make a million efforts at researching a place for our family to go spend quality time together for a winter get away. Unlike other families, our trip is 100% based on where can I get a full kitchen to cook for my children in our room because of their food allergies to milk and soy.

Amazingly I stumbled across Great Wolf Lodge where they provide a microwave and sink in the suite.  I also found out that they actually have concerned and educated chefs who will accomodate my children's needs for their meals. This left us with the ability to go have an amazing time at their fabulous indoor water park and then go to the restaurant to enjoy hot prepared meals.

This is one in a million for us. We are not accustomed to this service and we had an incredible experience. My children were elated that they could not only swim at the best waterpark ever, but go eat like "normal" families without feeling like we are hiding in our rooms to eat.

Thank you a million times Great Wolf Lodge for the best mini vacation ever!!

Melinda Joseph
Zanesville, OH


 

It was February of 2010 and my 4 year old son, husband and I were enjoying a wonderful staycation at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. Considering it was during school and during the week there were not a lot of visitors there. We had much of the Cub Club, waterpark and arcade to ourselves and it was awesome! (Like, "can't wipe the smiles off our faces so worn out we had the best sleep of our lives" awesome).

We were enjoying the amazingly perfect hot tub in the indoor waterpark when the snow started to fall outside. I mean big, white fluffy snowflakes. This is a rare occasion in Texas as it does occasionally snow, but usually it's a mix of sleet and snow that melts when it hits the ground. Texans sometimes get 3 hours to take full advantage of sledding and building snowmen that last maybe 1 night before going to snowman heaven (at least that's what we tell our son). But on this day we watched the snow pile up to 6 1/2 inches outside of the lodge.

So, we pulled every stitch of clothing we had together to bundle ourselves. This was a feat because at Great Wolf Lodge we lounge in our pj's, bathing suits and flip flops. We were able to get plastic wrap from the kitchen staff to wrap our feet and legs for "waterproofing". We looked mismatched to say the least.

That year we had so much fun building a snowman, even getting into a friendly snowball fight with the other staycationers in front of Great Wolf Lodge, that we opted to stay another night = ) It's not like we had chains for our tires to drive home in Texas snow!!


Name: Susie Johnson
City: Forney
State: Texas
Email: susieqwho4@aol.com
Lodge: Grapevine, TX

 

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
Email: shellyonbayoucoteau@yahoo.com
Lodge: Grapevine, TX

When our family thinks of Great Wolf Lodge we think of it as a place to visit in the Fall or Winter (we have visited during both). But this year our children convinced us that it might be a fun place to visit in the summer too.

I must admit that peeking through the waterpark doors during the cold days of winter, did tease my curiosity as to what it would be like to swim outside and be at the Great Wolf Lodge.

So this summer we decided to test it out. We booked a room and the countdown began. The countdown was just as fun in the summer as the winter, so I had a feeling the visit would be, too!

We packed up our van and our family of five headed to Great Wolf Lodge, Pocono Mountains. After checking in, I guess you probably know the first place we went to- the outdoor pool! My five year old daughter could not wait to take her first slide on the mini frog slide. She had waved to that froggy since she was two years old from indoors, so none of us were surprised when she gave it a big hug and kiss before sliding!

My sons went right for the basketball zone and although the inside was calling them to slide, slide, slide, something about the sunshine and the scent of the yummy burgers being barbecued and the sight of frozen drinks passing by from the Racoon Lagoon that kept them right where they were.

Although, my sons and hubby did do their share of indoor water slides, my daughter and I who are not big into water slides parked it outside by the pool for our three day jaunt! She loved splashing in the water geysers and other water fun activities. Not to mention the fantastic music for everyone to enjoy! No complaints from any of us, that's for sure! We absolutely loved Great Wolf Lodge Poconos in the Summer! It was surprisingly wonderful and refreshing to visit during the months when we could enjoy swimming in the pool that we just drive by in the winter.

My family liked it so much that they are ready to trade in our regular August getaway for an extra night's stay in August before the summer sun tucks itself away. That, of course, is still being decided upon, but is looking more probable the more we talk about all the fun we had this summer at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos!

Name: Diane Sullivan
City: Newark
State: NJ
Email: elgeorgia@aol.com
Lodge: Pocono Mountains, PA


 

"Creating family traditions, one family at a time."  That is the mission of Great Wolf Lodge.  And this is a story of a recent opportunity I had to work alongside our Ambassadors of Fun at the Pocono Mountains Lodge to make that mission come true via a pallette of face paint in our Grand Lobby. 

Great Wolf Lodge - Grapevine, TXI’d like to preface this story with the facts:  I prepared myself for this.  I studied face painting.  I practiced face painting.  I allowed another person to paint my face into a wolf and I wore a brightly colored shirt to help make myself look fun.  I bought the really nice supplies.  And most importantly, I prepared my little marketing script, “Hi, welcome to Great Wolf Lodge!  What can I paint for you today?  Would you like a paw or a wolf?”  Readers, you should know that I was destined for success.

Until the first kid – the VERY FIRST KID – in line stared back at me and said “I want my face to look like an exploding volcano.”

It was approximately right THERE that the line was drawn between education and experience.  I practically had a whole college degree in my pocket for face painting and there I was, unprepared for an exploding volcano. 

Next kid:  I want a piranha.  Me:  Suuuure, like you want me to paint a piranha on your cheek?  [big cheesy smile] Kid: NO, I want my whole face to look like I’m a piranha.  [Very seriously] I want to BE a piranha.  Me: [blank stare].

Clearly at this point, I was in trouble.  I could have spent the rest of the day explaining to these kids why their choices were not quite “on brand” or how volcanoes and piranhas were not really icons of safety (especially near a waterpark).  But instead, I sat there, lamely, staring back at them wondering “Is this what happens to every corporate employee that tries – with every good intention – to re-insert themselves into the front lines, on the floor of their brand?!”

Someone randomly snaps a photo of my impending failure and I become alert.  I realize at that moment that my job is not to deliver a “perfect” scenario found on paper; my duty is to deliver happiness.  Memories.  An experience.  My duty is to turn this kid into a piranha!

My paint brush flies into some yellow, followed by green an orange.  I smear some white around.  I make something that looks like fins on his cheeks.  Giant lips.  Sharp teeth.  I ask him to growl a little (piranhas seem mean enough to make that sound).  Bam.  This kid is a full-fledged fish face!

I muster all of the confidence I can and flash another one of my award-winning smiles before handing him the mirror to check my work.  Although I wouldn’t have minded him seeming really excited about my artwork,  I’m pretty thrilled that he doesn’t pout, cry or run to mom after seeing what I just did to his face.  Relief.

Great Wolf Lodge - Grapevine, TX

My bonus of joy came later that night as I was daring myself down the ultimate collection of indoor waterpark slides:  The Double-Barrel Drop™, River Canyon Run™ and Hydro Plunge™.  As I was circling back around to the stairs for another ride, wouldn’t you guess it – four hours later – here comes my piranha around the corner!  With every opportunity to wash his face off, he has somehow succeeded in protecting his face paint for hours – he liked it!

And suddenly I’m able to enjoy the rest of the evening in a new way, knowing that I’ve actually done the only thing I’ve ever been asked to do:  make time for our guests, just one family at a time.

Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

 

With summer travel on everyone’s mind, we’re excited to have a special guest author today’s blog! Suzanne Rowan Kelleher is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of WeJustGotBack.com, a multi-award-winning family travel planning site. 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.

 

 

5 Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation

As a family travel expert and longtime travel journalist, I’ve been watching travel trends since before I had kids. I’m always looking at industry statistics, travel surveys and consumer polls and then connecting the dots to determine how families can get the best value when they plan a vacation.

One dismal trend is that airfares have been rising, and nobody in the travel industry seems to think they’re going down anytime soon. The high cost of air travel means that the family road trip is still the cheapest way to take a vacation. One of the most economical strategies is to jump into the “nearcation” trend, targeting vacation spots within a day’s drive of your home.

Here are my five tips to help you plan an affordable family getaway:

  1. Be a backyard explorer. Think all the great destinations are further afield? Check out your state’s official tourism website as well as those for neighboring states. Not only will you find discounts and getaway packages, but you’ll be surprised at how many beautiful getaways spots are right in your backyard. Remember, kids don’t care how far you travel, as long as they have fun when you get there.
  2. Make value your top priority. The trick is to find a place to stay where you get as much as possible included in your hotel room rate. If your family loves waterparks as much as mine does, then an indoor waterpark resort such as Great Wolf Lodge translates to great value. The room rate includes unlimited access to an enormous waterpark with waterslides, raft rides, lazy rivers, wave pools and more, from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. Best of all: waterpark admission is exclusive to hotel guests.
  3. Plan your meals. When budgeting for a vacation, it’s easy to underestimate how much you’ll spend on food – especially during the journey itself. Purchases from your local grocery store are cheaper than convenience stores and fast food restaurants, so buy your kids’ favorite snacks and drinks before you leave home. This also means you’ll need to make fewer stops along the way.
  4. Go midweek. We all love the idea of extending a long weekend, but you will usually get more bang from your buck when you take off Tuesday to Thursday. Not only are midweek rates lower at Great Wolf Lodge and many other hotels and resorts, but crowds are thinner, too!
  5. Fuel up for less. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to for gas. I’m a huge fan of GasBuddy, a site and app that helps travelers find the cheapest gas wherever they are. I use GasBuddy to budget my gas spend for each road trip, and also to find the gas stations along my route offering the cheapest gas prices. It makes saving money a no-brainer.

Suzanne's kids at Great Wolf Lodge

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

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

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

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

Ask A Mom Panelist

Leslie H.

Soothing music and a light waterfall. The smell of eucalyptus and mint in the air.  Plush seating surrounded by cool granite tile fixtures. Warm tea with a soothing herbal infusion of licorice root and peppermint.

These are all sensations not typically associated with indoor waterparks and family-focused resorts. At Great Wolf Lodge, however, they are a part of the guest experience. Tucked away from the thrills and excitement in each Great Wolf Lodge resort, guests can visit Elements Spa – a quiet escape to relax and rejuvenate from all the stresses of daily life.

If you have visited the Elements Spa location at during a Great Wolf Lodge getaway, or if you have not yet had the relaxing experience, the adult-only oasis has enhanced its services with new product lines and experiences. When I heard about these additions, I was ready to jump in the car and head to the spa myself!  

At each Elements Spa, we’re excited to now feature bareMinerals® Skincare and makeup. The product line from Bare Escentuals offers a unique mix of cosmetics that combine skin care with makeup that helps us enhance our best features. bareMinerals has been a spa favorite for many years, and we are thrilled to now offer its wide array of products to our guests.  

Elements Spa has also added Eminence Organic Skin Care to its locations. The complete line of Hungarian beauty essentials use healthy ingredients, including organically grown herbs, fruits and vegetables. With facial peels infused with natural acids from yams, pineapples and papayas and massage oils made using mimosa champagne massage oil, the combination of flavors will leave skin glowing and your taste buds tingling.

By using sustainable farming and green practices such as wind and solar power energy, Eminence offers products that are in line with our Project Green Wolf efforts. As a leader in quality organic skin care, Eminence products help make the Elements Spa experience as good for your body as it is for your spirit.  

I hope you are as excited as I am to visit Elements Spa. After taking in the waterpark thrills together as a family, a quiet escape to the Spa is the perfect way to get a little bit of “me time” while on vacation. There’s so much to choose from: an Eminence Organic Indulgence Facial, Body Treatment, Manicure or Pedicure and each Lodge often features their own special packages.

Want to guarantee you have this time during your next Great Wolf Lodge stay? Book your treatment before your arrive!

Great Wolf Lifeguards Deserve a Howl!

At Great Wolf Lodge, the safety of our guests is our number one priority. Every day, families come to our resorts to play in our waterparks and make lasting memories. Our Great Wolf Pack Members are a key part to delivering these safe and fun experiences.

Great Wolf lifeguards are among our most visible Pack Members. It is their job to ensure that our guests are safe while they enjoy our indoor waterparks. To help in these efforts, Great Wolf works with Ellis & Associates, a third party consultant that specializes in aquatics safety. In addition to assisting with our training programs, Ellis & Associates conducts random audits of our guards at work, to ensure key practices and procedures are being used.

Each year, Ellis & Associates announces its list of “Golden Guards” – lifeguards around the country who epitomize what it means to be a great lifeguard. Leadership, knowledge, and teamwork are areas that the guards are rated on. This year ten Great Wolf Lodge lifeguards earned the honor.

Great Wolf Lodge sends a collective “Howl!” of congratulations to the following Pack Member guards who work each day to provide a safe, fun waterpark experience for our guests.

  

Nathan Hughes and Zyra Edwards from our Niagara Falls Lodge

In my first post I wrote about being a new member of the Great Wolf Lodge Pack. I’m also a new guest to the Great Wolf Lodge experience. Recently, my husband, eight month old son and I enjoyed our very first experience at the Wisconsin Dells Lodge.

Our family suite was wonderful! Not only did we have a king size bed, but we also had an inroom Jacuzzi, fireplace and complimentary refrigerator and coffee maker. I was also pleased that we were able to borrow a safe “Pack and Play” by calling Guest Services.  

My husband and I love waterparks and we were excited to explore the Lodge’s. We started at the North and South Hot Springs whirlpools. Aiden loves to “swim” in our arms and soon he was bobbing away.

Our next stop was Fort Mackenzie. Aiden is too young to splash through the 4-story interactive tree house but he did smile big when the 1,000 gallon bucket spilled over. We all enjoyed Slap Tail Pond, the Lodge’s wave pool. Listen for the howl that signals big waves are coming!

While we did not experience the “thrill” rides this time, we had a lot of fun. I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxing atmosphere; it wasn’t loud, overwhelming or uninviting. It was a true indoor water playland!

Next we played MagiQuest®. The interactive game is part scavenger hunt, part live action, part video game. We purchased one wand, complete with a cool armillary topper, and shared it on Aiden’s behalf.

MagiQuest is quite unique. We had fun reading the quests, searching for clues, collecting coins and elevating Aiden to “High Score of the Day”. I think we also underestimated how quickly we would become competitive with each other.  

We enjoyed dinner at the Loose Moose Bar & Grill. We had not yet put away our MagiQuest wand and soon discovered we could make a raccoon swing from the ceiling. What a fun surprise - the wand even has powers in other areas around the Lodge! 

The one souvenir I wanted from our stay was a pair of wolf ears. While a set of ears comes with a children’s meal, you can purchase them a la carte. I bought three pairs! 

Our visit ended much too quickly and I can definitely see why a Great Wolf Lodge visit is best for multiple nights. There was so much to do. As a Pack Member, and as a guest, I cannot wait for our next Great Wolf Lodge getaway!

Susie