The first time I walked into a Great Wolf Lodge, I immediately felt like I had been transported to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The tranquility and warmth of the antler chandeliers, log cabin-style furniture and cozy hearth were extremely familiar to me. As a native Wisconsinite, I remember traveling north to a family cabin surrounded by towering red and white pines. Those vacations still bring me great joy when I think about the rustic cabin itself, the wildlife we saw and the adventure my family and I shared. Stepping into Great Wolf Lodge evokes the same emotions time and time again.

As someone who has traveled “Up Nort’” (as we Wisconsinites call it) a great deal, I can say for certain that Great Wolf Lodge brings the feeling of being surrounded by wilderness to life. There’s no mistaking each lodge is inspired by its roots. No matter which region of the United States you visit, Great Wolf Lodge presents the opportunity to experience a rustic, cabin-style retreat to families across the country. 

How do we make this happen? The detailed theme and design all work together to create the fully immersive Northwoods experience, down to the tiniest detail.

Here are a few of my favorite elements to look for when you visit Great Wolf Lodge: 

 

Antler Chandeliers: Each Great Wolf Lodge has a number of antler chandeliers hanging from the log rafters in the Grand Lobby, illuminating the lobby from above.  

Fireplace: The fireplace is the focal point of the Grand Lobby. As you step into the lodge, you will likely see families relaxing by the hearth, snuggled together before Story Time or resting together between activities.

Themed Carpet: Even the carpet highlights the wildlife found in the woods. We’ve seen guests playing hopscotch by only touching the squares with animals on them. It may take a little longer to get to and fro, but the laughter and memories made along the way will be worth the while. 

Log Cabin-Style Furniture: Settle in each night in a bed made from logs, or relax by the fireplace in an oversize, comfy wooden chair. All of the furniture at Great Wolf Lodge is hand-made in Wisconsin. It truly sets the tone in helping us create a “home away from home” for our guests. 

Sconces: If you get turned around during your visit to Great Wolf Lodge, the wall sconces can help you find your way back to the Grand Lobby – the animals will always point you in the right direction.

 

 

 

 
 

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.

Directions:

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)

Directions:

  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.

To kick off the holiday season, we had a special guest visit four Great Wolf Lodge resorts and he arrived in a grandiose way –not his typical sleigh to say the least.  You guessed it; our special guest was indeed Santa Claus who came to town riding in the Coca-Cola Caravan!  (You have to see it to believe it – the 18-wheeler is decked out from bumper to bumper in holiday lights and festive décor.  A truly amazing sight.)  He also brought a very special friend, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, with him to join in the fun.  Santa, the Polar Bear and the Coca-Cola Caravan made their way up the east coast visiting Great Wolf Lodge resorts in Concord, Williamsburg, Pocono Mountains and New England.  The first stop they made was in Concord, North Carolina.  Not only was it the first stop at a Great Wolf Lodge, but it was also the very first stop for the Coca-Cola Caravan this season. 

The Caravan spent two days at each resort. While there, guests were able to get a photo taken with the big guy and see the Coca-Cola Caravan.  The photos were a great souvenir for our guests, as they were printed right on-site and were ready to take home within seconds.  The caravan even stayed lit outside the resort after Santa turned in for the night. (He needs lots of rest this time of year, you know.)

Guests at the Pocono Mountains must have been on the really, really nice list this year because the weather cooperated and they were able to get their photos taken with Santa outside next to the enormous Coca-Cola Caravan big rig! 

During the four resort stops, over eight days, Great Wolf Lodge had over 4,200 guest photos taken with Santa and the Caravan!  It was an amazing experience for all to see that’s for sure.

There was also a very special treat during the Williamsburg visit; Santa himself was there to help light the holiday tree in The Grand Lobby, signifying the official Snowland® kickoff. He also took tons of photos with all the wolf pups and joined in the first indoor snowfall of the season. 

We had such a great time sharing the Coca-Cola Caravan experience with our guests this holiday season.  Wishing you and your pack a Happy Howlidays from all your friends at Great Wolf Lodge and Coca-Cola. 

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.

August 12: #GWLchat Twitter Party

With just a few weeks left in August, you might be wondering where summer went. Maybe you had every intention of going on a trip or getaway, but time just got away.

Don’t give up! Next Tuesday, August 12, join Great Wolf Lodge as we co-host a Twitter party with tips, ideas and inspiration for some end-of-summer fun!

We are excited to co-host this event with Dave Parfitt (@AdventuresByDad), a father of two, family travel writer and blogger, and Great Wolf Lodge Ask-A-Mom panelist. Dave has a passion for travel and loves to make every day an adventure. He will be asking and answering questions live on location from Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains!

Panelists: @colavito, @anitra@DadLogic

Things to know about a Twitter party:

What is it? A Twitter party is pre-planned question and answer chat that takes place on Twitter, organized with a specific hashtag: #GWLchat.

Why should I participate? Twitter parties are a great way to connect with those who have similar interests. Everyone has their tips and tricks when it comes to family vacations, and this is your chance to share your own family vacation experience and, most importantly, learn from others. In addition, we’ll be randomly selecting one person who participates in the Twitter party and uses the hashtag #GWLchat to receive a $250 Great Wolf Lodge gift card! Official rules can be found here.

How do I participate?

1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 12:00 pm ET and be sure to follow @GreatWolfLodge and @AdventuresByDad.

2. Head over to http://twitter.com. Enter the hashtag #GWLchat into the search bar and select the "All" search option to follow the chat in real time.

3. Remember to always add the hashtag #GWLchat to your tweets.

4. When one of the hosts asks a question, share your answer!  The questions will conveniently be numbered 1-6 (e.g. Q1: What is your favorite indoor water park resort?). When you answer, please note which question you are answering by using the same numbering system (e.g. A1: Great Wolf Lodge). Be sure to include the hashtag #GWLchat.

5. Type #GWLchat into the search bar on Twitter to follow all of the tweets from the party. Please note, all tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial.

#GWLchat Date & Time:
Tuesday Aug. 12, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET (11:00 am – 12:00 pm CT, 9:00 am – 10:00 am PT)
 

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. 

The Great Wolf Lodge wristband is an important part of a lodge stay. In fact, for many of our guests, it is even a unique souvenir. Kids love to wear their wristband and take advantage of the “all access pass” it grants them. With the flick of the wrist, they can enter their suite, waltz into the waterpark and, if mom and dad give the OK at check-in, even buy treats at Bear Paw, Paw Points in the Northern Lights arcade and Great Wolf Kids merchandise from the store. We often hear stories from guests whose kids refuse to take their wristbands off even when they return home. The daughter of a colleague actually wore hers for four months!

But, there is a flip side to the little wristband. They don’t fit perfectly. Once you position it to fit around your wrist – there’s almost always an extra piece. If you’re like me, you LOVE the convenience of the RFID technology, and not needing to carry a wallet around the resort, but that extra “flap” can be a little annoying. However, as I received discovered, snipping away that little annoyance is one of the simplest and coolest acts of guest service at the Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains. It’s also a bit competitive.

Pack Members at the resort carry scissors on a small zip cord. If they see guests with wristbands that have the extra “tail” - they approach and offer to snip it away for the perfect fit. Problem solved.

However, the snip is only half of the activity. The story of the little wristband tail does not end in an abrupt cut.

 

Instead, wristband snips are saved by each department and are then entered in the “Great ‘Wolf Tail’ Competition”. Each little tail is collected, saved, and put in a large container as part of a monthly, spirited contest across all resort areas. The challenge is on to see which department is a cut above the rest, and how many guests had their wristbands sized to perfection.

While I was at the resort in the Pocono Mountains, the Retail Team was in the lead. Their jar was so full; the team had to tie bags of tails to it!

No prize is given out for “most tails” collected, but everyone enjoys the fun and simple competition. Departments take great pride in turning in their colorful band snips. And judging from the collection I saw, guests are happy to have their wristbands sized, and extra tails bobbed off.

This tale of the tail, I just had to tell.

 

The holidays are the perfect time of year for families to spend time together in the kitchen. Christmas cookies, peppermint bark, maybe even fruitcake – all are treats that we love to make during this special time of year.

At Great Wolf Lodge, we have our own holiday season tradition - Snowland. Families can spend time with Santa, enjoy snow indoors each night and create new family traditions together. And just like being at home, yummy treats are a key part of the Snowland experience.

The center point of Snowland is not only beautiful – but also edible! For months, our culinary teams baked, created and decorated life-size gingerbread houses in the lobby of each Great Wolf Lodge.

Our guests can dine in these unique cottages. New this year, we partnered with the makers of PEEPS & COMPANY® and Just Born Quality Confections, the makers of PEEPS®, MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES®, to provide many of the edible treats that adorn the walls of each gingerbread house. The house at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains has over 1000 PEEPS® on it! (I know because I was able to help put all them on!)

To help bring some Snowland cheer into your home, here are two of our favorite holiday-inspired treats. From the Great Wolf Lodge family and the Just Born family, happy holidays!  

Great Wolf Howlin’ Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 2 QT Whole Milk
  • 1 QT Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 Whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • 4 Whole Star Anise
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 LB Sweetened Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate (chips, coins or small chunks; use the best quality Sweetened Chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Let the cinnamon and star anise soak in the milk cream mixture overnight. Add the sugar and place on the stove over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Strain the mixture and place back on the stove, add in the chocolate and whisk until fully blended. Makes 16 6 oz. servings.
  2. For an added treat – add a Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Flavored PEEPS Chick

PEEPS Holiday Pops

Ingredients:

  • PEEPS® Peppermint Stars, and PEEPS® Trees
  • Equal number of paper straws or sticks
  • 12 oz. bag of chocolate candy melts
  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed candy canes

Directions:

  1. Remove PEEPS® Trees and PEEPS® Peppermint Stars from their packaging.
  2. Slowly slide PEEPS® on to each of your sticks or straws, stopping just before the straw pushes through the other end of the PEEP.
  3. Lay out baking sheet and line with wax paper.
  4. Melt chocolate coating according to the package directions and apply to PEEPS® shapes

5.    Coat shapes with sprinkles or crushed candy canes and let cool.

 

 

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

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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.  Meet Dave for our Pocono Mountains lodge—husband, father of two, runner with a PhD in neuroscience with a passion for travel.

Why does my family love Great Wolf Lodge? Wow, that’s a loaded question now, isn’t it?  Nevertheless, I’ll take a stab at it.  Things our family loves:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.
Brown paper packages tied up with strings.

Wait! Shoot, wrong list, sorry about that.  While we do love all those things mentioned above, this is the list I meant to include:

Spending time together.
Swimming and laughing.
Cookies, Brownies, ICE CREAM.

All of these things we can do at Great Wolf Lodge.  Yes, of course they are not exclusive to Great Wolf Lodge, but we relished them during our recent stay at the Sandusky, OH property, and the family memories created have produced a soft spot in our heart for the resort.

Admittedly, I am not an expert on Great Wolf Lodge, but in addition to Sandusky, OH, we have also visited the Niagara Falls, Ontario location.  That being said, as a Dad who likes to travel and is the family’s vacation planner, I do consider myself somewhat of an expert on family travel (at least our family travel).  We have journeyed extensively throughout the country—from New York City, to Walt Disney World, to California and many places in between.  And our stays at Great Wolf Lodge compare favorably to any other vacation, and have always allowed us to unwind and relax in a fun, safe environment.   

If I had to think of a favorite experience at Great Wolf Lodge, it has to be the water park itself.  Having access to a full water park, only steps away from our luxurious hotel suite, is heavenly.  The water was toasty warm (a definite plus for the cold water wimp in me) and we took advantage of every slide and water feature in the park.  And after playing for hours in the warm water, it was soooooo easy to fall asleep in our soft and cushy bed.

Why would I like to be selected for Great Wolf Lodge’s Ask-a-Mom (or Dad) Panel?  Mostly because I really enjoy sharing my travels and have a spot in my heart reserved for Great Wolf Lodge.

 

Wolfie Waffle

Today is National Waffle Day, so we are dedicating our blog post to the most important meal of the day.

For many of us with small kids, the usual morning routine involves a bit of a…rush.  You are lucky to even sit down as a family and enjoy a bowl of cereal. Isn’t it great to wake up at Great Wolf Lodge and realize that you don’t really need to be anywhere—until about 9 a.m. when the waterpark opens.  That’s practically mid-afternoon for parents of preschoolers!   The perfect time to hangout together as a family, right inside the lodge where we celebrate National Waffle Day everyday. 

While waffles are available for breakfast at most of our lodges, our Traverse City, Pocono Mountains and Grapevine lodges offer a special treat—Wolfie Waffles!  Wolfie Waffles are a favorite of Oliver Raccoon, and your kids are sure to get a kick out of them too.  Each breakfast buffet hosts assorted toppings and sides for these delicious breakfast treats—from maple syrup to dollops of whip cream.  This breakfast is just plain yummy!  A side of fruit, bowl of yogurt and your favorite breakfast drink create the paw-fect pre-waterpark fuel for the family.

What breakfast treats do your kids enjoy on vacation?  Leave a comment and let us know.