Last updated on September 27th, 2018 at 09:05 am
We were provided this trip as guests of Great Wolf Lodge, however, all of our opinions are our own.
A trip to Great Wolf Lodge is can be a fantastic time with your family if you know what to expect, but it can also feel very overwhelming if you walk in feeling unprepared. After our family’s most recent visit to Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, I decided to write a Guide to Great Wolf Lodge.
I’ve broken down Great Wolf Lodge by section, covering (hopefully) all you want to know about each section.
Room Types at Great Wolf Lodge
Each room at Great Wolf Lodge has a mini fridge, and microwave, which will come in handy for snacks and space to put all of the leftover pizza from Hungry Like a Wolf!
The standard suites can sleep between 4 – 6 people. The room that we were in had 2 queen beds with a partial wall partition with a sleeper sofa. We ended up putting our oldest on the sleeper sofa on the second night so that we all had just a bit more room to spread out.
There are additional room configurations as well, with a king size bed or just a single queen bed.
Themed Suites at Gret Wolf Lodge:
On our very first trip to Great Wolf Lodge, we were upgraded to a themed suite and my kids loved it! The themed suites are unique in the fact that they have a separate area for the kiddos. Each of these areas has bunk beds and a TV just for the kiddos.
I learned that the suites are stacked on top of each other, meaning if you are staying on the 3rd floor in a themed suite, the 1st, 2nd and 4th floors also have the same type of suite. The thinking behind this was if your kids are excitedly going from the top bunk to the bottom bunk and back again, there is a pretty good chance that the other kiddos above and below you will also be doing the same.
Take a deep breath mama, your kids probably aren’t disturbing others as much as you think they are!
Waterpark Fun at Great Wolf Lodge
It is very likely, that by now, you are familiar with the fact that a large part of the appeal of a trip to Great Wolf is their huge indoor water park.
As a parent of kiddos who aren’t the strongest swimmers I appreciate that as soon as you walk into the water park area, you are greeted by friendly staff members who measure and put armbands on kiddos. The armbands are given according to your child’s height. This makes it easier for the staff to see if your kid is tall enough for a given slide and makes it clear to your kid what they can and can’t do.
If you aren’t a fan of big waterslides, or maybe you are traveling with smaller kiddos. The waterpark has a wide variety of options beyond the bigger slides. Like a wave pool, a pool with basketball goals one for older kids and a shallow area for younger kids. My kids loved crossing the ‘lilly pads’ calling that an American Ninja Warrior course. There is also an adults only hot tub, you know, should you get a kid-free moment.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Waterpark
A quick search on Google will bring up a question that is asked frequently. Which is: “Can you buy a day pass for Great Wolf Lodge”
The short answer is no.
The thinking behind this is all about keeping crowd sizes manageable. If they sold tickets to those just wanting to use the water park for the day, lines for the popular watersides would become super long!
Great Wolf boasts that you can get 2 days of waterpark fun for just a one-night stay.
Which is totally true, check in to your room begins at 4 pm, but if you and your crew want to arrive at 10 am when the waterpark opens the good folks at Great Wolf are ok with that.
Aren’t quite ready to hit the road and head for home? As long as you are checked out of your room by 11 am, you and your crew are welcome to stay until the waterpark closes. Don’t worry there are ample lockers for storage and a place to shower before you make the drive home.
Out of the Water Fun at Great Wolf Lodge
Once your crew gets tired of playing in the water, or the fingers are way too wrinkled, I can assure you that there is tons of fun to be had beyond the waterslides.
MagiQuest turns Great Wolf Lodge into a giant game that needs to be played. Once your kiddo has picked out a wand (they start at $17.99) and a game has been activated on the wand ($13.99 during your stay) they can set out on a quest.
To be totally transparent with you, I didn’t ever really figure out how it worked. What I did figure out was the fact that my kids really had a ton of fun going from floor to floor on quests.
Northern Lights Arcade
I am still not sure if my kids or my husband and I enjoyed the arcade more. There is something about the allure of tickets being spit out of the games rather than just being automatically loaded to your game card. My husband and I got just as into the games and racking up tickets as my kiddos did.
Two words: Clown Game
Located inside of the arcade is also mini bowling, my kids had a ton of fun bowling with balls and pins that were quite frankly more their speed. If mini golf is more your thing, pay the cashier for a round of golf, grab a club and a golf ball and go to town!
If your kids are anything like mine are, they need a new stuffed animal like they need a hole in their heads. However, the siren song of a spot like the Creation Station at Great Wolf Lodge is something that you should be prepared for prior to your visit. The creation station is very similar in concept to a popular place where you can build your own stuffed animal.
My youngest son picked the Oliver Great Wolf Character because Oliver has glasses and so does he. He felt pretty special that he found a character that was ‘like him.’ Making a character costs 29.99 and then clothing is an extra charge should your kiddos want an outfit for their new buddy. Spoiler Alert: They are going to want an outfit for their stuffed animal.
Scoops Kids Spa
Most of the time I don’t feel like I am missing out by being a ‘boy mom’ but when I found out that Great Wolf offers a Mommy and Me spa experience, I was wishing that someone in my crew would want to get their toenails done with me. Scoops is a spa experience geared towards kiddos while offering parents the chance to go relax in the grown-up spa.
Story Time at Great Wolf Lodge
Let your kids get cozy in their PJs and head down to the clocktower in the lobby to enjoy story time and the chance to meet one of the characters of Great Wolf Lodge.
Then, make sure to stay for the clock tower show after story time. The forest creatures come to live in an interactive experience.
Food Options at Great Wolf Lodge
Spending all day swimming and playing can work up an appetite, which begs the question what are you going to eat?
We are glad you asked. There are several options while you are staying at Great Wolf.
Hungry Like a Wolf
This is a pizza place. I mean they have other options as well, but the number of people I saw carrying multiple boxes of pizzas back to their families, indicates to me that Hungry like a Wolf is hands down a pizza place.
If you aren’t able to pull your group away from the water fun, don’t worry! Buckets serves up burgers, hot dogs and the famous Tipping Bucket dessert. Loaded with soft serve ice cream, cookies, brownies and candy this is for sure a shareable dessert!
Loose Moose Cottage
This eatery serves breakfast and lunch buffet style. Additionally, I noticed that they had a table set up just outside of the entrance with grab and go breakfast type items, think cereal and fruit, that could be charged to your room or paid for with a debit or credit card.
Lodge, Wood Fired Grill
Lodge is a great place to eat if you are looking for something just a bit more than a traditional buffet. They truly have some innovative menu, items that appeal to the foodie in your crowd.
This classic doesn’t really need any introductions, but we found that since our kids tend to be pretty early risers and the Loose Moose opens at 8 am, it was nice to have a spot to grab a quick snack to tide everyone over.
Takeaways from our stay at Great Wolf Lodge
The staff at Great Wolf goes above and beyond to ensure that your entire pack has a fantastic time. Everyone was so willing to help my kiddos, from engaging them in the extra activities to answering questions about where to find the scavenger hunt clues.
There isn’t a detail that is left undone, we learned when walking the long corridors of Great Wolf to follow the noses of the animals on the light fixtures in order to get back to the center of the resort. So, if you tell your little ones to walk in the direction of the noses, they will end up finding the lobby area should they get lost.
We had a fantastic weekend, at Great Wolf and left with fun family memories and plans to return again soon!
Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? What does your family enjoy doing there the most?