We recently went on an adventure at Great Wolf Lodge. We learned a lot during this trip and I thought it would be beneficial to share some of our tips and tricks with all of you!
What to pack
You really do not need to pack much. I typically am an over packer. But really, you just need a cute pair of jammies, a swim suit, and a cover up. If you want a cute outfit to wear to dinner then do that but it is not necessary.
I made sure to pack matching pajamas for the girls for the night time activities. They thought this was really fun!
- Dry skin babes– Okay, I have a babe that suffers from eczema. Make sure you bring any lotions and special soaps that are necessary to be preventive to reduce break outs! I also brought her steroid creme in the off chance that she had any eczema break outs. The chlorine content is high for obvious reasons so you want to be prepared.
- Diaper babes– Your kids are constantly in and out of the water. This also means little booties are not as dry as they are used to. I made sure to bring diaper rash cream. No one wants a baby with a red, itchy booty!
Duration of stay
This was our second time staying at Great Wolf Lodge in SoCal. The first time we only stayed one night. We felt so rushed the first time around and PUSHED it. Our girls were exhausted and we didn’t even last the entire second day. We just wanted to get our money’s worth and spend as much time in the water as possible.
This time around, we made the decision to stay two nights. The reason… We wanted to enjoy it as much as possible! If the girls needed to rest on the second day, we wanted to have that option! So, if staying for two nights is in your budget, that would TOTALLY be my recommendation. There is also SO. MUCH. TO. DO! We wanted to explore everything else that Great Wolf Lodge had to offer.
Which brings me to my next topic :).
It’s not just a water park!
I am going to be honest, my initial thought of Great Wolf Lodge was that it just offered a hotel and some water park fun. Man was I wrong. It is literally like a cruise on land. There is something for everyone!
When you check in to your room, you are immediately presented with a daily schedule. At all times of the day, there is some sort of activity. Anything from yoga, balloon animals, dance parties to bed time stories. If you weren’t feeling the water park, there was still some sort of family activity to engage in. It was amazing!
Magic Quest for Older Kids (8yrs +)
When we arrived, I immediately saw kids running around with Harry Potter type wands. I started questioning myself… Um, wait, am I at Harry Potter World or am I at Great Wolf Lodge?
Of course our girls started requesting wands themselves because all of the other kids had wands. Which naturally made us, the parents, do a little digging to understand what the heck these kids were doing.
This was our findings- Magic Quest is a scavenger hunt type game set up around the hotel. The wands activate the game and it takes about 4 days to complete it. The wands start out around $30. When we inquired, the employee suggested that the Magic Quest game is intended for individuals 8 years of age or older. We saw kids all the way up to adults playing this game. People were really getting into it!
But, ummm… That won’t fly for our two 5 year olds and the 2 year old. So, what option do we have for them? He quickly suggested the Clubhouse Crew Adventure Game.
Clubhouse Crew Adventure Game (2-7yr olds)
So, how cool is this… We ended up buying our girls a Pup Pass. For $45, you can purchase a stuffed animal (sort like a Build a Bear) that includes the Clubhouse Crew Adventure Game. This is a scavenger hunt type game similar to Magic Quest but is more age appropriate. This stuffed animal will activate the game and is located on the bottom two floors of the hotel. This Pup Pass will also get the girls a glitter tattoo, candy, ice cream, and tokens at the arcade! Yep, we will take three of those, please!
All THREE girls had so much fun with the Clubhouse Crew Adventure Game. There were about 10 stops on the scavenger hunt. At the end, they got their picture taken. Throughout the game, there were various activities at each stop that included interactive games at the kiosks or even Whack a Mole. They loved it!
The reality of our stay… Oh motherhood
But let’s get real for a moment; you know I like to keep things transparent! Although I love me some time at Great Wolf Lodge, as SOOOOON as we pulled into the parking garage on Friday, my 2 year old spiked a fever :(.
The entire time, it was a complete balancing act. Here I am trying to be present with my oldest daughter but then my youngest just wanted to be cuddled and no where near the water.
We were also lucky enough to have some of our greatest friends with us. But we were also sharing a suite with them. The only time my little one was happy is if she had Tylenol in her.
On Saturday night at around 1am, I was dealing with a screaming toddler. NO ONE in our room was sleeping. Thankfully we live about 20 minutes from Great Wolf Lodge so I kindly requested that my hubby pack me and my little one up and we went home. My husband went back to up to the suite and stayed back with my 5 year old and our friends. Sigh- they all enjoyed the rest of the weekend and my 2 year old and I enjoyed a quiet Sunday at home.
Although it wasn’t the picture perfect weekend I envisioned for myself with BOTH kids, I was happy that my 5 year old had a blast with her bestie and her daddy. I also had a ton of snuggles with my 2 year old.