Great Wolf Lodge- Toddler Approved

We had the most awesome day ever at Great Wolf Lodge. As in, we ALL thought it was awesome. From toddler to grandparent. I can only equate it to being in summer camp or on a cruise where there is something awesome to do every minute of the day and lots of room to run around and explore. I'm going to break it down into what is toddler approved vs. mama approved. 

Toddler Approved 

  • Main Lobby: The main lobby has frequent animatronic shows, story times, dance parties, face painting, and balloon shows. I even caught that the presenter was talking about animal adaptations, which happens to be a Virginia third grade standard. Yay science! On this floor is a candy store, a gift shop, and the main dining area. Literally everything is made with kids in mind. They won't get yelled at for climbing on the furniture, running around with no shoes on, or being loud. This is awesome for a toddler mom because we all know they can be hard to control when they get super excited. 

  • Scoops: This is a spa for children with an ice cream theme. Super cute, but my kid wouldn't sit still long enough or be interested in it. This would be perfect for a little birthday girl and it's actually a full Aveda spa. 

  • Ten Paw Alley: This is their duck pin bowling alley. The lanes are shorter and the balls are lighter and smaller. The pins are also on strings with magnets so they are easier to knock down. Bumpers come up with the push of a button. 

  • Character Meet and Greets:  Okay, this might be approved for some toddlers, just not mine. Lots of kids around us were super excited to meet the characters, but mine ran away screaming. Just know your kid. 

  • The Great Wolf Kid's Store: This store has animals that kids can stuff, shirts that they can color, and lots for them to create. There is a creation station with different activities and a pretty cool coloring table. The coloring and crafts are free, but the rest is all at a cost. 

  • The POOL! Check out Raccoon Lagoon outside and Fort Mackenzie and Cub Paw Pool inside There are things to climb on, splash through, tip over, dump water through, and slide down. We also went over to Slap Tail Pond which is a wave pool and Crooked Creek which is a lazy river. R and I went down Totem Towers which leaves from the top of the fort. You have to send them down by themselves and I was terrified. He came out backwards and upside down, but was fine. There were lots of lifeguards all around the pool which I appreciated. 

Approved by BOTH: 
  • Food: There are seven dining options around the facility from buffets to pizza to sweet shops and outdoor grills. The resort can accommodate kosher, vegan, and practically every allergy. Outside of a few prepackaged things in the candy store and arcade, they are completely nut free too. These sweets were on the buffet y'all! 
(He is holding a MagiQuest wand which is a game, but we just used it to make things all over the hotel move including the tree next to us at lunch.) 

The proof is in the pudding.
  • Northern Lights Arcade: I seriously love arcades. We all four had a blast in here. There was a toddler section that had a few smaller games too. We got a bunch of tickets and traded them in for some legos and other small things. I could have stayed in here all day. It's open 24 hours a day, so a great spot for older kids to go later in the night too. 

 Mama Approved: 
  • North Paw Springs: An adults only corner of the water park with a hot tub. It's nice to have a little time away! 
  • Bars and wine packages: We were able to order drinks at lunch and there were several places to get drinks throughout the property. There are wine packages that guests can order at night while the little ones to go bed. 
  • Hotel rooms: There are lots of different room options, and some rooms can even sleep up to eight people. Some have lofts; others have these log cabins to separate the kids from the adults. 
  • The pool! I wanted to separate this to show that there really are things for both older kids and adults. Next time I come, I know that we need more time in the water park so that I can go on all of the slides. I tried to talk Neil into getting on Wolf Rider Wipeout which is like surfing, but he is a baby. I've also always liked the balance challenges like Big Foot Pass. 

Some things that we didn't have time to do but will check off next time were the 4d world, a game that we saw people playing where you wear 4-d glasses and are at a shooting range; Howlywood XD theater (height limits), and Oliver's Time Challenge. The time challenge will be the first thing I do when I come back. Picture your friends or family in a large room of wack-a-mole competing to wack the most lights. Outside there was also Howl in One mini golf, the ropes course, and a climbing wall.

Something to keep in mind, the price of the waterpark, lobby happenings, and characters' pictures are included in your stay at the lodge; however, extras are not. They do offer prepackaged deals for activities depending on age range. Depending on your kid and your budget, it may be smarter to pick one activity for each day rather than buy the bundle. We were given the Paw Pass as part of our media visit, but we were not able to complete everything in one day! Also, check into Groupon, which regularly has deals for Great Wolf Lodge. If you buy items like the wand for MagiQuest, be sure to hold onto it for use on the next visit. I normally like to chuck things because we have so much in our house, but this one is worth storing! Another piece of news- in January they will be renovating all of their guest rooms, all furniture, fixtures, paint, wallpaper, and televisions. I can't wait to see it. 

I'll end with this note. There are not a ton of pictures of us in the pool. Water and electronics don't like each other. I asked Neil to get a photo of Bubbie, R, and me in this raft...and my freaking head is blocked out. What in the world! Mamas, this is why we have to help one another out and take pictures for each other. Because this ain't cuttin' it! 

**We received free passes for the Lodge, but all views are my own!