After years of driving by it and hearing rave reviews from family and friends, we finally found ourselves at The Great Wolf Lodge. For one night.
The Great Wolf Lodge is a resort chain with multiple locations peppered across the US and Canada. (Okay, there’s just one in Canada, at Niagara Falls.) They cater to families with their expansive indoor water parks, exciting attractions, in house restaurants, and numerous other ways to spend money. We went to the location in Colorado Springs, which included a ropes course, a climbing wall, mini golf, mini bowling, an arcade, a gem mining experience, MagiQuest, and Build a Bear Workshop. However, since we were only staying one night, we passed on all the additional attractions since we figured the large water park would suffice for our entertainment needs.
Since it was our first time staying there, I splurged and got the Wolf Pup Suite, which includes a sectioned off cabin area featuring cartoon wolves on the walls and bunk beds for the kids. It reminded me of a very expensive fort. Now I fear that I’ve spoiled my kids and they won’t settle for a regular room on subsequent visits, especially since after the trip my kids related that their favorite thing was hanging out in the bunk beds. So, even though they apparently would have been content spending the whole day in their little cabin, we did spend ample time in the water park. My kids’ favorite areas were the wave pool, the medium sized slides, and the floating lily pads they got to climb across.
For dinner we ate at a pizza restaurant there, and my almost 2 year old had a grand time mixing her pizza in with her water, and then dumping the concoction all over herself. I try to remind myself that for the most part, messes are easy and quick to clean up and that when toddler chaos happens, I should laugh and enjoy it in the moment instead of getting frustrated and only laughing about it weeks after the fact.
After joining in the evening dance party, it was time to turn in. As often happens, our youngest wouldn’t go to sleep, so I took her out and walked the halls, the lobby, and generally explored the hotel at midnight. I discovered that the arcade is open 24/7, so she ran around there and had a great time. So now you know that if you have insomnia or a little kid that won’t sleep, you can go be entertained in the arcade all night long. Although the stimulation of the bright lights and loud noises might be counterproductive when trying to get your little one to calm down and go to sleep. I will say that it was nice to walk around and see everything when it was totally empty. I was able to locate all the restrooms and read all the pricing and requirements for the attractions several times over.
In the morning we ate breakfast in our room, even though we could have paid quite a bit to eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant or the on-site Dunkin’ Doughnuts, but my kids were perfectly happy with mini muffins and fruit, and I was perfectly happy not to spend more money. We checked out and then went back to the water park. One of the things that I do love about the resort is that they allow you to play at the water park a few hours before you check in and until close on the day you check out. So we took full advantage of those perks.
We went mid week in February and it was really busy. I can’t imagine how busy it would be on the weekends or in the summer. But regardless of the crowds and the endless opportunities to empty out your bank account, we had a fantastic time and I’m sure we will be back.