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Planning a trip to Great Wolf Lodge? My family and I love Great Wolf Lodge and have enjoyed some great vacations there. You’ll love it! However, you definitely don’t want to find yourself without something you’d need. So here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions to help you as you are preparing for your trip to Great Wolf Lodge.
Look for Groupons
If you’ve already scheduled your trip, skip this one. But if you’re looking to plan on and want information, this is for you! Great Wolf runs deals on Groupon ALL the time, and each time we’ve gone we’ve gone with a Groupon and saved quite a bit! Especially if you can be flexible on dates (going at off peak times like during the school year) or days of the week (weekends will cost more per night than say, a Tuesday) you can get some great deals!
Pack swimsuits separately in a smaller bag
You don’t usually have the ability to check in to your room until about 4 pm on the day you arrive, but you can get into the waterpark as early as 1 pm. Also, on the day you check out, you have to be out of your room by 12 pm-but you can stay until the waterpark closes at 8 if you want! This means that there will be a significant amount of time that you can swim but won’t have a room in the hotel. And trust me, as soon as you arrive, your kids are going to want to get into that waterpark! It’s best to pack your swimsuits, some snacks, and anything else you might need for the day in the waterpark in a separate, small bag so you can swim right away. This will also give you someplace to put dry clothing on the day you leave. Then you can swim until the cows come home, and your suitcases can stay in your car!
Bring your own food
This is a personal preference, of course. Some people like to eat out every meal on vacation, and that’s ok too. There are facilities that serve food within the waterpark and the lodge has made it super easy to charge food to your room so you don’t have to carry cash. BUT, it is amusement park food, and the price adds up quick (Especially if you don’t have to see the cash to spend it!) We found it was so much easier and cheaper to stock our hotel room with some groceries for our stay at Great Wolf. Each room has a microwave and a mini fridge, and we bought cereal, milk, sandwich fixings and chips. We would eat a quick breakfast in our room before heading down to the park for the day, and by lunchtime the kids were usually ready for a little break so we’d dry off and come upstairs to eat our lunch. Please note: coolers are NOT allowed in the park. So if you want to take lunch down to the park, you’ll need something that fits in a backpack to store it in. You won’t get past them with a rolling cooler (I learned this the hard way!)
Leave towels and floatation devices at home
Great Wolf provides endless amounts of towels right in the park, as well as life jackets in a couple different sizes and instructions on how to use them. My two year olds weigh 25 lbs each and had no issues. It was so nice not to have to haul and dry out these items in addition to our swimsuits.
Pack light on clothing
You’ll spend most of your day in your swimsuit! Everything you need is in the park, so we really only left in the evenings to shop a little or eat out for dinner. Honestly, you don’t even have to do that if you don’t want to-the hotel has a couple of really nice restaurants right inside also. But either way, you won’t need an outfit AND a suit for everyday. You probably won’t wear your regular clothing long enough to get it dirty each day. A good swimsuit (or two) and coverup are a must. Be sure to pack some cute pajamas and fuzzy slippers for your family if you plan to go downstairs at night-they have a story time and some fun activities for the kids. DON’T forget the sunscreen if you’re going in the summer!!! There are sections of the park that are outside depending on the time of year you go.
The “Extras” look great, but aren’t necessary
Again, this is 100 percent my opinion, so take it as you will. There are tons of add ons to your Great Wolf Lodge stay-treasure hunts, stuffed animals, pedicures, meal packages. It depends on what type of experience you want to have but I can tell you-we have not done anything but stay in the hotel and swim each time we’ve gone and it’s been a BLAST. There is so much to do just in the waterpark itself! There is no need to add on all the extras for a good time, unless you just want to.
So that’s it for now, and I so hope it was helpful. We have so many great memories from our trips to Great Wolf Lodge, and we plan to make some more in the future. I’d love to hear how your trip went in the comments!