*I am not affiliated with or endorsed by Great Wolf Lodge*
Great Wolf Lodge is a indoor water park and hotel known for its woodland lodge themes and family-friendly activites for all ages! Little known to me, GWL has multiple locations around the United States including: MA, PA, IL, KS, OH, MN, MI, WI, NC, GA, TX, VA, AZ, CO, WA, CA and one location in Ontario, Canada!
We have visted Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine as a “staycation” spot several times over the years, all with varying ages of kiddos, and always have had a blast! Most recently, we visited and stayed 24 hours for my younger sister’s 13th birthday. So this post will be a bit of a double whammy covering how we curated a special birthday treat for her, as well as covering activities and other features of the hotel. *Note: I learned that all locations vary a little in activites and style, so check in on your local GWL website for full details about each lodge.*
Located in Grapevine, Texas, right across from the Gaylord Texan, you will be transported into a woodland wonderland designed to keep families entertained and immersed in a total vacation mode during your stay. Upon driving in, you are met by large wolve sculptures guarding the entrance to your enchanted getaway. Park your car in the unlaoding zone under the awning and let your pack loose as you are greeted by friendly staff and an easy check in system (be sure to use the Great Wolf App and take advantage of mobile check in (available 24 hours before your arrival)) which guide you to the counter where you are given waterpark bands and an invite to pick up your complimentary wolf ears. Unload your luggage and head up to your room to settle in or head straight to the water park to get your feet wet!
When you stay at the hotel, water park fees are included and you can access the park from 1:00pm on the day of your arrival (even before check-in) to 9:00pm on the date of your departure.
We stayed in the Kid Cabin, which sleeps 6 with a queen mattress, sleeper sofa and features a “kid cabin” equipped with a bunk bed, a twin bed, and woodland characters that will allow your kids to feel like they are camping under the stars!
Here’s where we changed it up a bit to give our birthday girl a special surprise-decorations! I was able to get early check-in by using the app, and our room was ready by the time I arrived at 2pm. Then, using command strips and tape so we didn’t tear up any walls, we hung streamers and balloons to give the room a flirty, fun twist! And yes, my mom made that amazing backdrop prior to arrival so it was quick and easy to put up day of!**Always use temporary/removable items when decorating anywhere that is not your home! Chalk and dry erase markers are a super easy way to personalize a surface without making any permant damage.**
There are so many ways to enjoy a stay at Great Wolf Lodge!
Indoor Water Park
Half Day Pass $40; Full Day Pass $50; Children 2 and under free
Open from 9:00am-9:00pm, the waterpark is kept 80 degrees year round and includes: “big kid” playscape and slides, “toddler” playscape and slides, tubed waterslides, wave pool, and a lazy river
Outdoor Water Park
Includes an activity pool and more slides, reopening Memorial Day weekend 2021.
Howler’s Peak Ropes Course
Rope Course Single Climb $14.99 + tax
Rope Course All Day Climb: $19.99 + tax
Outdoor ropes course that is several stories tall. Explore via a safety harness.
Game “open” 9:00am-11:00pm
Wand: $15.99 – $22.99 + tax*
Game: $14.99 + tax
“Explore the lodge and take part in the adventure of a lifetime! MagiQuest turns Great Wolf Lodge into a live-action game where you’re the star. You’ll choose a special magic wand, top it with extra powers, and set off on a quest. Play for a few minutes or all day. Be sure to take your wand home and continue your adventure on your next trip to Great Wolf Lodge.”
Multiple quests are available, honestly this is really fun at any age. There are interactive items throughout the lodge that are “unlocked” by waving the wand in front of the sensor. Very immersive, and highly reccomend if you are staying for a couple of days to give the kids something to do when you need a water break or after the park closes!
There is also ShadowQuest, and CompassQuest to complete for more experienced visitors.
Best for: children, teens, adults
Oliver’s Mining Co.
“Feel the rush in uncovering what’s hiding in your paydirt. Pan and sift your way to finding the beautiful gemstones and minerals waiting to be discovered. Take them home in keepsake collection bag, complete with a gemstone identification card and personalized labels.”
Best for: Children and Teens
Northern Lights Arcade
Located on the bottom floor outside the waterpark entrance, this arcade gives another option for a dry activity.
Build-a-Wolf in Great Wolf’s very own custom stuffed animal workshop
Best for: Children and Toddlers
Entertain the kids with scheduled events like: character meet and greets, story time, cub club, the Great Clock Tower Show (put on by animatronics), yoga tails, dance parties, and art and crafts!
The Lodge also offers a summer camp.
Spa and Fitness Center
Don’t worry mom, there’s a special place for you too! Leave the kids with dad and get some time away to relax. (unfortunately it is currently closed due to COVID, but hopefully will reopen soon.)
There are several dining/sweet options at the Lodge available during your stay, including the Loose Moose Cottage (cafeteria style serving breakfast and dinner) Bucket’s (in waterpark food stand), Lodge Wood Fired Grille (upscale dining), Hungry as a Wolf (quick service pizza), Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill (poolside cocktail and bites), The Watering Hole (waterpark bar) Bear Paw Sweets (bakery and ice cream), Starbucks, and the candy shop inside the gift shop!
There are also tons of restaurants and dining around the Lodge if you are comfortble with driving 10-15 minutes. My sister is Gluten Sensative, so we opted to pick up pizza outside the hotel at Palio’s Cafe, and brought our own food in for breakfast and lunch at the Lodge. There is no outside food or drinks allowed inside the water park itself, but there are tables and chairs around the hotel where you can stop to munch (if you don’t wan’t to go back up to your room.)
We always have a great time at Great Wolf Lodge, and over the years our family has created a lot of memories here. It was so much fun to celebrate 13 years of life for my younger sister who has the sweetest heart and the most gentle soul, she’s the perfect finalizing piece of our family. She brought 2 other friends and they had an absolulte blast going down water slides, trying to stay above the waves in the wavepool, and blasting through credits in the arcade. All while my mom and I enjoyed dodging water fountains and spinning around in our tubes floating the wavepool. In short, there is something for everyone here, and I highly encourage using Great Wolf Lodge as your next “staycation getaway”.