A family vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Washington can be fantastic time, but it can also be a little overwhelming the first time you go. The first time we went, I was solo parenting, and I learned five important tips for Great Wolf Lodge to make your vacation there even better!
Five Tips for Great Wolf Lodge:
Join the Mailing List
Sign up for the Great Wolf Lodge mailing list when you first start planning your trip BEFORE you book. I am constantly receiving emails about great deals from Great Wolf Lodge, and they are opportunities to save money big time.
I purchased the Early Saver Deal, which is a 60-day advance purchase, and had major savings over the normal rack rates.
My friend, who also came during the same dates as our trip, booked last minute after receiving an email from Great Wolf Lodge, literally two days before arrival, and she paid less for a suite than I did for a themed room!
Pack Healthy Snack Options
Make sure you pack a lot of healthy snack options to keep in your room. Stock up on fruits and veggies, and pack more than you think you will need.
The food options and restaurants are exactly what you would expect to see on a kid’s menu. I was hard-pressed to find vegetables to go along with the usual assortment of pizza and chicken fingers.
The food is also more expensive there, so it will help keep costs down to supplement with your own food, and having healthy alternatives will keep their tummies happier. I ran out of our healthy snacks so much quicker than I thought we would.
Great Wolf Lodge in Washington is not close to any grocery stores so running out of supplies just wasn’t an option once we arrived.
Pack Inexpensive Bathing Suits
The amount of chlorine in the indoor water park is double what you would expect in a public swimming pool and is extremely hard on swimwear. Even after rinsing out our swimsuits each time, they were in rough shape by the time we left.
So leave your favorite ones at home and opt for cheaper versions for your stay. And beware of the waterfall that happens every few minutes!
Great Wolf Lodge gives you access to their indoor water park starting at 1 pm, so I suggest arriving no later than 12:30 pm to make the most of your time. We arrived at 12 pm and checked in, and lucked out that our room was ready early.
So we had plenty of time to park the car and unpack before we headed to the water park. We also checked in online and avoided the huge lineups at check-in.
The location in Washington had a separate lineup for online check-ins, so we just zipped up to the counter, got our keys, and away we went.
After being indoors for two days and exploring the endless options available to guests, I started feeling a little cagey. So I took the kids outside to enjoy the sunshine and explore the Howler’s Peak Ropes Course. They have two-course options, one for the adrenaline junkie and one for the little kids.
My then seven-year-old Holter loves scary rides, and while he had fun doing the bigger course, he did get a little scared.
He would have been fine if I accompanied him up there, but I was down below with my four-year-old Heath, who quickly got bored of the little course and wanted to join his big brother! I highly recommend paying an additional $5 for a full-day pass.
Additional Tips for Great Wolf Lodge:
- Dress your children in matching clothing and swimwear. There are so many kids running around and it makes it so much easier to identify your own kids if they are wearing the same thing, especially in the water park.
- Make it a point to go to Story Time at the end of the day. It was a great way for my boys to wind down after a full day of playing and endless stimulation.
- Reserve extra time for MagiQuest. Our boys LOVED this activity and were captivated for hours doing it.
All in all, our trip was wonderful and one that my kids still talk about regularly. It was tiring for me as the sole parent, and I barely touched any of the wine I brought because I was too tired at the end of the day.
But the tips I shared above will help make your experience a memorable one too. Writing this article is making me want to go back and do it all over again very soon!
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.