Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Water Park Adventures

A couple of days before Thanksgiving, we went on a little family vacation to the Great Wolf Lodge.

We had never been there before and the idea of going to a water park in the winter sounded like fun.

This post is not sponsored by or in any way affiliated with the Great Wolf Lodge.  We just had a fun time and I wanted to share. 

So, in order to use the water park you have to stay the night in their hotel.  Check in is at 4pm although our room was ready when we arrived at 1pm.  You can use the water park from 1pm on arrival day till when they close on the day you check out.  There are bathrooms, showers and changing rooms at the water park so you can easily change into your swim suits when you arrive even without being able to get into your hotel room.   Oh, and if you are celebrating a birthday, the birthday kid (or adult in our case) gets all they can eat ice cream for FREE!  When we checked in, all the kids got a pair of wolf ears to wear.  And since my husband's birthday just happened to be during our stay, he got his own special pair of wolf ears too.  We all got wristbands to wear during our stay which let us into the water park.  And my hubby got a special wrist band to show it was his birthday and allow him all the ice cream he wanted.

The lodge was all decorated for Christmas.  It looked like a winter wonderland.  Below is a picture of the front desk area taken from the floor above.

There were lots of Christmas trees in the lobby surrounding the large fireplace.  They even had a mailbox for letters to Santa.

The lodge is 4 stories although most of the activities were on the first and second floors.  I booked our trip online but when we arrived, we were asked which floor we wanted to stay on since there were several rooms available.  The lobby is actually on the second floor and the water park is on the first floor.  I thought it would be easiest to stay on the same floor as the water park since I would be toting the little one around in a stroller.  

The water park was great.  They had several different areas but it was pretty open so it was easy to keep an eye on the kids.  

Here is the wave pool that the three oldest just loved.  They spent hours in there.  It was like a beach in that the water level went from 0 inches to about 5 feet deep.  Every so often an alarm would sound, signaling the start of the waves.  The kids would go crazy.

There were several huge tube slides, some of them expanding to the outside of the building.  I felt like I was riding a roller coaster on a few of them.  In the picture below, you can see my oldest daughter in the blue inner tube, she just came out of the yellow and green tube slide.  Most of the tube slides come out into the 'lazy river', but you can also enter the lazy river without having to go down a slide.

Here is another view of the lazy river.

I jokingly refer to our youngest as hydrophobic because since day 1 he has hated getting wet.  Bath time, swimming pools, he screams and cries if even just his feet go in.  Needless to say he didn't get in the water much.  Luckily, he was perfectly content to sit in his stroller and watch all the action.

Here's a shot of the kiddie slides.  Our five year old enjoyed going down them all by herself.  The lodge had plenty of swim vests for the younger kids to wear so I didn't have to worry about her if I let her and one of my older kids go down the tube slides together.  

There was even an agility course that my daughter and I raced across.  It's much harder than it looks but I'm happy to report that I didn't fall off.

Beside playing in the water park, there were other activities.  For older kids there was this whole MagiQuest adventure.  That was an added cost and I thought only one of the four kids would like it so we didn't do it.  There was a 4D movie, mini golf, bowling, arcade games and even a spa.  We spent so much time enjoying the water park that we didnt' try out any of these other things.  

In the evenings there was an animated story time.  I've included a video at the end of this post to show you how much our youngest loved this musical story time.  There were also some kids crafts such as decorating the wolf ears, face painting and making bracelets.  Of course the girls had to do the crafty things.

It was a fun filled adventure and we all enjoyed our stay.  Having children of varying ages, from toddler to teenager, can make it difficult to find something we all enjoy.  I'm pleased to report this water park fit the bill.  Would I recommend the Great Wolf Lodge to friends?  Yes.  Would I go back?  Probably not very often only because it's not cheap.  It's a nice little vacation, but not something I would make an annual trip out of.  That being said, I am glad we went.

And here's the video of our one year old dancing along to the songs during the evening's story time.

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