When I ask my children where they want to go for a quick vacation, they usually yell “Great Wolf Lodge!” An indoor waterpark with very little crowds? I can’t blame them!
Great Wolf Lodge rooms start around $175 per night, but they can go upwards of $300 per night, too. It’s definitely a fun trip, but one that can get really expensive. Since we’ve been to “the lodge” in Grapevine, TX three or four times now, I want to pass along my tips to make this trip affordable and headache free!
1. Check Groupon before booking your room. Groupon often offers deals for Great Wolf Lodge, and most include a food credit, as well! There are blackout dates, so make sure you pay attention to the fine print.
2. Keep in mind that every room at Great Wolf Lodge is nice. You won’t be spending much time in your room, so consider a smaller, basic room vs a suite.
3. Bring your own snacks and drinks. Each room at Great Wolf Lodge has a refrigerator and a microwave. Pack your soda, bottled water, juice and/or alcohol instead of buying it there!
4. If you opt to play the Magiquest game, consider sharing wands among siblings.
Magiquest is an interactive scavenger hunt type game played on each floor of the hotel. Tell your children they will have to take turns or let them each claim a floor or play at separate times.
5. Scope out the area before you get to Great Wolf Lodge. It’s okay to check in, go for a swim, leave for dinner and return for more fun! If you have a larger family, like me, you don’t want to spend all your savings on one meal!
6. Look for ads in the elevator before purchasing anything. From the Magiquest game to bear stuffings to pizza to face painting, you will usually see a bundled Paw Pass package in one of the elevators, which, in our case, we were able to split among three children – allowing them to each leave with a fun gift to take home. (Read all about the Paw Pass at Great Wolf Lodge.)
7. Downstairs, you will find the Scoops Spa. It’s fun, great for girls, but a little expensive. For us, we don’t do the extras because we are usually there to swim… we can get our Mommy and daughter pedicures later!
8. You have all day (on the day of check-out) to swim! You may start using the water park at 1:00 p.m. on the day of check-in. Keep in mind, check-in to your room begins at 4:00 p.m.; therefore, pack a separate bag with your bathing suits so that you can begin playing in the park as soon as you arrive. Check-out is at 11:00 a.m. the day of departure but you may continue to use the water park and lodge amenities until close!
9. Stay for the nightly storytime! We always leave the waterpark for dinner, returning to get ready for bed, going down for storytime in our pajamas! You are likely to meet the lodge’s mascot while you are there!
10. Leave your towels and lifejackets at home! You won’t need these items, nor will you need sunscreen if you stay in the indoor portion of the waterpark!