For Christmas this year, we surprised the kids with a 3-day trip to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. We have never been to any indoor water park resorts available throughout the country, so it was a new experience.
The kids opened a box with a bathing suit and a packing list for their last present. They didn’t know where we were going until we pulled into the Great Wolf Lodge entrance. 10yo was thrilled, while 7yo didn’t know what it was. 15yo was quiet, so who knows her thoughts?
We rented a fireplace loft suite, which allowed everyone to have a bed, and Jim and I had a separate space. Compared to the camper, it was gigantic. The room was spotless and nicely laid out. The balcony was closed for external construction, but it was too cold to hang out on it anyway.
The waterpark was a blast. Great Wolf Lodge has the smallest waterpark of the three resorts in the Poconos (the other two being Kalahari and Camelback), but it was perfect for our family. Our kids are not overly adventurous, so the moderate tube slides and smaller wave pool were perfect for them. They do have one or two pretty intense slides, but overall, the waterpark is an excellent introduction for kids who are a bit nervous.
As a splurge, we rented a cabana for the first time. We loved having a home base to return to and relax. In addition, our introverted teenager appreciated having a private area where she could retreat throughout the day. But, in all honestly, the cabana wasn’t worth the price we paid for it. It should have come with more amenities than some free water, and it desperately needed some lighting inside. Still, we enjoyed using it, and our waiter was fabulous.
Most surprisingly, the kids’ favorite part of the trip was the Magiquest. Magiquest is an interactive video game experience that takes the kids all over the resort searching for items and solving riddles. It takes hours to complete, and you can stop and start as you like. The quest was included in the Wolf Pass activity package we purchased for the younger two. The pass also included mini-golf, bowling, gem mining, a mirror maze activity, free ice cream, and a bucket of candy. If you are planning to do all the activities in the resort, I would recommend purchasing the pass as it gives you a significant discount. Otherwise, you can pay for activities separately.
My one criticism of Great Wolfe Lodge was the food choices. There is an extensive buffet with many options, but it can get a bit pricey since kids over 12 are charged as adults. You can also order a la carte from the buffet for pick up. There is also a pizza place that delivers to your room and a snack bar in the water park. If you are looking for cold sandwiches or salads, there’s a small market where you can grab those. We were only there for three days, so we found enough to eat. If we were to stay any longer, I suspect we would have been pretty tired of pizza and snack bar food by the time we left. The other resorts in the area have several dining options, so I think that’s the one area where Great Wolf Lodge is lacking.
I don’t know if we will head back to Great Wolf Lodge soon. It’s pricey for a getaway. We will probably try out some other indoor waterpark resorts first. Still, we had a fabulous time.