One of my friends recently took a multi-generational family vacation at Great Wolf Lodge and shared the experience with me. I loved hearing about it so much that I asked her to share it here on the blog! Thanks Nicole for the your recap of the trip.
My extended family visited Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC recently and we absolutely loved it! How much? After a two-day stay, the only common complaint from our multi-generational family of 10: a noisy bathroom fan.
Great Wolf Lodge is a sprawling indoor water park resort. We visited the location in Concord, N.C. right outside of Charlotte (about a 4.5 hour drive from our Atlanta home) but there are resorts around the country with one scheduled to open in La Grange, Ga. next year.
The water park alone boasts 80,000 sq. ft. of year-round fun. For your time out of the water, the resort also features a wide range of extra activities– a rope course, miniature golf, bowling, arcade, spa (both kids and adult) and theater.
All told, Great Wolf Lodge has something for everyone but our family felt it’s really targeted to the elementary school-age set. We loved the great service and attention to detail – from the bubble-gum fragranced bath gel for the kids – to the spacious, themed suites. We also thought it was a great vacation value for what was included in the price.
The Great Wolf Lodge EXPERIENCE
A “woodlands” theme abounds at Great Wolf Lodge. Step into the Grand Lobby and you’re transported to a cabin in the woods, complete with (gas) fireplace and oversized leather chairs.
The lodge is home to Wiley the Wolf and his squad: Violet (a girl wolf who sports pink Crocs and capris); two raccoons, a bear and a chipmunk. Wiley and Friends (you never know which one) will meet your kids for a photo opp (times and locations are listed in daily activities) and for an extra $20, one of them will bring milk and cookies to your room for a nightcap. (Definitely worth the extra loot. My girls – and husband – lost their minds when Violet stopped by our room.)
The guest rooms really lived up to the lodge theme. We chose a KidKamp suite that included a set of bunkbeds and a twin bed housed in a miniature log cabin. My four-year-old great nephew quickly dubbed it a “clubhouse.” My husband and I loved it because it was separate from the rest of our suite.
Once inside, we didn’t hear from the kids until morning. Priceless! We booked the Grizzly Bear Suite for Grandma and Pop Pop, my nephew, his wife and my sister. Each had their own bed and private quarters.
Most of our favorite activities were included in the resort fee. The kids started their day with Yoga Tails, a kids’ yoga experience with poses like “extended mountain.” After yoga, kids took a morning stroll around the Grand Lobby. The walk ended with a craft – an origami wolf, of course.
We also enjoyed a “Clock Tower Show” where the characters came to life (one slight issue: it was the same show every night) with a nightly story time and my personal favorite, a PJ Dance Party during which a too-crunked staffer led pajama-clad kids in line dances. (Wobble anyone?)
The ‘extras’ are fun too but I’d definitely recommend purchasing a package. For $69.99, we purchased a Paw Pass that included a Magiquest game (kids roam the property unleashing magic spells using a wand), a free “friend” at Creation Station (think: Build a Bear but you create Wiley the Wolf or one of his friends), rope course, a cup of candy, a name bracelet and arcade points.
We splurged for a spa service at Scoops Kids spa. For $29.99 each, our girls got a nail-polish change ($20 cheaper than a pedicure.) The service included a bottle of nail polish, a tiara and a voucher for free ice cream. They loved wearing pink bath robes and choosing “chocolate” scented lotion during their service.
Great Wolf Lodge WATERPARK
Even at 80,000 sq. ft., Great Wolf Lodge’s water park is not the biggest our family has experienced (we visited Tennessee’s Wilderness at the Smokies) but we agree it’s the best we’ve enjoyed for younger kids. The wave pool and activity pools were great for non-swimmers. And the water rides – going down a winding tube on a slide or in a raft were also manageable for our youngest attendee. Still, it wasn’t kids only. My husband enjoyed a pool with basketball rims as well as the water rides. Grandma and Pop Pop lounged by the outdoor pool.
FOOD at Great Wolf Lodge
The resort includes at least four stand-alone dining choices – a buffet, an upscale restaurant, a grill inside the water park and a pizzeria aptly named “Hungry as a Wolf.” There’s also a Dunkin Donuts near the lobby. To save money, our family did a lot of sharing and we used the fridge/microwave in the room. The kids ate cereal for breakfast. We took advantage of a buy-one, get-one-half-off-pizza deal. No outside food can be brought in the waterpark. But if you choose to go offsite, the resort is right off the interstate with plenty of nearby restaurant options.
About the Writer
Nicole Harris Williams is a recovering reporter turned PR professional. She’s a mom of two girls, wife of one man and she enjoys wine, food and sleep. (in that order.)