Plan your Family Getaway at the Great Wolf Lodge

Brenda@livingthebendlife.com Weekend Getaways

This Spring Break my husband and I decided it was finally time to take our kids to the illustrious Great Wolf Lodge, and we are glad we did! What an amazing experience our family had at this grand resort in Grand Mound, Washington. Featuring an indoor water park, the Great Wolf Lodge has been on our to-do list ever since we moved to Oregon. Overall, the drive is approximately 5 hours from Bend. Once you get to Portland, you take I-5 North into Washington, for a fairly simple trek.

When planning our trip, we had a hard time trying to decide between booking a 2 or 3-night stay. Three nights seemed a bit long, yet two nights (one full day) seemed a little short for the investment we made with this road trip. We decided to go for it and booked three nights. Definitely the right decision for us! There are so many fun things to do at Great Wolf Lodge, your kiddos will be on the go and making memories the entire visit. Of course, if you opt for two nights, you can make the most of your visit by arriving early on the day of check in and/or leaving late on the day of check out to take full advantage of the activities. If you do, be sure to pack your swimsuit/clothes in a separate bag to make the transition easier!

Room selection is another big decision and to get your room of choice you must plan in advance, way in advance at this ultra popular resort! Our kids will argue that we had the coolest room at the Lodge….staying in the “Wolf Den” featuring bunk beds and the kids own space to hang out, play games, and watch TV. It also gave us our own space in the room that included a separate sitting area for relaxing after a long day of Great Wolf Lodge fun! Of course, you can also choose different themes like the “Kid Cabin” or “Kid Camp” suites, or a variety of family suites, if you need more space. Regular rooms are also available if you don’t want to upgrade, as these cool kid spaces and larger suites come at a premium.*

Great Wolf Lodge                 Great Wolf Lodge

A little side note about room requests, a handful of rooms have a balcony, but not many, so be sure to ask about this when booking your reservation if this is important to you. Our room was on the first floor and had a sliding door, which made for convenient access when unloading and loading luggage. My husband was definitely happy he didn’t have to lug suitcases down hallways & up/down the elevator! Also, the water park entrance and most other attractions are on the second floor, so a room on this level is a bonus, or not…if you happen to get the first few rooms down the hall from the arcade (rooms 200-204), as it tends to be quite busy and a little noisy.

Our room came with a mini-fridge, microwave, and a large prep counter. This made it convenient for us to bring our own food and alleviate the cost of eating out at every meal. As a matter of fact, we had breakfast and lunch in the room (you can take food to the water park, just don’t forget containers to get them there, as was our problem). There are three different restaurants to choose from and they are all great! There is a carryout pizza place, which is convenient to take back to the room, eat at a table around the lodge, or take into the water park for a quick meal during water play. The main restaurant is a buffet serving breakfast, lunch & dinner with a lot of great options for the kiddos. Our favorite was the Fireside restaurant, which had a great ambiance, good menu options, daily specials and a full bar.

Great Wolf Lodge                             Great Wolf Lodge

Don’t worry Mom & Dad…yes, there is a bar at the water park!

Great Wolf Lodge

Of course, there is a Starbucks on site for your morning cup of Joe. I did overhear someone talking about the little restaurant next to the Lodge as being a great option for a quick breakfast and burgers for lunch/dinner. We will have to try it out next time. There are some other options outside of the resort if you want a change of pace. A couple exits south on I-5 offers a plethora of quick dining options, a Taco Del Mar, Subway & Applebee’s, among others.

Speaking of the water park, it’s pretty amazing and your kids will have a blast!  For being indoor, it is surprisingly large with multiple slides, wave pool, hot tub & kiddie area.

Great Wolf Lodge                           Great Wolf Lodge

The only thing missing is a lazy river! You should definitely plan to get there early to get a seat. Seating is extremely limited and in high demand. There are only a handful of lounge chairs, a few rows of low-profile chairs at the wave beach, and mainly tables with 4 chairs. The water park opens at 9am, and my husband was waiting when they opened and we were able to score a table and chairs both days! Of course, if you want a more private space, there are cabanas available to rent as well.  Be sure to check their website for pricing and reserve in advance is you want a cabana, especially during peak season.

Once you check in to the Great Wolf Lodge, you never need to step foot outside of the resort. There are so many fun things to do…

MagiQuest is a fun, interactive scavenger hunt throughout the resort…

Great Wolf Lodge                  Great Wolf Lodge

There is an arcade….

Great Wolf Lodge

Glow in the Dark Mini-Golf….

Great Wolf Lodge

Gemstone Mining Experience…

Great Wolf Lodge

Scooops Kids Spa (be sure to book appt. towards the end of your stay as the polish will likely come off at the water park)….

Great Wolf Lodge            Great Wolf Lodge

Ropes Course with several zip lines….

Great Wolf Lodge                         Great Wolf Lodge

Story Time by the Great Clock Tower (three times a day) & so much more….

Great Wolf Lodge             Great Wolf Lodge

Be sure to check out their packaged deals to save up to 30% on their main attractions. The Wolf Pass is so worth it during your first visit. Even if you may not purchase all the items individually, the cost covers the main stuff you would probably want to do and the other is extra fun! A friend of ours told us about the Wolf Pass and we called ahead and added it to our stay so it was ready to go when we arrived. I’ve not been able to find it on the website, however you are able to purchase during your stay.

Great Wolf Lodge               Great Wolf Lodge

 

A couple things to note about the Wolf Pass:

~There is the option for the MagiQuest, Shadow Quest or Compass Quest games. Each gets progressively harder giving you other options if this isn’t your first stay.

~The Wolf Pass includes any of the Quest games and a standard wand, topper or a belt. Of course, there are lots of options to upgrade and add to your Wolf Pass included items, so be prepared for that going into the “store”.

~Parents are not included so you will pay separately for any activities you would like to do with your child. On the Howlers Peak Ropes Course, a parent must accompany any child between 42-48”. This is a good thing as this course is several stories high with multiple zip lines and was quite intimidating for my 7 year old. Cost is $15.

~There is also a Paw Pass for $69 for little ones that may not be ready for the Quest adventures

We will definitely be back!  Great Wolf Lodge is an amazing experience, reminiscent of our Disney days when we lived in Orlando. Your kids will have a blast the entire time and you will too! As a matter of fact, my son is still sharing all his fun adventures with his friends since we’ve been home and is already planning our next trip! We’ve heard from friends that the holiday season is also a fun time to visit as the Great Wolf Lodge does an amazing job decorating the resort and adding additional holiday activities. If you’ve been considering a trip to this fun resort, do your family a favor and GO!  You won’t regret your decision, and may even wonder why you didn’t plan it sooner.  Hope to see you next time at the Great Wolf Lodge…Living the Bend Life!

 

 

 

*Please check website for pricing and availability.