17+ ways to bond with your kids at Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf cousins in hallSponsored post
Debating whether you should vacation with your kids at Great Wolf Lodge? Maybe you are worried that your kids are too young or too old {they aren’t – trust me, there are activities for every age}. Or, maybe you’re worried about the last 15 pounds you want to lose? Whatever it is that is holding you back, stop it. Just go. Book a room at GWL and go be with your family for some really awesome bonding time while exploring all that the lodge has to offer. Great Wolf Lodge outsideMaybe your hang up is that you don’t *love* waterparks, so you feel like there’s no good reason to go out of your way to stay at a waterpark for days at a time? If so, this post is for you.

17+ ways to bond with your kids at Great Wolf Lodge

1. Bond in the water, even if you don’t like water slides
I get it, some people don’t care for water slides. I had a little one who hated water slides and refused to go on any slides for years, and he still adored Great Wolf Lodge. Just know that water slides are really only a small part of the waterpark, and even if you opt to skip them, you can still get some really awesome bonding in the water. With Fort Mackenzie {a massive interactive water fort tree house}, Cub Paw Pool {a huge kiddie area}, Big Foot Pass {an obstacle course above and in the water}, Chinook Cove {a water “sport court”}, Slap Tail Pond {a huge wave pool}, Tadpole Pond {an outdoor splash pad}, South Hot Springs {an indoor/outdoor hot tub}, and plenty of water activities for everyone, Great Wolf Lodge really has water play for everyone in the family, even those who never want to go down a slide. Great Wolf Waterpark 2

2. Enjoy the sun activities together, even if the sun is not your friend
I swear I’m allergic to sun and heat. So, of course the favorite pastime of my kids would have to be playing in the water, right? It never fails that I end up getting torched in the sun or wilting in the heat, so instead of playing with them in the sun, I end up sitting in the shade missing out on everything. But, with Great Wolf Lodge being an indoor waterpark kept at 84 degrees, it is always comfortable, no matter what the weather. You will never get rained out, you never need sunscreen, and it just doesn’t matter a bit what the weather outside is doing once you step inside the majestic Great Wolf lobby. That means I can actually participate in their water activities, spend my time swimming, and end up having a great day with them, instead of watching them wistfully all day long. Great Wolf Waterpark

3. Nourish your inner foodie
With both sit-down and grab and go restaurants onsite as well as numerous different types of treats, you and your little foodie have numerous options for enjoying a great meal together. From the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, Hungry As A Wolf, Buckets Incredible Craveables, The Loose Moose Cottage, Grizzly Rob’s Bar and Bear Paw Sweets & Eats, there’s a restaurant for everyone, and for every part of the day. Great Wolf Lodge sign

4. Relax and recharge, together or separately
Great Wolf Lodge isn’t all about active play – they also have two spas right inside the Lodge where you can relax and get pampered. If you are traveling with kids under 12, you will love the Scooops® Kid Spa where your girl will be treated like a princess. We were celebrating a Golden Birthday during our stay, so we went for the special spa package for her. If you are traveling with adults or older kids, you will love the Elements™ Spa Salon that is a full-service spa featuring a variety of products in a relaxed adults-only atmosphere that can help you forget the crazy of the waterpark nicely. Great Wolf Scoops

4. Strengthen the sibling bond
My kids are super close, but when they are with their own friends and at school, they tend to just see each other in passing. Seeing them going up and down slides all day together, playing mermaids in the wave pool, and working together to solve the MagiQuest game was a little family bonding present for all of us. If you really want to go for some good family bonding, meet the cousins and enjoy a no-stress family gathering.  Great Wolf Lodge Siblings and cousins

5. Stress-free shopping with kids
If bringing your kiddos to the mall isn’t your idea of a good time, I think we can all sympathize. Thankfully, the shopping at Great Wolf Lodge is limited to smaller stores where no one can get lost in the clothing racks and everyone is always in your line of sight. Plus, the kids look forward to shopping Great Wolf Lodge and start planning what small souvenir or two they will purchase from each visit. It’s been our experience that these purchases quickly become beloved, and that makes them well worth the gift shop price. We especially love Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop, but this past trip we found great souvenirs from MagiQuest Marketplace to commemorate playing the game together. There’s also The Great Wolf Kids Store and Bear Essentials Swim Shop where you can find great gifts and practical items to make the most of your stay.  Great Wolf MagiQuest

6. Fight the dragon together
This was my kid’s first time being able to really play the MagiQuest game, and it turned out to be some of the best money we spent on our vacation. We all had so much fun figuring out clues together and running around the hotel to finish our quests. It was quite the celebration when we defeated the dragon together, and it was well worth the price of the wands and game {we only did the game on one wand, but the other wands were on trial mode so the younger kids could particpate still}. There’s still more levels in MagiQuest as well as ShadowQuest for us to master when we return again, so we will definitely be back to try them. If we get really good at mastering the games, we will graduate to Compass Quest as well. 6a0105362badb1970b01b8d2760ec2970c-800wi

7. Enjoy the magic of the Lodge
With kids activities in the lobby, daily story times, and The Great Clock Tower Show where the characters come to life to sing and tell stories, your kiddos will love all the magic that happens even outside of the waterpark. Throughout the day, you can even find Great Wolf Kids characters in various areas of the lodge. 6a0105362badb1970b01b8d2760eb1970c-800wi

8. Unplug together
Water and electronics don’t mix, right? Unplug and you can get that perfect family vacation without worrying about phones and tablets accidentally taking a swim. Declare the waterpark a no-phone zone, and you will actually see your teens or tweens for a bit… and you won’t be tempted by your own phone. It’s the best way to bond with your little ones and your older kids, and you’ll have so much fun that you really won’t miss your phone at all.Great Wolf cousins

9. Gamers unite
Love arcades? Well, then Great Wolf Lodge is for you. The Northern Lights Arcade is open later, so we usually do the waterpark and then shopping and MagiQuest until they close and then spend our late night in the arcade. The kids love playing games and collecting tickets that they can redeem for prizes, and they have scored some really cute souvenirs in the arcade. Great Wolf arcade

10. Golf together
I didn’t even realize Great Wolf Lodge had mini golf until this last visit when I noticed the Howl at the Moon Glow Golf. We haven’t had a chance to check it out, but we love a good family-friendly game of miniature golf, and I love that it’s indoors… and it’s rumored to have an illuminated fun twist!

11. Go mining for treasure
My kiddos love gemstones of all kinds and loved “mining for gems” at Oliver’s Mining Co. We bought one bag for them to mine and even though the kiddos shared it they each got to keep a ton of small gemstones. Great Wolf Oliver's Mining

12. Go to a Dance Party that’s fun for adults and kids
A really awesome dance party takes place in the lobby of Great Wolf Lodge on certain nights, and if you can catch it, I would highly recommend it. They played some oldies, some songs from my college years, and lots of current music that everyone could dance to, and it was such a blast for kids and adults of all ages.

13. Learn the ropes together
If you have a fearless kiddo, you will definitely want to check out Howlers Peak Ropes Course that is outside the Great Wolf Lodge. With the safety of a climbing harness you can ace their ropes course and experience some high level bonding… literally. Be sure and check ages and height restrictions before you promise your little one that you will take them on the course, and keep in mind that there is an additional charge for using the course. Great Wolf Howler's Peak Ropes

14. Get a really fun workout together
You will be surprised by how many flights of stairs you will climb up in just a short stay at Great Wolf – whether those stairs are in the waterpark, on the ropes course or simply while playing MagiQuest or exploring the lodge. It won’t feel like a gym workout, and you just might find yourself saying “just one more…” over and over again, but trust me, you will be exhausted by the end of the day. And, if time in the waterpark, the dance party, and the ropes course isn’t workout enough, the Iron Horse™ Fitness Room has treadmills, a recumbent bike, stretching mats and TVs for a more traditional workout.

15. Create a best friend together
Creation Station gives your little ones a chance to create and keep their very own Great Wolf Kids character to snuggle. After you create your plush, you can bring your child’s toy to life at the Creation Station and then set out on an exciting, interactive adventure that transforms the lodge into a giant playground with fun activities at every stop. Great Wolf Kids Store

16. Go on an adventure as a family
Great Forest Challenge is a family-friendly skill-building adventure game will have your pack working together to make your way through the magical waters, gather mystical acorns and tackle laser mazes. This is best for older kiddos, but you can also include younger kids if you play as a family. Great Wolf parents

17. Unwind and relax back in the room
The Lodge can be pretty exhausting, especially for really young pups, so I love that their suites are awesomely relaxing and right onsite. Traveling with little ones can feel really limiting at times, but I love that we can pop into our room at any time and recharge by taking a nap, getting in a little snuggle, or starting up a movie. 6a0105362badb1970b01b7c8ebb371970b-800wi

Bonus reason:
Look at this fun photobook we created after our Great Wolf Lodge stay! The Shutterfly card with the free book promo code was in the room and we utilized it this month to make a cute little book for the kids. It’s a great way to remember all the great family memories we made during our stay and all of the family bonding. 6a0105362badb1970b01b7c8ebb16d970b-800wi
Are you ready to book your stay? Visit GreatWolf.com today.

6 thoughts on “17+ ways to bond with your kids at Great Wolf Lodge”

  1. Beware hotel cancellation policy. I made reservations in November, but as time has gone on it has become clear that we cannot get away on the appointed weekend which is three weeks away. I called to cancel today, only to be told I would be charged half of my entire two night stay. I was also told that I could not rebook my weekend, despite the fact that I would have to forfeit approximately $500. Several unsettling calls later, I was able to receive an entire refund. But despite this, its taken away any desire to ever visit. I am including the cancellation policy I received, which is confusing at best. Each room in this reservation is subject to the hotel’s cancellation policy which is: This booking is subject to a fee of 1 night’s room and tax. Bookings cancelled after 02/12/2019, 02:00 PM (America/New York) are subject to a fee of 1 night’s room and tax. There is no refund for no-shows, early checkouts, or cancellations after 02/15/2019, 10:00 AM (America/New York).

    • Beth, wow, I’m glad you were able to get it figured out. You’re correct, that policy does make it rather vague, so I’m glad that it worked out for you and your family.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.