Great Wolf Lodge – Guide to Family Fun

Great Wolf Lodge is a waterpark resort that encompasses family fun! With tons of things to do aside from the huge waterpark, your family will want to stay forever!
Great Wolf Lodge Concord North Carolina
Since I was a kid, 25 years ago, I have been hearing about Great Wolf Lodge. My friends would come back to school from vacation breaks raving about the amazing indoor waterpark they visited, and how it was the best. As a child, I always dreamed of visiting Great Wolf Lodge, as it sounded like nowhere I had been. Flash forward 25 years, and now I have two of my own kids, who love traveling and visiting amazing places, indeed when a local supporter mentioned her family was going to Great Wolf Lodge, and it was merely a few hours away, I knew I had to bring my family ! today ‘s post is sponsored by Great Wolf Lodge, but all opinions are my own.

Getting to Great Wolf Lodge:

  • With over 17 locations in the United States and one location in Canada, there is definitely a Great Wolf Lodge not too far from you. The closest location to us, at the time (they have since opened a location in GA that I am dying to try out), was in North Carolina. Being that it’s only a 4 hour drive, we decided that was our best bet.
  • If you have a long drive, I suggest planning out your route with a few fun stops for the kids! You can make your road trip a fun learning experience by planning stops at historical sites, playgrounds, or unique places that may not be readily available in your area. 
    • Use Google Maps and Yelp to find fun places along your route!
  • Flying to Great Wolf Lodge? I do recommend you get a rental car when you arrive. Although there is a ton to do at the resort, and you could definitely stay there the duration of your trip, it’s fun to trek out and see the nearby cities. Our location was only a hop skip to Charlotte, which is a bigger city in North Carolina, and we definitely wanted to check that out as well. 

What Room Type Do I need at Great Wolf Lodge?

  • The great thing about the rooms at Great Wolf Lodge, is that there is a huge variety of options. From standard room to sprawling suites, there is a room for every need. We upgraded to a Themed KidKamp Suite, and it was perfect for 2 adults and 2 kids. It featured a bunk bed along with a twin bed that was in a separate ‘kamp’ cove, a queen size bed, and a pull out couch. You could definitely fit more people in this room as there was still an available pull out couch and twin bed, but we loved having the space for the kids blocked off. 
  • Each suite at Great Wolf Lodge comes standard with microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.

Great Wolf Lodge KidKamp Suite

  • They have rooms available for up to 8 people, and if you add more people (with a cot or sleeping bag) there is a small fee.

Great Wolf Lodge KidKamp Suite

What is included in our stay at Great Wolf Lodge?

  • Great wolf lodge offers a ton of amenities – some are included and some cost extra money. Here is what you get included in your stay:
    • Waterpark passes for all guests in your room.
      • 11+ thrilling water slides
      • 4 story water treehouse fort
      • 80 thousand sq. ft waterpark
      • 4 spray and splash pools
      • Gigantic tipping bucketGreat Wolf Lodge Waterpark Concord North Carolina
    • Unlimited wi-fi, which actually worked quite well at our suite.
    • 24/7 fitness center – just in case you don’t get enough pool time exercise in!
    • Kid’s activities:
      • Free story times (bring PJs/Slippers for evening story times!)
      • Lobby shows at the Great Clock Tower
      • PJ Party with Great Wolf ‘Kids’
      • Midday fun at lunchtime
      • Morning activities before the waterpark opens
      • Character appearances/photos

Great Wolf Lodge Story Times
Great Wolf Lodge Kid's Activities

What activities are NOT included at Great Wolf Lodge (that your kids will likely want to do):

  • MagiQuest** – an interactive game where you use your wand and solve puzzles/riddles. Eventually you will need to defeat a dragon.
  • Arcade** – tons of games for your kids to play!
  • Mini Golf** – take some time away from the pool and enjoy a few rounds of mini golf!
  • Creation Station** – select a fun ‘friend’ stuffed animal and have them brought to life right in front of you (like Build-A- Bear).
  • Kid’s Spa – Relax with some beauty treatment in the spa!
  • Ten Paw Alley – an indoor bowling alley to pass the time!
  • Outdoor Ropes Course – this wasn’t open when we visited (too cold), but would be fun to try something different in the warmer weather! You need close-toed shoes for this so make sure to pack those if you plan on experiencing this!

** Great Wolf Lodge offers different levels of ‘Passes ‘ which will include some or all of the activities noted ( see associate for more information ) .
Great Wolf Lodge Arcade

Other things NOT included:

  • Food! They have several dining options, but food is not included in your stay. They offer a fridge in each room where you can store items during your stay.
  • Birthday packages can be bought separately if you are celebrating a special day.
  • Late Check-out can be added for an additional fee. 

Best Tips for Great Wolf Lodge:

  • If you have kids who love doing interactive games, invest in MagiQuest. This was my 7 year old’s favorite part of Great Wolf Lodge (aside from the waterpark), and he asks all the time when he can play it again.
    • Invest in the paw pass! This is a GREAT deal that includes a ton of activities for kids: 
      • One MagiQuest or ShadowQuest game
      • Choice of Compass Quest game, classic / color wand, standard topper or Magi belt
      • One Creation Station animal (outfit not included)
      • One Clubhouse Crew Adventure
      • One 12 oz. candy cup
      • One pair of Great Wolf Lodge swim goggles
      • One Leather Treaty wristband
      • One round of Howl in One Mini Golf
      • One Northern Lights Arcade Paw Points game card ($5)
  • Stop the grocery store before you arrive at the lodge, or bring a cooler with some food. Some items we found helpful:
    • We brought easy to make breakfast foods so we didn’t have to spend money on dining out for every meal. Things like oatmeal (there is a small microwave you can use), cereal, cereal bars, muffins, protein shakes, and fruit are all great option.
    • Pack some snacks for throughout the day. 
    • Water bottles and other drinks for when you are in the room.
    • Popcorn! The kids loved hanging out eating popcorn and watching a movie or show before they crashed for the night. 
    • Wine! You and your significant will want to relax with a glass of wine after the long days at the waterpark! Great Wolf Lodge also offers a special package with wine and snacks for adults!
  • Leave your towels and life jackets at home! Great wolf Lodge offers various life jackets for kids and towel service.
  • Chairs and tables in the waterpark are offered at a first come first serve basis. They fill up FAST (especially if it’s a busy time/holiday time) – get to the waterpark when it opens to reserve a spot!
  • Your wristband is KEY! Literally, your wristband will open your room as well as act like a credit card so you don’t have to carry cash/credit cards around with you.
  • Take advantage or early waterpark access! Technically you can’t check in your room until 4pm (however I would ask if they have a room available when you arrive), but you can access the waterpark starting at 1pm on your day of arrival. There are locker rooms/changing rooms and showers available for use. 

I ca n’t wait to return to Great Wolf Lodge and my kids ask about it all the time ! It was the perfect weekend pickup for our family ! Have you been to Great Wolf hostel ? What placement ? Any tips or advice that I missed ?
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Great Wolf Lodge - Guide to family fun!