Considering we’ve been back from our little overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge for a week now, I figured I better get to writing up our little recap before I start forgetting everything!
First, I’ll start out with the obligatory note saying that this stay was NOT sponsored/comped, whatever you’d like to call it. We booked and paid for the trip ourselves, and found (what I assumed to be?) a pretty good deal on Zulily a while back. I feel like Great Wolf Lodge is quite often popping up on Groupon, too, so keep your eyes peeled!
We actually have two different locations that are somewhat similar in distance to where we’re located (2.5-3 hours away) but we wound up choosing the Great Wolf Lodge New England location, which is located in Fitchburg, MA. It was an easy ride, and while we assumed Alex would nap on the ride over, we were thrilled to see that Lucas took our advice and also closed his eyes for a bit on the trip out.
Gotta get energized for the fun to come!
We arrived around 2:30-3pm, and after a bit of a wait in the check-in line (it gets most crowded between 1-5pm, so avoid those times if you can!), I was excited to hear that our room was ready a little earlier than the standard check in time of 4pm.
So after a quick change into our suits, we made our way down to the water park!
Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot even begin to tell you how much the boys absolutely LOVED the water parks. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to take many pictures while you’re in and enjoying the water, so I’m limited in that department. But I can tell you that I absolutely have Lucas’s ear-to-ear smiles and Alex’s squeals and giggles ingrained nicely in my memory (you may have caught some of them on my Instagram Stories while we were there!), and I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever seen Lucas SO excited. It was just amazing.
I did a lot of reading up before we went, because I was concerned that there wouldn’t be that much for our boys to do since they’re a bit on the younger side. I would definitely say that, should we go back in a few years (which I anticipate being VERY likely), it will only become an even better experience for them. That said, there was still plenty for them to do.
We spent probably 2 hours in the water park on the day we arrived before heading back to the room to get changed, grab a bite to eat, and explore a little more around the resort.
There are a few different dining options located in the resort, but we decided the best option for us for dinner was to hit up the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, since they have a buffet option and I knew the boys were hungry.
We had no wait for a table, so we sat right down, and the boys were able to quickly get some food from the buffet (the adult buffet and children’s buffet are the same, just a difference in price, and there are some more “kid-friendly” foods available, like mac & cheese, mini pizzas, chicken nuggets, etc.).
Thanks to playing so hard in the water, the boys ate super well, and Jay and I also thoroughly enjoyed the burgers we ordered from their regular menu.
After dinner, it was time to explore and play some games! The resort is very large, made up of 3 separate (but connecting) buildings, with one being Howlin’ Timbers Play Park. This building is actually where our room was located, and we had no issues with it except for the fact that ours was located right outside an air hockey table which was a little loud. But hey, not much you can do about that!
The Howlin’ Timbers Play Park had all sorts of things for the boys to do, with their favorites probably being the bowling alley, mini golf, and the various little rides.
There are additional costs for the bowling, golf, and rides, and there were other activities that kids can do too, such as a rock climbing wall, a mining station, a ropes course, and even a scavenger hunt activity which we saw many kids doing during our stay.
We opted to skip the scavenger hunt (aka MagiQuest) just because our guys were a little young for it (Lucas may have gotten it, but we didn’t think it was worth it yet), and they were happy enough just to be riding around on these money suckers.
But hey, it’s not everyday your kid gets to ride a “CHOO CHOO!” so it was worth it. ; )
Before calling it a night, we walked down to Bear Paw Sweets & Eats and snagged some ice cream so we could get all sugared up before bed.
I won’t say it was our best night of sleep, but I didn’t have very high expectations going into it as it was, so it was all good. Alex slept quite well in his pack-n-play, but Lucas just wanted to party. Can’t blame the kid…lots of excitement!
The next morning, I walked down to the main lobby area where they have a Dunkin’ Donuts (YESSSS) and grabbed some coffees and breakfast for everyone. I will say, having that located right in the resort was amazing.
After breakfast, the countdown ensued to when we could start heading back down to the water park (it doesn’t open until 9am, so we had a bit of wait…should we go back again, I’ll make sure we have some other things to keep them entertained before everything opens again the next morning!). Thanks to some anxious kiddos, we were the first ones through the door once it opened, and the boys got right to playing.
I made the decision when we booked to also add on an extended checkout, so we didn’t have to be out of our room until 2pm (as opposed to the standard 11am). I would say that the extra charge was totally worth it for us, but maybe wouldn’t be such a big deal if you’ve got older kiddos (because you know how it is with the young ones…you pack EVERYTHING!). You still have access to all of the facilities for the full day of your stay (even after checkout), but it’s just nice to be able to back to a room sometimes.
So we stayed in the water for another couple of hours, went back to get changed and packed up, then went down to hit up the arcade for some fun games.
While in the arcade, we also ordered a pizza from Hungry as a Wolf to have for lunch before heading back home. The pizza was nothing spectacular, but it worked for us (I also think I’d make sure to pack more food for if/whenever we go back, because the food definitely adds up quick).
Originally, my thought was that we’d use the extended checkout so Alex could nap in the room before leaving, but everyone was definitely pretty wiped/tired/overtired by the time we were done with lunch, so we wound up leaving around 1pm to make the trip back home.
And, as you can see, it did not take long for a certain someone to fall asleep on the way. All that water (and fun!) is quite exhausting. ; )
Overall, we really did love our experience at Great Wolf Lodge, and seeing how much the boys loved it, I absolutely think we’ll be back again!