Great Wolf Lodge Washington – A howwwwling GOOD time!
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They say it is the journey, not the destination.
Well for these two Mom’s and 3 excited kids, it was ALL about the destination. We had prepped the kids about what there was to see and do at Great Wolf Lodge, they had had friends who had recently told them that it was such a great place and I have to say, they were very excited! And so were we. This had been on our “bucket” list to visit and blog about, and share all our ins and outs, for some time.
The journey from the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia to Great Wolf Lodge’s Grand Mound, Washington location, was to say the least, a long one, or at least quite a bit longer than we expected for a 300 kilometer (200 miles) mostly highway driving, road-trip. Let me be the first to tell you, prepare yourself for the traffic you will always hit, in Everett, Seattle and Tacoma. Wow! 6 hours later, a half hour stop for dinner at the golden arches, and a Fred Myer trip for the Mom’s for necessities, we had arrived. It was long, but worth the drive. It is literally straight down the I-5, southbound. The kids were troopers. Aged, 3, 4 and 5 they napped a bit, played and were generally well behaved the entire time! If you are looking for a new road trip activity you can check out our posts on a DIY Puzzle or What to Pack activities and even Snack ideas to pack
Upon arrival, my first spy was the luggage carts. Well played GWL. This is a lifesaver, as we tend to pack lots, especially for road trips when space is not as much of a premium. Parking was plenty, although busy, and we parked at the end of the lot.
When we arrived through the doors, the instant feel of a lodge made it feel very comfortable and homey. It was buzzing with kids, and there was a lot to take in. It is best described as “Las Vegas for Toddlers to Tweens” as there is stimulation coming at you from all angles.
The Wolf Den Suite
We were promptly checked in, complimentary wolf ears in hand, and headed up to our Wolf Den Suite. DID YOU KNOW? That your wristband for the adults IS YOUR ROOM KEY! Brilliant!
Great Wolf Lodge is Las Vegas, for Toddlers to Tweens! – Lindsay
The room was WELL appointed and spacious. I loved the bunk beds, the kids thought it was a fantastic hideaway, and bonus points for their own TV in the bunk area. I was impressed with the large sized fridge, larger than a mini bar size in most hotel rooms. The large counter overtop allowed us to set up our snacks and drinks for the next 2 days.
Our room was equipped with a shower/tub combo, 1 bunk bed an 1 single bed in the kids “den”, one queen bed and a sofa pullout in the living area. We especially loved that the suite had a balcony to enjoy coffee or just sit and take in some fresh air during our time in our room (the balcony rooms are limited, so ask about them when you check in!). The room was big enough for 3 kids and two Moms to spread out comfortably. The table in the corner allowed for ease of eating breakfast and lunch in our room. The fireplace was a nice touch, which I could see making the room very cozy on fall and winter evenings.
We stayed on the 2nd floor which was great for us, as the pool and some of the other activites were located on the same level at the end of the hall. It made for an easy and quick walk back to the room.
At first I thought the pool area closing at 9pm seemed a bit early. I was wrong after the first day. The kids are done, the staff is done, parents are done. It feels good to have the break and move onto some other activities. The arcade was a HIT with us. Set your limit, the kids get excited and want more tokens. Think Vegas…you can definitely take a hit to the wallet in here! We all had fun collecting our tickets and trading in for prizes.
Your Waterpark Bracelet is also your Room Key! Brilliant!
Wow – one really needs to study up on this if you have little ones who are not reading yet! I loved the fact the kids could pick out their own wands (these do come at a charge), and the kids loved heading out in search of the next clue and reward. While we did not finish the quest (despite the kids protests that we had not fought the dragon yet) they had a great time running up and down the halls and staircases looking for their next artifact.
This game is best for children that are reading on their own, unless you want to be taking your preschoolers and kindergarteners throughout the hotel. Our kids had fun while they played it, but were a bit too impatient to let each child have a turn lighting up each crystal, which often meant we had to go back and try them again to ensure all three wands had found each item. I would say it is best for ages 6+
My 5 year old daughter, LOVED the dance party. Great, music, bubbles, and some fun vibes. That took place in the main lobby. Make sure you get a guide on WHAT is happening when you check in and take advantage of all of the free activities happening at the resort.
There are so many activites at Great Wolf Lodge, try not to feel pressured to take them all in on your first visit. From Creation Station where children can stuff their own character, to mini golf to an outdoor ropes course, there is almost TOO MUCH to do on your first weekend trip. You can find a list of activities available at the Grand Mound location here.
Money Saving Tip:
if you plan on taking part in these additional activites, consider buying a PAW Pass, a PUP Pass, or a Wolf Pass which will save you around 30% compared to buying the activities separately!
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Where did we eat?
We packed in the majority of our food, yes, I brought in a cooler! We were however, kindly presented complimentary breakfast and dinner buffet vouchers to the Loose Moose Cottage. The cost of the breakfast and the dinner was very reasonable, in my opinion, with tons of choice. Everything and anything you can imagine at a typical American buffet, with lots of healthy options as well. The food was hot, fresh, and the service staff was very attentive. And the morning mimosa was also very generous! (well worth the $6.00 extra). Be warned that drinks are not included with the buffet and must be purchased separately.
There were also other dining options, the Lodge Wood Fired Grille, Pizza from Hungry as a Wolf, snacks in the pool area at Buckets Incredible Craveables, Starbucks and Grizzly Rob’s Bar. You can read more about them on Great Wolf Lodge’s website.
I think the pool area could have used a few more chairs and tables. These were limited and went fast. The outside spray park was a nice change of pace and a great place to enjoy the sun and some fresh air.
Again, seating was limited out there, I think there were about 5 loungers.
The facility is well presented for littles to adults. We enjoyed heading out to the splash pad outside to get some fresh air. I was very impressed with the attention of the lifeguards. They were very attentive, and I could literally see them watching from the corner of their eye, not missing a beat. Top notch points there. There were plenty of lifejackets to go around if you don’t bring yours.
We were very fortunate to be welcomed so warmly on this trip. The wolf pups in the room upon our arrival for each child was well received and they absolutely adored them. We are very grateful for the kind gestures given to us by Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound, and this truly was a wonderful time. We were made to feel very welcome, and will definitely be back! There is a lot to take in, and I am sure we only did half of it!
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We hope your visit will be as memorable as ours! Did we miss any tips? Or do you have any questions about Great Wolf Lodge, let us know in the comments!
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