What do the best family vacation destinations have in common? Great food, places to explore, interactive activities, a swimming pool, and close together attractions are all at the top of our list. After you arrive at your vacation, it’s no fun to have to drive somewhere else just to do stuff. Great Wolf Lodge offers all the elements for a memorable family vacation plus seasonal Howl-O-Ween activities during the month of October!
This feature was sponsored by Great Wolf Lodge. All opinions are our own.
We enjoyed a fabulous couple of days during a weekend press trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. My kids had so much fun exploring the interactive MagiQuest live action game, playing in the water park pools, climbing up the play structures and sliding down the water slides. They also got to meet some of the Great Wolf Kids characters in person and we enjoyed some delicious meals at the lodge restaurants. Great Wolf Lodge has locations all over the US and offers a full schedule of activities so your family can enjoy a memorable weekend all in one place!
Second in popularity to the water park only, MagiQuest is an adventure scavenger hunt kids can embark on with wands. Everything about this game is magical and fairly accessible for a wide range of ages. To start their quest, kids chose their wand color and a dragon, crown or unicorn horn shaped wand topper that provides extra bonuses. Your wand comes with a quest booklet filled with clues and checklists to track your progress. Once you receive instructions from the quest tree, kids can travel all over the lodge looking for secret runes, treasure chests and hidden relics. Once discovered, kids can waive their wands and make ordinary looking objects and symbols light up or play sounds.
MagiQuest is also great exercise! To find the clues and complete their quests, kids have to explore the whole lodge for hidden runes and solve up to 6-8 hours of puzzles. The quest trees provide additional live action game details and character appearances within colorful videos. Once kids complete MagiQuest, they can go on to play ShadowQuest and Compass Quest, additional adventures that continue the fun! A great aspect of these games is that once you have the wands, your game progress is saved so you can bring your wands next time you visit Great Wolf Lodge and continue your quest!
Water Park & Slides
My kids also loved the water park play structures, wave pool and hot tub. The Great Wolf Lodge water park is the #1 family attraction and it’s easy to see why! Kids can climb up the big play structures and go down the many different water slides. Some of the slides have a height limit, but my 6-year-old daughter was able to try most of the slides. Two water slides spiral down from the top of the main play structure and several of the slides go outside the building before depositing riders back into the indoor pool.
The Bait Hut play area was perfect for my 2-year-old and 3-year-old to play in. It sprays water, has a short slide and it’s situated next to a splash pad complete with fountains and stationary jet skis which kids can sit on. My younger daughter had the most fun in this kids’ play area because she could enjoy many of the water play activities by herself.
The Great Wolf Lodge wave pool is another fun attraction with big waves that roll through the cove at regular time intervals. The lodge also provides a selection of life jackets kids can wear for safe water play. Many of the water play activities are labeled according to swimming ability and height. I like the wave pool because I can easily watch my kids and they can go into the water as far as they are comfortable with, while still feeling adventurous. The water park has plenty of lifeguards on duty to oversee all the fun.
The biggest play structure has a big bucket that continually fills up and dumps a cascade of water into a dump zone. Families can choose from a variety of water play activities and kids of all ages can easily find something fun to enjoy!
Fun Family Attractions
The best way to enjoy the wide range of attractions offered at Great Wolf Lodge is to purchase a Paw Pass. You can plan your stay, choose the order of activities and save money on a package rather than paying for each attraction separately. Water park passes are included with a room reservation.
After a few hours at the water park, you can take your kids to Oliver’s Mining Co. for an interactive mine tour through the mirror maze. The Moonstone Mine features a maze-like path of mirrors kids can explore, blow through blocked tunnels with dynamite and discover glowing moonstone.
After the mine tour, kids can dig through their own stash of paydirt to find hidden gems and crystals. My girls especially loved this activity because they love collecting rocks and discovering shiny treasures! Their bags of gritty paydirt contained rocks of all colors and sizes!
Families can also check out Moon Glow Golf and play mini golf alongside amazing glowing creatures in a world washed in beautiful colors.
My kids played a few games at Northern Lights Arcade, which always features the top arcade games in the country for families and kids and allows players to test their skills, earn tickets and win fun prizes.
My girls especially enjoyed customizing a Great Wolf Kids character at the Creation Station. They had so much fun selecting their character, choosing a coordinating outfit and watching the Wolf Pack staff member fill the plush pal up with stuffing! Once you make and activate your Great Wolf Kids character you can take it on an adventure throughout the lodge using the kid-friendly video screen kiosks.
A highlight to mention for parents is that the Great Wolf Lodge has treats everywhere! The Wolf Pack staff often hand out free cupcakes and fudge samples. Families can also stop by the lodge Candy Store to fill a cup with treats. My girls enjoyed browsing the colorful display of treats and picking out their own candies.
The Howlers Peak Ropes Course is another must-try activity for the whole family! Young kids can explore the kid-friendly lower course and parents can take their kids who are taller than 42 inches into the heights! All participants on the course must wear strap-on or closed toe shoes.
My 6-year-old daughter wasted no time learning how to navigate the suspension bridges and rope challenges. You are secured the entire time with a harness to a sturdy overhead beam, but it takes some getting used to in order to step out into midair onto the free-hanging bridges and suspended wooden pathways high above the ground. The course also has several zip-lines at various height levels. Once she mastered the lower levels, my adventurous daughter eagerly climbed higher and sent herself across the zip-line at the very top, 50 feet in the air!
Seasonal Howl-O-Ween Activities
The Great Wolf Lodge makes family visits extra fun with seasonal family festivities! During October kids can participate in the lodge’s Howl-O-Ween activities such as the Monster Bash Dance Party they host each night, trick or treating candy paths, and photo opps with the Great Wolf Lodge Kids characters! The whole lodge is decorated with seasonal accents, topped off with a huge balloon spider in the grand entryway. There’s so much to choose from that it’s hard to do all the activities in a single weekend.
Great Wolf Lodge Restaurants
While you’re visiting, you can choose to eat at several different Great Wolf Lodge restaurants. Wood Fired Grill is a great choice for any meal with a diverse menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For dinner one night, we enjoyed the Spinach & Artichoke dip and Chile Rubbed Wings which were mildly seasoned and great for the whole family. Our entree selections included salmon and ribs and the kids enjoyed mac & cheese.
Another night we tried The Loose Moose Cottage buffet which served a delicious assortment of pizza, pastas, salads, seafood, fruit and desserts. We’ve tried several family buffets in the past and Great Wolf Lodge serves one of the best, with great quality food that tastes as if it has been made to order.
Guest Rooms & Family Suites
Although we were hardly in our room at all during our stay, we had a comfy place to sleep. Another great thing about Great Wolf Lodge is that you can choose from 12 different room layouts for all family sizes. If you have a larger party, you can reserve rooms that are next to each other and all hang out in one of the room’s spacious living areas.
Our family suite had a large main room with 2 queen beds as well as a connected separate room with a king bed. Two different bathrooms allowed the kids to brush their teeth or use the restroom while someone else was showering. At the end of each floor’s hallway, some of the MagiQuest runes, treasure chests and interactive relics decorate the walls so kids can travel to each floor to complete their quests. However, the hallways are spacious and the rooms are decently soundproof so kids can have their fun without disturbing any nearby lodge guests.
Separate rooms make for comfortable family stays at Great Wolf Lodge, especially when younger kiddos need to nap!
Overall we had a lot of fun on the Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound press trip and we made some great memories. I really enjoyed interacting with the staff and learning more about the resort’s operations during the media-exclusive tour I attended. Each of the staff members strive to create a unique family staycation that kids and parents will enjoy! Great Wolf Lodge is a great destination for a family vacation, reunion or weekend getaway.
Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.