Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound with Kids
Great Wolf Lodge,  Water Parks, Pools & Amusement Parks

Families Travel! Great Wolf Lodge with Kids

Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound with Kids
Great Wolf Lodge with Kids

Located about 90 minutes north of Portland, Oregon and 90 minutes south of Seattle, Great Wolf Lodge (one of 12 in the Great Wolf chain) was created with families in mind, from 4,000-square-foot water pools to evening pajama storytimes.

Ryan Ellis of Vancouver, Washington, went with wife Marissa, and children (Sam, age 10, and Ben, age 7) to the waterpark resort in Grand Mound, Washington. Let’s find out what Ryan thought of Great Wolf – and what you should know before you go.

New Post: Great Wolf Lodge Day Passes: Are They a Good Deal?

Q: What did you like about Great Wolf Lodge with kids?

I liked that there was something for every age. Kids had the Cub Paw Pool, older kids liked the MagiQuest (live-action magic-themed treasure hunt) game, teens had their own game room (Northern Lights Arcade) and adults had a couple of bars. But everyone loved the water park and arcade.

Q: What did your kids like at Great Wolf?

The top three things they liked were the wave pool, the MagiQuest game and the water slides.

Q: Which ages would enjoy Great Wolf the most, though?

Kids over age 6. I saw a lot of really small kids, but they were pretty limited on the water features they could participate in. I think the minimum height for a lot of the features was 48 inches. (Lora’s Note: Yes, that’s correct)

Q: What is the Great Wolf food like? Passable? Pretty darn good?

We packed our own food. There is a fridge and microwave in every room and I am a cheap S.O.B. We went to Trader Joes before and bought a bunch of frozen burritos, bananas, carrots, salad and mixed nuts. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine.

Q: How much per night at Great Wolf Lodge? What’s included in the price?

We went from Sunday through Monday, the least expensive of the nights, and it was $190 per night for our Family Suite before taxes, for four people AND it included admission to the water park for all four people. Friday night or Saturday night sets you back much more for the same room. The MagiQuest game is extra, $17 for the wand and $10 to play the game, but the kids loved it.

Q: Is there anything a parent should do (or not do) to have a good time at Great Wolf?

Bring lots of snacks. Playing in water makes everyone hungry and thirsty, and resort prices are outrageous. It was nearly $7 for a hot dog and about $4 for a soda.

Q: Anything during the experience that surprised you at Great Wolf Lodge?

That you can’t make it a day trip to the water park. You have to stay at the hotel to get in, and the suites have a base price for four people — same price for family of two as a family of four.

Q: Would you go back to Great Wolf with kids?

Yes, we are already planning on going back with a friend and her son probably in the winter. The smiles on the faces of the boys defined the fun we had. (This Hallmark moment brought to you by sappy fathers anonymous).

As we were packing to go home, the kids were plotting on a way to live there.

Thank you so much, Ryan! Have you stayed at Great Wolf? What did you think? Leave a comment below.

Read another trip report on Great Wolf Lodge with kids, from the site.

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.


  • Kathy Rodrick

    The Cafe has fabulous food…at reasonable prices…I ate there every night while my mom fed the kids the food we packed in. Also, do the text thing…I got a free $10 sundae (which is more than plenty for four or five people…it’s HUGE) every time I bought a meal, so my mom brought the kids in when they were done eating…the service was great and no one minded a bit! They also have decently priced kids meals…and really fun things like the kid appetizer platter with ants on a log, peanut butter bananas and yogurt! They loved it!

    When you text the special code you get offers to use while you are there…they don’t come all at once, so do it as soon as you get there! You get things like 50% off on a wand topper, 10% ( I think) in the store…that sort of thing. They send about seven texts and then stop (all offers you can use while you are there). Well worth it!

    We actually live in Olympia so it is only a twenty minute drive…so we go down sometimes just for dinner, a sundae and to play a round of MagiQuest! On that note…they are starting a whole new Compass Quest very soon…so more things to do if you have already done all the quests. We love Great Wolf Lodge.

  • Korene

    Just returned from our 2nd visit. I would highly recommend this place! Even with a 4 yr old and 7 yr old. Its a great place perfect for a family weekend out and totally worth a 4-5 hr trip to get there (from Victoria, BC). Our 4 yr old was way more independent this year than last although we still stayed nearby. The kids really enjoyed all the pools but were too young/small for the slides (it wasn’t any skin off their backs).

    We thought the food was medocre and too expensive (for what you get), so this time we took breafast/snack food with us and went into the McMinnimins in old town Centralia. Also don’t forget there are some outlet malls near by.