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.
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.