Our Research TravelingMom and her family traveled to Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio. She shares the things that she learned along the way and how she would do things differently on her next visit with her family!
My family and I were finally able to take a trip to Great Wolf Lodge. The nearest Great Wolf Lodge is two hours up the road from us in Cincinnati, Ohio, right next door to Kings Island. In fact, there is a walking path that connects the two attractions!
We love to take trips to Cincinnati, because it is far enough from home to make it feel like we are truly getting away from the hustle and bustle of life.
I took a half day off work and we got on the road after grabbing some lunch around 2 p.m. I was hoping to leave closer to 12:30 or 1 but…kids. When we arrived my kids were squealing with delight as we pulled up and they saw the giant wolf statues outside of the hotel.
The upside to arriving at 4 was that our room was ready for us to check into when we got there. However, if you have a room reserved you can arrive as early as 1 p.m. and use the locker rooms in the water park to change and get to all the fun.
We had a room with bunk beds for the kids. The bunk beds were in a separate area made to look like a wolf cub’s den, complete with a TV! Our original plan was to change and head right to the waterpark, but my kids were so excited about the room it took a good 30 minutes to convince them the room would be there after we enjoyed the water.
The waterpark area had so many great options for our family. We have a 4 and 6 year old so I wasn’t sure of all of the things the boys could do. They could do almost all of the waterslides (with a parent of course) and everything else was, for the most part, up to us based on their swimming abilities. There was a smaller part for younger kids with slides that were a lot of fun even for me, and the boys could ride those on their own! The thing that I liked about the waterpark the most was that they provide very high quality life vests, if wanted/needed. We stayed in the waterpark area until we all decided that we were hungry and needed some dinner.
We ended up at the restaurant at Great Wolf called Lodge Wood Fire Grill. I had a burger that was pretty awesome, my husband had a barbecue chicken salad and the boys settled on macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders. We ended dinner just in time to head out to the lobby for story time.
I had heard so much about story time and was very excited about the experience. The boys weren’t really impressed with the animatronic show at the very beginning, so we got up to go somewhere else before it really began. We walked back through later and there was a story being read by actual staff members and it looked like a really cute time. My tip here is to get to the story time part just a little later and skip the animated part, but stay for the true story time!
From story time we headed to the arcade. The arcade had something that I have a slight obsession with – skee ball – but I digress. We spent $10 per child to load the cards that are used to pay for the games. It allowed them to play plenty of games and by the time the money ran out the boys were ready for some ice cream. My husband and I totally pushed the kids out of the way so that we could play a game to ‘help them get more tickets.” We might have had more fun in the arcade than our kids!
Our kids were really worn out by the time we headed back to the room! As a side note, Kings Island sets off their fireworks at 10 p.m. so we hurried outside and watched them from our balcony.
Great Wolf asks that there be a hibernation period from 11 p.m. – 6 a.m. each day, which is a really good theory. However, kids are excited to be there so there was quite a lot of running above us and in the hallway well after 11. The good news is that my kids are deep sleepers and didn’t wake up. If you have light sleepers you might request to be on a higher floor; the 4th floor doesn’t have anyone above you.
The next day we got up early and headed upstairs for the breakfast buffet, which we were surprised to find out opened at 8 a.m. It wasn’t a huge deal, we just used the time to explore a little bit more. The rooms do have microwaves and mini fridges so you can plan accordingly.
The waterpark opens for the day at 10, and check out is 11 a.m., but you can stay and play until the waterpark closes assuming that you are out of your room!
Have you been before? Do you have plans to go soon?