Great Wolf Lodge is an ideal place for a weekend getaway with friends. Sure, family trips can be great, but a trip with your friends can be equally fun. And Great Wolf Lodge is all about fun! Offering a wide variety of attractions for kids of every age, there is something for everyone. My girlfriend and I just spent a weekend with our daughters at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, and we had a great getaway in Virginia.
My recent girlfriend getaway didn’t start out to be “girls only.” Due to my husband’s crazy travel schedule for work. he was not able to come on our Great Wolf Trip. As opposed to a “mom and me” weekend with my daughter, I seized the opportunity to turn it into a girls weekend getaway.
My good friend and her daughters were available. Having never been to Great Wolf Lodge, they were really excited to come. Saturday morning we loaded up the car with three girls and two moms to head off on our trip. A road trip without the dads is great because you can stop for bathroom breaks and nobody is yelling, “We are behind schedule!” With five females in a car on a road trip, one bathroom stop just isn’t happening. Four hours after leaving the driveway, we pulled into the Great Wolf Lodge and started our girls only weekend.
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg
The Great Wolf Lodge Williamburg is in a prime location just off Interstate 64 in Virginia. Located only two hours from Washington DC, four hours from Philadelphia and Southern NJ and three hours from Central Maryland, this is a great location for a weekend away. Tucked away just off the main corridor in Williamsburg is a grand lodge. I love that it is nestled in the woods and has a real lodge feel.
We arrived at the Lodge around 1 p.m., three hours prior to check-in. When we entered the lodge we were greeted with fun Halloween decor all over the grand lobby, including a giant balloon spider hanging above. This is for the family friendly Howl-O-Ween events that are offered with your stay from October 1-31 at all lodges. Each lodge has different decor and it is all done by the in-house fun pack members.
After a speedy check-in, I was told our room was not ready but I would receive an email when it was. This is a great service feature as there is no need to wait in line again at front desk. If you arrive early you will get your wristbands so that you can access the water park. We didn’t have time to make it to the water park before our room was ready. Our wristband was also our room key which made it easy to grab our things from the car and head right to our room.
Great Wolf Lodge offers a variety of rooms from family suites up to large loft suites. We spent the weekend in a family suite, and were quite comfortable with plenty of space to spread out. The family suite sleeps up to six, offering two queen beds and a double sleep sofa. The suite was quite large and even had 10 foot ceilings, so it feels even bigger.
We were on the fourth floor with a private balcony. I would imagine only the fourth floor rooms have the high ceilings as that is the top floor of the lodge. Also in our suite was a table and chairs for dining, a microwave, coffee pot and mini fridge as well as a safe. There is plenty of room for storage between the closet and the drawers in the family suites. As a blended group, we never felt over crowded at all. Each mom had her own bed and the kids shared the sofa bed.
Traveling Mom Tip: To save money on food, bring juice boxes, cereal/milk, and snacks. You cannot take these outside items into the water park but you can enjoy them in other areas of the lodge as well as your room. At the end of the night the kids loved having a juice box and Doritos while they watched television.
The water park at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg is almost 80,000 gallons of fun! The water park is kept at a humid 84 degrees year round, making it ideal anytime. With a giant tipping bucket that flows from Fort McKenzie, a wave pool, kids splash area and five family friendly slides, you can easily only visit this and be happy with your time. We spent a good deal of time both days exploring the water park. My friend and I decided that we are too dang old to be climbing all those stairs to the top of the water slides, but we did it for the kids. Fortunately Grizzly Rob’s frozen libations took the sting off a bit. Also, tucked away in the corner of the water park is an adults only hot tub. We definitely took a break from the kids on two occasions while they wore themselves out on water slides.
Traveling Mom Tip: The water park is very crowded mid-day; take a break and go do another lodge activity. At night it is virtually empty.
Activities (for a fee)
I had no idea this lodge housed so many activities, in part because I had not been in such a long time. With everything from story time to bowling, there is no shortage of fun to be had during your stay. The girls ran us ragged for two days trying to fit everything in! With so many activities to choose from, I would suggest purchasing either a Paw Pass or a Wolf Pass. These are combo passes and good for many attractions and activities while at the Lodge. The Paw Pass is $79.99 and the retail value of everything included is over $130! That is a great savings.
- Magi Quest- this is a hit with every kid in the lodge. We saw kids including our own trying to beat dragons and find pixies from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. It is a really fun interactive game that is perfect for school age kids and up. The cost of the game is $14.99 during your stay and a wand is $17.99-$21.99. If you have the Paw Pass or Wolf Pass this is included, and certainly a great value.
- Ten Paw Alley Bowling
- Hollywood XD Theater
- Mini Golf
- Northern Lights Arcade
- Howlers Peak Ropes Course
- Scoops Salon: get an ice cream facial or manicure in this exclusive salon
There are a handful of fun activities included in your resort stay at Great Wolf Lodge. If you are traveling to the lodge with toddlers you can certainly steer clear of the extra activities if you are trying to watch your budget.
- Story time at the grand fireplace daily and in the evening
- Kids Cub Club, held in the lobby they can make free arts and crafts
- The Great Clock Tower show
- Howl-O-Ween: Grab your treat bag and collect ghostly goodies along the spooky Trick or Treat Trail each evening at 6 p.m. during the Costume Parade. Then join the staff for Spooktacular Story Time and the Monster Bash Dance Party
Traveling Mom Tip: Great Wolf participates in the Teal Pumpkin Project and does offer allergy friendly trick or treat options for kids.
The dining is somewhat limited but it is definitely suitable for a weekend. The general manager Brian told me that they would be adding a new “a-la-carte” option. I think that would really help. Great Wolf is also very allergy friendly. Check your activities guide for hours at each of these dining venues as they do change seasonally.
- Loose Moose Cottage: Open for a morning and evening buffet, they served a wide variety of items. The cottage also serves lunch but that is a menu consisting of salads, sandwiches and quick bites
- Dunkin Donuts for coffee and, well, donuts, of course! They have a great refill cup – if you purchase for $9.99 you get coffee your entire visit. That is only 3 coffees and it is paid for
- Buckets Incredible Craveables inside the water park offers quick bites such as chicken tenders, hot dogs and salads. You can also purchase a refillable sipper mug here and refill with any non-alcoholic beverage your entire stay including ICEE treats
- Hungry as a Wolf on Main Street offers pizza, pasta, subs and fresh made salads
- Bear Paws Sweets & Eats is where you can delight in the homemade fudge, or grab an Edy’s ice cream
Traveling Mom Tip: Great Wolf Lodge does not use or serve peanut or tree nut products, but some products may be manufactured in facilities that also process nuts. If you’d like to discuss your dietary needs before your stay, please email them, as they are very allergy friendly.
To say we had a fantastic girls weekend is an understatement. We played mini-golf, swam, filled up on buffet breakfasts and enjoyed late night ice cream. We even left the lodge for a bit to fit in some shopping at the nearby outlets. The Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg is the ideal girls weekend getaway. Check the website for seasonal specials, you never know what they may be offering.
Will you be visiting a Great Wolf Lodge in the near future?