wolf_lodgeI didn’t think I was a water person. I’d much rather sit on the beach than swim in the lake. Yet when my family and I stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Mich., things changed.

Suddenly my daughter and I were giggling as we climbed the 60+ stairs to “the big slide,” a water slide I thought she might be afraid of – and that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy – yet I found us both saying, “Again!” as we splashed into the pool of water at the bottom of the slide.

wolf_lodge1A Family Friendly Hotel

There were other surprises as well. The Great Wolf Lodge, which is known for its family friendliness, provided more than just a place to stay for a few nights. The lobby area features a big clock tower that come alive each evening with a show, followed by story time. Comfy couches and chairs are spread throughout the lobby, which also features a big fireplace to sit around.

The all-suite hotel has 280 guest rooms with themes including Wolf Den and a KidKamp suites. We stayed in the KidCabin, which has a log-cabin-themed sleeping area for the kids. The kids loved sleeping in their own space, and we loved that there was a second television in there, allowing for them to watch their shows without the sounds filling up the entire hotel room.

Waterpark Fun for All

But the highlight of our trip was the waterpark, which we visited twice during our stay. The 225,000 gallons of water swooshing through the indoor park provide several areas of play for kids of varying ages; our youngest enjoyed wading through the shallow areas and floating down the lazy river on my or my husband’s inner tube, while my daughter couldn’t get enough of the tube slides. And no one could complain about the warm, 84 degree temperature inside the waterpark – a marked change from the chilly spring weather.

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Disclosure: My family and I were provided complimentary accommodations at the hotel.

Teresa Shaw writes about family travels in and around Southeast Michigan. Follow her on Twitter at @Teresashaw or visit her website at teresajshaw.com