When you think of a winter getaway destination, water parks are not typically the places that come to mind. But Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park resort is the perfect getaway to experience a little summer fun in the middle of winter. So pack up your swimsuit and load the kids in the car, because Great Wolf Lodge – with 14 locations coast to coast – is the perfect spot to get your water park fix.
The holidays are over and now winter looms ahead for the next couple of months. Unless you are planning to jet off to somewhere tropical, waterparks and awesome swimming pools are not going to be on your vacation agenda for a long time. But if you’re itching for a place where your kids can go wild and you can relax and enjoy the water, Great Wolf Lodge is an awesome spot to consider for a weekend getaway.
Great Wolf Lodge has numerous locations, in Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Kansas, Massachusetts, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, and coming soon to Southern California. We visited the resort in Mason, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati.
Indoor Water Park
The central draw of the resort is an expansive 84-degree indoor water park, packed with thrilling water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and a fun splash area for young kids. My 11-year old and his 15-year old cousin especially loved the Hydro Plunge, which is a unique roller coaster water slide that takes your raft up a steep track and then sends you zipping down a 52-foot twisty curvy splashy drop.
In all, there are more than a dozen water park attractions, ranging from adrenaline-charged to totally relaxing. There is also an adults-only whirlpool for when you just need a little break from the kiddos.
One of the nicest parts of our time in the water park was just being able to relax in a lounge chair with a book, knowing that the kids were active and safe in an enclosed space. And no sunscreen required!
Fun Around Every Corner
When you’re ready to dry off, you’ll find attractions, entertainment and activities all under one roof.
Much like a cruise ship, Great Wolf Lodge is jam-packed with family-friendly fun, and you never have to leave the property to experience it. Kids can test their skills in a sprawling arcade or grab a wand and battle a dragon in MagiQuest®, Great Wolf Lodge’s live-action adventure game that’s like an interactive scavenger hunt. Our resort also had a bowling alley and indoor mini golf. Of course, these activities come with an additional price tag, but if you pick and choose what you want to do most, it is manageable and well worth it for the experience.
Free activities include the Great Clock Tower Show and Nightly Story Time in the Grand Lobby.
What we found really special and fun is that after dinnertime and the water park closes, all the kids come out to enjoy evening activities in their cozy winter pajamas. It was super cute to see everyone running around, playing games and watching the show in their PJs. It really fed the family atmosphere.
A fitness center and two spas round out the resort’s amenities.
I don’t have a daughter but if I did my first stop would be Scoops Kid Spa. Where else can you go for a mani, pedi and ice cream? Scoops Kid Spa is an ice cream-themed spa designed just for kids, with services that include manicures, pedicures, fizz soaks, and sherbet scrubs. Scoops Kids Spa guests get to wear a shimmering tiara – which is yours to keep – and plush pink robe, while sitting on top of an oversized banana split throne.
For a more grown-up experience, there is Elements Spa Salon, where parents can escape to enjoy more traditional services. Elements Spa Salon offers facials, waxing, manicures and more. And if older kids need a little pampering too, teen-friendly services are available.
Great Wolf Lodge offers numerous room options, all with a rustic Northwoods feel. Room sizes vary from traditional to suites, including some with bunkbeds and themed “kids cabins” right in the room. Unlimited free Wi-Fi is included with every stay.
All of the rooms at our Mason location featured a balcony and had a fridge, coffee maker and microwave for extra convenience. We stayed in a family suite, which was spacious and comfortable, even for five people. It had two queens and a pull-out sofa bed.
Options vary from location to location, but in general all of the Great Wolf Lodge resorts feature a full service restaurant and bar, a breakfast buffet, pizza place, and a snack bar in the water park. There was also a Starbucks in our resort, which is always appreciated by us moms on the go!
Great Winter Deal
Take advantage of a fantastic deal when you visit this winter! Great Wolf Lodge is offering 15% off rates and a $50 per night resort credit for stays January 3 through March 17. For more information on the Winter Escape package, visit www.greatwolf.com.