For a resort-styled vacation that suits the distinctive taste of the younger family members, the Great Wolf Lodge offers a flood of activities like an indoor water park and a giant tree house.
Winter is upon us, the kids are getting antsy, and my husband is traveling for business. What better way to kill some time then to get away at an indoor water-park/resort themed for kids? So we headed over to the Great Wolf Lodge in PA (about a 3 hours drive from SECT) to spend a couple of days playing and relaxing, NOT doing dishes, chores and missing Daddy.
The first day we arrived, we took advantage of the 1PM water park availability (on the day of your arrival, check in is at 4, but you can use the water park starting at 1). The staff member who originally tried to check us in was rather rude, but did give us park passes. Once the next staff member helped us out checking in, we were much happier.
The first day, the waterpark was warm and not too crowded. We visited during the week to avoid lots of other people. I am nervous enough with my kids at a water park, I don’t need crowds of people there as well. The resort provides life jackets if you choose to use them, so we strapped them on and headed into the kiddie area. Shallow water, spray toys, 5 different slides and basketball hoops were just some of the activities in that area and the kids had a great time discovering it all. It was great for my 1 & 3 year old. There was also a pool we enjoyed swimming in together. Besides those things, the park offers a wave pool (with graduating depth so you can let little ones play at the edge), a lazy river, upper pathways full of fun water games, the bucket dumping area and several other slides for older children and adults. There is an adult only hot tub, an all ages hot pool, AND 2 places that serve alcohol. One also sells food.
The second day in the water park the temperatures seemed a little off. Neither the water nor the air was as warm as the day before so although we visited, our time was mostly spent swimming in the all ages hot pool. The last day however it was back to being warm and comfortable throughout the room. It had snowed the day before, so maybe that affected the temperature? Either way, if you visit plan to be in and out of there several times a day so bring extra bathing suits so you won’t have to put on a wet one – they provide towels. Besides the water park, the resort offers several other entertainment options for kids.
Our favorite activity was MagiQuest, which is actually way above a 3 year old’s head, but basically, you buy a wand (toppers with special powers are also available for kids who get the game) and then you proceed to the floors of the hotel where they have set up in the halls/lounges all of these interactive components of a video game. You get a “quest” then run around the floors using your wand to complete the quest. That includes opening treasure chests, making pictures light up, sparkling gems and interactive videos. Even though my kids really weren't sure what was happening, making things do stuff with a wand was pretty magical to them. We spent a LOT of time playing this game.
Another option we enjoyed was the story explorers. Similar to magiquest, you go around finding video players that will read you a story, but you also help make the story progress by following in the right order. At the end of it all, you get the book with YOU in the pictures. That gem above is my favorite picture from our book. This is better for smaller kids because you basically run around watching little videos. It can get frustrating though because if you don’t go to the right one, they just tell you not yet and you have to keep trying.
Our only complaint with these fun interactive games were that some of the pieces weren’t working right. We had to get our wand recharged, which was fine, but some of them still just didn’t work. Since we weren’t out to win or complete anything though the girls just took it in stride and moved on.
To save money we purchased one of the combo passes which includes a list of activities – the story explorer game, a build a bear type animal, game credits (like tokens), wolf ears, etc. There are different options, so you could get each kid the pass that suits them and not have to spend money the rest of the trip. You could also authorize the room key bracelets to be used for spending as well.
We went bowling – the alley is set up for little kids with no special shoes, short lanes and small balls – made a stuffed raccoon, colored a pillow case, got everyone animal ears, and during nap the older kid even got to go glow-bowling. There was always something to do and even being there for 2 nights we didn’t see it all.
There are fun little animal features all over, lots of photo ops and places to grab food. Starbucks, Pizza hut, an ice cream shop (we opted to use the cool robot froyo machine) and a sit down restaurant. I would recommend bringing what you can – the rooms all have microwaves and small refrigerators – to save yourself money. We chose to eat only one meal at the restaurant, a dinner buffet. We were really pleased with the service and the food. Considering the kids both ate free (3 and under) it was very well priced for what we got.
In the evenings (and once during the day) the large animatronic clock tower comes to life to sing a song. Following the 8PM show is a story time where a staff member reads a book and a wolf comes out to greet kids and take pictures. Other than this time, the wolves are only out at 5PM so if you want to see them keep that in mind! The kids loved the story time and watched the clock show twice during our short visit. Everyone was mesmerized.
We really enjoyed our stay at the PA Great Wolf Lodge. My kids won’t stop talking about it. Luckily for us, Great Wolf is opening a lodge much closer to home in Massachusets, so next time we go the travel time will be even shorter. If you are looking for a short getaway with your kids, where you won’t have to drive or think up much yourself, consider Great Wolf Lodge and make sure you look for coupon codes and specials!
My wife and I took our 3 kids (ages 5,5,9) to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos in April 2013. When we arrived, the lobby was crowded with people checking in and out. My first impression that I was in for a noisy and crowded experience. I couldn't have been more wrong! There were so many activities offered througout the property, that I never felt crowded with other people. The waterpark is the main attraction at Great Wolf Lodge. It was very clean, well maintained, and large enough that the water rides did not have long lines. My only complaint was that the tables and chairs are taken very quickly in the waterpark. There are water activities for all ages, from infants to adults. My 5 year old sons enjoyed the wave pool and small water slides, while me and my daughter loved the larger "water coasters"! As I mentioned before, there are so many activities offered at GWL. By far the most popular activity was "MagiQuest", an intereactive game located throuhout the property. This will keep your kids busy for hours (and good exercise climbing up and down the stairs!). There is also a bowling alley, mini golf, spa, arcade, and many other things. Everything comes at a price though. It is not inexpensive, but I guess that is the price you pay for quality! The rooms were exceptional - clean and in good condition. I was also pleasantly surprised that the halls were not noisy at night. GWL has a curfew too that kids cannot roam the halls unsupervised after a certain time. Overall, my family had an amazing time at GWL and we look forward to going back again
Our family loves a night away at a Great Wolf Lodge- the rooms are themed like bear caves and are clean- and huge... and they always make me think that they are something that Disney imagineers would be proud of! But of course, best of all- we love the indoor water park. For a family that has grown weary of the cold winter weather- a visit to the Great Wolf Lodge feels like a true get-away to somewhere warm and tropical!
We have visited two other GWL locations (Williamsburg, VA and Sandusky, OH) but our favorite by far is this one in Scoturn, PA. And there is one main reason- this is the only one that has a water coaster! It's like a water slide and a roller coaster combined. You begin on a sled that goes down a small water slide, and then your sled is picked up by a kind of conveyor belt and whisked UP a hill, where you reach the top, and head down a water slide again! And again. And again! It is the funnest- and coolest thing ever!
Of course after 5 or 6 times when you are bored with that, there is the lazy river, the wave pool, the big bucket that dumps water on the kids below... and several other fun slides and activities for the whole family.
One of the other things that I love about GWL- is how safety-conscious they are. Think about it- I am a Mom taking 6 kids between the ages of 6-11 to a waterpark- I can't keep my eye on all of them at all times! The lifeguards there don't ever sit down- they are constantly walking back and forth and checking ever square inch of the pool and pool deck for kids in trouble. There are life vests located on racks throughout the park, so if your confident little swimmer decides he wants to try something a bit daring (for him or her) you can pop on a life-vest at any time.
The food throughout the lodge is a bit over-priced- so we brought in our own bagels and donuts for breakfast. There is a small fridge in the room for your own drinks and snacks- and you might want to take out a pizza from a nearby shop vs. eating dinner at the hotel. After all- you are there to play in the waterpark- not for the "fine dining"!
We love this Great Wolf Lodge and try to head there at least once a year!
There are several extra activities at Great Wolf Lodge, but we didn't have time for them. My kids went to the water park, and that's where they stayed. They loved the lazy river, the wave pool, the water slides, the challenge to get across the lily pads & logs, not to mention the splash areas and the "hot springs". My oldest was quiet enamored with the wave pool, and my youngest was all over the place. My husband and I, enjoyed the hot springs, especially the adult one that runs a bit warmer than the family one.
A bit of warning though... the bathrooms are freezing!
My oldest loved to watch the huge bucket dump water out on people, and we'd stop and watch when we heard the warning sound. We stepped under it once, before the end of our trip. He'd finally gotten his nerve up for it. There are plenty of places on site to spend money. I'd recommend bringing water shoes or flipflops along if you think there's a chance of you needing them. The flooring in some areas is a bit on the rough side, but we managed without. Do not bring towels, they provide them from you! There is, of course, first aid available.... I can verify that since we used it for an elbow scrape.
This trip was pricey, though we got a group discount for going with other families, during the week, and during the school year. The kids had a blast, and I would go again sometime.
My kids are 20 months and 12 years old. We booked a one night stay in May. We decided to visit as a birthday celebration for my son's 12th birthday. We invited 2 of his closest friends. My son had the best birthday ever. We arrived around 4pm (check-in time) even though you are allowed into the park at 1pm on the day in check-in. The kids could not get enough of the park. The cost is expensive but worth it. We included a lunch in the park package. The food was descent. We brought dinner and breakfast from home to save money. We left around dinner time on the 2nd day and the kids did not want to leave. My son talks about going back next year for his birthday. This is a great place for families and worked for us with kids with a big age gap.
my kids got a trip to great wolf for Christmas. After a year of swimming lessons, we figured they could enjoy the water. I had never been to a water park either and am not the greatest swimmer. We went midweek. They tell you to check in at 4 but you can come early and use the waterpark. The next day checkout is at 12 but you can stay until 9pm. We checked in at 1 and our room was available. I read trip advisor and was concerned about the chlorine smell so I brought inhalers and the neb machine but no one had any problems. We had a fireplace in our room and a fridge and microwave. I brought cereal, snacks, drinks. We did go out 1 time to friendlys and found out all appetizers are half price after 8pm. a pick 3 plate of chicken tenders, fries and quesadillas was 5 dollars and fed 2. we took an extra swimsuit so we would always have a dry one. I took flip flops and watershoes and swimsuit coverups. I didn't hear any noisy kids running in the hall but we stayed on the bottom floor. We had an awesome time. the park had life vests for the kids that they wanted to wear and they could swim completely independent in the pool. they went on several slides-hubby at the bottom to catch them I came down behind them. They went on all the big slides except for 2 because they were about an inch too short. If you sign up for the email list you will get coupons also. this was a great trip and we will probably go back in the near future. they also have birthday parties but it is an hour away from us.
Just came back from Great Wolf Lodge over the Thanksgiving break with my kids ages 10, 8 and 4. They love Great Wolf. Plenty for them to do and they even like the whole "lodge" feel of the place. The room is very nice and has plenty of room (we had a family suite with fireplace, which slept up to 6 people). It can be rather expensive (i wish they'd let you just pay to go to the waterpark!), but it's still fun.
One of the things we took advantage of this time was their group rate. We had gone one time as part of a school group, and then this time we got neighbors and friends together for the trip. We saved a lot, as we had 12 families and went thru group reservations. Worked out well over the Thanksgiving break as a lot of us had off anyway and it was a fun and more affordable way to enjoy the place. Call for specifics.
Your kids will love this place!
If you are looking for a place to take the kids, this is a good one. The staff are helpful and courteous, a huge plus in my book when you're traveling with kids. They will bend over backwards to help. This is one of those rare places where you never have to leave the hotel to have fun. A full water park complete with kiddie area, young children’s slides, adult slides, wave pool, hot tub, fun tree-house full of sprays and splashes, etc. (check out the website) that kept our kids (5 and 8, respectively) occupied from morning to night. It was a blast for all of us. When we got tired of being wet, the arcade, with all the lights and noise, was a fun respite. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were available both as buffet and menu options in one of two themed restaurants. The hotel hallways even double as a game site for a specialized role-playing game that all the kids (3 and up with help) can enjoy called MagiQuest. You can even get a few hours to yourself for a little extra cash. The Cub Club offers fun activities and on-site babysitting at certain times. Although expensive by hotel standards, when you factor in the cost of visiting a water park, the included admission makes it reasonable.
We visited this location over Christmas, and it was an extra special event. Aside from being located in the Poconos and having a fantastic view from every room, this place had a few amenities that the other (Williamsburg) location didn’t have. First of all, I have to mention the wristbands and keyless entry. Upon arrival, instead of a keycard, you receive a wristband that you will wear for the duration of your stay that not only provides entry to your room but holds your credit card information. With this little marvel, you do not have to carry cash, credit cards or key cards into the waterpark, restaurants, shops etc. The wristband can be used to charge anything to your room, beware of over-spending. The spa was beautiful, and we enjoyed some of their services. The massage was a profound experience that I highly recommend. The kids’ spa, Scoops, was so adorable. With ice-cream scented foot baths and polish, my girls really enjoyed their pampering pedicures, as well as an included ice cream sundae afterwards. Three times each day in the great hall, snow fell from the sky and the kids were treated to caroling from the animatronic characters. At bedtime, kids and parents alike are encouraged to wear their pajamas to the show and enjoy a story. For an extra fee, cookies and cocoa could be had. Finally, my salvation came in the form of a Starbucks located near the admissions desk where I spent quite a bit of money buying my daily dosage of caffeine each morning. Despite a slight billing snafu, the staff was courteous, professional and oh so helpful, making this a wonderful holiday for our family.
The Great Wolf Lodge chain of family indoor waterpark resorts opened its latest lodge in Scotrun in fall 2005. There are 300 suites available for overnight stays, with a variety of themed bedrooms for children. There are many activities to keep familiesbusy, but the centerpiece is its 78,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, kept at 84 degrees year-round, with ten waterslides for all different ages and speeds. Climb the 12-level tree house, with sixty geysers and water effects, and the 1,000-gallon tipping bucket that will douse you every fifteen minutes.