Friday, 1 May 2015

Great Wolf Lodge- The Perfect Getaway for Families!

Last weekend we headed to Great Wolf Lodge for the first time in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We always heard good things about this place from our friends, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.
It was a perfect drive for us, it only took us about 2 1/2 hours. The weather was nice, and we didn't hit any traffic on the way there or coming home. Last year, my parents purchased the Sylvania Dual Screen Portable DVD Players from Canadian Tire for my son's birthday, so we installed those which made our drive that much easier. We put on a movie for the kids and we were on our way! 
Once we arrived, we went straight to the front desk to check in. We were given a welcome package that included wrist bands for the park and room, a map of the hotel and stickers for the kids. The wrist bands acted as a key to our room which was pretty neat. You also had the option to charge items to your room using the wrist band as well. This is what we did, so we didn't need to carry any credit cards or cash in the waterpark. They also have automatic check out too, so we didn't have to waste time at the front desk and we could enjoy the waterpark as much as possible.  
Love the atmosphere and décor of the hotel. Very rustic. The massive fireplace was probably my favourite which was located in the front lobby. I loved the beautiful stone that surrounded it that went from floor to the ceiling, and all the candles on the mantel. They also had animals above the mantel that moved which I thought was pretty cool.
 TIP: You are allowed to use the waterpark starting at 1:00pm the day of your arrival, so if you can, try and get there a bit earlier to check in to avoid the rush.

 Also located in the lobby is The Forest Friends Show. It's super cute and both my kids loved it. They have a moose, a bear and a tree that talks and sing songs. To make them come to life, the kids place their hands on spots that have hand prints and they start to talk and sing!


We loved our room!! It was called the Majestic Bear Suite. It was one of their premium suites that had a Master bedroom with a king bed with 37" Flat Screen TV, 2 queen beds, and a seating area that had a couch that turned into another bed with another 37" Flat Screen TV. It also had a huge breakfast bar area that had a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, a sink. I loved beautiful private balcony too that you could access from both the Master bedroom and the seating area.  
I totally recommended this suite if you are traveling with children.  If you have young kids like myself, you can put the playpen in the master bedroom like we did, and we slept in the main room with my son in the queen beds. Or, if you have older kids, you can take the master bedroom for some privacy and have the kids sleep on the queen beds.

 The waterpark was amazing!! It was a perfect size- not too big and not too small. It was divided into sections. They have a kiddie area with 4 kiddie slides, a huge wave pool, a lazy river, 5 water slides, a multi-story splash-loaded interactive treehouse and 2 other interactive pool areas called the Frog Pond and the Otter Lake. They also have Whirlpool Hot Spas, an adults only outdoor hot tub and an outdoor pool that opens after Victoria Day.
When you enter the waterpark, all children need their height checked to determine which water slides they are allowed on. They will then get a coloured wrist band so the staff know which ones they have been approved to go on.
They have lockers that you can rent if you need to store any valuables or clothing. They also provide you will towels as well, so you don't need to bring them.
They have 2 fast food restaurants in the waterpark that serve things like hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, sandwiches, snacks etc.
TIP: They don't really advertise this, but you can bring a small float ring for your baby that is permitted in the kiddie section where the kiddie slides are. If you need it blown up, they do that for you as well, free of charge!!   

 For your convenience in the waterpark, they have a first aid station/ lost and found centre, a swim wear store that sells bathing suits, cover ups, little swimmers (stuff that you might have forgotten to bring) and a bathing suit dryer station. Yes, you read that correctly, a bathing suit dryer station. I have never seen something like this before, so I was super excited to try it. It dried our bathing suits in seconds. I loved it!!

If you want a break from the water park or for some after dinner fun, they have an arcade, mini 5 pin bowling for kids, kids spa, a Great Wolf stuffing station, a cub club that has games and activities and mini golf.
They also have this fun game called MagiQuest which is a fantasy-themed scavenger hunt that takes you on a journey throughout the resort. We didn't have time do this since we only stayed one night, but it looks pretty cool.  You need to buy a wand that is located in the gift shop. Then, you can customize your adventure by using special wand toppers to help give you hints or let you fast-forward through adventures. We'll try it next time for sure. You can play from 30 minutes to 3 hours. What's great is that you don't have to play all at once, you can stop and start at a later time. The wand can also be used during your next stay and is also a great souvenir.
Another thing you can buy is the "Paw Pass" which included a bunch of things at a discounted rate. (MagiQuest game, 1 animal at the stuffing station, 2 games of bowling, 2 activities at Cub Club, game card for the arcade and much, much more) We didn't buy one this time around since we were only there for 1 night, but we heard it was a great value and will buy one next time for sure.
They had many great restaurants to choose from during your stay. You can also buy a food plan if you wish which does work out to be a pretty good deal.  


At 8pm, they have story time located in the lobby. It's super cute and fun! All the kids get their pj's on and sit down for  The Forest Friends Show followed by a couple of bedtime stories. My son loved it!

I totally recommend Great Wolf Lodge for a family getaway. They have rooms for all budgets, tons of actives and fun things to do for kids of all ages.  We will definitely be going back! 

 If you're interested in booking a getaway at Great Wolf Lodge I would highly recommend going on their website HERE and signing up for their emails. Every so often they will send you exclusive discount codes that you can use to book your next stay.

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