Great Wolf Lodge Review

We had the opportunity to spend two days at Great Wolf Lodge New England last week and we had a great time.  Never having been to any Great Wolf Lodge before, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I had read a few blogs about other families' experiences and we spent a day or two pouring over the website but I still felt like we walked in with little to no idea of what we'd find.

I knew it would be expensive but we had gift certificates and since it was the only family vacation we were going to be taking this year we decided to just enjoy it.  And we did!

While check- in is not until 4 you can arrive as early as 1 p.m. on the day of check- in and enjoy the water park.  Being there in the middle of September we had no problem checking in as soon as we arrived.  There were only about a dozen cars in the entire driveway and it was nice to be able to go right up to our room, drop everything off and change.

We walked around a little bit but headed to the water park pretty quickly. At Great Wolf New England there are two water parks across a short hallway from one another.  We headed into the side with the wave pool.
We were the only family in the wave pool and we had fun playing then we tried out two of the family water slides.  There were no lines anywhere and so we could ride them over and over and over again until we were dizzy and we had had enough.  It was fun and the water is kept pretty warm as is the whole building.  I still get a bit chilly but I'm one of those people that's always cold.

After a few hours we decided to walk over to the other water park room and we spent some time in the lazy river.

We, again, were the only ones in the river so we just kept going around and around until the boys were ready to try their hand at crossing the floating bridge.  This was a huge hit with my boys and they all spent a lot of time over the course of the 27 hours we were there trying to get across the bridge.  I tried too and while most of the kids make it look pretty easy I did not think it was easy at all!

The boys and I tried out all three water slides in this room as well.  There was one body slide and two tube rides that did allow single or double riders.  Again with no lines and no waiting we could ride as many times as we chose to climb the stairs.  We finished off our evening in the hot tub and Alec met up with another homeschooling family.  Come to find out they live pretty darn close to us!

We dried off and headed off property for dinner mostly because we saw a nearby restaurant we wanted to eat at.  There are plenty of places to eat on site too.  Once back at the lodge the boys were begging to check out the Howler's Peaks Rope Course.  It seems like our week to try our hand at new aerial obstacle courses and the boys really enjoyed this one.  They enjoyed it so much that Alec, Evan and I started our day with another go round the next morning!

After a wonderful night's sleep we spent a lot of time hanging around our room.  The boys watched TV enjoyed a lazy breakfast in the room and when we just couldn't wait any longer we decided to head out.  Unfortunately, my boys are such extreme early risers that nothing was open yet.  None of the attractions open up until 9 a.m.

We spent a half hour walking around the outside of the building checking out the grounds and waiting for everything else to open up.

Ian started his day with some arcade fun and the younger two boys asked to buy some wands and try their hand at MagiQuest.  Not a cheap way to start off the morning but I had told each boy they could choose one thing to participate in and since we still had money left on our gift card it was a great treat for the boys.  

Alec ended up spending 80% of his day playing MagiQuest; determined to finish every and all challenges (he would have to if the last interactive element of his last quest had not broken down).  We broke up the questing with some time in the water parks and really by 4:00 we were ready to leave having done everything that interested us.

We agreed that it was a great getaway, but for us one night was more than enough.

Overall it was lots of fun.  A little expensive, but fun.

However, looking around I was thinking that in another year or two there really wouldn't be much for my oldest son to do.  The resort is definitely geared more towards families and younger kids at that.

  • There are wonderful splash areas at both water parks with kiddie slides
  • All sorts of shops for buying toys, dress up clothes, animals that you can stuff yourself, etc. 
  • They have nightly bedtime stories in the lobby with animatronic animals and a costumed character with all the younger kids gather round in their pajamas and slippers to listen to the story.  
  • Each afternoon they have an activity or two going on in the lobby; the day we arrived they were painting faces and singing karaoke. On the day we left they had balloon swords for pretend fighting and a few workers dressed up in costume interacting with the kids.  
  • There is also a girl's spa with nail packages and treatments meant just for little girls.
My kids wanted nothing to do with the story or the people in the lobby; again saying that was for younger kids.

To give you some idea of cost:
  • Rooms start at $210 a night and go up to $430; prices include water park passes for each guest staying in the room from check in day to check out and also  includes unlimited turns on the rope course.
  • MagiQuest-- Wands start at $18 a piece and then you have to pay to play the game (it cost us around $70 for my two kids to participate with their own games and their own wands!).  You can save the wands and just pay to play the game on future trips.
  •  Lunch at Buckets-- the on-sight counter/tray meal at the water park cost us $65 for 2 hot dogs, 2 cheeseburgers, 2 orders of chicken fingers, french fries, chips and 5 drinks.  Not awful for "park/ resort" prices.
  •  Miniature golf course (which we did not do) was $6 person per game.
  •  You can not get to the water park without going past all the shops and through the arcade just to warn you.
  • *updated Feb 11th-- The ropes course is no longer included with a night's stay.  There is now a $6 bracelet to participate. 

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  1. Wow! My kids have wanted to go for a long time because they have heard about it from friends. However, that is very expensive. My friend just told me about a smaller place attached to a resort (you don't have to stay in the resort) that sounds more my speed. I am glad you got to go. Thanks for the review.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. You're welcome! Yeah, we were so grateful for our gift certificates but without them I don't think we would have gone and unless we get some more somehow I don't know that we'll be back.

  2. That's so funny! We just saw this place on Undercover Boss last night! Looks super fun!

    1. It was! We actually went back last week. A fellow homeschooling mom set it up as a field trip and we all got a discount on our rooms. We did plan ahead and bring all our own food though.

  3. September is such a great time to vacation with little to no crowds! Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from

    1. We love vacationing in the off season; it's so wonderful to not have to fight the crowds.

  4. It seems like a lot of fun. I like that they have a spa area for little girls. I'm sure my daughter would love that. Thanks for sharing at #fridayfrivolity! Xx

    1. I bet most girls would love that little spa area; I found myself wishing I had a daughter just to try it out.

  5. Wow, that really is too expensive!! Thanks for the review, there is a Great Wolf Lodge in NC, and now I don't have to visit it. I don't have small kids, so not going to be on the list of things to do.

    1. Yeah, it is pretty pricey! We've gone a few times with groups and gotten a group discount and we have brought our own food to keep the costs down but it's sill a pretty expensive outing for what you get.

  6. Sounds like such a fun time! I think there is a Great Wolf Lodge a couple hours from here. I should really look into it while my kids are still at the age to enjoy it. Thanks for all the tips and thanks for linking up to the May Take Me Away Link Party!

    1. My kids do love it; we've been at least a handful of times.


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