A family vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Washington can be a fantastic time but it can also be a little overwhelming the first time you go. The first time we went I was solo parenting and I learned five important tips for Great Wolf Lodge to make your vacation there even better!


Join the Mailing List

Sign up for the Great Wolf Lodge mailing list when you first start planning your trip BEFORE you book. I am constantly receiving emails about great deals from Great Wolf Lodge and they are opportunities to save money big time.

I purchased the Early Saver Deal which is a 60-day advance purchase and had major savings over the normal rack rates. My friend who also came during the same dates as our trip, booked last minute after receiving an email from Great Wolf Lodge, literally two days before arrival, and she paid less for a suite than I did for a themed room! 

Pack Healthy Snack Options

Make sure you pack a lot of healthy snack options to keep in your room. Stock up on fruits and veggies, pack more than you think you will need. The food options and restaurants are exactly what you would expect to see on a kid’s menu. I was hard-pressed to find vegetables to go along with the usual assortment of pizza and chicken fingers.

The food is also more expensive there so it will help keep costs down to supplement with your own food and having healthy alternatives will keep their tummies happier. I ran out of our healthy snacks so much quicker than I thought we would. Great Wolf Lodge in Washington is not close by any grocery stores so running out of supplies just wasn’t an option once we arrived.

Pack Inexpensive Bathing Suits

The amount of chlorine in the indoor water park is double what you would expect in a public swimming pool and is extremely hard on swimwear. Even after rinsing out our swimsuits each time, they were in rough shape by the time we left. So leave your favourite ones at home and opt for cheaper versions for your stay. And beware of the waterfall that happens every few minutes!

Arrive Early

Great Wolf Lodge gives you access to their indoor water park starting at 1pm so I suggest arriving no later than 12:30pm to make the most of your time. We arrived at 12pm and checked in and lucked out that our room was ready early. So we had plenty of time to park the car and unpack before we headed to the water park. We also checked in online and avoided the huge lineups at check-in. The location in Washington had a separate lineup for online check-ins so we just zipped up to the counter, got our keys, and away we went.

Go Outside

After being indoors for two days exploring the endless options available to guests, I started feeling a little cagey. So I took the kids outside to enjoy the sunshine and explore the Howler’s Peak Ropes Course. They have two course options, one for the adrenaline junkie and one for the little kids.

My then seven year old Holter loves scary rides and while he had fun doing the bigger course he did get a little scared. He would have been fine if I accompanied him up there but I was down below with my four year old Heath who quickly got bored of the little course and wanted to join his big brother! I highly recommend paying the additional $5 for a full day pass.

Additional Tips for Great Wolf Lodge:

  • Dress your children in matching clothing and swimwear. There are so many kids running around and it makes it so much easier to identify your own kids if they are wearing the same thing, especially in the water park.
  • Make it a point to go to Story Time at the end of the day. It was a great way for my boys to wind down after a full day of playing and endless stimulation. 
  • Reserve extra time for MagiQuest. Our boys LOVED this activity and were captivated for hours doing it. 

All in all our trip was wonderful and one that Holter and Heath still talk about regularly. It was tiring for me as the sole parent and I barely touched any of the wine I brought because I was too tired at the end of the day. But with the tips I shared above, will help make your experience a memorable one too. Writing this article is making me want to go back and do it all over again very soon!








30 thoughts on “5 Tips for Great Wolf Lodge with kids!

  1. Cindy says:

    This place looks like a lot of fun. They have a couple locations. Hopefully I can try one of them out at some point.

  2. Lori Nielsen says:

    I’ve always wondered if Great Wolf Lodge would be fun. It sounds great! Thanks for the tip about the bathing suit. I ruined my favorite one last year by the high chlorine content in a hotel pool.

  3. Hera says:

    Great tips! I heard this lodge is great for families. I like how well you prepare for your kids to eat healthy and pack their veggies. Why are kids meals so unhealthy? They look like they had a blast!

  4. Sara - Seek Discover Learn says:

    We have a Great Wolf Lodge about an hour from us up in Cincinnati and my kids have been begging to go there. Several of their friends have been there and loved it. I can see now why my kids are so excited about the possibility of going there one day. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  5. Leeanne says:

    Great tips. I heard about bringing your own snacks and even meals but I hadn’t heard about the chlorine which is really great to know ahead of time.

  6. Eva Keller says:

    Great tips! Swimsuits can be expensive and I’m sure everyone has a favorite, so good to know not to bring those ones.

  7. Stacey Billingsley says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to a Great Wolf Lodge, but I haven’t made it to one, yet. That’s a good tip about your swimwear. I’ll remember that.

  8. Ethel says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I’ve planned on staying at Great Wolf Lodge when we were in Niagara Falls, but the cost is steep for us family of five. I’ll keep these in mind.

  9. Shirley says:

    I believe there is a Great Wolf Lodge pretty close to me in North Carolina. Your article makes me want to plan a visit!

  10. Taci- Life Beyond Zebra says:

    I have seen these. There is one not too far from here, I never knew much about this but it looks like a great get away for the family. When my little is big enough I will take her for sure!

  11. Wendy Robinson says:

    We took our older kids to Great Wolf Lodge quite a bit when they were younger. We can’t wait to take our 2-year-old there later this year.

  12. Trisha says:

    We recently had a “cousin get together” at Great Wolf Lodge and the kids loved it! They keep asking when we can go back.

  13. Amanda says:

    I have wanted to take my girls to The Great Wolf Lodge for a while now. Looks like so much fun. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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