Living just outside of Charlotte, NC has it perks. Three hours from both the beach and the mountains. Big city opportunities with small town daily life. Movie theaters, bowling alley’s, parks, & pools galore! Basically, anything we need is right at our fingertips. Including a fun family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge!
We were invited to a Media Day of Play last week and we took full advantage of such an amazing opportunity! We arrived at the lodge at 9:00am and stayed almost until they closed the water park for the day! Lucky for you all, I’ve got some great tips for planning your own family adventure!
GET THERE EARLY ON YOUR ARRIVAL DAY
Even though check in for your room isn’t until 4pm, you can get there starting at 1pm and use the water park! They have lots of lockers available to rent and great bathrooms including changing rooms and showers to make it easy. Since we didn’t spend the night, we utilized the changing rooms and lockers and were able to spend our whole day hands free! Once you check in to your room, your wristband will also get you in and out of your room so you don’t need to carry anything with you.. which is a game changer when spending the day at a water park with kids!
GIVE YOURSELF ONE DAY JUST FOR DRY ACTIVITIES
I would highly recommend staying for at least two nights if you’re going to want to do the dry activities Great Wolf Lodge has to offer. These activities include :
- MagiQuest & ShadowQuest (a fun interactive mystery scavenger hunt style game perfect for older kiddos in your pack!)
- Bowling (everything is kid sized!)
- Mini golf (the course is a great size and you can make what you want out of it.)
- Arcade (my kids could have spent all day here!)
- Howlers Peak Ropes Course (This course is IMPRESSIVE!)
- …. & so much more!
MagiQuest in itself could take several hours to complete all games. Described as a video game that comes to life where you are the star player, adults and kids can really get into this game! You buy a wand and each come up with your own magical name before you’re taken down themed hallways and up several floors to complete each quest. The good news is, while the wand and game is a separate cost from your stay, and onto the wand so you can use it again for any future visits!
We only had time to complete one of the many quests available. I would definitely recommend this for older kids too. While playing the game, we noticed many kids fully immersing themselves into the experience and this could also be a great relaxing opportunity for mom and dad to sit back at the restaurant while the kids went off on their adventure! Landyn loved it and I think he would have really enjoyed to take his time doing it. Lavery wasn’t as into it as Landyn, but she was still super interested in the whole process. Lakelyn is three, so she didn’t even quite understand how it all worked and just tagged along for the ride!
SPRING FOR THE EXTRAS
While you can most defiantly go and just enjoy the resort, free activities (like story time, kids yoga, & more!) and the water park of course; I’m a firm believer if I’m doing something with my kids and I’m taking the time to pack and prepare for a trip, I want to do it big. There’s so much to do here, I don’t think our family could have done it all in one overnight, but if you snag yourself one of the Vacation Packages Passes, you can try out most of everything at your own leisure!
BOOK A THEMED SUITE
These rooms are the real deal you guys! Like, we’re talking the holy grail of hotel rooms. We got to tour a few different options and the kids themed suites are AMAZING! Every kid will seriously love it. The space in these rooms is off the charts too! Pack your own snacks to have in the room or order room service. (You wanna hear a secret? The Concord, NC location has a Dunkin’ Donuts on site that DELIVERS TO YOUR ROOM!) So grab Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning, then order in a bottle of wine for your room at night after the kids go to bed! Because, yes friends… they offer that too!
THE WATER PARK IS LIKE A GIANT PLAYGROUND FOR TODDLERS TO ADULTS
There is for real, something for everyone. There’s a separate little kids area gated off perfect for littles! I loved being able to take Lakelyn in there and I could just sit on the side and chat with other parents while she ran around and did her thing. The water was super shallow and she could have her pick of mini slides and other obstacles while the big kids and daddy ran off to the water slides! Summer is their busiest season, but honestly? My kids never waited in crazy long lines. They loved being able to do several slides at a time then just come check in with us in between stops.
Great Wolf Lodge also takes their safety incredibly seriously (as any establishment like this should,) but I loved earring the General Manager of our location beam with pride on their process for hiring lifeguards and training them. You can really tell she values all of her employees and the process they go through to provide the safest and best service to its customers. It helps ease this mama heart of mine and feel even better about giving my business and support to them.
We snuck out to the outdoor pool to check it out. While this mom would prefer to lounge in the sunshine, the kids didn’t want to put on sunscreen and would rather have been inside with all the slides. There are even a lot of activities not involving water slides if that’s not your thing too. My kids loved to race on the lily pads and relax in the wave pool too!
Take full advantage of the restaurants on site too! They have a great pizza spot to feed the little bellies without spending a fortune. But, they also have a great buffet-style restaurant and sit down options too. Everything tastes amazing and the variety is great – there’s something for everyone on every budget! We were served an amazing spread of some phenomenal food including filet, salmon, delicious salad, & more! They rotate out different features each month too. This month was a create your own strawberry shortcake that I’ve been craving ever since we left!
Overall? Our family has been talking about this trip since we left and we can’t wait to go back! Every one of our kids has raved about the experience (us adults included too!) On top of all of that, we got in a great workout! Our Apple Watch’s tracked we walked 11 miles that day – – 11 MILES! Needless to say, everyone was exhausted and fulfilled!
If you have any questions – ask away! And if you’ve ever been to Great Wolf Lodge, would love for you to share your experience in the comments!