Last week we took the boys on a mini vacation. We stayed at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg and had a fantastic time. We only stayed one night but I'm sure we will return because you just can't squeeze everything there is to do into one day. Great Wolf Lodge is a chain of hotels with locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. It's probably best known for its indoor water parks. There is something special about being able to wear your swimsuit and fly down a water slide or float in a wave pool in the middle of winter.
When we arrived we were warmly greeted at check in by a very friendly employee. She gave us a flyer with the days activities listed and explained how the wristbands worked. Instead of the standard room card key Great Wolf utilizes a wrist band. There is an electronic chip that opens your room, resort doors from the outside, and can also be linked to your credit card to make purchases.
We grabbed our bags and hurried to our room to change into our swimsuits. Our room was spacious and clean. We were in a family suite that included two queen beds and a sleeper sofa. You can also request a pack n play if you are traveling with a baby. It's free of charge but we co-sleep so we didn't utilize one. There was also a mini fridge and microwave in our room which came in handy.
The waterpark is of course the main attraction and it doesn't disappoint. We spent a lot of time with the boys splashing in the Cub Paw pool, climbing Fort Mckenzie and sliding down the dual slides, and swimming in Beaver Tail Pond with the distinctive howl every 10mins to let you know the waves are starting. My husband and I even took turns watching the boys so we could try out the "big kid" slides. Everything about the waterpark is outstanding. It's very clean, warm, and most importantly safe. Great Wolf Lodge excels in the safety department. I was very impressed with the lifeguards in particular. I have never been to a waterpark or swimming pool that had more attentive lifeguards. They take their job very seriously. We even witnessed a couple training drills first hand. The lifeguard supervisors utilize Timmy the rescue dummy, a child sized dummy, to keep the lifeguards alert. I watched as a supervisor snuck over to the wave pool and tossed Timmy the dummy into the pool. Another supervisor with a stop watch started the clock and by the time I could count to three a lifeguard was blowing his whistle and rescuing Timmy. This kind of preparedness and professionalism is invaluable.
After spending a few hours at the waterpark we returned to our room to shower and change for dinner. There are many dining options in the resort but we had a recommendation for a great BBQ place from a friend who lives in Williamsburg. We drove about a mile down the road to Pierce's and enjoyed some delicious Bbq. We came back to the resort in time for storytime in the lobby. There is a cute show at the clock tower in the lobby followed by storytime with Oliver the wolf. Our four year old and one year old both really enjoyed the show and learning how to howl like a wolf. After the storytime and photo op with Oliver the raccon we walked downstairs to check out the Northern Lights Arcade. Baby Kai fell asleep in his stroller so I can't tell you his reaction but Brody was super excited. He kept yelling, "this place is awesome!" It really is a very impressive arcade. The games look brand new and I have never seen so many gigantic games and supersized claw machines anywhere else. The tokens or paw points because they are loaded onto a card to use on the machines are a bit pricey but there are several packages to choose from and for $10 our four year old was able to play several games and walk out feeling like a king with pockets full of candy. After a very full day we walked back to our room exhausted and happy.
We got up the next day and packed up our things. Check out is 11am but one of the wonderful things about Great Wolf is that you are welcome to use the waterpark until closing the day of check out. We locked our suitcases in the car and packed a small bag with a change of clothes to bring to the waterpark. We stopped by the Cub Club before heading to the waterpark. We didn't spend a ton of time there but it was nice. It's well stocked with toys, art projects, and plays movies. It would be a great alternative to water play if you have little ones who aren't fish. Ours love the water so we soaked up a couple more hours of fun in the waterpark. When it was time to leave we utilized the showers and changing rooms in the park. Overall we had a fantastic little getaway as a family. It offered something for everyone. Our one year old had as much fun as our four year old. I also saw families with older children and teens all having a blast. There is so much to do and see at Great Wolf Lodge that we will definitely be returning.
If you go....
-check out Great Wolf Lodge's FB page, and Groupon for great deals
- visit http://www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg/waterpark For an interactive tour and more information on everything.
-pack your swimsuit & flip flops but leave the beach towels at home. Towels are provided free of charge. -bring a plastic bag to carry home wet swimsuits.
-don't forget your camera and enjoy your time at Great Wolf Lodge!
*I received a discount on our stay at Great Wolf Lodge in return for a review. All of the opinions expressed here are my own based on my experiences at the resort.