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A Review of the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park in Grand Mound, WA

Stephanie loves to travel. She has written numerous articles with tips, photographs, and information on places to visit.

Waterpark fun for the whole family!

Waterpark fun for the whole family!

Consider a Visit to the Great Wolf Lodge

Traveling with the family? Looking for a place to go that will be fun for all ages? Have you considered one of the best-known indoor water parks?

With 12 locations across North America, chances are you won't have to drive too far for a wonderful, inclusive vacation with fun for ages 1–101. The best thing about this indoor water park is that you don't have to worry about the weather. The lodges are open year round and are always around 84 degrees inside. From toddlers to teenagers, your children will love swimming and sliding at this park. Some people have even compared it to Disneyland!

We visited the Washington State location, just over an hour south of Seattle, for spring break in 2009. A lot may have changed since then, but our experience was unforgettable. My kids are begging me to go back again soon.

Fun in the wave pool.

Fun in the wave pool.

Locations Throughout North America

There are currently 12 Great Wolf Lodges in North America (mostly concentrated in the Midwest and East):

  • Grand Mound, Washington
  • Concord, North Carolina
  • Mason, Ohio
  • Grapevine, Texas
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Sandusky, Ohio
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
  • Niagara Falls, Canada
  • Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
  • Sheboygan, Wisconsin

*Check their website for new locations.

You'll find ample, free parking outside the lodge, and (I love this) free wifi inside!

At the Grand Mound Washington resort, the interior of the lodge includes a Starbucks, gift shop, Pizza Hut, sit-down restaurant, sweet shop, spa/workout facilities, children's spa, and an arcade. In addition, there are several snack and beverage locations in the water park area. Kiosks are set up for children to get temporary tattoos, and there are vendors that sell flip-flops, swimsuits, stuffed animals, and more!

They also have conference facilities. It would be a great location to schedule your next company retreat.

Buckets of fun.

Buckets of fun.

Pros and Cons of Staying at the Lodge

You cannot play in their water park unless you are spending the night there. In other words, you must lodge at the Great Wolf Lodge. Prices change depending on the number in your party, the dates you'd like to stay, the location of the park, and whether you want a really cool themed hotel room. When I went in 2009, prices ranged from about $250-$700 per night, but check their website for current prices.

Ask your travel agent, or call the lodge itself to find out if they are running any specials. You can also sign up online for the "Wolf Pack," and you'll get special offers emailed directly to you. Either way, you will definitely need to plan in advance before making reservations.

While the hotel rooms are not cheap, the upside is that you can start swimming and playing at 1:00 p.m. (3 hours before check-in) and can continue playing until the park closes at 8:00 p.m. (9 hours after check-out). There is no additional cost for any of the waterpark activities, from the wave pool to the numerous water slides. Swim to your heart's content!

Fun galore at the indoor waterpark.

Fun galore at the indoor waterpark.

Playing at the Water Park

Toddlers and their parents will be comfortable in a special area of the water park designed just for kids under age five. The water is shallow, and they have fun vehicles and water-spraying animals to play with. Children can play under numerous water fountains throughout the park. There’s even a huge bucket overhead that slowly fills with water and then tips over and dumps a waterfall on the kids below. It's a hoot!

Pool Safety

Life vests are provided, and there are lifeguards stationed throughout the water area. Of course, it is still crucial that parents keep a close eye on their children.

As with any swimming pool environment, running on the decks can be slippery and dangerous. Horseplay, dunking, etc. will not be tolerated, and you could be asked to leave the park. Also, there are height and weight restrictions for some of the water slides. Children may have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are not tall enough to ride by themselves. Be sure to check the signs and ask any questions you may have before you stand in line for the Howling Tornado!

Howling Tornado Waterpark Ride

Food and Drink Options in the Park

You won't go hungry during your day of water play, because there are a number of snack and lunch locations right inside the water park part of the lodge. Parents and other guests over 21 can even enjoy a cocktail or beer! While you may be tempted to save costs by bringing in your own food, that is not permitted in the pool area. However, we stocked up with groceries that ARE allowed in your hotel room. The mini refrigerator in our room was great to keep our snacks cold.

Other Games and Attractions

Around the interior of the hotel, you'll spot fun stuffed animal critters, from wolves to weasels. If you buy a Magi-Quest wand, your children can use the wand to animate the animals and hear them sing, talk, or laugh. In 2009, the cost of the wand was about $10, plus $15 to play the game. Prices may have changed.

My school-aged kids really enjoyed playing the Magi-Quest game. It's somewhat like Dungeons and Dragons and a scavenger hunt rolled into one. You use your wand to go on quests around the first four floors of the hotel. Fairies, crystals, and wizards help you along the way. Fortunately for other guests, the game is turned off at 10:00 p.m. and doesn't recommence until 9:00 a.m. We ran all over the place and up and down stairs so that my kids could earn their Magi-Quest certificate. Be forewarned—it took about five hours to complete and is so addicting that it managed to draw my children out of the pool several times.

The clock tower in the lodge is a kids' delight, reminiscent of other theme parks like Disneyland. You can watch an animated show around the tower or go on a "Wolf Walk" several times a day. On the "Wolf Walk" kids learn basic facts about wolves and their natural habitat. In the evening, children can meet at the clock tower for bedtime stories and free chocolate chip cookies.

Watching a show at the Clock Tower.

Watching a show at the Clock Tower.

Playing the Magi-Quest game.

Playing the Magi-Quest game.

I Highly Recommend This Great Family Vacation

All in all, I gave this family resort a big thumbs up. For $400, our four kids (plus two adults) enjoyed hours and hours of water park fun. We didn't visit the spa or workout facilities, but we did take a trip to both Starbucks and Pizza Hut. For the full price of the vacation, we added in another $100 for food and drinks at the lodge, plus another $50 or so in groceries. The Magi-Quest game was so much fun that our kids didn't beg for us to buy souvenirs.

In short, we enjoyed the trip on a relatively shoestring resort budget. If you want to splurge, however, there is plenty to see, do, taste, and drink while you're there.

We're confident our family will return again in the future, if not just to have a memorable trip for less than the overall cost of other theme parks.

Our four-hour drive home was a quiet one. The kids were asleep within half an hour, and we could smile at the memories made during their spring break.

© 2009 Stephanie Marshall

Comments

Afroditi Chaida on July 21, 2018:

Great article!

Gerry Glenn Jones from Somerville, Tennessee on June 16, 2018:

My youngest daughter had the opportunity to visit the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 2 years ago, and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed reading your article. It was very concise and informative.

Linda Khharjen on April 17, 2013:

Great Wolf Lodge-what a racket!! It is overpriced for a measly two nights stay. Apparently a place where coddled kids go. My kids have been begging me for a trip but I tell them no. They tell me all their classmates have been. Too pricey and if you want somewhere cheap and affordable but fun try Six Flags

Cierra on March 30, 2012:

I am having a blast here it is so muchfun!!!

austin shutler on March 05, 2012:

your lodge is the best

kaleigh on September 24, 2011:

The prices are insane!

Sumampow80 on October 12, 2010:

What a Great place, something for everyone. My family goes to the one in Travese City Michigan every winter. You can find all kinds of indoor water parks near you at http://www.funfix.com/Water-Parks

lola on August 13, 2010:

i love great wolf lodge. it is a place your child should see at least once! it should be a wonder of the world!

talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on May 30, 2010:

I gotta try Great Wolf Lodge someday - I hope that it correlates with my points as an RCI timeshare holder myself! I hope they build their smarm of a resort down in the Orlando area, alongside other water park resorts like CoCo Cay and Mindy O's Clarion Resort!

Adaja on May 30, 2010:

this water park is the best thing that has ever happened my husband trey songz and i she shared to much special memories that we have up to this day forward. It was awesome my family me that we should stay together forever we love each other but this waterpark made us come closer then ever!!!!!!!!!

George Poe from United Kingdom on April 20, 2010:

Good piece of writing.

Irilyne on March 15, 2010:

wow this seems like fun!i convinced my mom to go there for my birthday and we are going! yeeeaa i am so happy!!!!!!!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 19, 2009:

I think the children like visiting this place. thanks for share and great picture also.

glass railing on August 08, 2009:

Awesome... I've been to the indoor one at West Edmonton Mall which is great but these ones look far superior... I gotta get my sons to one of these... great Hub... thanks a lot

leslie on June 29, 2009:

code for saving $25. splashers

Bambigirl68 on May 24, 2009:

Does anyone know the promo code for saving $25 at checkin?

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 23, 2009:

Hi wordscribe! Yes, I was actually just talking to my next door neighbor last night who wants to go. We're thinking about getting a room together. For 2 adults and a total of 6 kids, that would drop the price per person to about $50! And you're right, going mid-week is cheaper than on the weekends and holidays. Let me know if you go,

Steph

wordscribe41 on May 22, 2009:

Hello fellow Oregonian. I've heard so much lately about the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. I guess their prices have dropped a bit lately. I hear it's affordable if you go during the week. What a great hub, I've been wondering what it's all about and what it actually looks like. Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 21, 2009:

Hi SweetiePie, the Great Wolf Lodge is perfect for families. I love that there are things to do for all ages.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on May 21, 2009:

This sounds like a good family vacation, which is something people will be looking forward to this summer.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 18, 2009:

Right - I know. The bigger the group, the more affordable it is. Wild Waves is a really fun park too (I grew up in Seattle).

sunstreeks from Western Washington on May 18, 2009:

I just wish it was cheaper for the room. If you have a group and spilt the room costs, it's not a bad deal. But for just 1 adult and child, its pretty expensive. We might do it anyways when I go back to work but for now, I think we will just be going to Wild Waves in Federal Way, WA.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 18, 2009:

Thank you Peggy! I did love that photo of her.

Sunstreeks, it is a really fun place! I actually know a group of women my age who are planning to go - without kids! :)

sunstreeks from Western Washington on May 18, 2009:

I've been wanting to go here. I've heard from family and friends also that this place is awesome.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 18, 2009:

Copied twice for some reason. I'll add this...your daughter is darling.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 18, 2009:

This certainly sounds like a wonderful and less expensive way for parents to entertain their children in a theme park. Sounds as though you all had a good time!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 18, 2009:

Hi Ann and Marie, I've been wondering if they will continue to expand and build more Great Wolf Lodges around the country - or even in Europe too. Thanks for the comments, Steph

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 18, 2009:

Hey Triplet Mom - with a larger family, you can get more bang for your buck, since you still just pay for the hotel room at the Lodge. I hope you guys go and you have a great time!

Ann Wright from Northern Nevada on May 18, 2009:

What fun! I wish lived nearer there so I could see (and get wet on account of) some of the splashing. Great pictures. Thanks!

Marie Dwivkidz from UK on May 18, 2009:

Looks like great fun - my kids would love it! Will have to make do with the paddling pool in the back garden for now though...

Triplet Mom from West Coast on May 18, 2009:

Wow Steph, I just heard about this place recently and was very interested in hearing about it. I am sure I will be checking it out real soon.