By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders
No matter if it’s for a day trip or staying overnight, Great Wolf Lodge is a favorite destination for my daughter. There is always something fun going on there. From the many attractions to amazing food, it’s not only a good place for kids but parents love it too!
Since it’s only about an hour away from the Triad, Great Wolf Lodge makes for a perfect day trip destination. If you are like me and want to prepare for your day trip in advance, here are a few tips we’ve picked up on our journeys there.
For those that have flexibility in their schedule, choose a week day during the school year to visit, as it’s slightly less crowded. My daughter started homeschooling this year, and we went on a Monday and there were noticeably less people than when we used to go during school breaks.
They do offer day passes to their indoor water park now, but they are on a limited basis and can only be purchased online. When not staying at the hotel, they encourage you to bring your own towels. Honestly, I recommend bringing your own even if you are staying as the resort towels are not as big as normal beach or pool towels. It also makes spotting your seat much easier.
If staying during lunchtime and on a tight budget, pack a lunch. Lodge Wood Fired Grill is open for lunch and dinner, and Loose Moose Cottage is only open for breakfast and lunch. One thing I love about this place is their restaurants are all nut-free. However, occasionally they have some products manufactured in facilities with nuts so always let your server know about allergies.
The arcade has a ton of games and my daughter loves visiting it on every trip to Great Wolf Lodge. The machine to reload or buy cards, takes cards and cash. But, it doesn’t give change back so bring exact change.
MagiQuest is one of the main reasons we visit this facility. My daughter absolutely loves this game. For the first time, it’s a little more costly as you have to buy a wand and topper. But, you only have to buy those once and can use on future visits. If you plan on playing the game with your kids, then I recommend being prepared with comfortable shoes and utilizing the stairs to go between floors.
For those looking to add on to the day, the SEA LIFE aquarium at Concord Mills mall is always fun and doesn’t take too long to go through.
Staying overnight is a great option for those that want to extend the day trip. We don’t do the overnight stays often, but when we do it’s always worth it. Everyone who works there is always friendly and provide top-notch services.
Sunday through Thursday nights are always cheaper, so again if you have any flexibility in your or your kid’s schedules choose those days instead of weekend. However, even weekdays tend to go up during school breaks.
They often run deals so always check those before booking. Join their e-mail list as they often send out coupon codes. The earlier you book the better deal you will get vs. waiting until closer to the date you want to visit.
This makes for an awesome birthday gift. For my daughters 12th birthday, we skipped the party and I just took her and a few friends to stay here for the night. She still talks about it six months later and it saved me the headache of planning a birthday party! (Stay tuned for more information on that in an upcoming TMoM blog on birthday celebration ideas for teens and tweens.) There are several birthday add-ons too, such as birthday posters on the room door. Not to mention each birthday kid gets special birthday wolf ears.
They go all out for Halloween. There is trick-or-treating and orange wolf ears. It’s a great time to visit and stay overnight.
Pack snacks, lunches, and even dinner options, if wanting to save a little money. However, I highly recommend trying out Loose Moose for breakfast. Everything is amazing in their breakfast buffet.
For younger kids, they offer multiple story times that always seem to be a big hit with the little ones. When you check in, they will give you a schedule that lists it and everything else going on. You can also find their daily schedule on their online calendar.
The water park hours may be longer in the summer, we actually haven’t stayed overnight in those months, but the rest of the year keep in mind it closes relatively early at 8pm. While your room might not be ready, if you booked for that night, your family has access to the water park that entire day. So, plan on getting there early and packing a ‘go bag’ with everyone’s swimsuits.
No matter which you choose – day trip or overnight – the family will have a blast! One last piece of advice, always check the traffic before heading down. While Interstate 85 is often the most direct route from the Triad it often gets backed up with either construction or a wreck, so sometimes 40 to 77 can end up being the faster route.
Click HERE to see our Day Trip Directory with even more ideas!
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