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Great Wolf Lodge Is a Blast for the Whole Family

Great Wolf Lodge was founded in 1997 in Wisconsin Dells. Since then, the brand has come a long way. In 2023, 23 Great Wolf Lodge locations dotted the country from California to Minnesota. The lodges have some of the largest indoor water parks in the nation and pride themselves on providing joy. Day passes are available too. You won't go wrong at this absolute delight of a place built to banish boredom and make memories.

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01 A water park like no other

Sign of Great Wolf Lodge in front of the building Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com

Great Wolf Lodge's huge indoor water parks offer something for every age group and are included in lodge stays. Open from morning to night and temperature-controlled at 84 degrees for year-round glee, the water parks feature slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and adults-only hot tub areas. Alberta Falls is a four-story tandem tube ride you can hop on with a buddy. The Fort Mackenzie tree house provides endless amusement for toddlers and young kids and a bell that signals an overturning drench bucket. Rides like the Hydro Plunge and Double Barrel Drop promise thrills. Height and weight restrictions apply.

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02 Dining delights for every palate

Eat like a bear with various dining options to suit the whole family. Grizzly Rob's Bar serves beer, soft drinks, and tropical cocktails in the water park. Hungry As A Wolf is open for lunch and dinner and is the go-to place for pizza, sandwiches, and salads when the post-activity munchies strike. You can use the app, call in your order for pick up or have it delivered to your room in the evening. Grab dessert at Bear Paw or your favorite Mexican food from The Cantina at Loose Moose.

 

03 Magical adventures with MagiQuest

For a small additional cost, try interactive MagiQuest, an immersive live-action adventure game you can play in short segments around the lodge. Read clues, find treasure, beat dragons and goblins, and help Guardians protect Realm Portals on your way to becoming a Master Magi. Battery-powered customizable smart wands remember your progress, and you can continue playing on a different day or at other MagiQuest locations. There's even Mini Magi Mode for toddlers.

 

04 More than just water attractions

Ten Paw Alley Great Wolf Lodge

The word "bored" doesn't exist in the Great Wolf Lodge dictionary. Beyond the sopping wet fun of the water park, you'll find lots more to do catering to various interests. From mini bowling at Ten Paw Alley, with its smaller bowling balls and shorter lanes, to family-friendly putting at Howl in One mini golf, you can play for fun or put your game face on and hone your skills. Attractions vary by lodge and are detailed on the company's website.

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05 Arcade fun at Northern Lights

The arcade at Great Wolf Lodge Great Wolf Lodge

Fill up on Paw Points, the lodge's gaming currency, and challenge yourself with some of the newest arcade games out there suitable for adults and kids. You'll find fantastic prizes up for grabs at Northern Lights, the reward for hours of entertainment in one of the most colorful spots at the lodge. If you run out of time to use up your Paw Points, you can always carry them forward to your next trip.

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06 Unleash your inner wizard with ShadowQuest

CompassQuest and ShadowQuest are newer versions of the high-tech MagiQuest scavenger hunt game. ShadowQuest is arguably the most challenging, so it's appealing to older kids. It comprises ten quests, lasts up to six hours, and involves spell-casting and rune-collecting to save the light. Accomplish the mission during your stay and win a medal.

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07 Climb and dodge

Child on the rope course Great Wolf Lodge

Strap into a harness to test your balance and navigate obstacles at Howler's Peak Ropes Course. You'll need closed shoes with rubber soles for this exhilarating aerial activity full of bridges, ladders, and steps. Guests between 46 to 48 inches will need supervision from an adult who isn't an employee. Then there's Northern Lights Laser Tag, where you can conquer or collaborate to earn points. It's all the dark neon excitement you'd expect.

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08 Crafting memories at Build-A-Bear

Build a bear Great Wolf Lodge

Make a huggable personalized souvenir at the on-site Build-a-Bear workshop. Pick the Great Wolf Pack character you like the most, and select clothing and accessories before watching the stuffing. Voila! A perfectly plush toy you can match with if you like. To avoid disappointment, leave your Build-a-Bear gift cards at home. They're not valid at Great Wolf Lodge.

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09 Discovering treasures at Oliver's Mining

Child showing off a stone Great Wolf Lodge

Oliver's Mining is the ultimate scratch patch mining sluice attraction. Get in the mood for prospecting by walking through Moonstone Mine's mirror maze. Then make like the gold panners of old and start sifting in the water as you search for pretty gemstones. Fill up your take-home gem bag with your favorite finds.

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10 Quick bites and refreshments

Family Dining Great Wolf Lodge

We've already touched on the bar in the water park, but there's also Buckets and Freshwoods Market. The former satisfies poolside craving for burgers, fries, and lighter grub. Have a picnic with your fam and try the Tipping Bucket, the sweet treat to end all sweet treats. Freshwoods Market sells pre-made meals and convenience store items. Depending on the lodge you visit, you can access beloved franchises like Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts too.

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11 Stay, play, and save with attraction passes

Boy enjoying a pretzel Great Wolf Lodge

Pre-purchase dining deals and attraction passes for significant savings. You'll get value for money and put huge smiles on the faces you love best. Attraction passes include the Wolf Pass, the Paw Pass, and the Pup Pass for little kids. The Wolf Pass includes the five most popular attractions. Discount packages vary by lodge.

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12 Ensuring a clean and safe stay

A view of the indoor water park and pool area at Great Wolf Lodge The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

Great Wolf Lodge prioritizes safety and hygiene in their offering. After COVID-19, sanitation protocols have become more strict than ever. The water park has rules in place to ensure no one gets hurt and the water meets local and state guidelines for chlorine use. Lifeguards complement supervision from guests 14 and older, rides are designed for peace of mind, and lifejackets are available.

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13 Special events and seasonal celebrations

Snowland Great Wolf Lodge

Snowland is a magical winter experience for Great Wolf Lodge guests. It's a cozy festive extravaganza with gorgeous decor, cute crafts, photo ops with Santa on Sundays, a holiday dance party, themed yoga sessions, bingo, and a life-sized gingerbread house. You can even stay in a Snowland suite. Activities vary by lodge but guarantee a good time.

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14 Shopping

Mother and daughter in a gift shop Great Wolf Lodge

Are your swim trunks too tight? Don't sweat it. Paddle Bay Outfitters sells everything you could need for a comfortable jaunt to the water park. Flip-flops, check. Goggles, check. You'll find souvenirs at Buckhorn Emporium Gift Shop and the most dazzling, colorful assortment of candy at Great Wolf Candy Company, as if the water park wasn't enough of a rush.

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15 The ultimate family getaway

Fun in the water park Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is built to help families make some of their most precious memories. A cross between a cruise and a trip to Disneyland, expect tons to do and full bellies at this must-visit indoor water park destination.

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