This post is in partnership with Great Wolf Lodge Poconos who hosted our weekend stay. All opinions are my own. You can read my full Disclosure Policy here.
Spring is officially here, despite the fact that we’ve gotten no less than FOUR major snowstorms in the past few weeks! I think the end is in sight and with spring breaks on the horizon, what better way to celebrate and shake off winter than with a visit to Great Wolf Lodge? My family had the opportunity to stay with them for a couple of days and this was our first visit so we didn’t know what to expect. We had an AMAZING time.
You might think of Great Wolf Lodge as an indoor water park, and it is, but there is so much more to enjoy. Check out this quick highlight reel and then read on for lots more photos and details on our review!
Spring-A-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge
From March 9 to April 15, Great Wolf Lodge locations all over the country are celebrating Spring-A-Palooza! This is a special time when they plan unique activities to usher in the changing of the seasons, and this year their charity partner is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, whose cause is to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer.
During Spring-A-Palooza, families can visit a lemonade stand in the Grand Lobby for complimentary lemonade to be enjoyed together picnic-style. As a special element this year, exclusive color changing cups will be sold for $2.50, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the cups will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Some other fun events you’ll only find during Spring-A-Palooza:
- Spring Cinema: Families can unwind after a fun-filled day and enjoy a family movie in the Grand Lobby.
- Spring Picnic: A time-honored spring tradition gets a Great Wolf twist, as guests can grab a blanket, spread it out on the floor and enjoy an afternoon picnic in the Grand Lobby. Guests can sip complimentary Minute Maid beverage available from the Great Wolf Lodge character-themed Lemonade Stand and play a few rounds of “Take A Wiley Guess” card game.
- Bubble Dance Party: This special Spring-a-Palooza event fills the Grand Lobby with cascading bubbles while Great Wolf Lodge’s Ambassadors of Fun keep energy-levels high with a family-friendly dance party.
- Spring-a-Palooza Story Time: Great Wolf Lodge’s nightly Story Time takes on a spring themed tale featuring the Great Wolf Lodge characters called “Natural Wonders.” Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite jammies to the Grand Lobby for this event and will have the opportunity to meet one of the Great Wolf Lodge characters in person.
- Spring Scavenger Hunts: Great Wolf Lodge features two self-guided scavenger hunts as part of Spring-a-Palooza. The “I Spy Spring” scavenger hunt will have guests looking high and low in the Grand Lobby to find a dozen hidden objects. The “Spring Sprint” scavenger hunt has guests solving clues that will take them on a journey throughout the lodge. When all 10 clues are solved, guests are rewarded with a prize.
- Character Themed Flower Gardens: A highlight of the Spring-a-Palooza celebration is the colorful springtime gardens found in the Grand Lobby. The gardens are designed and handcrafted by Pack Members from the resort. The collection of flower pots are inspired by the Great Wolf Lodge characters. Guests are encourage to stroll around the garden and vote for their favorite display.
- Jelly Bean Guessing Game: A gigantic jar filled to the brim with jelly bean candies sits in the Grand Lobby and guests are invited to enter a contest guessing how many delicious treats are within the jar. The guests closest to the correct number without going over will be entered for a chance to win a Great Wolf Lodge Gift Card.
- Spring Themed Crafts: During Spring-a-Palooza, the resort’s Ambassadors of Fun will host several spring-inspired craft making events for kids of all ages. Character-themed crafting projects include Oliver’s Crazy About Bugs Jar, Violet’s Springtime Noodle Doodle, Brinley’s Don’t Blow Away Kite and Wiley’s Can You Spot It Binoculars.
Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
Great Wolf Lodge locations nationwide are participating in Spring-A-Palooza. We spent our time at the Great Wolf Lodge Poconos, and if you’re considering a trip I want to share our experience with you so you know what to expect. We had never been before, and we were really wowed by all that we found inside!
The resort is true to its name with a real lodge feel: lots of wood, a big, beautiful fireplace, and a generally warm, cozy feeling as soon as you enter the lobby.
In the lobby is where Story Time takes place with the forest friends. This is SO cute. My kids are a little bit old for this kind of thing, but all the little ones at the Lodge just loved it.
My kids were not, however, too old to be enamored with the character appearances at breakfast! Heck, I was pretty excited about it. How cute are these guys?!
The Water Park at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
The biggest attraction at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos is the water park, and rightly so. It’s awesome! I love that this is inside so you can visit and enjoy it year round. No sunscreen, no worries about the weather (we were in the midst of a major snowstorm during our visit), and you can just roll on in and pretend it’s summertime. Yes, please.
There are water features for all ages, from very shallow kiddie pools and sprinklers, to much bigger and more exciting water slides. The lazy river is a lot of fun and pretty shallow, less than 3 feet deep, so it’s perfect for young kids to enjoy. Some of the water slides deposit you in the lazy river so you can just keep on floating!
There’s a really big, beautiful wave pool in the water park, and it cycles on and off with the waves. The great thing about this pool is that it’s a zero-entry pool, so even the littlest kids can get in on the action. And if mom and dad don’t want to dive in, you can stand in up to your ankles or snag a beach chair nearby.
We went on almost every water slide and loved them! Most of them you can ride 2×2 so my husband and I each took a kid and off we went. There is one slide, River Canyon Run, that is a family slide and all 4 of us got on that one. We rode it twice, it was such a blast.
Big Foot Pass, or the floating lily pads, might have been where we got the most laughs. At first the kids were very determined to get across, and very quickly they decided to try their luck at running full speed from one end to the other. No, neither one of them made it past the third lily pad but we got lots of hilarious video out of it!
More Family Fun
As I mentioned above, we really thought of Great Wolf Lodge as primarily an indoor water park. It turns out there are a LOT more family-friendly activities there and we hit every possible activity! If that’s your game plan too, consider grabbing a Paw Pass. This is kind of a package deal on many of the activities at the Lodge and you’ll save by buying this way.
We took a break from swimming and enjoyed a little bowling, some seriously cool glow-in-the-dark mini golf, and my favorite: Oliver’s Time Challenge. Here you split up into teams to see which team can hit the most lights before time runs out. I’m only a little competitive so of course I won. Sorry kids!
On the lower level there is also a really cool arcade with a huge variety of games. Players can win tickets and redeem them for prizes at the register.
One of the really cool activities on site that I was totally unfamiliar with before our visit is the MagiQuest Adventure. There is a store in the resort, The MagiQuest Marketplace, where you can purchase a want that’s…magical! From the Great Wolf Lodge website:
“MagiQuest is a live-action adventure game played throughout the resort and the key to your journey is in your hands, literally. Your magic wand is how you play your game; it knows your character and remembers your achievements. When your adventure concludes, it goes home with you!”
Once the kids have an activated wand, they take it to the ‘trees’ in the elevator lobby on the 3rd floor where they are assigned a mission. The mission will be to collect a variety of items, or unlock them with a flick of their wand. The fun part is trying to find all of the items needed to win the challenge. They are on different floors and sometimes have to be found in a certain order.
The kids had a great time with this, and I should have worn my Fitbit that day for all the steps we got in, up and downstairs, finding the things they needed to finish. This is a really cool way to keep kids entertained and moving so they’re not all crowded in one location of the resort. We loved it!
Dining at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
If you want to check in at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos and not leave until you check out, you can totally do that. There are plenty of eateries on site for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s even a Starbucks in the lobby! We were treated to a delicious media breakfast that included these fancy fruit cups. Overall, throughout our stay, we were really impressed with the food options.
We didn’t stop to eat while we were in the water park but there is an eatery there with some quick meal choices. There’s also a pizzeria and one night we grabbed a pizza and salad and got them to go and ate in our room, which was kind of fun!
Our favorite meal of our stay was dinner at The Loose Moose Family Kitchen. This is opposite the check-in desk and and breakfast and dinner are served here buffet style. The restaurant was neat, clean, really inviting (love those trees above the tables!), and the food was fantastic.
They offer a variety of options that both adults and picky eaters will like, everything from pizza to fresh salad and carving-station meats. And check out that dessert case! Wow!
At the end of the day, we enjoyed the Wine Down Service and a bottle of wine plus some delightful chocolate covered strawberries was delivered our room. What a treat after a long day of play with the kids.
You can get the scoop on planning your Great Wolf Lodge adventure on their website right up to and including booking your visit. Be sure to check out their social channels for more photos and offers: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
More questions for me? Leave a comment and I’ll tell you more about our experience! We had such a great time and my kids are still talking about this trip!