*Thank you to Great Wolf Lodge for hosting us. All opinions are ours and ours alone.
When we lived in Florida with our small children, we didn’t really get the concept of an indoor water park. Why on earth would you want to drive somewhere to play inside in the water all day.
Then we moved to Colorado.
While this winter has felt very mild compared to the first one that we experienced four years ago, it was nice to escape to the newly opened Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs where the indoor water park is forever 84 degrees.
Where Is It?
As Denver residents, the trip to Great Wolf Lodge is a quick one without traffic. It is located across I-25 from the Air Force Academy so you don’t even really need to go into town to get there. There is a movie theater and a few restaurants within walking distance and plenty more if you are willing to drive. That being said, you could park your car at Great Wolf Lodge and not get back in it until it is time to head back home.
When we walked into our room, we were a bit disappointed to find that we weren’t in one of the fancy suites that offers bunk bed areas for the kids. Our room was much larger than a typical hotel room but it had two beds and a twin pull out sofa. If you need room for a 6th person, make sure you book the room with the double sleeper sofa.
The was a balcony with a lovely view but, unfortunately, there were no chairs to enjoy the view.
The Water Park
The water park offers a little bit for everyone. There are four thrill slides, two you ride down on your own (though you are racing other people on one) and two you can ride down with other people. There are lines but they do move relatively quickly. Fort Mackenzie offers a jungle gym type setting for kids to climb, slide, and spray people with water. Don’t miss the bucket tipping! There is a wave pool that kids and adults will love to splash and play in. Life jackets are available.
The water park might be small at first glance but it is certainly mighty. There was plenty to do and it entertained us for hours.
Once you tire of the water park, there are plenty of other activities to keep you and your family entertained. At the Great Wolf Adventure Park, you can mine for gems, create a stuffed friend to take home with you, climb a rock wall, or complete a ropes course. There is also mini golf, an arcade, and the cutest teeny tiny bowling alley you have ever seen.
The hit with my family was the MagiQuest: The Rise of the Totem Masters. MagiQuest is perfect for the video game lovers in your family. You purchase a wand and walk around the hotel completing the tasks. You can bring your wand back on your next visit and keep using it!
The Kids Scooops Spa is a fun way to treat your kids to a pedicure or manicure. The deliciously smelling hair perfume will be on the table for my daughter when she wakes up on Valentine’s Day morning!
There are several food options in the Great Wolf Lodge. The prices are reasonable and the food is pretty good. Don’t miss the mac and cheese in the Loose Moose Family Kitchen. The buffet offers delicious food but we were pretty disappointed by the lack of dessert. At the end of your dinner, you will get a few brownies, cookies, and doughnut holes. I was expecting buffet worthy dessert spreads (and after ending the Whole30 during that weekend, I was hoping for a treat!).
The Barnwood is a delicious farm to table restaurant and the food is worth the cost. We had pizza at Hungry as a Wolf and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. You can grab a burger poolside and there is a place for adults to grab a drink just around every corner. Ben and Jerry’s and Dunkin Donuts offer up quick treats but the lines can get very long at popular times. Great Wolf Lodge takes allergies seriously so if you have a concern be sure to ask to speak to the chef. They will take good care of you.
Who is it Perfect For?
Because I was invited on a media trip with other Colorado bloggers and writers, I had the added benefit of spending time with some fabulous people in my life. Our kids had fun running around together and the adults had fun hanging out while the kids ran around. I think that this would be the perfect adventure for kids up to about 10 or 12, older if they had a friend with them. My 12 year old started to run out of things to do but ended up coming down with an illness at the end of our trip so it wasn’t a big deal that he spent most of our last day in bed. I think if we were to return he would want to bring a friend or run around with his sister.
Coming from Denver? Trying to Save Money? Here is Our Suggestion…
Great Wolf Lodge is a fantastic staycation getaway from Denver. If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, I recommend booking a Saturday night hotel room. It would be preferable to go on a less busy day but if that isn’t an option, Saturday still works. We were at the hotel when it was at about 80% capacity and it did not seem busy except when I had to wait in line for one of the only three elevators.
Arrive around 2 or 3 on Saturday afternoon to avoid the folks who arrive right at 1pm (the earliest you can check in on your arrival day). Get checked in and check your luggage. Your room won’t be ready until after 4. Head to the water park and play until dinner. Get settled in your room, go to dinner, and play some more. On Sunday, you will have to check out by 11am. Before you check out, make sure you have a “beach” bag with a change of clothes for the ride home. Load up your car with everything except the beach bag and then you can stay and play until everything closes that night.