I took 7 kids to Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate my daughter Brooklyn’s birthday. It was myself, my husband Darren, my father-in-law Ken, my son, my daughter, and five of her friends. Yes, we were brave. Although this trip was not cheap, we did save money.
We packed up two cars and drove to the lodge. This was our first visit to the Great Wolf during their winter wonderland season. We saw the gingerbread house and decorations in the lobby. They had Santa visits and the cub club had free ornament crafts to do.
During check in, I purchased 10 meal plans. This covers your dinner at the buffet, breakfast at the buffet, and lunch from a few of the concession restaurants in and around the water park (prices below).
Meal #1: Lunch (Not On The Meal Plan)
After check in, I went to the North Woods Pizza Restaurant and ordered 4 large pizzas. Each pizza had 12 slices. We ended up with a box and a half left. We could have done with three boxes (Approx. $17 for a large cheese pizza). If the pizza restaurant is full, they will let you bring your pizza upstairs to eat in the restaurant.
We stayed in a Timberwolf Cottage that sleeps 10 people. Our cottage #1502 was a semi detached house. When you come inside, there is a master bedroom, a 3 piece bathroom, a full kitchen with a large dining table. There is also a family room area with a pull out couch. When you go up the stairs, there is another 3 piece bathroom and a massive bunk bed. It sleeps 6 kids! We had a really nice yard too and there was a communal fire pit and barbeques outside.
Brooklyn and all her friends were so excited to share a giant bunk bed. After some gossip and giggles, the girls fell asleep around 1:30am.
Meal #2: Dinner (On The Meal Plan)
We dined at the buffet for dinner. They had staples like chicken nuggets, fries, macaroni and cheese, pizza, and a salad bar. Some of the other food that was on the buffet that night was steak, chicken, mussels, salmon, tomato sauce pasta, creamy butternut squash pasta, pork ribs, tofu chickpea Moroccan stew, chili, and more!
For dessert, they had soft serve vanilla ice cream with toppings, jello, cheese cake, birthday cake, cookies, and assorted tarts. Our meal plan included refillable soft drinks.
Great Wolf has an amazing arcade inside. I purchased 7 cards and gave them to the kids to use. I warned them in advance that I will not be reloading their cards so they should take their time. The kids each played through their cards and redeemed little prizes from the arcade desk.
This is the first time we have been to the lodge since the laser tag attraction has been built. The kids looooveed it! We convinced my father in law to play the laser tag, and he had the best time. I highly recommend it.
I pre-planned and budgeted $10 per kid for them to spend in the gift shop. When I arrived at the giftshop I realized there is very little for $10 and I ended up giving each child a $15 budget to choose their loot bags. My daughter got a magic 8 ball, my son got a paw print necklace, and my daughter’s friends got items such as a name necklace, a nerf style gun, and stuffed animals.
Loot bags are always optional to do for any party. To save money on loot bags, you could buy in advance at the dollar store.
Meal #3: Breakfast (On The Meal Plan)
In the morning, we came back to the buffet. Some of the food I remember that was on the buffet was scrambled eggs, bacon, French toast sticks, waffles, pancakes, tater tots, cereal, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, pastries, muffins, eggs benedict, and an omelet station. My son is obsessed with eggs benedict and loaded up some on his plate.
THE WATER PARK
Going to a water park with older kids is a dream!!! I put them in groups and set them lose. I was able to relax and go in the adults only hot tub.
The water park is exactly how I remembered it since my last visit before the pandemic. The only thing I notified was some extra wooden cabanas.
For those of you who haven’t been to the water park, it caters to kids of all ages. A lazy river, wave pool, splash areas, water slides for all ages and more.
The watering Hole bar inside the water park offers alcohol and virgin drinks to enjoy. They also serve food.
Meal #4: Lunch (On The Meal Plan)
We had three options on the meal plan for lunch. You can eat at the pizza restaurant or from Buckets or The Watering Hole inside the water park. Most people in our group ate burgers and chicken fingers from Buckets.
On day two we got a cabana. They are very expensive but it was worth it for our group. On the first day I couldn’t find the kids. They were running around and going on slides.
On my second day with the cabana, I saw the kids a bunch of times. It was like a meeting spot for the kids, and the adults could rest on the lawn chairs. Each cabana comes with a fan on top, towels, water and kid friendly drinks, chips and cookies. There is also a safe which is so great to put your phones and valuable items in.
I was much for relaxed in the cabana and it enhanced our experience. I can imagine in the summer the outdoor cabanas would be incredible.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
* Order pizza if you are looking for an inexpensive meal outside your meal plan. My family of four for lunch would only need one large pizza and the cost would be $17.
* We brought four 24 cases of water for everyone to keep hydrated in between meals.
* I ordered the kids virgin pina-coladas but asked for each to be split into two smaller cups. Each drink is $5.99 each. It worked out to $3 per kid.
* Meals plans are worth it. They are $30 per kid and $60 per adult. It covers three meals all with soft drinks. It cost me $490 including tax, plus tip, to feed all 10 people breakfast, lunch and dinner.
* You don’t need to bring shampoo, conditioner or soap. It is all in the room.
* Come wearing your swimsuit under your clothes.
* Pack a small bag with your change of clothes and sandals for arrival. Then you can easily get to the water park without the hassle of going through your luggage.
* Towels and robes from home are easy to transfer your soaking wet family from the water park to outside/your room (you can not take the towels out of the waterpark).
View the concession stand restaurant menus with pricing as of December 5, 2022 HERE!
Overall, we had a howling good time and Brooklyn had an extremely memorable birthday. Even Ken said he would come back to the lodge!
**Make sure to take advantage of one of our Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls deals by signing up to our e-mail blast HERE.
Some of the activities were sponsored.