I’ve decided the gist of my blogging, thanks to Jeff Goins, is all about Western Woman and Girls unplugging from the rat-race of life and technology to find adventure––anywhere and everywhere.
This week my parents stayed at our place to feed horses and dogs. My hubby and I drove from the east side of Washington State to the west side for a conference. On the way, we stopped and picked up two grandsons, age 3 and 7.
We landed, eleven hours later due to a few pit stops, at the Great Wolf Lodge late Sunday evening in time to scope out the place and buy a couple souvenirs. The lodge is owned by the Chehalis Tribe of Indians near Chehalis, WA.
Check-in was quick and easy and wolf-ear headbands were given free to the boys. To my surprise, the grandsons didn’t want theirs and generously passed them on to their girl cousins.
We settled in and made a game plan for the next two days: my hubby would attend his conference, the boys and I would swim in the amazing indoor water park and play games in the arcade, take in the Great Clock Tower show, color at the coloring station, and make origami wolves.
The water park alone was fabulous. The entrance and landing were on the second floor, while the pool was on the first floor. Huge glass windows separated the pool area from the Grand Lobby. Upon entering through huge and heavy glass doors, hot air blasted us. The boys trotted to the water, shedding shirts as quickly as possible. They bounced from the pool of waves to slides of all sizes and shapes, played water basketball hoops, lily pads, and canoe and Jet Ski toys. Warm water poured and squirted from every jungle gym, toy, slide, floor, and bucket.
On top of the main jungle gym housing two medium-sized water slides perched a gigantic wooden bucket that filled with water every ten minutes. Bells would sound, alerting anyone in close proximately that water would soon gush down and drown those in its path. What fun! Unless you were the unlucky soul who wasn’t prepared.
After swimming three times in one day and playing games at the arcade twice, our two little campers were tuckered out. Sleep came quickly that night––even for the grandparents!
It was slow moving the next day, so we lazed about, ate breakfast, and watched a show at the Great Clock Tower in the Grand Lobby. It was a 3-D animated story of a boy getting lost in the woods with mechanical talking trees, squirrels, a moose, wolf, and raccoon.
In the second scene, a Native American girl named Yellow Feather encouraged the boy to not be scared of howling wolves and to find his courage. She sang with mouth open and arms gesturing. From the balcony, Yellow Feather appeared real and not mechanical. The voices came through clear and loud enough for squirreling children to hear.
The production was completely entertaining. And short enough to keep their attention.
The lodge itself is striking with a true wilderness feel to it. Stuffed animals adorned the walls, antler chandlers dangled from the ceilings, a fireplace in the Grand Lobby warmed the space, furniture included beautifully carved wood pieces, and all décor was wildlife and all-things outdoors. The smell of pizza wafts down from the second floor, music, MagiQuest station voices, and children’s chatter fills the Grand Lobby.
One of my favorite amenities included hot apple cider in the foyer around lunch time. Its taste was smooth and sweet––not too rich.
I will say, nothing is cheap here. With the room came free swimming, but the rest was costly. Thank goodness the boys and I were able to tag along with my hubby on his business trip.
This is a vacation the boys will remember for years to come. And time well spent out of school for two days with Papa and Nahnah.
For your convenience, I’ve included a list of dining, activities, and suits––all adorable names with camp or animal themes.
- Hungry as a Wolf Pizza
- The Loose Moose Cottage
- Buckets Incredible Craveables
- Bear Paw Sweets and Eats
Lodging: Rooms for 2 to 8 people.
- Suites for 2-6 guests
- Themed suites for 4-6 guests: Kid Kamp: Wolf Dens: both come with bunk beds
- Premium suites for 6-8 guests
Activities and Attractions:
- Indoor pool park: free with lodging
- Indoor Golf
- Arcade Games
- Oliver’s Mining Co.
- Howlers Peak ropes Course
- MagiQuest and ShadowQuest: Both turn the Great Wolf Lodge into a quest to find Vallera, Shadow Lord and other ruins and quests with the touch of a wand.
- Iron Horse Fitness Center
- Elements Spa for adults
- Scooops Kids Spa (yes, there are 3 Os)
- Great Wolf Kids Store
- Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop
- MagiQuest Market Place
- Bear Essentials Swim Shop
Tips To make your vacation better:
- Bring your own breakfast and lunch makings
- Bring your own snacks and beverages
- Drink lots of water, especially while swimming
- Use their lifejackets
- Use their towels
- Bring footwear and robes: it’s hot in the pool area and feels cold when coming out.
- Bring plenty of money, you’ll need it!
- Take advantage of the free activities: story time, Great Clock Tower Show, swimming, face-painting and balloon-twisting station, coloring station, checkerboards in the Grand Lobby, water, and free WiFi.
Enjoy your family time; children grow up all too quickly.