We recently had the opportunity to visit the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. This trendy resort offers many activities and amenities for families. We enjoyed bonding over food, magic wands, water slides, a ropes course, games, shopping, and good weather. Let me share details from our visit because this is the ultimate Texas family vacation.
The Great Wolf Lodge is an iconic vacation spot in Grapevine, Texas. My favorite thing about our visit was that there was something for everyone and that we were constantly moving. We enjoyed amenities such as the waterpark, ropes course, MagiQuest, Creation Station, Hollywood Theater, Cub Club, Northern Lights Arcade, Elements Spa, and shopping. We also enjoyed delicious food during our stay.
Let's start with the indoor waterpark since this is one of the most popular features of the resort. The indoor waterpark is amazing because of the size and large variety of water attractions. It boasts 300,000+ gallons of water than fill a wave pool, lazy river, kids pool, and several waterslides. There is something for everyone! My husband's favorites are the water slides. My oldest son's favorite is the lazy river. (He went around it approximately 20 times this weekend!) My baby enjoyed the shallow end of the wave pool. It was fun to hold his hands and watch him giggle as the waves rolled in.
Now, as a mom, let me share a few other details about safety because I know that this is something that crosses every mom's mind. I have two children with a large age gap between them, so my list of worries is long. First, my older son does not know how to swim. He knows basics such as jumping into the pool, floating a bit, and how to swim with a kick board. However, he is still a novice that needs another year of swim lessons to gain swimming skills. There are three things that the Great Wolf Lodge does that helped to put my mind at ease: (1) they provided life jackets that are U.S. Coast Guard certified, (2) they have a large staff of lifeguards, and (3) the park is family friendly, so it was fine for our family to stick together in the waterpark, i.e., it's socially acceptable to spend time with your parents on the slides or in the pool at any age! Second, my baby is so tiny that I worried about finding a place for him to play. I actually found two locations that were a lot of fun for little ones. We splashed in a children's wading pool that only went up to 18" in the deepest section and then we played together in the wave pool. I should have known that the Great Wolf Lodge had already thought about my concerns. The amount of thought that they put into the design and execution of their waterparks is why they are iconic!
The next activity is the Howler's Peak Ropes Course. This was a fun physical activity to do as a family. We had a blast walking across the suspension bridges, climbing stairs, walking across beams, and flying down zip lines. The culmination of jumping from the top and landing on a giant paw print was exhilarating!
The next activity was my son's favorite - MagiQuest. This whimsical game rocked his world and also entertained my baby. The way that it works is that you purchase a magic wand and have them activate it so that it works throughout the hotel. The activation lasts for your visit (up to 4 days) and then you are able to bring your wand back on future visits and just pay the activation fee to use it again. Shopping at the MagiQuest shop is fun. They have a large selection of wands, toppers, and capes. We loved the staff members because they dressed to go with the theme and you could tell that they loved their jobs.
Once we activated the magic wands for our boys, we were transported to a new world as we walked through mystical hallways and through hidden stairwells in search of paintings, sculptures, stars, and treasure chests to zap with our magic wands. Our boys loved waving their wands to open treasure chests or to hear sculptures talk. We enjoyed using our wands to make stars twinkle on the ceilings. There were even paintings on the wall that responded to our wands. This is an ultimate childhood experience since everything seems so magical to them and it forms good childhood memories. I'm pretty sure that this will always be one of their favorite childhood memories. (I am writing this post as my oldest son is sleeping with his teddy bear and magic wand!)
The attention to detail on MagiQuest is amazing. I won't spoil the surprises, but I will tell you that I felt like the designers of MagiQuest are perfectionists that seemed to pay attention to even the smallest details. The photo below shows the top scores in the hotel. The game was open from 9am until 11pm. My oldest son loved coming back to the room and visiting the channel to see if his "magic name" showed up at the top of the list! (You select a special name when you register your wand.)
Let's move onto some lower impact activities. Although, I should add that all of the activities above also have a lower impact option since it's also fun to lounge at the side of the pool with a drink, sit near a treasure chest in the lobby to watch children have fun with their wands, or watch and cheer your family members on at the ropes course.
During our visit, we had the option to spend time at the Scoops Kid Spa or Northern Lights Arcade. We chose the Northern Lights Arcade since we have boys. The arcade is quite large. We had fun using our Paw Points to play a variety of games. My husband was lucky to break the high score on Skee Ball! He won 370 tickets and bragging rights. My oldest son's favorite game was Panning for Gold. I took the photos below for his scrap book since he loved this game. As a mom, I appreciated that there were a variety of games and that many were accessible to novice arcade players. We felt that they were generous with the tickets. It's fun to see little ones squeal in excitement when they see tickets coming out of a game!
Of course, if you have a daughter, you will want to visit both the arcade and Scooops Kid Spa. This trendy little spa offers Mommy and Me manicures and pedicures. The other moms that I met who visited the salon with their daughters were thrilled. They told me that their daughters felt like princesses as they were greeted with tiaras and robes for their royal treatment. They also said that the different scent options were kid friendly such as bubble gum, mint chocolate chip, and blueberry. At the end of their treatment, they received vouchers for free ice cream at the sweet shop next door. This is a must-do activity for trendy moms and their daughters!
Another fun activity is the Howly Wood Theater. This trendy theater is an immersive ride experience with a motion simulator. We saw a Jurassic movie where our car was tossed around. I won't spoil the movie, but I will say that we had a blast! The movie was 8 minutes long and we enjoyed it.
My boys both loved the Creation Station where they were able to select a stuffed animal and outfit. They both chose a little wolf. It was fun to take photos because I know that these wolves will be like family members that keep them company at bedtime for years to come.
While it was fun to create the stuffed animals and dress them up, there was more to this fun activity! They activated their wolves to go on a mission throughout the hotel. They had fun visiting various stations throughout the hotel for clues. I even received photos through email during the course of the mission. This was a fun way to connect with their toys. I also enjoyed that we had the opportunity to exercise as we walked to the different stations throughout the hotel!
We also enjoyed an evening outside near the pool. The May weather was beautiful and we couldn't have asked for better company or food. They had games on the patio for the children and a fun cookie decorating activity. They also had delicious food that I'll talk about later in this post.
You may have wondered how my baby handled the excitement. Taking a baby on a vacation is often stressful, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience. First of all, we live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, so it wasn't a long drive. We were surprised that our little guy was in the best mood during our visit. I've never seen him smile and giggle so much. He thrived in the active environment. It didn't hurt that there were a ton of people who smiled at him and told him that he was adorable. We used our stroller and a baby carrier during our stay. We were able to take our stroller everywhere, but the baby carrier was nice when I took a turn with my older son to go up and down stairs for MagiQuest. There were a couple of times when my older son wanted to go-go-go, but my baby looked like he needed us to slow down. One of those times was during arcade time. It was really nice that I could take my baby to the Cub Club at the end of the hallway for a calmer environment. The Cub Club offers many craft activities and was peaceful when we visited.
I visited the Cub Club twice. It was nice to regroup with one-on-one time with my baby. Again, I felt like the designers of the Great Wolf Lodge paid close attention to detail so that they could make everything perfect for their guests, including parents like us who have children with a large age gap.
Finally, the Elements Spa Salon is perfect for moms who want to enjoy trendy spa treatments. They have everything that you could possibly want at a resort spa. The peaceful environment is really nice, especially after a busy morning with your children. You will definitely want to visit their spa during your stay since it is fun to be pampered while you are on vacation.
As I promised earlier, let's talk about the food. I think that everyone has their own "vacation food" preferences. The Great Wolf Lodge has everyone covered. I am on a dairy-free diet and it's difficult to find resorts that offer good options for my food restriction. However, the Great Wolf Lodge was very accommodating to my food allergy. Every buffet and menu that I saw had plenty of options. Staff members were great about double checking menu items for me too.
The photo below shows breakfast items from a meeting that I attended. The catering was fantastic. For instance, the breakfast items below include yogurt, bread pudding, poached pears, and quail eggs.
The dinner buffet at the Loose Moose Lodge was another great example of how they offer every type of "vacation food" possible. My husband raved about the shrimp and beef. My mom loved the pasta bar with broccolini, tomatoes, and chicken. My oldest son was thrilled to find corn dogs, ribs, pizza, and rice krispy treats. I was thrilled to enjoy the most amazing asparagus, carrots with herbs, and fresh fruit. Despite our very different food preferences, we all found our perfect vacation foods!
In addition to the buffet options, we also attended a media event one evening. The food was a highlight of the evening. My husband and son were hooked on the trendy cake pops and other desserts below. I usually feel left out of these events when it comes to desserts since I am on a dairy-free diet. However, I was surprised that the Great Wolf Lodge organizers included fruit kabobs! As someone with a restricted diet, I am used to going to restaurants and skipping dessert. I always feel special when I go somewhere and am able to enjoy dessert with everyone.
In addition to the desserts, they also had adult beverages. Again, the Great Wolf Lodge pays close attention to detail. They know that good adult beverages and food is important to many guests!
Finally, we were surprised with a hummus sampler and veggies in our room one evening. The hummus and veggies arrived on the adorable cutting board below. This was the perfect evening snack for our family!
After all of the fun activities and delicious food, we were grateful to relax in our room. The rooms are really nice for families. Each room has a small refrigerator and microwave. This was helpful since we have a baby and needed to warm up bottles. The bathroom sinks are in the main living area so that families have more flexibility. It's a nice room design since you are able to use the sink while someone else is in the bathroom showering. Another highlight is that we loved the mattresses. The Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine replaced all of the mattresses within the past year. It was nice to have a good mattress at the end of the day after using the waterpark and running around to play MagiQuest.
The Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine offers standard and upgraded rooms. There are a couple of special rooms that I took photos of to share with you. The first photo is the Grizzly room. This includes two separate bedrooms (with doors that close), a living area, and a bathroom. This is great for larger families or friends that want to vacation together.
The next room is the Kid Kamp. This room offers the ultimate childhood memory! Check out the adorable bunk bed setup below.
We love the bears that are peaking into the tent and putting their paws into the cooler!
The parents also have a cozy bed and living area to relax.
We loved our visit to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. We created amazing childhood memories for our children that will last a lifetime. We look forward to visiting again! Click here to learn more about the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX.
Thank you to the Great Wolf Lodge for hosting us during media weekend.