Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kids in Charge

wolf mom in the den
This year my daughter's grade five class had to do an expert file, so Julia did hers on Paris where we went last year, and a friend did hers on Great Wolf Lodge. When it turned out I had an event in the middle of Spring Break limiting our time to be away, we took the 10yo advice and headed off for three days at Great Wolf Lodge (one of about ten in North America) to enjoy some family time over Spring Break. With about 1,000 other families. The basic premise is to provide lots of indoor safe fun geared to kids of nearly any age, and it works.

The advertising - moms lounging in bed, or at the spa, or enjoying romantic dinners while the kids are engaged. Here the kids have fallen asleep in the big bed, so off to the bunk with mom...

The highlights
  • a massive water park with lots of slide rides, wave pool, play parks and a 1,000 gallon bucket that dumps out every few minutes
  • check in as early as 1pm and start using the water park, your room might not be ready until 4pm but that is a-ok with them. Check out time is 11am, but you can use the waterpark until 9pm on check out day!
  • a hot tub with a locking gate so the wee ones can't accidentally get in
  • alert and attentive lifeguards that rotate stations about every 30 minutes, staying fresh at each station
  • clean water - about 340,000 gallons of it
  • clean and non-slip floor surface - a feat in itself
  • margaritas, and other beverages of choice available for the parents who might feel the need for some stronger refreshment
  • clean and family sized rooms, with a variety of style options - ours had the wolf den - bunk beds with gaming station built in and a cute wall mural
  • lots of food choices - yes all the "crap" you would expect including smiley face fried potato patties, but also lots of delicious salads, breakfast choices, wraps and other healthy choices - plus the family size s'more fondue for dessert
  • a massive lobby area where story time and other activities happen - but also a good place for parents to hang out while
  • a Starbucks in the lobby
  • a fitness centre for adults (think of this as the quiet zone)
  • MagiQuest - buy a wand and it is good and ANY of the Great Wolf Lodges around the country! Seriously, a well done game that children from 4 to 15 were easily participating in and enjoying, ideal for siblings - one kid invited me along, the other wanted to know why I was following them...
  • a teen zone and a teen ice-cream themed spa
  • well appointed gift store - all the basics and more (it would be ok if they lost the giant pucker power sugar station, but other than that...)
  • an adult spa "the vacation from your vacation" in their words
  • a massive arcade - but one where the pay to play is not too too expensive
  • incredibly friendly staff - no matter how many people were inundating them with the same questions over and over again... friendly ruled - excellent customer service at every touchpoint
  • free wireless - know your market, right?!
Check it out for yourself Great Wolf Lodge

If you don't have kids or grandkids, there are other choices you can make. If you do have kids, it is pretty great. Just ask them, they will tell you!

No comments:

Post a Comment