This post is in partnership with Great Wolf Lodge. All opinions are my own.
Great Wolf Lodge
Family vacations can be tough, right? Deciding where to go, what to do, how long it takes to get there… And then making sure everyone in the family is happy. When you have kids that range in age between 1-16 years old, entertaining them all can be a challenge! Our family decided it had been far too long since we had a vacation, and Great Wolf Lodge was the destination of choice. It was close and easy to get to, and we really only had two days to play. Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs was awesome enough to let us try out the Wolf Pass so we could determine what attractions were best for different age groups. We tried a variety of activities, and here were the favorites for each age.
Water Park – Fun for All
As you can probably guess, this was the highlight of our trip. The water park has something for everyone, and we were not disappointed. Arien and the big kids went off to have fun on the exciting water slides and rides while I took Aren to the kids’ play area. Fort Mckenzie is always a hit with elementary-aged kids, and the wave pool is fun for all. Just a little tip: the small pool with the basketball hoops has the warmest water. That’s where I preferred to hang out.
On our second day, we had a private cabana and it is WELL worth it to get one if you plan to stay at the park for a long time. It includes a couch, table and chairs, towels, souvenir cups with unlimited soda refills, playing cards, and a TV for when you need a break from the water. We also had a server who took our food order and brought it to us quickly. No dragging the kids to go stand in line! No fighting other families for chairs by the pool. Such a sanity saver.
Oliver’s Mining Co – School Age and Up
Kaiden (8 years old) was probably more excited to try “mining for gold” as he calls it, but Hunter (16 years old) enjoyed it as well. They got their bag of rocks and dirt, and sifted through carefully, looking for certain gemstones. I might’ve tried it out myself if I didn’t have to chase Aren around the area, but definitely some quick fun for kids older than toddler age.
Howlers Peak Ropes Course – School Age and Up
My kids LOVE to do the ropes course. I personally will never get up there because I’m afraid of heights, but it does look pretty fun. They get strapped to a harness and sent up to walk on ropes, bridges, wooden beams, etc. My son usually ends up making a friend or two while he’s up in the air because all of the kids are having such a fun time. This is definitely a fun challenge for any family member who is 48 inches or taller. TIP: wear closed shoes (like tennis shoes) if you want to play.
Northern Lights Arcade – Fun for All
Mom confession: I didn’t want to go to the arcade on the first day because it just felt a little overwhelming. The lights, the sounds, all the other kids… I thought we might not even play at the arcade at all during this trip. But we went on Sunday morning after breakfast and it was fun! Hunter and I played a piano game together and won a TON of tickets. The big kids played Skee-Ball with me while Arien let Aren ride the carousel. Aren even helped daddy play a motorcycle riding game (so much pink and sparkly graphics haha). We all found something fun and then traded in our tickets for some decent prizes. TIP: Try to find a time when it’s less crowded, especially if you have younger kids.
MagiQuest – Fun for All
Aside from the water park, I thought this might have been Aren’s favorite Great Wolf Lodge activity! She loved carrying her pink wand around and pointing it different locations to make objects light up. Everyone chose a wand and gave it a name, and we went around the resort looking for places to find “magical” items. I didn’t participate as much as the kids did, but they had a great time with the adventure. It can take some time to find all of the things you need for the game, but it’s a great alternative to spending hours at the water park!
Howl In One Mini Golf – Young Kids and Up
The only reason I didn’t mark this one as fun for all, is I would honestly lose my mind if Aren was down and in the way while we tried to golf. Because of that, I chose to wear her on my back in the Tula while the rest of us played. And it worked out perfectly! The four of us went through the mini golf course and had lots of laughs while we each tried (and failed) to get a hole in one. The course was fun without being too challenging or frustrating for the younger kids.
Creation Station – Fun for All
The easiest way to describe this is it’s very similar to the Build-A-Bear experience. Kids (and/or adults) choose their animal character, and it becomes stuffed with fluff right in front of you! You can choose an outfit for your character (not included with the Wolf Pass), and then you can interact with your character with the Clubhouse Crew activity. We knew we didn’t have time to do everything, so we chose not to do the Clubhouse Crew, but the kids loved their new animal friends.
Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall/Ten Paw Alley – Young Kids and Up
As I’m typing this, I am just realizing we forgot to do the climbing wall this time! But from past experience, it is definitely fun for all kids, young and old. My 8 year old and 16 year old like to race each other to the top, and I’m pretty sure my husband would’ve tried to race them as well. Again, not for me just because of the height thing, but someone has to stay on flat land with the toddler anyway. We also missed bowling at Ten Paw Alley just because of time, but this would’ve been another fun family game to play.
Extra Activities for Family Fun
Aside from all of the activities I listed above, there is SO much to do at Great Wolf Lodge that everyone can enjoy. We visited during their Spring-A-Palooza, and they had beautiful flower displays in the lobby that you could vote for your favorite. They also had a spring scavenger hunt, which sent us all around the resort looking for clues. We all filled a cup with our favorite candies at the candy shop (even anti-sugar Arien got some sweets). The kids made personalized engraved leather bracelets at the gift shop and got glitter tattoos on their arms. We enjoyed some yummy lemonade in the afternoon and had fun with the forest friends before bed.
My only regret during this trip was that we were not able to stay two nights instead of just one. Great Wolf Lodge offers early check-in to the water park even if your room isn’t ready, and allows guests to stay later on the day of check-out for extra water park and activity play. Even so, we were only there 24 hours and wished we had more time to explore and enjoy all there was to do! Knowing how much fun we ALL had on this trip, I will make sure to book two nights next time. And I’ll probably opt for one of the themed suites so the kids have their own space in the room. Even though we love family time, we need our space to wind down at the end of the day.
Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? What is your family’s favorite activity?