The weather may be getting cooler, but it’s still a balmy 84 degrees inside Great Wolf Lodge! We packed up our cubs this past weekend and headed north for some water fun in the massive indoor resort in Grapevine, near Fort Worth. My kids were thrilled to (play video games in the car for four hours and then) take the Lodge by storm!
Great Wolf Lodge offers every amenity imaginable to delight children of all ages: an 84,000-square-foot indoor water park, interactive quest games, an arcade, a kid spa, the new Howlers Peak Ropes Course and, this month, a special Howl-O-Ween celebration.
When we arrived on Friday evening, we found ourselves in the middle of a wild Monster Bash Dance Party. Costumed children filled the lobby, belting out “What Does the Fox Say?” at the top of their lungs. The kids (a good deal of whom were dressed like Elsa from Frozen) were ecstatic, and the parents were laughing as they snapped photos of the haphazard conga lines forming, filled with mini Elsas jumping up and down. It was a good time!
For the entire month of October, kids are invited to visit Great Wolf Lodge in costume to participate in the Monster Bash Dance Party on Fridays and Saturdays, a nightly trick-or-treat trail, costume parades, and Spooktacular Story Time. There is also a Howl-O-Ween scavenger hunt where guests can enter to win a Trick or PEEPS! package if they find 10 of 12 PEEPS hidden around the resort. A winner is drawn every night during Howl-O-Ween.
I, of course, forgot my kids’ costumes. So we opted instead to activate the boys’ magic wands, purchased on a previous visit, and embark upon a hotel-wide adventure. Great Wolf Lodge now offers three interactive games (for a fee): MagiQuest, ShadowQuest, and Compass Quest. Each game involves racing up and down all eight floors of the hotel, following clues to track down runes and colored crystals that come to life with a wave of the magic wand. On this visit, my boys wanted to try ShadowQuest, a series of adventures where they become Magi trying “to save the light of the sky before it vanishes… conquer new quests, collect runes, battle creatures from the dark worlds and save the light.” They were up to the challenge!
Wands remain active for four days, so I didn’t feel pressured to do more than one quest that first night. Which is good, because there is only so much running around a mama can take after 10 p.m. But the very best thing about the quests is that they exhaust the children too! Mine were asleep about 30 seconds after their heads hit their pillows.
- Sign up for the ePack to receive discounts by email.
- You can use the water park starting at 1 p.m. the day you check in and all day the day you check out. Make sure to arrive as early as possible and leave as late as possible, to maximize your water park play time!
- There are showers in the water park bathrooms, which is handy if you’ve already checked out of your room.
- Pack two bathing suits for each kid. We were glad to have spares when one kid realized he had forgotten to pack his suit!
- No need to bring towels or life jackets – they are provided in the water park.
- Bring your own breakfast for a quick and easy start to your day before heading to the water park when it opens at 9 a.m. I like to bring special vacation breakfast treats, like sugary cereals the kids don’t get at home. The hotel rooms have a fridge and microwave for whipping up snacks and small meals. You may also want to bring your own water, as the bottles provided in the room cost $2.50.
- Bring closed toe shoes if your kids would like to try the Ropes Course (fees apply).
- Note that parking is free and water park admission is included in the price of your stay.
- If you’re visiting in October, bring along a costume and join in the Howl-O-Ween fun!
In celebration of Howl-O-Ween, Just Born, Inc. and Great Wolf Lodge have generously provided Free Fun in Austin with a fabulous prize pack to give away! One lucky reader will win a Halloween PEEPS product, a $50 Great Wolf Lodge gift card, and a ONE NIGHT STAY AT GREAT WOLF LODGE!
The prize pack includes:
- Trick or PEEPS! package (includes 10 marshmallow chicks and 1 plush chick)
- Mike & Ike Mummy Mix
- Marshmallow Pumpkins
- Marshmallow Ghosts
- $50 Great Wolf Lodge gift card
- Certificate for a complimentary one-night stay at any Great Wolf Lodge property (excludes Great Wolf Lodge Niagara)