“Have you ever been here before?” said the woman at the check-in desk to my husband. “No. But this is how I imagine heaven,” he responded. That was the beginning of our family’s adventure at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls a few weeks ago.
We arrived on a Saturday and spent two fun-filled days enjoying the waterpark, the activities in and around the resort and our fantastic “Kid Camp Suite”. For young families, this is the perfect mini-vacation. And not just because it’s super fun, but because Great Wolf Lodge gets that families with young kids are a distinct breed of traveller and have unique needs. In every part of the experience you can just see and feel that they get us.
When you book a stay at Great Wolf Lodge, the reservations team emails you with a kit of activities to get your kids excited for their stay and to keep them entertained in the car — a much appreciated detail. Our kiddo didn’t know what a waterpark was but we showed him videos on the Great Wolf Lodge website and he quickly got excited to meet Wiley Wolf and the other characters.
We booked a Kid Camp Suite for the three of us (me, hubby and the 3.5 year old boy). The room was so perfect for families with young kids. There is a separate sleeping area for the kids so parents can use the rest of the suite after the kids go to bed without having to tiptoe around in the dark. There is also a mini fridge and a microwave for any bottles or snacks you need to bring with you and of course a coffee maker, an essential part of many parents’ mornings, especially if your kids wake up before the on-site coffee shop opens!
The main attraction is the waterpark which our whole family enjoyed and the boy was big enough to go on many slides by himself and he couldn’t get enough of the family raft slide – the Wooly Mammoth – I’m sure we went down over a dozen times! The water park has a secure, family friendly feel to it. The weekend we were there, the lodge was booked to capacity and we still easily found lounge chairs or a table inside the waterpark to leave our towels and come back to for a rest. There are lifeguards at all of the waterslides. Including guards at the top and bottom of the kiddie slides so we felt comfortable sending the little guy up to the top on his own (we could see him the whole time) and waiting at the bottom for him to slide down.
When your fingers turn all pruny and it’s time to take a break from the water, there is much more to do at the lodge. Before arriving, I had no idea how many activities were available. There’s something magical and whimsical around every corner. The kids can play a Magic Quest game (you buy a wand for it at the gift shop). Our 3.5 year old was too young to understand the quests but still loved that he could point his wand at things throughout the resort and they would come alive; from singing squirrels to the twinkle lights on the tree in the buffet restaurant. He also loved placing his hands on the handprints to make the Forest Friends in the main lobby come alive and talk to him. And don’t miss Story Time! Every evening before bed The Forest Friends put on a show and there is a bedtime story for the kiddies. We arrived early to get good seats and got to enjoy a fun singalong pre-show too! Great Wolf Lodge also has bowling, mini-putt, an arcade, a kids’ spa (and one for the grown ups) and the Cub Club. I highly recommend buying a “Paw Pass” for your little ones for big savings if you think they might want to do more than 1 or 2 of the extra activities.
At the end of the weekend all three of us were exhausted from all of the fun and at least one of us had a good nap on the way home.
Did you know we’re giving away an all-inclusive stay at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls? If you live in Ontario, you’ll see it in the Bonus Contests tab on your Canada’s Luckiest Baby 3 dashboard.
All Photos by Jessi McAlpine
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.