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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Places to Play in PA: Great Wolf Lodge Poconos

I am hoping to do a Christmas is coming post and so to set the stage for that, last year we asked several relatives that instead of buying our family toys, clothes, etc., that they get us great wolf lodge gift cards! It turned out to be one of the best things we have ever received because unlike a thing, it was valuable family time. We used our gift cards coupled with a homeschool deal (HOMEM was the key phrase to get discounted rooms during the week) and we only paid for three meals outside of the lodge and the snacks that we brought along. It was a perfect two day getaway. I do think a one night stay is absolutely perfect for us at this point-- all that water play tires you out and when you're that tired, you need your own bed! The wonderful thing is that you get two days to play at the water park with a one nights stay! We got lunch on our way to the lodge and then arrived around 2. Our room was ready so we went there, changed into our swimsuits, and then went to the water park where we stayed till a little after 7. Our family is just a tad crazy about water rides! We went to a local Red Robin for dinner and then had a late night snack of popcorn. Because of the homeschool deal we upgraded to a Kids Cabin Room which was perfect as it had 3 kids beds. The lodge also provided a packing play free of charge for the baby.
The kids loved the "special" room and had a lot of fun in their cabin for three! The next morning, we went and dined at their breakfast buffet.
They make made to order omelets and I went with a spinach, tomato, and swiss cheese concoction! Yum! We also ate way more french toast sticks then I'd care to admit, but it was a special trip, so we slacked off on our clean eating ways just a bit. We did pack some sandwiches and healthy snacks for a light lunch that we ate at before going in the water park at lunch time. However, after breakfast, we embarked on MagiQuest.
Here is what Ill prepare you for: Magi Quest takes a long time-- about 4-6 hours. The first hour will be spent figuring out what to do and completing the first task. If you have little kids who can't read, I'd advise skipping this as they're enthusiasm won't take you past the first few hours. It is a lot-- I mean A LOT of walking all over the hallways, stairs, and many frequent rides in the elevator. It is a lot of fun and is a fun family activity. We did the boys versus the girls (and baby in his Moby) and Im happy to say the girls won by a landslide (however, the boys had a very tired four year old who was quested out by the end!). We bought two wands and any time we return we will just have to pay for new games to be uploaded onto the wands. At this point I am pretty sure we burned every single extra calorie from the breakfast buffet and then some-- Im nt exaggerating when I say its a lot of moving around!
We packed our room up, ate our light lunch, and then headed back into the water park. Where we played till almost 8! Here are my tips for the water park: when you first enter, you can get colored wristbands for your kids that correlate with which rides they can go on. Getting them measured and fitted with a band then will save you time at each ride from having your child measured. Smaller children cannot do all of the rides, so take a look and see and plan accordingly. Right after the baby would nurse and was happy, I'd do rides with the older two or three (or sometimes just one) and then my husband would switch with me. Sometimes he would take older children on rides and the baby, 4 year old, and I would hang out in the 1 foot pool-- we loved it! They also provide life vests there and I'd advise using theirs as it's one less thing to pack and take home. None of the pools were deeper than 5 feet and many were only three feet deep-- it's very kid friendly. The life guards are AMAZING! By far the safest water park I have ever been too! They are constantly scanning the water, checking heights and bands, and going over the rules. It was fantastic! At one point my daughter cut her elbow in the wave pool and they quickly bandaged her up and yet another time she flipped off her tube coming off a slide and immediately a guard was in there assisting her! They really do a fantastic job keeping everyone safe! If you plan to stay late at the waterpark after you have checked out, they provide showers by the deeper pool (and there are bathing suit dryers in there as well!).
Everyone from our 5 month old to our Daddy had a wonderful time!
So why should YOU visit Great Wolf Lodge: no chance of sunburn while at the water park!Thats a huge plus right there. No matter the weather, your plans won't be ruined!
When we went a little over two years ago, a huge ice storm was raging outside but inside we were swimming! That was pretty cool! Great Wolf lodge is also a wonderful family resort. Some guy with a baby did come up to me and say wouldn't it be great if they had babysitting and I (actually thought up a clever reply instantly) said, "well, that would defeat the point of a family vacation!" Unless your kids are older and you have two, you will not do the rides all together. You have to be okay with that-- and it really is about having fun together, you just might not do everything at the exact same time in the water park. The Lodge also does amazing decorations and fun cutesy things all year long! They have characters, story times, and really, it will dazzle your children! If you don't want to, you can stay at the lodge and never leave! They have places to eat, a spa, a bowling alley, magi-quest-- its pretty cool! Its a lot of fun that can be done close by and in a smaller time frame. We unanimously have decided that we'd like to make this a yearly tradition-- and maybe we'll see you there! To check out more about the GWL, visit their website www.greatwolf.com/poconos/waterpark And, if you've been and would like to add your thoughts, please do!


Tiffany said...

We have been thinking about a trip there next fall! I love the Xmas gift idea, too. We usually ask for memberships, but since we are kind of zoo-ed and Children's museum-ed out, this is a great alternative!!
Thanks for breaking it down!

Heather said...

Hi Becky! Great ideas! I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question I have about your blog! My name is Heather and my email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)