When you live in Minnesota the winters are and you need to get away. Unfortunately, we can’t all escape to some place warm and tropical but now we can enjoy a family getaway, right here in the Twin Cities.
I got to attend the grand opening back in December and tour the facility. I was blown away and couldn’t wait to return with my family because I knew how much Gradie (and her moms) would love it.
Lucky for us I didn’t have to wait long. This past weekend, January 5 through 7, Great Wolf Lodge hosted local media and bloggers for a weekend stay. We had a weekend full of fun, activities, great food and memories that we’ll remember forever.
While there are many reasons that the MN Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect getaway location, I wanted to showcase our top 5.
1. Water Park
This one is kind of a no brainer right. Of course you would go to Great Wolf to experience the water park, but this is not like any water park I’ve experienced before. With 75,000 sq feet of fun and excitement it’s hard to choose what you want to do first.
As for Gradie she couldn’t get into her swim suit fast enough and she was ready to explore.
Gradie spent most of her time in and around Fort Mackenzie, a multi-level tree house water fort, Totem Towers, body slides that are attached to Fort Mackenzie and Cub Paw Pool, a zero-depth entry children’s pool with water fountain features and spray-and-play adventures.
There are so many things for our small kids to do here and we absolutely love the zero depth entry into the pool and the water not deeper than a foot, allowing the kids to run around and play with ease.
Of course, many guests of Great Wolf are over the age of 4 and for these visitors there are many other amazing attractions in this water park, including;
- River Canyon Run™ featuring Splash Cinema: Twist and dip on one of our longest slides while splashing through an interactive experience.
- Alberta Falls®: Two four-story enclosed tube slides.
- Slap Tail Pond®: Gigantic wave pool complete with waves reaching up to three feet in height as they roll through every five minutes.
- Chinook Cove™: Water playground for children of all ages featuring basketball and floating obstacles.
- Big Foot Pass™: Unique water obstacle challenges kids and adults alike to balance on floating logs and lily pads and hold on to hanging nets as they try to get across the pool.
- Crooked Creek™: Winding lazy river.
- Cub Paw™ Pool: Zero-depth entry children’s pool with water fountain features and spray-and-play adventures.
- Wolf Rider Wipeout™: Double indoor surf simulator with ocean-like waves that reach five feet; perfect for knee boarding and surfing.
Seriously, the suites – with 404 suites available in 13 different styles, what is not to LOVE. We were lucky to be in a standard family suite and when you walk into the room it is so inviting it is hard to not just get cumfy and hang in your room. However, if you have a 4 year old she does debates which bed to jump on first.
I highly encourage you to head to their website to see all available suite options, I am sure you’ll find one that will work for your family.
I love that all the suites come with a microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and hair dryer – another win for families, keeping favorite snacks and drinks on hand plus the ability to microwave something should the need arise is a win, and of course – coffee!
Food, food, and more food. There are so many fantastic dining options that you’ll find something for everyone’s taste buds. With 3 restaurants; Campfire Kitchen – buffet style, Hungry As A Wolf – pizza, pasta and salads, and Buckets Incredible Craveables – casual dining, hotdogs, burgers, and fries.
There’s more than just restaurants because the grown ups need fun too. Barnwood Bar – shareable plates & craft cocktails, The Watering Hole – right inside the water park, refreshing drinks and ice cold beer, and Outpost Bar – inside Adventure Park, perfect to sit down and enjoy a drink while the kids play.
If these fine choices leave you still wanting you can stop by Dunkin’ Donuts and/or Ben & Jerry’s, both will make your sweet tooth happy.
4. Additional Attractions & Fun
Item #4 makes our list because there needs to be something to do besides for swimming – this mama needs a break too. Great Wolf Lodge truly stepped up the total getaway experience here. From battling dragons with MagiQuest to rock climbing, and mining to creating Great Wolf characters, Great Wolf has you covered.
- MagiQuest®: Guests battle dragons, befriend a pixie and wave a magic wand in this live-action adventure game throughout the resort. The games features three unique chapters, each with their own challenges and quests.
- Creation Station: Guests create and keep their very own Great Wolf Kids character.
- Great Wolf Adventure Park™ including;
- Northern Lights™ Arcade: More than 100 interactive video and redemption games that allow guests to redeem points for prizes.
- Howlers Peak Ropes Course®: An invigorating aerial adventure that has guests balancing on ropes, crossing bridges and climbing through obstacles: all from the safety of a climbing harness!
- Ten Paw Alley™: Family-style bowling with pint-sized bowling balls.
- Oliver’s Mining Co.™: Pan and sift to find the beautiful gemstones and minerals waiting to be discovered.
- Rustic Ridge Rock Wall: Rustic Ridge offers a 21 ft. climbing challenge for every age and skill level.
5. Free activities & experiences
You might start to run out of time to do everything but Great Wolf Lodge offers your family even more. My favorites was story time on Friday night and character appearances always make me happy – love seeing the joy in Gradie’s face.
This isn’t all though, you can also check out daily crafts, dance parties, kids yoga and the Northwoods Friends Show in the lobby. We had a lot of fun decorating a Northwoods character and turning it into a button during craft time.
You’ll be truly be hard pressed to find time without something to do. Our family had an absolutely amazing weekend and we’ll cherish the memories. This past Monday Gradie stopped me and said, “Remember when we went to Great Wolf?” I said yes, and she replied with, “Thanks mama, that was really fun!” Just melted my heart, Thank You to Great Wolf Lodge for giving our family the opportunity to explore your beautiful new MN location.
Be sure to check out the Great Wolf Lodge website where you can find some great deals on stays at the Bloomington, MN location.