Great Wolf Lodge is the leader of the pack when it comes to indoor water park resorts in the U.S. and Canada. With the largest resort collection in North America (there are nearly 20 Great Wolf Lodge locations), the rustic-themed Great Wolf resorts can claim more pools, slides, lazy rivers, tipping buckets, and splash grounds than any other brand on the continent.
And there’s a lot more to do at a Great Wolf Lodge than just splash around, too. Here’s an overview of what you can expect during a stay, as well as the resort chain’s top Great Wolf Lodge locations for indoor waterpark fun.
Things to Do at Great Wolf Lodge Locations
Most families come to Great Wolf for the indoor waterpark. Waterpark admission is included with the regular room rate for guests at all Great Wolf Lodge locations, and you can enjoy the waterpark as soon as you check in and through park closing the day you check out. At minimum, you get two days of waterpark fun for just one night’s stay.
But these resorts are more than just their water parks. There are many other attractions, too. MagiQuest is their exclusive live-action adventure game where kids wield wands and cast spells on objects throughout the resort. “I’m going Questing!” was a phrase our daughter often used while acquiring runes, gold pieces, and experience points on her way to become a Master Magi.
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Other lodge attractions include climbing walls and ropes courses, indoor bowling and mini golf, Scooops Kids Spa for ice cream-themed manicures and pedicures, and kids activities such as morning yoga, story time, and character meet and greets.
Great Wolf Lodge Rooms and Suites
With their themed KidKamp and KidCabin suites, Great Wolf resorts might be the originators of the family glamping resorts trend. These rooms offer a tent or log-cabin themed sleeping area complete with bunk beds for the little ones. And all rooms at Great Wolf Lodge locations around the U.S. and Canada offer a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker perfect for families who need to pack food and snacks for the kiddos.
Food and Dining at Great Wolf Lodge Locations
After a day of play, everyone’s sure to work up an appetite. Every lodge offers multiple dining options from all-you-care-to-eat buffets to poolside snacks. Parents may appreciate the full-service bar for a cold drink in the 84-degree water park, or perhaps the Wine-Down service delivering wine and culinary treats to your room once the kids are in bed.
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Other on-site restaurants at select resorts include Lodge Wood Fired Grill steakhouse and Barnwood, offering a locally sourced season menu in a rustic setting. There’s also Hungry as a Wolf Pizza, Buckets Incredible Craveables, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shops all located within the lodge as well.
Each season is celebrated at all of the Great Wolf Lodge locations. Spring-a-Palooza comes at the beginning of the year, Summer Camp-In from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Howl-O-Ween with a trick-or-treat trail winding throughout the resort for spooky season, and (our family’s favorite) Snowland from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
During the Snowland “Howl-iday” celebration, every lodge glistens with snow, twinkling lights, and decorative trees for a winter wonderland display. From top to bottom, the hotels shout Christmas, and the centerpiece of each lobby is a life-sized Gingerbread House that would please even Hansel and Gretel.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
In order to keep families and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the resorts have implemented a Paw Pledge Health and Safety Program that includes:
- All guests ages 2+ are required to wear face coverings throughout the lodge.
- Hand sanitizing stations are added throughout lodge areas.
- Six foot social distancing is required in water park queues, restaurants, and public areas.
- Floor squares indicate waiting spots for lobby entertainment and character appearances.
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitization of guest rooms, water parks, restaurants, public areas, and high touch items.
- Contactless environment to minimize touching of surface areas.
The Best Great Wolf Lodge Resorts
1. Great Wolf Lodge Southern California – Garden Grove, CA
Located just four miles from Disneyland in Anaheim, Great Wolf Lodge Southern California – Garden Grove is a fantastic Southern California option for families looking to add a little water park fun to their visit to the Mouse. Plus, with Disneyland ticket and transportation packages to/from the theme parks, Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim makes that trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” a little more affordable.
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The centerpiece here is the extensive 84-degree indoor water park with six-story Howlin’ Tornado, Wolf Tail trap door slide, dual body surfing Wolf Rider Wipeout, and more. In addition to the water park attractions, there are plenty of other family fun activities, such as MagiQuest, Ten Paw Bowling, mini golf, and Scooops Kids Spa.
On the dinning front, the Lodge Wood Fire Grill restaurant is so much more than burgers and chicken fingers—try roasted Brussel sprouts, steak, and lava cake. After dinner and a soak in the pool, you’ll have no trouble falling asleep and resting up for another full day of waterpark fun (or continuing on to Disneyland).
2. Great Wolf Lodge Arizona – Scottsdale, AZ
Opened in October 2019 and located within the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community’s Talking Stick Entertainment District, Great Wolf Lodge Arizona has an 85,000-square-foot indoor water park with slides and water features for every age, coupled with a 27,000-square-foot Great Wolf Adventure Park with family-friendly attractions such as a ropes course, miniature golf, and family bowling.
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The Arizona resort’s water park has a first-of-its-kind slide called Diamondback Drop, a four-person high-speed raft ride filled with serpentine curves and high-bank thrills, where riders drop into an overlapping 360-degree coil before plunging into the belly of the snake. When the kids are done with the water, they can play MagiQuest, mini golf, bowl, or watch the Northwoods Friends Show, an innovative animated projection show using three-dimensional projection mapping technology.
Highlights of the dining options at Great Wolf Lodge Arizona include Barnwood, featuring a locally inspired seasonal menu and craft cocktails in a rustic-themed setting.
3. Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs – Colorado Spring, CO
Situated across I-25 from the Air Force Academy and 30 minutes from Pikes Peak, Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs features incredible views of the Rocky Mountains. It’s easy to combine a mountain and water vacation here. The 65,000-square-foot indoor water park has signature slides attractions including the five-story Howlin’ Tornado funnel slide, Slap Tail Pond wave pool, and the multi-level Fort Mackenzie interactive tree house with tipping water bucket.
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Out of the water, families can test their mettle on the Rustic Ridge climbing wall, Howlers Peak ropes course, or conquer a dragon on a MagiQuest. All dining options are kid-friendly, including the Loose Moose Family Kitchen and the Barnwood farm-to-fork dining experience.
4. Great Wolf Lodge Georgia – LaGrange, Georgia
Located in LaGrange, Great Wolf Lodge Georgia opened in 2018 with a massive indoor water park that’s nearly 100,000 square feet. and packed with high-speed water slides, a relaxing lazy river, huge wave pool, multiple zero entry pools, kids water play areas, and the required tipping bucket. There’s also a large outdoor resort pool with plenty of family-friendly water attractions, as well as the adults-only Northwoods oasis with a relaxing private hot tub.
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Other attractions include the popular MagiQuest game, an adventure park with ropes course and climbing wall, bowling, mini golf, and Northern Lights Arcade. Little kids will love the Build-a-Bear Workshop, Yoga Tails, arts and crafts, and bedtime stories in the lobby in their pajamas.
5. Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls, ON
Just 10 minutes from Niagara Falls near the Niagara Whirlpool region of the river, the only Canadian location of Great Wolf Lodge is an 84-degree oasis amid the long Canadian winters. The 100,000-square-foot indoor water park hosts the Niagara Rapids Run aqua coaster, raft slides, splash grounds, a wave pool, and lazy river.
Outside of the pool, kids can play MagiQuest, mini golf, bowling, and adopt a Great Wolf Character friend. The lodge’s lobby hosts plenty of activities, too, such as the Forest Friends Show, story time, Cub Club crafts, and evenings with the Great Wolf Kids.
In addition to the standard family and themed suites, the lodge offers private Timber Wolf Cottages. These two-story, two- and three-bedroom cottages sleep up to 10 guests, and are perfect for multi-generational trips and family retreats.
6. Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains – Scotrun, PA
The Great Wolf Lodge Poconos indoor water park, two hours from New York City and Philadelphia, features one of the most extreme water slides in the country: the Double Barrel Drop. This raft ride drops you into a vortex, spins you around, and then drops you again, all with flashing LED lighting effects. Serious fun.
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On dry land, families will find classic games like giant Jenga and checkers outside around the fire pit at the Raccoon Lagoon Play Park. There’s also multiple MagiQuest games, a ropes course, mini golf, and indoor bowling at this Great Wolf Lodge location.
7. Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky – Sandusky, OH
Just five miles from Ohio’s roller coaster mecca of Cedar Point, Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky isn’t just a great place to stay and cool off after a day of roller coaster theme park fun. It’s also smack dab inside one of best family vacation spots in the US. Kids love getting drenched by the 1,000-gallon dump bucket this resort’s Fort Mackenzie splash ground, sliding down every tube and body slide, floating in the lazy river, swimming in the outdoor pool, and even soaking in the hot tub.
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The Scooops Kids Spa is open for manicures, and hearty dinners are always served at Gitchigoomie Grill. In the evening, kids can slay dragons with MagiQuest before donning their jammies for a bedtime story with Wiley Wolf.
8. Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City – Traverse City, MI
The vacation region of northern Michigan’s lower peninsula fits perfectly with Great Wolf Lodge’s woodsy theme. The Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City location is an easy drive to scenic tourist areas of Sleeping Bear Dunes, Grand Traverse Bay, and the Leelanau Peninsula. Under the roof is an 80,000 square foot water park with slides, a wave pool, lazy river, and plenty of climbing and splashing activities. After the kids towel off, they can don their capes on a MagiQuest, bowl some strikes, and sink some putts.
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In the lodge’s lobby, children will enjoy the Great Clock Tower Show, morning yoga, pajama parties, and evening story time. Camp Critter Bar & Grill offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet to fuel everyone up for water park fun, as well as a lunch and dinner menu with burgers, chicken, ribs, steak, salmon, and pasta.
9. Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg – Williamsburg, VA
Conveniently located near Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens, Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg features a six-story Howlin’ Tornado water slide, Wolf Rider Wipeout body surfing simulator, wave pool, lazy river, and Fort Mackenzie interactive treehouse (with obligatory dump bucket).
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There’s also plenty of dry land activities, including MagiQuest, a ropes course, bowling, a 4D theater, Northern Lights Arcade, and Build-A-Bear Workshop at this Great Wolf Lodge location. Little kids will enjoy the Clock Tower Show, story time, and PJ parties. And when the family’s ready to tuck into a meal, Loose Moose Bar & Grill offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner buffet.
10. Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells – Wisconsin Dells, WI
The lodge that started them all, Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells opened in the southern Wisconsin water park mecca in 1997 and pioneered the all-under-one-roof family recreational resort concept. At more than 20 years old, it’s still going strong with a 76,000-square-foot indoor water park made up of slides, pools, splash grounds, and lazy rivers. Dry land attractions feature multiple versions of MagiQuest, PJ parties, a clock tower animatronics show, and craft giveaways.
11. Great Wolf Lodge Northern California – Manteca, CA
The new Great Wolf Lodge Northern California opened in Manteca, California, in June 2021. This Bay Area indoor water park is approximately 90 minutes from San Francisco and an hour from Sacramento. The 500-room lodge features a 95,000-square-foot indoor water park with all the requisite water slides, raft rides, pools, and splash grounds, not to mention a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket. There’s a large outdoor pool complex for sun worshippers.
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Beyond the water, families can play together in the Great Wolf Adventure Park that includes a multi-level ropes course, miniature golf, Ten Paw bowling alley, and arcade. Great Wolf Lodge updated the MagiQuest live-action adventure game with a new story where kids use their interactive wand to complete a quest. And younger kids enjoy the Northwoods Friends Show animated storytelling experience in the lobby.
Families won’t go hungry at Great Wolf Lodge Northern California, either, as there are nine different dining options including the resort’s full-service elevated dining experience, Barnwood. There’s also a Dunkin’ Donuts for the morning coffee run, and an ice cream parlor called the Wood’s End Creamery for the end of the day.
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This article about Great Wolf Lodge locations was originally published in November 2020. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.