Texas has a number of great resorts and in 2008 Texas added another fantastic resort for you to consider for a vacation, special event, or weekend excursion. If you're looking for someplace special to treat your kids because they've been on their best behavior or somewhere to take the kids for a special occasion like a birthday, then Great Wolf Lodge is a fantastic choice. Kids from two to sixteen are going to have a blast at Great Wolf Lodge. We took our grand kids who are 2, 3, and 9 months and two out of three told us what a great time they had and it was a real chore dragging them out of there! The third grand kid can't talk yet but he sure looked like he was enjoying the the pool, hot tub, and watching the story time animals - a smile never left his face the whole time! Toddlers to teens will love this place. Our daughters and their husbands also joined us and stated that a weekend visit to Great Wolf may have to become a yearly family tradition - the wife and I agreed!
Great Wolf Lodge howled into Grapevine and opened it's doors in 2007 and since then it has been receiving rave reviews. The Grapevine location is one of 12 Great Wolf Lodges spread throughout the United States. Some of what we think makes Great Wolf Lodge unique and special for kids includes:
Great Wolf is like a resort designed for toddlers to teens!
If you've got young kids (known at Great Wolf Lodge as "cubs"), you have a couple choices for some unique rooms. The Wolf Den is an in-suite cave-themed area with a bunk beds and the KidKamp room lets kids pitch camp with their very own Northwoods tent in the suite. Each of these rooms also give the kids their own 20" flat screen TV with movies and Nintendo.
In addition to these specially designed rooms for kids, Great Wolf Lodge has a variety of other rooms and suites to accommodate a family of from two to eight. Our group of 9 stayed in the Grizzly Bear Suite which included two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a comfortable living area with a sleeper sofa, three TVs, a mini fridge, coffee maker, and more. Some of the other room options include: a suite with an in room whirlpool; a suite with a loft with skylights, living room, and a bath and a half; or the Grand Bear Suite which has a master bedroom with private bath and can sleep up to eight.
All of the rooms come with: waterpark passes, an ironing board, coffee maker, hair dryer, free WiFi, mini refrigerator, microwave, sleeper sofa, and wet bar. But I'll bet you and the kids won't be spending much time in the room with all the other fun things to see and do
When we arrived, we were expecting a small indoor waterpark with a pool and some slides and not much else. Wow, were we surprised. Walking up to the lodge we couldn't help but notice a part of the waterpark that is actually on the outside of the building - a couple bright color tubes twisting out of and then back into the lodge plus what looks like a giant funnel. The grandkids were amazed!
Turns out the tubes and funnel are two of the most exciting rides at the Resort. And then when we walked into the lobby to register the kids couldn't help but see the huge multi-story indoor waterpark area and the gigantic Fort Mackenzie tree house - we had a hard time keeping up with the kids as they rushed to the room to get into their bathing suits and then head back to the waterpark.
The 80,000 square foot and 80 foot tall indoor waterpark with a constant temperature of 84 degrees (making it perfect for cold winter days!) is the largest in Texas and has a number of fun and thrilling rides and things to do, some of which include:
There are 12 water slides at Great Wolf Lodge, but the most exciting and fun slides are the three giant slides. Alberta Falls is a single tube ride that twists and turns through a tunnel and into the plunge pool. The thrilling Cannon Bowl give you a twisting and turning 436' enclosed tube ride into a splash pool - you won't forget this one! One of the other slide has a tube big enough for a family of 4 or your 4 best friends. But the heart stopper is the Howlin' Tornado - very appropriately named - if you or the kids make it down this monster ride through the 6 story funnel without howlin' or screamin' let me know and I'll send you a Texas Outside Koozie! What a blast for kids and adults.
In the summer, the 84,000 square foot Racoon Lagoon opens and offers slides, a patio with lounge chairs and umbrellas, an indoor and outdoor whirpool, and the lagoon. Safety is a priority with Great Wolf and the waterpark is well supervised with over 100 nationally certified lifeguards. The waterpark is outstanding and I'll guarantee that toddlers to teens are going to want to stay here from the time they wake up until the park closes.
But Great Wolf Lodge is much more than just a waterpark and it offers kids a wide variety of other fun things to do. After you check in and start to head to your room to get you bathing suit, you can't help but notice all the kids heading up and down the stairwells and into the halls with big smiles on the faces, magic wands in their hands, and shouting with joy "I found it!" You and your kids will quickly find out that they are on the MagiQuest. Armed with a high-tech magic wand, they set off looking to slay a dragon, defeat a goblin king, and find different treasures on each of Lodge's 6 floors and in the stairwells. The magic wand allows them to gain powers and earn points during their quest to find all of the treasures. Kids love it and I wanted to give it a try but my wife said it wouldn't be fair to all of the other kids playing and competing for first place - with envy I just watched them having fun with their wands and I gave a lot of hints to various participants about where they would find a treasure!
In addition to the kids wandering about the Lodge on the quest, around bedtime you'll see a hoard of pajama-clad boys and girls heading to the Great Clock Tower for story time and to sing along when the animatronic forest creatures come to life. Our grand kids remained perfectly still (a first for this trip and a new record!) with wide open eyes during the whole show. They hated it when story time ended but it turned out to be a perfect way to calm them down after a fun, exciting, and busy day - thank you Great Wolf Lodge! We all hit the sack tired and excited about starting the adverture over again after a well deserved good nights sleep.
If for some strange reason, the kids get bored with the waterpark (impossible!) or don't want to go on another MajiQuest, then here are some other additional ways for them to enjoy their stay:
After all that fun and exercise swimming, climbing the steps to the top of the slides, running around Fort Mackenzie, and trips up and down the stairs in search of the MagiQuest treasures, it's time to eat and put back on some of those calories. And you have lots of choices:
Adult Fun At Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge hasn't forgotten about us adults who like to have fun and need to enjoy ourselves to help justify the expenditure. So for the adults you'll find:
Make sure you don't woose out and skip the Howlin' Tornado or the Cannon Bowl - so grab the family and hike up the four stories (we all need to wear off some calories) and see if you can make it down without howlin' or screaming! If you do, treat yourself to a great margarita from the snack bar within the waterpark area!
If you feel a need to get out, Great Wolf Lodge is close to lots of other fun things to see and do - excellent golf, great biking trails, fun nightlife, good shopping, and more.
Great Wolf Lodge is an excellent choice for a family reunion, corporate retreat, or business meeting. They recently opened a state-of-the-art, 20,000 square foot conference center and have a varity of rooms to host your meeting. While you're conducting some strategic planning sessions, the spouses and kids can enjoy the waterpark or other activities. For team building, the arcade is perfect. Or forget the business meetings and just treat your employees and their families to a special treat to say thanks for all their hard work.
Be careful, if you select Great Wolf for a family reunion, you may get roped into doing it again year after year - we did and are already thinking about when to visit again! Our choice was February when it is cold and chilly outside and an 84 degree waterpark is a welcome relief.
Great Wolf Lodge is centrally located between Dallas and Ft Worth and is 5 minutes from the DFW airport.
Great Wolf Lodge couldn't have picked a better spot to locate in Texas - Grapevine is outstanding and one of our favorite Texas cities because it offers so much to see and do. And Great Wolf Lodge is smack dab right in the middle of lots of fun things to do. Granted you could have a fantastic time and never get bored with everything there is to do within the walls of Great Wolf Lodge, but if you do want to get out, here are some of our favorite things to do, all of which are within 15 minutes of the Great Wolf Lodge parking lot:
Bottom Line - Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect place to treat the kids to a special weekend that they won't soon forget. Vist their Website or call them (800 693-9653) to make a reservation. Have fun.