Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge mini Vacation.......

Last Sunday myself and my friend April, her daughter Angeleila, and Angeleila's friend Kaylala  packed ourselves in the car for a three hour tour from Kitsap County to the Great Wolf Lodge. What a beautiful drive. I love seeing the State Capital in Olympia stick up above the green trees with the beautiful blue sky behind it!   I would never get sick of seeing that view.

When we took the turn off to make are way to the GWL, you are able to know that with the  big wolves in the front protecting the lodge is not the only a Grand thing you are about to experience.
At first I really wasn't sure if I didn't have a child of my own if I would really get the big picture. The attraction of why it is such a big and important place to go to and experience. As I am writing this I am still smiling for the great time I had and can only imagine what I would feel if I was a child going here for the first time.
 In entering the lobby you instantly know your in for a great stay. Right away you see the line the hussle and bussle of all the people going in and out of the water park, through the lobby to get to their rooms. It was amazing how families were around smiling and laughing, making memories.  I loved how alive the lobby was it was a wonderful feeling to see it so busy and full of families having great times, a time that a family will forever remember.

As the line was backed up through the rolling ropes up to the hotel front desk. I was reminded of my many stays at the Disney properties. I was greeted with a smile and explained in detail about all the perks and where to take the kids and really all the amazing things that they have to offer.

The water park was much more then I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be a lot like the other water park in Federal way. Nope this blew anything around out of the water...( No pun intended.)  The star of Great Wolf Lodge is the indoor waterparks,  with 340,000 gallons of swirling, sloshing sliding water make it one of America’s largest!!!!  Boasting with 6 huge slides, 3 pools, giant water fort, indoor/outdoor hot tubs, then even have an enormous outdoor waterpark! It is something that all ages will enjoy on their own or together!

Our room was on the second floor and was number 217 it was big and comfortable and every thing you could think of. It was a KidCabin Suite decorated with a log cabin in the middle of the room. Inside the "log cabin" was a bunk bed & a day bed and a small flat screen TV,  with movies and Nintendo, ( you have to rent both the movies and the games) I would love to see a DVD player in the rooms and a redbox in the lobby. Maybe even board games in each room to play before bed. I think the families would enjoy it.

In the main room there was a queen bed that was comfortable with extra pillows and blankets, there was a full-size sleeper sofa so two families could fit in this room if they wanted to. There is also another TV in the main room.  This suite has a beautiful gas fireplace. The KidCabin is so spacious, I would stay in there again, maybe just have a patio or deck off the room would have been nice. The added touches like the log cabin themed side tables, trim,  & coffee table, even adding a country kitchen table for your family to sit up at just makes it wonderful for your family to enjoy also.  Included in the room are granite counter tops a separate vanity from the shower area and the yummy bath products they give you from the spa are to die for!! ( Even the bubble gum shower gel)  The added touches that the lodge goes to for making it extra special shows in every single hand picked detail.

Speaking of things that they offer.... talk about not having to leave once you get there. They have everything your heart could think of or dream of wanting on site. The gift shop is just wonderful and the prices are so good.  Starbucks is on hand, now how could you go wrong when you can get your "Bucks" easily and on site. A wonderful Gift shop Buckhorn Exchange, Bear Essentials swim shop.

There are places to eat where you can find something your entire family would like and enjoy. Camp Critter's bar and Grille, Spirit Island snack shop, Grizzly Rob's bar & even a Pizza hut!
I decided to go to the Critter's bar and Grille. It was a great choice, I had the best salad with crab, salmon, shrimp. It was so big that two of us could have eaten it but I was a piggy and ate it all by myself. :)

I took the kids to the Cub Club where they were able to do some fun free activities and enjoyed a one on one story time! They then made flip flop sun catchers, it was fun to see them enjoy their time! The kids could have also done a Jr Life guard class and then spend the next day following a lifeguard. We also made two husky puppies at Great Wolf Stuffing Station, ( Just like the build a bear) Also one more non-swimming thing to do is a build your own crocks (the slip on shoes with the holes) We did a pair for each of us and laughed the entire time.

For the older child that you might bring there is an option for something fun for them to do as well. There is an Arcade  &  a place called gr8_space with multiple gaming stations like the Nintendo Wii, XBox360, and Playstation 3,  along with fun games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. There are also  computers with parent approved Internet access so your kids will never have to miss a Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter update, ( Ok maybe us grown ups as well.)  You can enjoy the latest movies & today's hottest music and videos.  Their most popular event is their Teen Dance Party which is hosted by a GWL dj’.  Your teen can dance to all of "in" dance music in a safe and fun environment, where you as their parent's wont have to worry and you will seem pretty cool to let them join in on the fun!

If that isn't enough for your family try going to the Northern Lights Arcade. Just make sure not to wear a thin shirt with a white bra or all eyes will be on you,(insert laugh here) yup it happened to me!! There are over 100 games that are on the token system and is super fun. Located on the 2nd floor on the entrance level of the Water park. It is also a great escape for that little break you might need for an hour or so before or after a long swim.  While your kids are there you can go use the fitness room

After hours of swimming and going down water slides, we went to the room got in our PJ's and went to the Great Clock Tower and if you haven't seen this for yourself it is an animated display in the Grand lobby.  It is a 15 minute show. Animals coming alive singing and telling a story to teach your children and maybe even teach you a great life lesson. They run three times at day at 10:00 am, 8:00 pm & 9:00pm.

Feeling like you need some extra pampering while on your mini vacation? Do what I did and go get a treatment at the Elements Spa where they offer guests the perfect retreat.  Specializing  in much needed stress reduction and relaxation, I was able to enjoy a facial and a wonderful foot treatment. They have the spa set up perfectly to relax, with low lit lighting it takes you miles away from whatever you need to run from. So grab your spouse or a girlfriend and hit the mini getaway designed for you to slow down and unwind & re energize. There is so many wonderful things to pick off of the menu from  massage's to a facial's. You deserve the pampering.

While you are there you should have your little girl go to Scoops, where your little girl can enjoy a spa that was created just for kids with services designed exclusively for ages 4-12 years old. Everything in scoops is centered around delicious ice cream dishes!!!  Ice cream flavor's you crave for a manicure or pedicure. They even have special facial's that are just  for young tween faces and skin needs. We’ll pamper, beautify and spoil your girl. Make sure to bring the camera!!!

Then there is MagiQuest  an adventure game unlike anything you’ve seen before. Armed with magic wands, Children will explore an enchanted kingdom to solve puzzles, discover hidden treasures, help mystical characters, and even slay a dragon. The combination of video gaming, role-playing, and story-telling makes you the star in this fun game. A great way to truly see and experience the entire hotel. You have to look up and down and all around the hotel or you will miss it! We did this and the Pixie Hallow was the best part of it for Angie, she was able to learn and play at the same time. Some parents might think that this is a non-needed Indulgence, but if a $14 dollar wand will add that smile to your child's face its so worth it. Remember they're only children for a while so you might as well make the most of it!
I had a great time and I even booked another trip to return with just the "Hub's" and I.  Something really important for us is to have fun together and this is just the right place to do that. Stay tuned for that review!  I will add some fun things that we did as a couple in that post.

I was invited back to stay Oct. 15-17 in celebration of their Howl-O-Ween festivities.  They’ll have crafts, spooky story time, trick-or-treat, and much more! Because they know how important my readers are to me they’re also giving something to you!!!!  A chance to join in the festivities! For a limited time, they are offering a discounted rate of $169 per night to guests that book using the promo code “1010FAMBLOG” before 9/14/10.  They are only promoting this through bloggers. Check out the special website for your readers to get more details here,
:   If you do make a reservation please let them know you found out through Kingstongirl!!!

 In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided a discounted stay by Great Wolf Lodge in connection with my review.