Earlier this month my family and I went on a much needed family vacation. Our first stop was Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia where we had a night booked. We had been a few times before and we didn’t tell the kids where we were going, they had mentioned before they wanted to go back there so we knew they would be excited! Once we pulled up and they could see the building they were THRILLED! When we checked in we were greeted by giant cookies with milk (chocolate and regular) in our room.
Great Wolf Lodge is an all in one resort. It has everything you might need, so if you don’t want to leave, you don’t have to. They have places to eat, plenty of activities to keep you busy for days and still not do everything, and of course comfortable beds that you will definitively need after your fun filled day! Since we were only staying for a day, we decided to spend the whole day in the water park. This was a trip of a lot of firsts for my husband and I couldn’t be happier, he actually participated and got in the water (our past trips he either went to see his parents or sat on the side and watched us have fun). He even went down a water slide with the kids twice, and he also got in the kiddie area and watched Jaxon while holding Justin so I could go chill out in the hot tub for a bit. I loved that the big kids were big enough to go explore on their own and I felt comfortable letting them since everywhere I turned I saw a lifeguard walking around.
The water park has a lot of different areas. Toddlers have their own area with water no more than 1ft 6in deep and it has sprayers, two little slides, and a couple of little water features that they can play with. There is a kid climbing area called “Fort Mackenzie”, that has a couple of small water slides that come off and loop around, as well as a huge bucket on the top that slowly fills with water and when it gets full, it tips over and splashes whomever is below. There are also a couple different pool areas, one outside and one inside. The inside one has pads and ropes to jump and climb on, and a big wave pool wher you can just get in a tube and have fun riding the waves. There is also Crooked Creek where you can sit in a tube and just float around. If you are looking for thrills there are plenty of them! There are four different slides, including the Howlin’ Tornado and there is also Wolf Rider Wipeout, where it simulates big waves for you to surf! There are also 2 hot tubs, one for adults 21 and over and one for the family.
After talking with the Director of Sales and Marketing, Cathy Chaplain, I learned that Great Wolf’s lifeguards go through training that is one step higher than the Red Cross training. While speaking with Cathy, I informed her of a few things I saw during our fun at the water park, and I also wanted to share with all of you just how amazing these lifeguards are. The first incident involved a little girl with downs syndrome in the toddler area. After she had gone down the slide, the lifeguard went up to her and I overheard him explain to her what he does. He was just really nice to her and it really tugged at my heart to see that.
The second thing was when Jaylin and I went down a slide. She happily got in front of me in the tube and sat between my legs. I decided to wrap my legs around her because we were going pretty fast and I could tell she was a little scared. I remember seeing the end of the tunnel and then a splash, and the next thing I knew is I was underwater. The tube had flipped us both off, but I was able to get to my feet quickly to look for Jaylin (I wear contacts so my vision was quite blurry from the water getting in my eyes). While scanning the water, I saw out the corner of my eye that the lifeguard near us had stopped pacing and was watching me. I then saw Jaylin’s hot pink bikini and I was able to grab her. Now this seemed like an eternity to me, but I’m sure it was only a minute. I put her on my hip as she coughed and sputtered and then she muttered “I don’t want to do that EVER again!” The lifeguard returned to pacing at the side of the pool. I know that if it had taken me any longer to find her, he would have jumped right in to get her for me. I notice things like that and it made me feel good knowing we were being watched so carefully. And no, I didn’t completely relax…every 5-10minutes I was walking around looking for my older kids to make sure they were still okay.
We spent the night in a nice room that overlooked the outdoor section of the water park and had a nice fireplace. Even though it was Summer, it was nice to turn the fireplace on and dry off a bit. The three older kids piled onto the fold-out couch so they could go to sleep by the light of the fireplace.
I also liked that we didn’t have to bring our huge playpen (we had the double stroller in the back and there was no way we could bring both on our trip). Once in our room , I called the desk and asked for a porti-crib or a playpen, whichever they had available. After we were done playing, the porti-crib was setup in our room and had sheets draped over it for me to put on. Unfortunately Justin is chubby and ended up getting his leg stuck between the bars, but after getting his leg out, I called back to the desk and explained what happend and asked if they had a playpen. Within a few minutes there was a knock on the door and the playpen was there. He took the porti-crib out and I set up the playpen. Justin slept wonderfully, and so did everyone else. We were worn out!
I wish we had more time there, as we didn’t get to do the MagiQuest, the arcade or any of the other fun stuff that is available! I hope to get the chance to go back again soon.
Jackie received a discounted rate for a night stay at Great Wolf Lodge in return for this post. All opinions are hers and not influenced by anyone or anything.