When we lived in Minnesota, we went to Wisconsin about once a year when I was married. We had family who lived in the Dells (Wisconsin Dells) and our Uncle actually worked at one of the resorts and he had a son who worked at another resort. That in turn was our chance to visit those hot spots on our vacations!
Knowing we were heading to Williamsburg this summer, I contacted Great Wolf Lodge knowing they had an awesome partnership with bloggers and media! I knew how fun the Great Wolf Lodge was in the Dells so I figured it would be just as fun in VA!
The best part was, my boys had NO clue what was about to happen. Here’s how it all went down. Fred got my boys tickets to fly to Minnesota for July. The plans had changed considerably within just a few hours so, I convinced the boys to lay out clothing for at least a week so we could gauge what they would need for their trip and if we had to do any shopping! heh heh heh I’m serious when it comes to surprises. I had Fred help me load (he loaded) both of their bikes into the back of the car while he was at the house, too.
The next morning we got up at a leisurely pace and I snuck their clothing and my own into duffle bags and packed up all of our electronics as well as reading materials for the boys. I had them head out to the car and we were on our way!
They asked all kinds of questions and I basically ignored each one. We stopped to get a Redbox movie so they knew it was going to be a long ride. One of the first questions was about visiting their aunt and uncle, which was part of the plan, so I diverted their attention so I didn’t have to answer directly. lol
It was a 3 hr drive to Williamsburg, which was extended by another 15 minutes because of my stupid Google Maps on my phone which dropped us off at an intersection by William and Mary College! To say I was frustrated is putting it mildly! So, we drove another 15 minutes and finally found the Lodge. As we pulled in, I allowed the boys to look up. Funny part was, they had never heard of Great Wolf Lodge because they were so little the last time we were there in Wisconsin.
I walked in and the entryway was immense and definitely gave you a feel for the entire lodge right away. It was obviously and outdoor/woodsy theme, one I absolutely love! There were also all kinds of people wandering around going from one activity to the next. I got our room keys and headed out to the car to drive to our area of the lodge.
As a single mom on a limited budget, we haven’t gotten to do this kind of thing in ages! Things have changed since we were at an “all inclusive”. What I loved with the new technology is that we all had our own room keys, which were located on our wrist bands! It was a bit tricky at first, more like them showing me their skillz (or lack thereof) on how they could open the door with a “voila” swipe and “check this out” swipe and the door never unlocking. Oh, watch mom do it so that the code is actually picked up! Oy vey
We got into our Lodge room and it was located right next to the exit doors. Not a bad spot, but after midnight listening to the Lodge doors open and shut a few times I hoped that it wouldn’t be loud all night. Thankfully, it wasn’t! Our room was probably one of the most basic of rooms. We didn’t have a patio and since we were on the bottom floor we didn’t have a balcony. Great Wolf Lodge has a pretty good selection of room layouts and all extremely family friendly, just some more “fun” than others!
The room was pretty cool! We had two queen size beds and a half wall that separated it from a small family room. The bathroom was a good size, but the light was extremely dim. They have energy saving lights because it never got very bright in there. I read in their booklet that they have what’s called Project Green Wolf and it’s different ways to take care of the environment.
As soon as we were settled Doodle said something about going to a waterpark and I said there was one in the Lodge and that we were going to get changed and head down there! Both boys were stoked! Seriously, I scored cool points on this adventure!
When we headed down to the water area, we passed a bunch of fun places to play and eat:
- Scooops® Kid Spa
- Cub Club®
- Northern Lights™ Arcade
- Compass Quest™
- Howl in One™ Mini Golf
- Ten Paw Alley™
- Howly Wood® XD Theater
- Oliver’s Time Challenge
- 4D World
Buddy and I got down the water slide and I rushed over to see what was going on to find a lifeguard at our table and Doodle no where in sight. Hello, mom freak out! Turns out he had to go to the bathroom, but didn’t want to leave our stuff. The ladies had seen him doing the pee pee dance and were trying to help by offering to watch our stuff. The one lady had been offering him her drivers license. Ugh, the poor kid! He had to pee, but he isn’t supposed to talk to strangers let alone leave all of my electronics sitting around. Well, unfortunately, Doodle is one of those kids who will have as much fun as possible, ignoring the fact he has to pee and when it gets to the tipping point, he can’t see straight.
Needless to say, I took everything back to the lodge room and that was taken care of! smh
The boys did every single slide and it was important to me to watch the lifeguards to see how seriously they took their jobs. I have to say, I was extremely impressed! In a good way, they were very militant about their job and for that, I was very thankful. I like that they move positions regularly so their pacing doesn’t get boring and they start to slack. The one gal at the Bigfoot Pass did her “rectangle” observation after every child crossed and she did it the exact same way each time! It was impressive. At the Crooked Creek, another gal looked over the sides each time as though it were her first and a person could be needing help at any moment. Not kidding, these people were thorough!
After the water part, we headed back to the room, got changed, and ordered a pizza and 2 liter of pop. It was ready in 20 minutes. While we were waiting the boys ran down to do Oliver’s Time Challenge. It was $2 for 1 minute of play. lol Both boys seemed to think it was a laser game that they had to avoid the lasers and I kept saying, “no, you have to push buttons faster than your opponent.” Yea, mom was right!
Dinner came and we had a huge pizza! I had no clue it would be so big. Thankfully we had some left over for the next afternoon. We decided to go check out the Buckhorn Exchange and see if there were any souvenirs we couldn’t live without. I found a really nice zip up hoodie, and reasonably priced, but decided to be responsible with the little cashola I had. I got a magnet and both boys got bookmarks.
We headed back to our room and as we did, we stopped at the Bear Paw Sweets & Eats for a snack. I sampled several varieties of fudge and got a mint one. The boys each got a scoop of ice cream. It was definitely a delicious end to the day!
The next morning we headed up to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. As we got to the main level, we saw the wolf character and I told the boys I wanted to get a photo with him. We got in line, but since we were towards the front, with only a couple of people ahead of us, we decided to stay in line. Ugh, that was a bad choice! It would’ve been faster to go to a sit down restaurant than the line we stood in! There was only one gal taking orders and the lady next to her was getting food for the person in line and working on some receipts? When it was finally our turn, the gal asked us what we wanted and then proceeded to talk to her co-worker. My boys were telling her what they wanted, but she wasn’t even listening. They told her a couple of times what they wanted, and the lady next to her asked what they wanted. I said, “Well, I don’t know, who are we supposed to be telling this to?” That’s when the gal at the register asked what we wanted again. I said, “Did you hear what my boys already told you?” Of course she said, “no” and the other lady asked again what we wanted.
Needless to say, when we were done getting our food, the wolf had left the entry way and we didn’t get our picture taken with it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be back until 4pm that night. =( Breakfast was a bust to say the least. I don’t accredit that to Great Wolf, we should’ve eaten at their restaurant. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, eh?
We had breakfast and emptied out our room. None of the activities opened until 10am and the boys and I wanted to go do mini-golf, or putt putt golf as Doodle and I like to say and drives Buddy crazy! We headed out there and the guy at the cabana where you pay for it was super nice and friendly!
Let me insert here before we get to our days activities, every single person who worked for Great Wolf Lodge was very friendly. We were constantly asked how we were doing and if we needed anything. The kids working the Activities were super nice!
Back to mini golf, we kind of had to do it fast because I needed to check out of our room and grab the pizza we still had in our room fridge. We got about half way done and I had to run and get everything done. lol By the time I got back, the boys were already done! Punks didn’t go slow so I could finish with them. I asked them if they wanted to try the rock wall and they did. The mini golf was $8/adults and $5/kids. The rock wall I think was $8-10. I can’t remember offhand. Both boys only got half way up and floated down. We hadn’t brought shoes so they were having a hard time in their bare feet.
As we left, I noticed by the outdoor pool they had a lift for people in wheelchairs! I thought that was so awesome and the guy who helped us with our outdoor activities said Great Wolf had installed it about a year prior and it had gotten a lot of use!
We had a really good time and hope that if we come back to Williamsburg we’ll have the opportunity to visit again.
*I was given a discounted price, but still had to pay a good deal for my room and I paid for everything else during our stay at Great Wolf Lodge. The opinions expressed are my own.