Kay just celebrated a very special day – the big SEVEN! But since her birthday is in August, many of her friends are away on summer vacation when it’s time to throw a party. (Other summer birthdays might relate to the disappointment.) I knew this would be the case again this summer, so for this year’s birthday we decided to do something extra special at an extra special place.
A few weeks ago at the breakfast table we broke the news…we’re having a Great Wolf Lodge birthday!
Once the screams of excitement and jumping up and down had wound down, the kids ran to pack their swimsuits and floaties. We don’t have a Great Wolf Lodge in Vancouver, but there is one in Grand Mound, Washington, about a four hour drive away. We packed up the car, added some favourite books, colouring books, a couple of tablets, and a game of Spot It!, then headed out on the road.
Birthday Package Add-ons
Since we were there to party, we started by adding a birthday package to our stay. The Birthday Basics package comes with a happy birthday poster on the door, balloons, a birthday card, and a set of birthday ears, plus a $10 Paw Points game card (for the arcade) and a coupon for a free scoop of birthday ice cream. Other birthday packages add cake, pizza, and a 2 liter bottle of pop. Kay felt so special when she discovered these little touches celebrating her big day!
Indoor Water Park Fun For All
Everyone knows that Great Wolf Lodge has an amazing indoor water park with attractions for every age. There’s a large baby/toddler pool area with slides and spray toys, a two-level adventure playground with twin water slides for older kids, and an all-ages activity pool, wave pool, and hot tub.
And then there are the water slides! Riders 42″ and taller can ride the Alberta Falls tandem tube ride and go down the River Canyon Ride with the whole family on a big raft. For daring riders over 48″ tall, there’s the six-story Howlin’ Tornado funnel water slide.
In the summer, the hot tub extends outdoors with more seating and a small toddler spray park. But since the water park is kept at a balmy 84 degrees year round, Great Wolf Lodge is perfect for birthdays anytime!
Of course the kids love the water, but that’s just a small part of what makes Great Wolf Lodge the perfect destination for celebrating a family birthday.
All Day Activities at Great Wolf Lodge
There’s something going on at here pretty much every minute of the day. From yoga in the morning to face painting, balloon animals, origami, games, or an impromptu hula hoop contest in the afternoon, the fun never ends!
There are Clock Tower Shows and character meet and greets throughout the day, and every evening brings story time and a pyjama dance party before bed.
In between all that, kids can explore a mirror maze in Moonstone Mine, “pan” for gems hidden in a bag of sand at Oliver’s Mining Co., play a round of black light mini golf, or play a few games at the Northern Lights Arcade.
And then there’s the outdoor Howlers Peak aerial rope course. To celebrate Kay’s big girl status, we spent an afternoon three storeys up in the air balancing on ropes, crossing narrow beams, and flying through the air on ziplines. Kids under 48″ need an adult to accompany them, so she and I went together. There were definitely some scary moments, but we faced our fears and did it anyway!
But our favourite thing to do at Great Wolf Lodge was play MagicQuest, a live action, fantasy-themed scavenger hunt played throughout the whole resort. We all worked together, adults and kids, to search for hidden clues, solve puzzles, and fight dragons. The kids never got tired of waving their magic wands to open treasure chests and trigger special effects hidden in certain paintings and decor around the hotel.
MagicQuest was so much fun for all of us, and the bonus was all the exercise we got running around the place and racing up and down the stairs.
Dining at Great Wolf Lodge
There are plenty of food options in the hotel so you don’t have to leave the resort unless you want to. Get your morning caffeine fix from Starbucks in the lobby. The Loose Moose Cottage has buffet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with more than enough choices that everyone will find something to love. Then there’s pizzas and pasta at Hungry As a Wolf, and a la carte meals at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill. In the water park itself, you can grab a burger or sandwich at Buckets, and a drink at Grizzly Rob’s Bar. Ice cream, fudge, and more treats are available at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats until 10:00 pm.
For Kay’s birthday dinner we went to the Lodge Restaurant for food and presents, then sang “Happy Birthday” over a shared chocolate chip skillet cookie with ice cream.
Kay wants you to know that our trip to Great Wolf Lodge was the best birthday surprise ever. I agree!
Visit Great Wolf Lodge
Head over to the Great Wolf Lodge website to find a location near you and plan your special birthday celebration. If you sign up for Great Wolf Lodge emails, you’ll get regular deals and discounts in your inbox on your next stay. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, or follow their Instagram feed for more glimpses into all the fun at Great Wolf Lodge.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay and media rate to facilitate this post. All opinion expressed are completely honest and my own. Your experience may differ.