Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Vacation to Great Wolf Lodge

I've been meaning to share about our trips to the Wisconsin Dells for a long time now. In fact, I had one typed up over a year ago and must have forgotten to post it. Since then, we have taken another trip to the Dells so I thought I would finally share with you WHY we love the Dells and why it makes such a great family vacation destination!

(*I'll be sharing pictures from both vacations and since our trips were a year apart, you'll be able to tell whether the picture was from our 2016 trip versus our 2017 vacation because I was hugely pregnant with Janessa in the first one and Nessa is 6 months old in the latter. Also, Alaya will be crying in all the pics of our first trip and smiling in all our pics from 2017! )

We LOVE the Dells because where we live, it wasn't too far too drive and yet far enough it felt like we were "getting away". The kids did amazing on the 5 hour trip and didn't whine or cry once which was incredibly nice!!
While we were in the Dells we couldn't decide which waterpark resort to stay at so we stayed at TWO different ones during the week. 
During the first half of our vacation we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge so I thought I would share with you a little about the resort and the things we loved or didn't like about the hotel.

It was an adorable hotel themed after a log cabin. In our first stay, our room had 2 queens and a pullout couch. There was even a microwave and mini fridge in the room which was nice since they didn't have a free breakfast so we just kept milk in the fridge and packed a box of cereal & bowls and ate breakfast right in our room. It was a very clean and cozy resort!
 The kids loved that there were stuffed wild animals on the wall throughout the lodge and each of the kids got a pair of wolf ears when we checked in.

On our second vacation, we only stayed there one night and they gave us a free upgrade to a room with bunkbeds!!! How fun is that? The kids thought it was the coolest!

The kid's "bunkbed room" actually had 3 beds! Two with the bunkbed and another single bed.
Aside from the kid's room, we had a queen bed and a couch which folded out into ANOTHER bed!!
It was huge. And I loved the fireplace! Cozy like a cabin.

Once check in, the kids were quite anxious to get right to swimming so as soon as we got there we changed into our swimsuits and went to checkout the waterpark.
It was the first week in June so we didn't play in their outdoor pool but we enjoyed their indoor pools. My boys especially loved the wave pool! The wave pool was one of the best I've been to. I love that they don't allow tubes so it felt safe and it was one of Ashton's favorite parts of Great Wolf Lodge.
And on the first trip, we discovered that Alaya HATES indoor waterparks.
Which was a lot of fun since our entire week-long vacation was planned around WATERPARKS! Jeesh.
She screamed and cried the first day whenever we were even near the pool!!
By the third day she still didn't like it but at least tolerated it.
In the morning when I would pull out her swimsuit to put on her she would start whimpering "momma, momma, momma" wishing I wouldn't put it on her. It was so sad but all I could do was laugh it off. There was nothing I could do about it and I wanted her to grow to like the water so I made her go swim at least in short spurts.
The nice thing about the waterpark being AT the hotel was I could easily take her back to the room while the boys stayed to swim. Also another perk to being at a resort, there was plenty of other things to do. They were extremely family and kid friendly that way.

They scheduled different fun activities throughout the day for kids to do like a coloring station, dance parties, kids morning yogacookie-decorating, and even bingo. And each night at 8 o'clock they have a storytime down by the big clock! All the kids can come down in their pjs and they will read a bedtime story to all the kids! So sweet! 

And if you want to throw away a few bucks they had a fun arcade next to the waterpark.
My boys love arcade games and Alaya loves to run around and watch all the flashing lights.
 AND, my boys really enjoyed the MagiQuest that was joined to the resort. 
At MagicQuest the boys were taken on an interactive scavenger hunt where they had to solve riddles to defeat a dragon and whatnot.
 The boys really got into the story aspect of it while us girls loved running around. The setup was like a large jungle-gym so it was a nice place to take Alaya so she could run off and burn some energy....and have some fun since she hated the swimming aspect of vacation. ha!
But once again, it was so nice everything was right on site so Alaya and I could go back to the room whenever we wanted while the boys went off to do their fun. 
Each afternoon us girls would go back to the hotel room to take a nap while the boys either played MagiQuest or went swimming.

The waterpark was  in one main area but was split into 3 different sections (not including the outdoor waterpark).
The first section included a couple waterslides, lazy river, a few kiddie slides, and a hot tub.
 Alaya's least favorite section was the most fun looking.
But she hated all the falling water-it was quite loud and I think overwhelming for her.
There was a baby pool right next to this part but she still hated that.
 And the other part of the waterpark included the wave pool, couple big slides, and a kiddie pool with these fun "jet skis".
Believe it or not, by the third day Alaya was actually somewhat enjoying this kiddie pool and loved sitting on the jet skis!! 

Despite Alaya hating the water, we had a good time nonetheless. And thankfully our second vacation to the Dells, she warmed up to the water much faster!! She still hated it the first day, but LOVED it once she got in and realized its fun!! There was definitely plenty of fun to be had and if you were crazy enough to be bored there was a Tanger Outlet Mall across the parking lot!!!
 I was quite excited about that!!!
One afternoon we walked over to the mall and came across a Build-a-Bear shop.
We decided to let Alaya get a bunny to cheer her up since apparently we were torturing her with all the swimming we were doing. She loved the mall and loved getting her bunny Nibbles. 
Overall, we loved Great Wolf Lodge especially for the price. They have deals going on quite a bit so if I remember correctly we got a 30%off discount for booking so far ahead. It ended up being around $100/night which included our waterpark passes so I think that's a VERY reasonable price for how much you can do! I went ahead and broke it down with a simple list of pros & cons of the Great Wolf Lodge Resort...

*reasonably priced!
*provides lifejackets for kids 
*highly-trained lifeguards
*activities for kids
*next door to Tanger outlet
*fridge and microwave
*bands open doors
*lots of discounts available
*only hotel residents have access to waterpark

*pool doesn't open until 9am
*additional costs for things
*no breakfast
*no family raft rides (everything was large tubes!)

Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll share about our stay at Kalahari Resort!

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