There are so many great things about living in Atlanta. With the opening of Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, a whole new possibility of family fun exists. Our family recently had the opportunity to attend a media day at Great Wolf Lodge and we have already made plans to go back!
Prior to the LaGrange establishment opening, the closest Great Wolf Lodge was in Charlotte, NC (Concord, NC to be exact). While the drive to Charlotte isn’t bad…..we found ourselves going to the North Georgia mountains or the Florida beaches instead of making the trek to North Carolina. We have family friends who are huge fans of GWL and I was always curious to give it a try, but the distance stopped us from going. To put it into perspective, LaGrange Georgia is about an hour south west of Atlanta…and about an hour and a half from Montgomery, Alabama…and about two hours from Birmingham. From our house, the LaGrange, Georgia distance is very appealing and totally doable.
Our family went to Great Wolf Lodge not having done any research about what to expect. We knew there would be an indoor water park with overnight lodging and that was it. What we didn’t know is just how incredible GWL is! It is definitely more than “just a waterpark.” They have a Dunkin Donuts, Ben & Jerry’s, and Candy Company near the main walkway of the establishment. You can just imagine how delicious it smells.
Great Wolf Lodge is an all inclusive vacation destination. From eating to activities, they have thought about everything you could need and want. If you get hungry, a bite to eat is a few steps away. You will find a sit-down restaurant on site as well as several other quicker eating options. It seems like the basics were covered and that there is something for just about everyone to eat- breakfast, pizza, pasta, burgers, hotdogs, salads., and more.
Great Wolf Adventure Park is where you family will obviously spend your time playing with the water attractions. But if the appeal of water slides, lazy rivers, and a wave pool wanes, then you will not have a chance to even think about being bored. Other attractions include bowling, miniature golf, panning for gold, an arcade, and much more!
When you book your stay you will have the option of purchasing a Paw Pass, but you can also purchase the passes at the resort. Be sure to check out the different Paw Pass options available as you are able to purchase attractions/items a la carte, but the best value is with the Paw Pass. Our Paw Pass (the Wolf Pass) let us choose a MagiQuest classic wand, and allowed unlimited Howlers Peak Ropes Course climbs, play one round of Mini Golf, climb twice on the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall, 20 Paw Points at the Northern Lights Arcade, 1 serving of bulk candy (yum), and a single school of ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s (yum again). The attendants used a Sharpie to mark off the items that we used and the convenience was incredible.
Be sure you pack close toed shoes if you plan on going on the ropes course or rock climbing. The ropes course is something we do as a family of four…..and only one of us truly enjoys every minute of it. For the other three of us, it is an activity where we face our fears and do a happy little dance when we are done. The ropes course is not scary since you are strapped in to a safety harness….it’s just the being up in the air part…..
If we had done any research prior to our visit we would have learned that there is an attraction called MagiQuest. The lodge is turned into a live-action game where your MagiQuest magic wand opens treasure chests and allows you to battle an evil minion army. MagiQuest has unlimited play during your stay, and you can bring your wand on each visit. Be sure to look at the Paw Passes if it is your first trip since the wands are included in one of the packages.
Children are able to do crafts at Camp H.O.W.L. if they are looking for an additional down time activity. In the evening parents can drop their children off at Camp H.O.W.L. (for a small fee) and enjoy some alone time on the Great Wolf Lodge property. It would be a great time for a sit down dinner!
We were treated to lunch at the Barnwood Restaurant. The food was delicious. My diet is gluten free, so I wasn’t able to indulge in all of the tasty treats, but what I couldn’t eat, the rest of my family was able to enjoy. The Mac & Cheese was a favorite….as were the Mini Fried Chicken Biscuits. I really enjoyed the Braised Collared Greens (that is a sentence I never thought I would ever type….who says that? Well, try the collared greens and see if you say the same thing). In addition to Barnwood, there are several other quicker dining options and even a mini market where you can purchase a drink or a bite to eat.
Great Wolf Adventure Park, the indoor water park, features 93,000 square feet of pools and slides, kept at a warm 84-degrees year round. Only guests are able to access the Water Park, which means the time you spend standing in line is lessened. You are able to look at which attractions are recommended per age group to help determine if your family will have enough to do (the answer is YES, there is more than enough to do). There are activities for young kids up to adults. My ten-year-old said “The water park is awesome and fun. You can’t get bored because there is so much fun stuff to do!” If you like adventure, be sure to try the Wolf Tail – a ride where the floor drops out from under you are you experience at 20-foot freefall followed by a 360 degree high-speed loop. I rode it twice…and my best advice is to actually plug your nose. 😉 It goes by so much quicker than you are imagining….I promise!
Accommodations at Great Wolf Lodge cater to families of all sizes. There are standard rooms with two queen size beds. Then there are themed suites which include an in-suite cave-themed sleeping area which has bunk beds (shown above). At the next step up, the premium suites can sleep up to 13 people! My girls don’t sleep well together in the same bed, so the bunk bed option is perfect for us!
Let’s talk about the Lobby for a minute. It’s beautiful. We went in October so everything was decorated for Halloween and you noticed every bit of attention to detail that went in to the décor. From floor to ceiling, you felt festive as soon as you walked through the doors. I want to go back at Christmas time just to marvel at the lobby decorations.
What are some of the best ways to save money on your trip to Great Wolf Lodge? I asked some of my friends who go regularly and they were full of good tips:
- Subscribe to the Great Wolf Lodge email list. This is the best place to get a heads up on upcoming deals and Great Wolf Lodge coupon codes.
- Book 60+ days out.
- Check Groupon for deals.
- Go mid-week when it is not peak pricing.
- Purchase the “Free Refill” coffee mug from Dunkin Donuts and use it on your trip.
- Bring your own snacks and maybe even sandwiches or a small meal.
If you have the chance to spend the night at Great Wolf Lodge, I recommend it. It is a great way to have quality family time. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof phone case so you can get some water action photos! Let us know if you have any other ways to save money on your trip to Great Wolf Lodge
There are many fun things to do in Atlanta. Check out our recent posts about Activities in Atlanta for more suggestions and ideas.