Great Wolf Lodge

Cyan told us about a place she saw on TV last year called Great Wolf Lodge. After she mentioned it a few times, we thought we better look it up. After a little research, it looked pretty cool and low and behold, there was one up the road (Interstate 25) in Colorado Springs. We decided to do a family vacation/ birthday trip instead of a birthday party.
The best way to describe GWL is like Vegas for kids. Why? Most people are running around in various states of undress. PJs and swim suits are all you really need. Also, they make it ridiculously easy to rack up a big tab. But rest assured you’ll have fun doing it.
We opted for a one night stay and that was plenty to enjoy all Great Wolf has to offer. We drove up Wednesday night after work/school and stayed at a different hotel (with a great breakfast buffet!). After breakfast, we checked out Seven Falls on the Broadmoor Resort. Very pretty area to walk around/climb. The good news is that it is also accessible which is helpful for Cy even though she and Allan climb 108 stairs. We thought we’d try to save their energy for the water park.
They allow you to enter the park at 1pm on you day of arrival and stay until 10pm on you day of departure, this is why I thought a one night stay was enough. We did online check in and our room was ready at 1pm which we didn’t expect. After changing we hit the water park. The kids liked the wave pool, Fort Mackenzie water playground, and two kids pool activity areas. After about three hours, we were ready for a break. We changed and ate dinner off the property, but there are several options onsite.
After dinner we checked out several of the resorts other activities: arcade, high ropes course, and mini golf. They have other things for kids to do like story time, rock climbing, arts and crafts, and dance parties. There is also a fun tree fort (free).
You have the option of getting different level passes that include these add ins. I recommend getting one because a la cart activities add up. We got the low end pass (fifty bucks) and it came with a gold mining activity, clubhouse crew adventure, scoop of Ben and Jerry’s, glitter tattoo, build a creature (like Build-A-Bear), arcade credits, and a build your own bucket of candy. There are two higher levels you can buy. There is a magic wand game around the resort. We ended up buying the wands, but not playing the game. They also have woodland creatures that walk around and hand out trading cards.
For day two, we woke up and headed down to the onsite Dunkin Donuts. Apparently, America and many people at GWL run on Dunkin. We met some people from Angel Fire, NM in line. We took our breakfast back to the room since the water park didn’t open until 10 and we weren’t in a big hurry.
We selected a Wolf Den room which was super cute. The woodland creature theme continued. The kids loved their own private cabin with bunk beds and a TV. So much so that they still ended up in our bed kicking Allan to the bunk bed in the middle of the night.
We headed down and played in the arcade. Cyan did the ropes course again, this time with Allan since she and I had done it the night before. Atticus did the gold (rock) mining again and then decided he wanted to try the ropes course. Cyan built a wolf named Veronica and Atticus built a raccoon named Silas. For lunch, we ate at the pizza and pasta joint. It was good. Also, they sell beer and wine by the can, box or bottle!
We hit the waterpark again for a few hours. This time Allan tried a couple of the bigger slides taking advantage of short lines.
Pros: Safety is very important, lots of guards on watch. The staff was friendly. All kids get cute little wolf ears. Everything is available in the resort, even if you forgot something. It’s all inside so no need to worry about sun/weather. Plus, the water and room temperature is pretty warm. No need to carry cash as parents wear bracelets that charge to the room. The bracelets let everyone into the park, let you check out towels and serve as your room key. I’d never trust Atticus with our room key, but when it’s attached to him, it works.
Cons: It’s a little pricey, but overall, worth it. Plus you can look for discounts and groupons. You can also bring your own food if you’re trying to save. There’s a dining option as well. There could be a lot of people depending on when you go. So expect to see meltdowns. And of course staying in a pool for hours can wear on you.
If you really wanna go all out, you can rent a cabana and stay longer I suppose. There is also a spa for kids.
Overall, I recommend GWL, especially for kiddos. There are a lot of nice touches that make things magic for kids. Mine had a lot of fun.