Our Family Experience at the Great Wolf Lodge-Traverse City

Our Family Experience at the Great Wolf Lodge-Traverse City

My family received VIP status at Great Wolf Lodge in exchange for this post.  All opinions expressed here are honest and my own.

Fort Mackenzie
Photo Credit: Great Wolf Lodge

Do you love indoor waterparks?  How about fine dining and lodging?  This is what you get when you stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, but family-friendly style.  We stayed at the Traverse City, MI., location on Tuesday, March 31st, through Thursday, April 2nd!  Let me just say it was an awesome experience for my entire family.  So sad it’s over.

Day #1-As we approached the lodge, the girls noticed the sign right away.  It’s very easy to find and very welcoming.  The squeals of delight could be heard throughout our family car.  Our 3 girls were also pretty excited too. 😉


Walking into the main lobby for check-in was the ultimate experience for all of us.


We got there a little after 1 pm and thankfully, our room was ready.  Our room was a definite surprise.  We got an awesome upgrade at a discounted rate.  We also got courtesy Great Wolf Lodge ears (headbands) and bottled waters with wolf paw print fudge.


We couldn’t get up to our room fast enough.  While we waited for daddy to finish the check-in process, we toured the lobby.


I noticed a Dunkin Donuts in the corner and then the biggest surprise of all…..the indoor Bear Track Landing Waterpark!  We’ve only been online to view the indoor fun or have seen pictures.  Now seeing it through big glass windows was definite eye candy.


Now that we were checked-in,  it was time to find our room.  We got room 412 (4th floor).  When we slipped our card key into the slot and the door opened, we were beyond surprised.  Our upgrade was to the Loft Fireplace Suite. Loved it!


Our oldest daughter got her own bed and the two youngest shared a bed. But as you see in the pic they fought over this bed haha!


Mine and hubby’s bed was up in the loft with our own bathroom and TV.


The main bathroom and shower were downstairs by the girls.  We also had a mini dining and living area with a couch, coffee table, and fireplace and a deck looking out towards a beautiful Traverse City neighborhood.


As soon as we were done drooling over the room and settling in, it was time to get on the swimsuits and slip on our Great Wolf Lodge wristbands.  They provided the towels in the waterpark so those were waiting for us.


The waterpark was on a separate floor.  When we walked in we felt the lovely 84 degrees and were greeted by one of the pleasant staff members.  They measured how tall all three girls were and received a color coded band accordingly.  They run a fantastic system with this.  Each waterpark attraction gave the suggested or required height which was helpful for each girl.  First stop…..Lazy River!


The waterpark is filled with trained and dedicated lifeguards.  You will see them stationed at each attraction constantly observing and scanning, ready for any water related emergency.  This put me at ease instantly.  Parents are still required to supervise their child, but having an extra set of eyes with a ton of people in one place is very helpful.

After spending a few hours in Great Wolf Lodge waterpark, we ate dinner at Camp Critter Bar & Grille within the lodge.


Fun environment and excellent food.


Shortly after, we hung out in the Northern Lights Arcade.  That was a blast for all of us.  I love how you can pay for a “Paw Pass.”  You put whatever amount you wish on it and swipe your card for each game until your paw points are gone.  Let’s just say we went through a few Paw Pass cards haha.  When you are ready to tally up your tickets, just stick your paw pass through the ticket counter machine and they put the balance on the card.  Present your card and pick out toys and candy that adds up to that amount.  Boy, those have come a long way.

Northern Lights Arcade
Photo Credit: Great Wolf Lodge

After our arcade adventures, we took a quick tour of the gift shop called the Buckhorn Exchange.  I spotted some cute pajamas that hubby ended up buying for me.  They say “Great Wolf Lodge” right on them.  The girls ended up getting matching stuffed wolves with Great Wolf Lodge stamped on the rear. Those were purchased from the Bear Essentials Swim Shop where we also ended up getting some flip-flops for the waterpark.   We went back into the waterpark for a little longer then headed to the lobby for 8pm story time.  So cute.  All of the kiddies in the lodge get to come down in their jammies and listen to a staff member read a story about Oliver the Wolf, etc. Oliver made his appearance also…;)  I headed over to Dunkin Donuts and got me a Vanilla Chai Latte at that time.  Ahhh the good life.  Hubby and our oldest daughter stayed behind in the room. Wow, what a great first day.  Everyone was tuckered out and slept well.  We couldn’t wait for a full day.

Day #2- On Wednesday, April 1st, we decided to go home.  We were having just way too much fun….APRIL FOOLS! We had Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  What a treat.  We went down to the waterpark for some serious water fun.  They have “225,000 gallons of sloshing, swirling water.”  Great Wolf Lodge has  huge slides, an activity pool, giant four-story tree house, a lazy river, and more!  There is an outdoor waterpark too, but of course that is weather permitting.  Would love to go back in the summertime.  Our family favorites were the huge slides.  Families can pile into a huge tube and speed down a huge yellow slide.  So much fun.  Then there are toboggan style slides, my girls got a kick out of those too.  My 8-year-old and 5-year-old were not quite ready for the waterslides as of yet, it took until late afternoon to get their little nerves up and guess what? They did it!  So proud of them.  After our morning session we got some lunch.  Then you guessed it, back to the waterpark!  We then rested, got some dinner, and then went back to the waterpark for our final evening.  What a day!  After we returned to our awesome room for some rest and relaxation, hubby and I headed over to Bear Paw Sweets & Eats for some yummy ice cream.  Shhh don’t tell the girls.  We let our oldest daughter (soon to be 12) babysit and hang back in the room and watch a movie with yummy treats.  We all slept wonderfully.

Day #3- Check-out day!  So sad.  Great Wolf Lodge was beyond amazing and exceeded our expectations.  I absolutely love the family-friendly environment that they create daily.  Some of the other places we didn’t get to experience (too much fun in the waterpark) but maybe plan on next time are:

  • Hungry as a Wolf
  • Buckets Incredible Edibles
  • Elements Spa and Scooops Spa (yes, 3 o’s isn’t that cute?
  • MagiQuest Store
  • Ten Paw Alley
  • Cub Club
  • Iron Horse Fitness Room
  • Compass Quest
  • Howl in One Mini Golf

Thanks Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City, for a wonderful first-time family experience.  You left us with incredible memories.

If you want to learn more about Great Wolf Lodge, visit http://www.greatwolf.com/traverse/waterpark.  They also have a variety of other locations.

Like Great Wolf Lodge on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Lindsey Jenn

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