The birthday party! It comes around every year for your child and is such an exciting time for them. Anthony is our youngest so for over 2 decades planning birthdays are a Sluka event! They get presents, hand us wish lists and even have friends over to celebrate.
For the first time ever with all 3 boys, Anthony came to me with a special request, “Mom? I really want to take friends to Great Wolf Lodge for my (11th) birthday in May!” Wow, son that can add up! “But, Mom I am asking for an experience and I want this instead of a big party AND instead of presents”. I actually thought this was a fantastic idea!
An experience instead of gifts and party….
We stayed in a Family Suite with an outdoor balcony which is considered a standard room at Great Wolf Lodge, They also have premium and themes rooms too. This is not our first time staying in their Family Suite and every time we go, this little nook between the beds and the couch area is a favorite spot for the boys.
We arrive about 4 and our room is ready so we unload, fuel up with snacks before heading to the water park. Anthony brought 3 friends with him on this trip. Going to Great Wolf Lodge with a buddy or sibling is a must! The Family Suite fits 6 with the sofa pull out. So, one room gets 6 people into the Water Park.
2 of the boys have never rode the Tornado Waterslide before so Anthony made sure to take them there first. All of these boys have been to Great Wolf Lodge before, but not been on some of the larger waterslides. One of them never went on it again-lol!
The fun part is waiting at the bottom to catch some fun shots as they exit the tunnels. Below is the other larger waterslide called Carbon River. Most attractions have names native to the area and we live 1 1/2 hours away from Great Wold Lodge on the (real) Carbon River.
Once they rode the waterslides several times, they head to the Chinook Cove for some water basketball and Big Foot Pass pads.
Notice my son used the ropes on the Big Foot Pass and his friend did a fast crawl across the pads!
Once they were swim(ed) out and we ate some dinner, it was time for a game of Shadow Quest. I bought all 4 boys Paw Passes and that allowed them several indoor activities at a bundled price. They got to choose a wand and for the boys who already owned and brought a wand (they are reusable for next visit) those boys got to choose fun toppers.
Choose your topper carefully, each one does different perks to up your Shadow Quest game. The game and wand/topper come with the Wolf/Paw Pass package. They wear their Paw Passes around their neck so they can have access to their activities.
Anthony’s topper he chose gives him game hints, so he stopped at one of the kiosks for a hint…..
Once you successfully find the next stop on your hunt, your symbol lights up as you point your wand. The wand activates several stations and fun animations around the hotel. This is a great game before bed because it has them running all over for several floors!
As the kids run around playing Shadow Quest, my husband and I hear music and find a dance party in the lobby and a Mai Tai station! Our Mai Tai was delicious and comes in a light up souvenier cup.
What I love about Great Wolf Lodge is that for birthdays there are a lot of fun options you can add to your stay. There is a birthday package that includes a door poster and balloons with extras as well as other packages that can include cupcakes and even pizza.
When you check out you don’t have to leave. You do need to vacate your room by 11am and get your bags in your car, but your entrance into the waterpark and other attractions lasts until closing.
2 days of swimming and Paw Pass completed! Time to go home!
We are home now, the friends are dropped off and my son is still beaming. By far, the best present he asked for in his 11 years was a Great Wolf Lodge birthday experience with friends and the memories will last a lifetime!
For tips and hacks you will want to use when visiting Great Wolf Lodge, visit this recent post.