Last Thursday, for Valentine’s Day, our family took a mini vacation to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. We went last year in March and really enjoyed it, so the kids were excitingly anticipating our trip. Last year we went on a Friday/Saturday and it was a little crowded for our liking, so this year we tried earlier in the year and going Thursday/Friday. It was great! It wasn’t empty like we thought it would be, but it was slower than last year. Funny enough, most of the guests were there from Louisiana as they had the week off for Mardi Gras. We were told that the slowest time of year is September and the slowest days are Wednesdays.
Last year I posted some of my tips for getting the most bang for your bucks. I followed that same advice, but I think we’re getting more efficient with each trip. So I’ll sprinkle more tips throughout the post in hopes that it will help others plan their trips.
We checked into our hotel room at 1:00 p.m. so we could take advantage of the water park most of the afternoon. Our rooms were ready so we were able to go ahead and bring our things up before heading to the waterpark. Official check-in time is 4 p.m. but you can start using the park at 1:00 p.m. and check into your room as soon as available.
The lobby and view of the waterpark are beautiful.
I love the fireplace and chairs in the lobby. I like to take a seat with a hot tea from Starbucks and watch the kids color.
We upgraded our room from last year and we thought it was worth the extra money. It gave the kids a little room with a bunk bed, which allowed Justin and I to stay up a little later after they were in bed. As usual, the rooms didn’t disappoint. Every detail is perfect at Great Wolf.
Someone enjoyed the tv at eye level…
The waterpark (kept at a perfect 82 degrees) is fun for kids of all ages. Aubrey is tall enough to ride almost all of the slides with an adult. Granger isn’t tall enough for the big slides, but that’s totally okay with him. There’s still plenty to keep him busy.
The wave pool is always a big hit with the kids
The kids area is perfect for younger kids. We spent the majority of our time here.
This little miss totally enjoyed her time in the water.
However, she wasn’t fond of the slides.
This Picture and Hazel’s face. Priceless.
Daddy! Poor baby!
After an afternoon of playing we went back to our room for dinner. The room ‘keys’ are the waterpark armbands.
We ordered a pizza from the pizzeria downstairs and brought the remainder of our food, drinks, and snacks.
After dinner we treated the kids to ice cream at Bear Paw Sweets. Blue Bell for the adults and Dippin Dots for the older kiddos.
There is so much to do besides the waterpark at GWL. There is an interactive game to play throughout the hotel, an arcade, laser tag games, a Cub Center with many different activities, a spa for adults and one for little girls, Build A Bear, a huge gift shop, and many restaurants. You could spend an arm and a leg on extras. We told the kids we would buy arcade games, dinner & ice cream and they could bring their money to spend on anything else they wanted.
Aubrey really wanted a pedicure at Scoops, but $50 was out of her budget (and mine! I mean, really?!). Instead she chose a stuffed baby fox. Like she doesn’t have enough stuffed animals. She told us she was trying to make her room an animal orphanage. No joke.
Granger chose a light up sword and gun. Big surprise. And then he found a little boy in the lobby to play fight with.
We then went back to the room for showers and to change into pj’s before storytime.
Storytime is a highlight for my kids.
Granger howling like a wolf.
We finished around 9 p.m. and the kids were passed out in 5 seconds flat.
The next morning we woke up, ate breakfast, packed, made sandwiches for lunch, and then were at the park when it opened at 9 a.m.
Check out is at 11:00, but you can use the park until it closes that night (9 p.m.). Justin and the younger kids went back to the room at 10:30 to change and get all of our things together. Justin called the front desk right at 11:00 to check out and Aubrey and I met them there about that time. We changed, ate in our room, and then were headed downstairs by 11:30.
There are places to eat in the park, but for our family of 5 it would have been close to $30 just for lunch. Last year they checked our bags when we went in and wouldn’t let us take in any food. However, during slower times they are more lenient and allow people to bring in their snacks and lunches. There are lockers available for rent in the park (I believe somewhere between $15-$20 a day). They also have showers and towels available in the park. We could have checked out that morning and chosen to eat, change, and shower in the park; however, given the age of our children, 2 hours is about their limit in the waterpark.
After our time in the waterpark that morning we choose to explore the rest of GWL until the kids were done for the day.
And we had a chance to meet Brinley the Bear and Violet the Wolf before we headed home.
Hazel was adorable. She surprised me with this one. I mean, considering her life 10 months ago, right?!
The kids were exhausted but can’t wait to go back again. They talk about it all the time. We would recommend GWL to anyone, any age.