For those of us living in So Cal, having a local Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove is a really big deal! We have all been eagerly awaiting opening day and now the fun is just starting! Great Wolf Lodge makes a great staycation year round, but we learned that it is even more special during the holidays when we were hosted for some Halloween fun!
The moment Emmy saw the commercials on the TV she has been asking us to go to Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove. Sometimes she brought it up daily, sometimes hourly. I'm not kidding. After I started to read more about it I was completely on board with a visit. Waterpark fun, spa treatments, yummy food… what could possibly make it better? Howl-o-ween (Halloween), that is what could top what is already awesome.
If you are new to Great Wolf Lodge like we are, it is a huge waterpark, hotel and everything else you could imagine all under one roof. Pete and I have been comparing it to a cruise ship experience where you could park your car when you arrive and never leave until it is time to go home, but with the benefit of going off site if you wanted to. It's the best of both worlds.
For holidays like Howl-o-ween, they give special wolf ears to celebrate the occasion. Our Halloween ones were orange and said Happy Halloween on the back. These are fun little keepsakes. They also decorate the lobby and throughout the lodge. There is a haunted house that is used for trick or treating (Yes! There is trick or treating during the month of October, more about that below) and a HUGE spider and spider web in the lobby ceiling. This balloon spider masterpiece took 4 whole days to make! As soon as we walked in the door and saw it, we knew we were going to have an awesome time!
The food here is plentiful and awesome. The chefs are trained to please guests with food sensitivities and all kinds of dietary restrictions. When they knew we were vegan and vegetarian they stepped right in and made sure we had plenty to eat. A lot of the food was already vegan so we found many options throughout the lodge. There were also plenty of healthy options and treats too! There are special desserts for Halloween too!
Speaking of food, when you check-in you add a credit card to your account and you are given a waterproof bracelet that is a key to your room, and has charge privileges. You can lock up your wallet and use the bracelet to buy food and pay for the activities that are available. Your room rate already comes with access to the waterpark at no additional charge so you are free to supplement your stay as you please.
We go all out with our visits so we tried almost everything to make this a VIP experience.
We spent hours at the water park. There are slides, wave pools, a Flow Rider, water areas for little ones and more!
Not to be missed is the water bucket that dumps a huge amount of water on those below. A cool fact I learned is that although it looks like there is a lot of water being used in the park, it is really the same amount as in an Olympic sized pool!
Our girls were all given a Paw Pass which is a great deal and makes your visit super easy so that the kids can head out and start exploring and doing some of the bonus activities.
One MagiQuest game
Choice of classic or color wand, standard topper or Magi belt
One Creation Station animal with Clubhouse Crew Adventure
One 12 oz. Mike and Ike candy cup
One pair of Great Wolf Lodge goggles
One Glitz Glitter tattoo
One Leather Treaty wristband
One $5 Paw Points arcade card
That is more than enough to keep them all busy and having a blast!
There is also a 24-hour arcade that the girls all loved. That is one of the awesome things about Great Wolf Lodge, it is fun for the whole family. The teens and the six-year-old all loved it, as did the adults.
The big girls took Emmy to make stuffed animals too. It was so much seeing them all just being kids and having fun. We saw a lot of teens playing the MagiQuest game too. It is a game that is controlled by their wands and you go to all of the stations throughout the lodge and into the hotel. It is turned off at certain hours so that the kids will sleep, but other than that, they can play as they wish.
For Halloween, they also have a special trick or treating event each night with 7 different stations set up for the kids to trick or treat at. No need to bring a bag since they provide one. They also have a Teal Pumpkin Project stop that features a non-edible treat, such as a coloring book so that all children can participate!
After Emmy went trick or treating she wanted to play bowling in their bowling alley. This is the coolest little bowling spot since the balls all weigh in at just 5 pounds and you can wear whatever shoes you like. Plus, you can even bowl in your costume in October since you will already have it on from trick or treating!
We ran out of time for spa treatments, but they have a kids and parents spa that is ice cream themed!
Storytime each night before bed is Emmy's thing. She loves this time of night so she was thrilled with story time at the lodge. For Halloween, they turn it into spooktacular story time and again, she wore her costume like many of the other children did too!
The rooms and suites are all really comfy. We didn't end up spending much time in ours because there is so much to do!
I just had to share a sneak peek at what Great Wolf Lodge has planned for the holidays with Snowland! From November 26 through January 1, Great Wolf Lodge transforms into a magical winter wonderland. The lobby will be all decked out and there will even be a snow shower! You can also stay in one of their limited Snowland Suites that have a tree!
Great Wolf Lodge is perfect for a quick overnight getaway, but if you can spare two nights that is best. It is non-stop fun and expect the kiddos to fall right to sleep at night like Emmy did…
Here are our videos from our visit: