Halloween At Great Wolf Lodge

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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.

It includes:

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:

Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Your daughter looks so very happy, even while sleeping. That’s the best you can ask of any family destination. I’ve heard good and bad about Great Wolf Lodge so I’m glad your experience was so positive.

  • Ww have been to Great Wolf Lodge also and we LOVED it! It looks like you all had a blast! I loved the waterpark the most! That big bucket is awesome!

  • Great Wolf Lodge looks like an amazing family getaway. It looks like they go all out for Halloween. My kids would love it.

  • That looks like a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to go to the Great Wolf Lodge. I love that they have some Halloween decor too! Looks like a great time.

  • Looks like your girls had a lot of fun at Great Wolf Lodge. I’ve always heard such great things about these lodges from everyone who has every been.

  • Already I have heard such amazing things about Great Wolf Lodge that I’m really itching to visit with my family. Now that I see that they go all out for Halloween makes me want to go even more!

  • I’ve heard awesome things about this place! I love that they celebrate a holiday that is so fun for kids. These pictures are so great!

  • I have never been to Great Wolf Lodge but would love to! It looks so fun for kids and I bet my three would love it.

  • I know where I want to go for my next vacation! Great Wolf Lodge looks like so much fun for the entire family. I would have to stay in the Snowland Suites – so pretty! 🙂

  • Our family loves great wolf lodge! There are so many wonderful activities for every member of your family And you never have to leave the premises! It is truly an all inclusive experience!

  • I literally completely FORGOT about this place. I saw it years ago in a magazine and online and always wanted to go and take my family, but the prices were outrageous it seems you have to save a lifetime to come here. Maybe one day for us. Looks fun and I love waterparks!

  • I would LOVE to vacation at a Great Wolf Lodge! I’ve only heard the best things about other’s experiences going there. Your whole family looks pretty happy to me!

  • OMG my son would lose his mind here. The water park alone would make for hours of fun. Not far from where I live. Definitely worth a trip. Thanks for the post. I had no idea this place was so close by me.

  • That’s perfect for a weekend with the family especially during this season! I love that there’s plenty of things to do even for the “big” kids! The rooms look super comfy, it would be nice to spend the holidays here!

  • I am loving all of those decorations. Looks like this would be such a great time for the whole family.

  • I’ve been there during the regular season. This looks like such a treat to go during Halloween! I love the orange wolf ears!

  • I have never been to a Great Wolf Lodge. I have wanted to take my kids though. We are getting one near us next year. I am looking forward it it.

  • Great Wolf Lodge looks like an amazing place. My son loves water parks, sliders. There is one big water park, Aquacity very close to us. We’re addicted this place and Great Wolf Lodge is on my to see list for sure.

  • Perfect place for the family, you can’t go wrong by going there! There’s just so much to do which makes me think that a weekend won’t really be enough.

  • This looks so incredible! Honestly, I would prefer a vacation that all takes place in one spot! My kids are HUGE fans of water parks and I know they would love it here! I love that they do different things for holidays too! How fun!

  • I have never been to a Great Wolf Lodge but it looks like it would be a ton of fun for kids. We might have to take a little weekend trip to our closest one.

  • omg that huge spider above looks amazing! woud’ve been nice to recreate at home for halloween parties!

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