Feb 072015
 
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In case you live in the area and hadn’t heard, The Great Wolf Lodge opened here in New England last spring.  Ever since it opened, my kids have been asking and asking to go.  You see, they play an unusually high amount of television ads for the Great Wolf Lodge, so if you watch tv at all, like us, you’ve seen hundreds of commercials for it. I’m not exaggerating.

Anyhow, last weekend we finally got a chance to check it out.  The boys were beside themselves when they heard we were going.

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There are over 400 rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge and there are several room options, but we stayed in a family suite.  Our room had two queen beds, a a twin-size sofa-sleeper, a microwave, a coffee maker and a 32″ TV.

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We didn’t check in until about 7 pm the night we got there and the boys could not wait to get down to the water park.  They hit the wave pool first, but moved on to the lazy river quickly there after.

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The water park closed at 10 pm that night and I let the boys stay up way past their bedtime so that they could enjoy the waterpark as much as possible that night.

So did everyone else staying there that night.

When we were all told to leave the waterpark because it was closing for the night,  everyone headed to the lobby (all at once) to catch the elevators up to our rooms.  There were at least 100 people all trying to get on to the elevators at once and we had to wait a good 10-15 minutes to get back up to our room.  There are no stairs on the first floor, so there was no choice but to wait.

Let me clarify about the stairs.  You can take them down from any floor, but when you get to the first floor, you end up coming out into an employee only area.  Once you exit that area into the main lobby, you can’t get back in to get to the stairs without a key card.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, “what about dinner”.  Well, we fed the boys on the way up there, but there are plenty of food options at the GWL. Great Wolf Lodge has six different dining options, including the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, Hungry as a Wolf Pizza and most importantly, a Dunkin’ Donuts. So you can get a sit down meal if you like, or if you’re in a hurry, you can grab something on the go.

I was seriously happy when I heard there was a Dunkin’ Donuts right in the hotel. As a matter of fact,  that’s where we got our breakfast from the following morning.  If you visit the Great Wolf Lodge & are planning on getting DD’s for your breakfast, you should expect a long line in the morning.  I was approximately the 30th person in line when I went downstairs at 7:30 am for my iced coffee and donuts for the kids.  It’s just an express Dunkin’ Donuts, so don’t expect all the same stuff they have in a regular DD’s store – this one had very limited options and were completely out of bottles of white milk by the time it was my turn in line.  Also, they didn’t sell bottles of chocolate milk, either.  At all. My seven year old was not a happy camper.

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After we had breakfast, the boys were anxious to check out the more than 68,000 square feet of indoor waterpark fun! Great Wolf Lodge is the largest waterpark in the state and they have a lot of cool attractions, including the thrilling six-story funnel slide, Howlin’ Tornado. My kids wanted no part of it, but we saw lots of people enjoying it while we were there.  The Slap Tail Pond wave pool,Crooked Creek and Fort Mackenzie, which is a multi-level “tree house” that has one of those fun tipping buckets were favorites with my boys.

Visitors do have to book a room at the hotel in order to access the waterpark, so you can’t buy a day pass.

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My boys spent more time in Crooked Creek (the lazy river) than anything else over the two days we were there. They loved it.

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The Slap Tail Pond® wave pool was also one of the highlights of their trip. There are waves that are up to 3 feet tall and they come in 5-minute intervals.

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There are complimentary towels and life vests available in the park for guests who need them.

Know before you go:

1.  Throughout the day, there are all kinds of fun activities going on in the hotel lobby.  There were magic shows, story times, characters and a few other free activities.  When you check in, you will be given a schedule with the events going on as well as the times & locations.

2.   Even after you check out of your room (at 11 am), you can stay and enjoy the waterparks for the entire rest of the day. There are lockers, showers, and changing areas available in the waterpark if you need them.

3.  Check-in time is 4 pm, but if you arrive early, you can play in the waterpark as early as 1 pm.  Just check in at the registration desk and they will give you wrist bands so you can get in.

4.  We didn’t dine there, but I was told when I checked in that the Lodge Wood Fired Grill has limited reservations, so you should book early if you really want to eat there.

5.  When you check in, you will be given an all-in-one access bracelet.  It’s your room key, ticket into the waterpark and you can even use it to charge expenses (like food) to your room.

6.  You should bring your own snacks & water.  Outside food & drinks are not allowed in the waterparks, but you can either 1. sneak them in like I did or 2. leave them in your room and just run up there for a quick snack.  At the snack bar they were charging $2 for a juice box and $2.50 for a bottle of water. Ouch.

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The Great Wolf Lodge is not just about the water park, though.  There is a ton of other fun stuff you can do there.

  • Howly Wood® 4D Theater.
  • The Northern Lights Arcade
  • MagiQuest – A cool and immersive magical adventure
  • Scoops Kid Spa – A special spa for tweens and teens.

There are extra fees for most of those activities, though, so make sure you account for that when you’re planning your trip.

There is also an indoor (DRY) play area at the Great Wolf Lodge called the Howlin’ Timbers Play Park .It features fun activities like Howl at the Moon mini golf, the frog hopper, kiddie amusement rides, Ten Paw Alley, the brand new Howlers Peak Ropes Course and Spirit Island Snack Shop.  I couldn’t pull my kids away from the waterpark long enough to check it out, but it’s the first thing on our agenda for the next time we go.

My boys had a blast and can’t wait to go back. The Great Wolf Lodge New England is located at 150 Great Wolf Drive in Fitchburg, MA


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  131 Responses to “Our Visit to The Great Wolf Lodge New England”

  1. Thank you for sharing this as we were thinking of taking the girls as some point and this really broke down the whole experience perfectly. Truly appreciate that you did 😉

  2. ooow..it looks fuuun! My kids miss playing in the pool..it might be a good alternative..

  3. I love the Great Escape Lodges! I’ve been to the one in PA with the boys. But Landon was a baby and Hunter super small. We may have to try to go one day soon since it’s a much bigger water park than the other place we attend yearly.

  4. I didn’t realize they had this large of a water park in the Massachusetts area. Without children I will not be likely to be going there anyway-but I will tell others about it. The one thing that makes me a bit nervous is the no stairs from floor 1–isn’t that dangerous?

  5. We have visited the Great Wolf Lodge on 2 different occasions and it was amazing. The boys really enjoy every aspect of the place. We need to go again soon!

  6. That sounds like a ton of fun. Indoor water parks are the greatest. You can pretend it’s summer, if only for just a little while.

  7. I already had Great Wolf Lodge on my bucket list, but this made me move it further up lol. Looks like so much fun!

  8. Looks like a wonderful place to stay. The water park looks fantastic and they have a Dunkin Donuts!

  9. I’ve heard this place is so much fun! My kids are 4 and 2…I’m not sure if this is a good age to bring them.

    • It is! I have so many friends and family who take their children of all ages. Infants too! The GWL here has a special little pool for smaller kids.

  10. We went to one in KC one year. It sure was fun! I’m glad you had fun as well.

  11. Thank you for the share! I have been trying to weigh all my options seeing as i’m planning out of the country vacation in the near future! This seems like so much fun! 🙂

  12. Looks like a very fun, family oriented place. My kids would love the water park too!

  13. My kids like the water park hotels. We did the suite with the bunk beds the last time we went to Great Wolf and the kids thought that was dandy. 🙂 I’m pretty sure we had stairs that went all the way to the first floor, but now you’ve got me racking my brain trying to remember. Maybe we didn’t. So checking next time, I’m curious now. 🙂

  14. How cool! I didn’t know there was a location at New England. It looks fantastic, thanks for sharing it with us!

  15. We love Great Wolf and visit the one in the Poconos, PA all the time. This one is definitely on our GWL list! We have only been to one so far. The Dunkin Donuts is a definite perk! Do they have a lot of places to eat inside the lodge? The Poconos does not have many choices so I was just wondering. Also, the lodge in a place where you can go out to get anything you need? Is it near a mall or anything? Just curious since we always forget something!! Thanks in advance. Diane

  16. This looks incredible and so relaxing. I love how they have things that keep the kids busy too! I have never heard of it before now, so thanks so much for writing this and I am going to look for one next time we are out traveling. Looks like so much fun!

  17. Great honest review! We intend to go to one near us when my kiddos are a bit bigger. Everywhere we go we spend a small fortune, and I hate that outside food and drinks aren’t allow. That’s crazy, imagine my family trying to have a snack there? That’s my huge issue with any of these places.. Other than that I’m excited to take our kiddos. The closest one to us is a 2hr train ride, but I’m sure will be worth it!

  18. This sounds like an awesome, very BUSY waterpark! I am glad that you guys enjoyed yourself and I fully appreciate all of the honesty in this review!

  19. I live in Chicagoland, where the winters are like the suckiest thing in all of suckville. An indoor water park sounds like Heaven right about now.

  20. My boys would LOVE this place! I don’t think I would be able to pull them out of that WAVE pool lol

  21. What a cool looking place, the snow outside the lodge just made me say “aww”, I wish we got snow like that here in Ireland. The swimming pool area looks great!

  22. We have one of these in Texas and we’ve not made the attempt to save money to go yet. My girls would love to go. I love how it is so kid friendly.

  23. We have one of these in Washington and have always heard great things about them. I can only imagine how long the lines were at Dunkin Donuts that morning.

  24. They have a Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, which is about 3 hours away from us. We are planning a trip to that one at the end of March 🙂 I had never known anyone to go to one of these resorts, so its cool to read your post & see pictures of your trip!! Glad your boys had fun 🙂

  25. We went to the one in the Poconos a few years back for a conference. It was great, but not many dining options – I would have loved a dunkin donuts!

  26. This looks so much fun. I love Great Wolf. Wish they had a DD at the one in KC.

  27. We have a Great Wolf Lodge near us in Wisconsin Dells and we love going there! Haven’t been there in awhile, but it’s so much fun!

  28. Oh my goodness we have a Great Wolf Lodge here and love it!! We found the best burger joint in the parking lot. We always brought breakfast for the next morning though so we could eat in the hotel room and save money. The floor structure at ours is not that odd thank goodness.

  29. Wow, what a fun place to visit! Sounds like you guys had such a great time!! Love the pictures!

  30. I’m dying to take my sons to Great Wolf Lodge. They love water parks so I know they would have a great time there.

  31. AHH omg i am so jealous. i live in CT and i so want to go to the Great Wolf Lodge. It looks like so much fun and you are right they play the commercials all the time. I am so going to see if my sister and niece want to plan a trip this spring ♥

  32. Great Wilderness Lodge is on my list of places to go with my family. I think my kids would have a blast! Looks like your boys did too!

  33. Looks very beautiful destination. Your kids had a lot of fun, thanks for this,.

  34. Looks like a family oriented place to vacation! You have captured some lovely snaps 🙂

  35. This sounds like an awesome place to visit. It looks great and you describe in such detail. I am sure you all had a great time.

  36. I went to one years ago but it was for a conference, so I didn’t have the kids with me. However, all the kids who were there seemed to be loving it!

  37. It looks like so much fun there! We passed on on our way to Castaway Bay last week and talked about taking a trip there soon. My girls just love water parks!

  38. oh man – I have had my eye on this place – ours is in Niagara Falls area – for YEARS!! I would so love to take my kids, but it`s just too expensive – plus we have to drive 6-7 hours. But it just looks fantastic! so much to do. and coffee to go? sold.

  39. there’s one not too far from here in Wisconsin. we’ve never been but I always wonder if people like that one. This one here is very nice If we are ever up that way we’ll certainly book a stay

  40. I wish all hotels had such a fab waterpark! Great that they open until 10pm too..

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  41. I don’t even have kids, and that looks like a ton of fun! I’ve always loved water slides.

  42. Great Wolf is a great winter escape! we have done it a few times over the years..

  43. I love the water park inside! My kids would have a blast!

  44. Wow what an amazing looking place, that swimming pool looks fantastic as well, I think I could spend hours in there. x

  45. I’ve heard such good things about GWL. I should put it on my bucket list. Like you mentioned though, sounds like there are a few things they should have addressed in the planning stages.

  46. That looks like such a fun place. Plus, they have a Dunkin’ Donuts!!

  47. Sounds like they had a great time there. If i’m ever up that way i’ll have to check them out.

  48. Wow this looks like a great place for a vacation. Love that they have a DD right there.

  49. I really do appreciate how you point out both the positive and the negative of the places you go. I see too many travel posts where everything is perfect- and that just isn’t real life. Having said that- I would definitely take the kids to Great Wolf. They would have a blast at the water park, and I would have a blast drinking my DD’s Ice Coffee pool side 🙂

  50. We have always wanted to visit Great Wolf Lodge! This looks like so much fun!

  51. Great Wolf Lodge in on our bucket list to do with the kids. It’s just so expensive! I don’t know if the pricing is different here in Canada, but it would be about $500 (not including food) for our family of 5 to stay one night :-(. I know it’s probably worth it, but it’s still a big chunk of money.

  52. We stayed at a similar venue where we live in Tennessee and it was so much fun. What a great break from all the snow and cold of winter!

  53. I think that it would be so much fun to stay here. I love how you really don’t have to leave the hotel for entertainment and snacks.

  54. Seems like a fun getaway for you and your family. Was it an Indoor Waterpark?

  55. I love that they have a Dunkin Donuts. I knew about the water park but had no idea about that.

  56. I have seen Great Wolf Lodges but have never stayed in one. I hope to soon as it looks like it has a little something for everyone.

  57. I so appreciate your honesty. We stayed at an indoor water park (not of this brand) a few years ago, and while it was a great experience, whoa were snacks expensive! I don’t travel without snacks and bottled water since we have toddlers, and I don’t plan on ever stopping!

  58. Sounds like fun. I haven’t heard about them before and I am in Mass too. I will have to look into this.

  59. Oh wow! I’ve never seen such a pool – it’s like a water park! My son would be in HEAVEN!

  60. Looks like such a fun place!! I so want to visit New England one day! 🙂

  61. hahaha I you do find a Dunkin for your addiction everywhere! The lodge looks like a great escape all year round!

  62. Glad you and the boys made it to GWL. This place is literally 15 minutes away from us. The boys loved it. We are not in any hurry to head back – but the boys would love it. 😉

  63. I am sure this was a much needed relief with all the snow you have gotten.

  64. This looks like such a fun place to take the kids. I love indoor water parks.

  65. Great Wolf lodge in the Poconos is one place the kids and I have been planning on going. It just looks like so much fun.

  66. What a great experience. I love that water park: it is a great way to keep kids entertained during cold days

  67. This looks like a great family place. Like any other large facility like this there appears to be some room for improvement. I hope they read your post here so they can remedy those glitches.

  68. I wondered what this place was like. I don’t have kids so no reason for me to go but someday when my grandson is bigger this will make a great trip.

  69. I’ve never been to GWL but I know people that have and they love it! I would love to take the kids are I hear the water park is out of this world. Sounds like they have nice food options as well! Your boys look like they had a lot of fun. (Real Talk Moms)

  70. The Great Wolf Lodge looks like a fabulous family fun! Definitely will have to check into for our next little get away! My kids love water parks.

  71. This place looks like SO much fun. I’d love to bring my family here!

  72. When my boys get older we are definitely going to a hotel like this. It looks like loads of fun. I also like that people can’t buy a day pass, so that it is not over packed for the people paying for the hotel.

  73. When we lived in NC we had one of these sort of nearby but we never went. And now I regret it, because it looks like they are so much fun.

  74. What a great way to escape the frigid outdoors! No chocolate milk at DD? That’s insanity!

  75. We have a Great Wolf Lodge near us but we’ve never been. It sounds like there are plenty of activities to keep the kids smiling for hours!

  76. Looks like everyone had a ton of fun. I’ve always wanted to go to The Great Wolf Lodge. The one in WI Dells is the one I’d want to go to. It’s a few hours away but looks so great! Great place to keep the kids busy.

  77. My family loves going to GWL. It is such a fun place for kids. The water park is fantastic and the games and activities are

  78. That looks like a blast. We have never gone, and our boys would SO love to!! Soon, I’m sure!

  79. This place looks like so much fun. I love places that are like this.

  80. That lodge looks like such a fun time for the kids. That indoor pool is amazing and who doesn’t love a Dunkin Donuts on site!

  81. I have heard so many great things about Great Wolf Lodge. It would be so nice to live closer to one.

  82. I have always wanted to visit a Great Wolf Lodge. It looks like so much fun!

  83. I have been trying to get up there to our a Wolf Lodge hopefully I can get up there soon, they have so many option, and it’s a great place for family fun.

  84. It sounds like a fun place with some drawbacks. I would have issues with the food situation and that stairway bit. Anyway, at least your kids had a blast there. 🙂

  85. Sounds like your family had a blast! My kids are still a little too young to fully enjoy it, but we will be taking them when they are a little older!

  86. sounds like a blast! We have a great wolf lodge close here in Ohio and my sister takes her kids all the time!

  87. This looks like a fun hotel! I love the look on the outside, inviting 🙂

  88. You have no idea how bad I want to go here. This place looks amazing!

  89. I always loved to go to Great Wolf Lodge Resort. Hopefully this summer I will be able to.

    Mhar Sefcik
    http://www.brightbundles.com/

  90. I have heard so many great things about this place!

  91. This place looks amazing! I would honestly never leave that pool!

  92. I would absolutely love to go there one day with the kids! It looks like so much fun.

  93. I think my kids would thoroughly enjoy it there as well. I’m hoping for more exciting trips this year and if only there was one near by.

  94. OMG, looks awesome. We have never stayed, maybe we should!

  95. Great Wolf Lodge needs to come to England! I love everything about it – the design, the 10pm closing pool – the food [the donuts!] I just love it. Please invite us over! 😉

  96. We love Great Wolf Lodge – we visit the Wisconsin Dells location. It is our favorite waterpark

  97. This looks like a great place to take the family

  98. We have only been to the one here in Texas and loved it. My kids still beg me to go back. It is awesome because it pretty much has everything a family could need in the hotel. LOL. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us 🙂

  99. Awesome! We have a Great Wolf near us, and the kids love it.

  100. We have GWL here in MI, but its about 3 hours away. We’ve been wanting to go as a special family trip. They have a water park right down the road from me in the tourist town next door. Last summer they spent a few million to update and enlarge. It is now bigger than GWL. It’s a flipping nightmare to go grocery shopping! hahaha I have to take the backroads in to town now.

  101. What a huge and totally awesome adventure – snow outside (beautiful) and swimming fun inside – with so many options! Great post (report) for this

  102. We went to one near us 2 years ago. My boys loved it!

  103. LOL!!! I love that you admitted you snuck in snacks you little dare devil, you! This place looks so darn amazing for a weekend getaway! I’d love to go!

  104. Our trip was snowed out! We have a group going up in March now!

  105. Oh wow this lodge looks and sounds great! I’d love to visit with my family!

  106. Looks like the perfect weekend get away. My kids would love it.

  107. This is a great idea! I especially love the indoor watermark aspect of this facility. My kids would love it!

  108. I loved taking my kids to Great Wolf Lodge! I wish there was one in California.

  109. This looks absolutely amazing!!! I’d love to go somewhere like this!

  110. We love the Great Wolf Lodge by us in the Wisconsin Dells. It’s great, but it certainly doesn’t have a Dunkin Donuts – MY FAVE!

  111. What a fun trip! I would love to take my family to something like this! Thanks for shariing!

  112. I have family who’ve been there and love it!

  113. Wow, looks like this was a lot of fun! Thanks for the “Before You Go”: for a mommy this was the best part!

  114. What an amazing place to go on vacation! The indoor pool is awesome and a Dunkin Donuts is always a good idea 😉

  115. I’ve heard good things about the Great Wolf Lodge, and that it’s a great place to go on vacation. We don’t have one very close by to where I live, but I would drive to one. Water parks are so fun.

  116. We had a Great Wolf Lodge in Washington when I lived there. I loved going there with the family! The kids had a blast!

  117. Oh I wish there’s a also a Great Wolf Lodge near us! My daughter would surely love to go there.

  118. I have heard great things about these Great Wolf Lodges around the country! So glad to hear how amazing they are from another mom with kids!

  119. I have heard a lot about this place. Would love to visit some time.

  120. Oh my – it looks like such a wonderful place. I hope we get the chance to visit it soon.

  121. What a great getaway for parents with small kids. Very nice review, I will recommend to the moms I know.

  122. I love indoor water parks! Sunburns are no fun, and you can’t get them when the sun can’t beat down on you!

  123. I love indoor pools! Looks like you and your family had a great time.

  124. It has been awhile since I’ve been to a waterpark, but I’m hoping to go to one sometime in the spring or summer.

  125. I think there’s one in Niagara Falls, ON … co-workers have gone with their kids and have had a blast!