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big girl birthday getaway | great wolf lodge

December 19, 2018

last week we took the girls, Parker, Jolie, and Baker, on a mini staycation to Great Wolf Lodge. we did this last year the week before the twins’ birthday and had SO much fun- we decided we would try to make it an annual thing. since the twins are in school this year on their birthday we took them out for a couple days to stay at Great Wolf during the week (in hopes that it would be less crowded). the girls have talked about last year’s trip since, well, last year- and this year they insisted Baker come along with us!

we dropped Brady with the grandparents first and then headed to the school to celebrate their birthday with their classmates with cupcakes before making the 30 minute drive to grapevine for a special treat to celebrate Parker and Jolie turning 6!   Jolie crashed in the car shortly after we left school to head to the water park. a cat nap was a good idea, if you ask me! they had a busy afternoon ahead!  with your stay at Great Wolf Lodge, each guest gets a pass to the indoor and outdoor waterpark (open during the summer months…so we didn’t get to take advantage of the outdoor area). the inside is huge and I am always impressed to see that this place has something for every age. giant water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a huge kiddie pool area with smaller slides perfect for babies and toddlers, a pool for the bigger kids with ropes course and basketball hoops, and indoor hot tubs. the water was heated and much warmer than I expected it would be! it hung out around 80-85 degrees inside the park- so we weren’t bothered by the 35 degree weather on the outside! we checked into our room and unloaded bags before changing into our suits to play in the water for the rest of the evening. the twins knew the drill and were running to grab their tubes for the big slides while Baker and I hung out on the smaller kiddie pool + slide area. breakfast the next morning in our pajamas 🙂 the best part about coming to GWL this time of year is the Christmas decor- the trees and lights are so fun to experience with the kids. pajamas / slippers / knit dolls   day two of water park fun and Parker and Jolie’s actual birthday! we were able to get an extra wrist band for Jordan’s dad to come for the day to ride the slides with Jordan and the girls since I wasn’t able to.

you could find Baker and I over in the wave pool and kiddie slides.my favorite picture from the weekend.  Jordan was whipped from the constant run and play with these three, but never stopped! we are just so lucky to have him.  lunch by the pool! hotdogs and hamburgers- these girls’ favorites. a tired mama + Baker Breeso many memories made in this weekend away with Jolie, Parker, and Baker.

it was indeed the happiest birthday for the twins-  I am so thankful I get to walk through each new milestone cheering + guiding them along the way. I can’t believe my JoJo + Parks are SIX! where has the time gone! 

the basics for GWL

  • if you’re going to celebrate a birthday while you’re there, be sure to let them know. the twins were elated to see a special poster hanging on our hotel door after coming in from the water park after check in. they gave our birthday girls a special pair of wolf ears, and an ice cream voucher for a special treat after dinner during our stay.
  • the bracelets you receive at check-in provide guests access the water park and also act as your room key + credit card. we LOVED the bracelets because we never had to worry about packing a room key or credit card with me when we headed down to the water park- we just swiped the bracelet to enter our room and again if we wanted to buy something while out at the pools.
  • they take safety seriously.  when kids enter the water park for the first time a lifeguard will measure your child’s height and give them a colored wristband which determines which rides they are able to go on. Parker and Jolie were able to ride all but just one slide in the park. Baker was just tall enough to do the smaller slides in the kiddie pool area. life jackets/puddle jumpers are provided and they are plentiful, come in a variety of sizes, and always available. there are also lifeguards about every 3 feet covering the property.  I was very pleased to see that!
  • even though check-in isn’t until 4:00, you can pick up your waterpark passes at 1:00pm the day of check-in and they are good until the park closes (at 9pm) the day you check out.  we got there about 4pm to check in and we headed straight to the water park.  even though check out was at 11am the day we left, we loaded the car and played our hearts out until almost 3pm the day we checked out.  this feature really allows families to maximize their water park experience!
  • you can save money by packing snacks and even breakfast because the rooms have a mini fridge and microwave available. I usually pack snacks and light breakfast items like granola bars and yogurt for the kids and myself to eat first thing in the morning and usually leave them in a cooler during our stay, so I was pleased to see how well they accommodated us with these room features!

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  • Anette
    December 31, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Amber!
    Thank you for the review. I love this. I now booked a room in Spring for our kiddos birthdays (in the midwest, though).
    Was wondering which room/suite you guys stayed in? We are going with our then 6 year old, then 3 year old and by then 1 year old. It may be a bit difficult wiht the water with the 1 year old (we may have him stay with gma & gpa) but not sure, yet.
    Also, did you book the breakfast extra? Can you add on after you book?

    Thanks in advance & good luck with delivery of your soon new addition to your family.

    Anette

    • amber
      December 31, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Hey! We stayed in the Grizzly Bear Suite! Master room was a king bed and it had an additional room with two queens where the girls stayed. I did not add on a meal package and just paid for the meals as we went (we ate one dinner meal on site, one dinner meal off site, lunch inside the waterpark, and breakfast both mornings at the buffet) The breakfast is buffet style and you do not need a package or add on beforehand, if that makes sense! I think Brady would have had a blast but at 8 months pregnant I couldn’t chase him around and watch Baker in the kiddie area. Enjoy!