When my husband told me that an indoor water park was coming to Colorado, I had never heard of Great Wolf Lodge. Honestly the idea was a bit confounding. When I think of water parks, I think of Schlitterbahn in Texas, which sits on 70 acres. How could you possibly put that indoors? Well, you can’t. But you can still have the best of a water park inside, as Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs showed us this weekend.
Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs Tips: What to Know
- Sign up for special offers.
- Book one, or two nights.
- Bring extra swim suits.
- Budget for other activities and food.
- The food is kid-friendly.
- Set expectations.
- Bring friends.
- Take advantage of the free activities.
Winter Fun for the Kids: Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs
#1. Sign up on the Great Wolf Lodge website to set up an account and receive their special offers.
A few days after we signed up we received a special offer with a pretty nice discount and resort credit. Of course, it was not for peak times. But we found a lower priced date that worked for our schedule, and included a $50 resort credit.
#2. One night is enough at Great Wolf Lodge, but two is probably better.
You can start using the water park (entry is included in the price of lodging) at 1 p.m. the day of arrival and can use it until close the day of your check out. We found that for a preschool-aged child and an elementary-aged child about an hour and a half at a time at the water park was enough.
Insider Tip: Staying at Great Wolf Lodge used to be the only way to access the water park. But now they have added the option to purchase day passes. However, for a family of four with day passes running $40-50 per person you may be better off staying at the park since entry is included in the price of lodging.
#3. If you have extra swim suits bring them.
You will want to get out and back in before the others dry off. Depending on your planned time of arrival and departure you will probably want to pack a swim bag. You don’t need towels. They are available for check out at the water park. But you will want some type of flip flops or water shoes and swim robes or cover ups to walk around in. They also have life jackets for the little ones so you don’t need to bring floaties.
Insider Tip: They give you wristbands at check in that get you anything you need from room entry to dining and water park entry. Racing to see who could be first to open the hotel room with the wrist band was a favorite activity for our kids.
#4. Plan on budgeting for activities at the adventure park, as well as some dining.
The adventure park has a nice miniature golf course and ropes course. There is also a small miniature bowling alley, arcade and ice cream themed spa. Of course, you won’t want to miss Dunkin’ Donuts and Ben & Jerry’s as a special after dinner treat. With those two right there our kids barely noticed the candy store. Beware: the Dave & Busters style arcade can be a bit addicting and over stimulating, but fun.
#5. Great Wolf Lodge is geared entirely around kids, including food.
Though adults should be fully entertained, as well. Food is almost exclusively kid-friendly and casual. The rooms have mini refrigerators and microwaves so you can bring your own food and snacks. If you stay just one night, there’s probably not a need to bring food though. Most of the restaurants are reasonably priced. But if we had stayed a second night we probably would have looked for some nearby off-property food for a couple of meals.
#6. Set expectations before you go.
We explained to the kids that they could choose between a donut and ice cream after we had dinner as a special treat and that the next day they could each choose from a few options a special something after check out. Our daughter chose “Sprinkled in Scoops” from Scoops Kid Spa and our son chose another donut.
#7. Bring friends!
We had an awesome time just with our family at Great Wolf Lodge. However I think the kids would have had even more fun in the water with similarly aged friends. I bet our gradeschooler would have taken on some of the slides if she had a friend with her, and our preschooler might have spend more time shooting water guns at Fort Mackenzie if he’d had a friend along.
#8. Take advantage of the free activities!
There are plenty of free or included activities including a dance party, story time, kid’s yoga and more. These seemed to attract the younger kids while the older kids were off playing MagiQuest.
About Colorado Springs
We enjoyed our quick getaway to Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs and will return. It is a way to get a short fun family vacation in without a whole lot of travel (if you live in Colorado).
But Great Wolf is only one of many fun things to do in Colorado Springs with kids. There are some really great Colorado Springs hikes, many of which bring you to beautiful waterfalls. Be sure to check out some of the other fun activities that Colorado Springs has to offer while there!
This is an updated post from February 2017.