If you’ve never heard of Great Wolf Lodge, you’re either new to this parenting thing or have been living without electronics since the ‘70s.
This family-friendly resort chain has 15 properties—only one of which is in Canada. Even if you live close enough to Niagara Falls to visit annually, once you have kids, no trip is complete without at least one stay at Great Wolf Lodge.
Of course, there’s so much more to do at The Falls than waterslides, so don’t contain yourself solely to the waterpark either.
Your bare bones rate at The Lodge includes your room-of-choice and waterpark passes for each family member. Arrive as early as 1pm—even though check-in is at 4pm—because a 1-night stay gets you 1.5 days in the waterpark.
If this is your first visit to GWL, or you’re staying more than just one night, the Paw Pass is a great money-saver and gives your kids access to a little bit of everything outside of water play. For $64.99 per child, you get:
When it comes to food, you can either buy your own onsite, order in or get in your vehicle and go out. Obviously, the convenience of staying on the property is nice—especially at lunch when you don’t want to get out of wet bathing suits.
If you’d asked us two years ago whether to upgrade your stay to include meals ($50 per adult and $25 per child), we’d have told you to run away. Quickly. But our recent stay proved that GWL listened to customer feedback and has dramatically improved the food situation. We definitely recommend it now.
If you don’t get the food package, bring breakfast stuff and snacks and keep them in your room. Each room has the basics for food storage and prep, like a small fridge and microwave. You can order in things like pizza for a less expensive dinner option.
Watch for Groupon offers and sign up for GWL emails, which can net you as much as 25% off your next stay. We’ve seen online deals for as little as $239.99 a night—which is a steal.
Visit from Sunday through Thursday for the cheapest prices all year, and consider off-peak months for the best savings.
Each child is measured upon his or her first park entry, and gets a wrist band noting which slides are doable. There’s no cheating here, so don’t bother trying.
The good news is that there’s a waterslide for every kid once they can walk up stairs and stand in a line. Our son was 18 months old the first time we visited GWL and he managed to get on four different waterslides.
There’s also a lazy river, wave pool, climbing structures, a big bucket that dumps an enormous amount of water every few minutes and more. So if your kid isn’t a waterslide fan, fear not. No one will be bored.
Safety is a top concern here, and you’ll feel safe knowing that there’s a lifeguard every 10 feet watching, watching, watching. They’re always watching. (Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, too.)
Take advantage of the many free things for kids at Great Wolf Lodge:
You’ve come all this way. Be sure you see more than the inside of a waterpark!
There’s so much to do in Niagara Falls that you’ll be hard-pressed to do it all in one visit, but if you can spare a morning and part of an afternoon, here’s what we suggest:
To properly take in both Great Wolf Lodge and a bit of what the Niagara region has to offer, we recommend a 2-night, 3-day getaway. However, if the price is too steep, consider Fallsview Resort as a good alternative that doesn’t come with quite as hefty a price tag.