Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park On A Budget

Hi all! I can’t believe it has been over a month since my last blog post! The holiday season kept me super busy. However, I’m back and refreshed and ready to take on the New Year.

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This year, my husband and I decided to gift the kids only one gift for Christmas and take them on a small trip instead. Luckily, my oldest was all for it and my youngest was too young to even care so it worked out great. We ended up taking them to Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park in Fitchburg, MA and checked in on New Years Day. We had never been there before but I can tell you that we will definitely be back.

First of all, the hotel and water park were both very clean and organized and the guest service was impeccable. I absolutely loved the cabin vibes and huge fireplaces in the lobby. While checking in, I was asked for my ID and was asked if we were celebrating any special occasions during our stay. I immediately said no and then realized it was my birthday in a few days and jokingly said “oh well it’s my birthday but I know you are referring to the kids.” The front desk employee looked at my ID and said “oh it is your birthday, that needs to be celebrated!” and handed me two sets of regular wolf ears for the boys and a pair of their special birthday ears for me.

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I quickly realized that Great Wolf Lodge is an excellent place to celebrate a child’s birthday as they really go all out. There were a ton of families celebrating their children’s birthdays that week. Whenever I wore my ears, each and every one of the employees I passed wished me a happy birthday with the sweetest smiles. I also saw a couple of employees with a cart full of birthday posters that they were hanging from the guest’s room doors and a few other party items. I decided to research it online and realize they have quite a few birthday packages as add on to the rooms to fit pretty much any budget. My husband and I have already discussed celebrating at least one birthday there in the future.

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We booked a standard room because that was all that was left when I went to book so our hotel room was just that, standard. However, it was clean, comfortable and a good size. They do have a few options for rooms including themed cabin rooms that if you have the extra money, would be fun. Keep in mind that they sell out quicker, and whatever the kids don’t know, they won’t miss.

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I was also very impressed with their technology. As we were headed towards our room I received a text message from the resort welcoming me, reminding me what my room number was, and letting me know that if I needed anything or had any questions, I could just text that same number. We also had on bracelets that were pretty much our water park tickets, but also served as our room keys and we could also connect our cards to it for payment (similar to Disney).

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There is so much to do at the Resort besides the water park. They really have it all, including a Dunkin Donuts in the lobby. Each day there are a list of entertainment/ events, such as arts and crafts, dance parties, bedtime story time, etc. that are free of charge. They also have an arcade, miniature golf, rock climbing, kid’s spa and so many more other things for additional charge. Personally, we were so tired from playing in the water park that we barely were able to make it to the free events, never mind doing any of the paying activities.

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As for food, there are several restaurant options to choose from, including a pizza shop, buffet, hot cocoa cart, ice cream shop and a candy store. They also had a bar for the adult’s as well. As part of our package, we were given a $25 food credit and were able to use it at their buffet. Besides that, I wouldn’t recommend doing all meals at the restaurants because they are pretty pricey and could easily run you a few hundred dollars. Which brings me to my final point…

If you go during a busy week, eat at their restaurants, and spend money on all of their additional entertainment activities that cost extra money, Great Wolf Lodge really isn’t that affordable. However, during my stay there I realized there is absolutely a way to do it on a tight budget.

  1. Book your stay during less busier times. If you plan your stay during the kid’s winter break, Christmas break, Spring break, or any long holiday weekend, you will most likely pay double or triple the price. We originally wanted to go the week of Christmas and by waiting one week, we saved 50% off the price.

  2. Great Wolf Lodge is constantly running different promotions. Before booking, check their special offers page for promotional codes (right on their website). That was how we got the food credit and I believe 20% off the room.

  3. Although the themed rooms are cute, they are not necessary. Choose the standard room options and save money.

  4. Water Park tickets are included in the price of the room (for 4 people). Any additional person would require an extra fee so keep this in mind when booking rooms and do the math to ensure you are getting the best deal if traveling with a larger family.

  5. The rooms include a good size mini fridge (no freezer) and a microwave. We took full advantage of this and went to a nearby Walmart. We purchased drinks, snacks, cereal and oatmeal for breakfast, and frozen microwave meals for lunch. This was perfect for us because #1 we saved a ton of money by doing this, and #2 it was a good break for us because being in the water for that many hours is exhausting. We took a two hour lunch break and were so glad we did. Just don’t forget utensils, cups and plates! Also, the rooms are not far away so it’s not an inconvenience at all having to go back to the rooms.

  6. Eat dinners at any one of the nearby restaurants OUTSIDE of the resort. There are quite a few options pretty close to the resort. We did eat the first night at the resort buffet, but it was because we had a $25 food credit, my youngest (2 yr. old) was free and so it made sense financially to eat there rather than go out.

  7. Do not buy any of their fun packages when booking rooms or feel like you need to spend any additional money doing any of the fun activities they have there. Most of it is in another wing of the resort, and the kid’s won’t even see it unless you personally bring them there. We didn’t do any of it and still had fun and had plenty of free options to keep us entertained.

  8. And finally, although check in is at 4pm, you are able to enjoy the facilities as early as 1pm, including the water park. The lady at the front desk even mentioned that on their slow days, you can even go in the morning and they will let you go into the water park before 1pm. Also, check out is at 11am but you are also allowed to stay in the resort, including the water park, until they close (at about 8 or 9pm). There are bathrooms in the water park so you are able to shower and change there. I would recommend bringing your luggage to the car at check out, but keeping a small bag with change of clothes and anything that you may need. This is a great choice if you want to enjoy the water park for more days but cannot afford to. Honestly, had I known this I would have probably only booked one night.

As you can see, there is a way to go to Great Wolf Lodge when you are on a tight budget. My husband and I were so surprised at the amount of out of town guests that were there from all over New England, and even a ton from Canada. And here we have this gem in our backyard (1.15 hr away) and it was only the first time we visited! We absolutely enjoyed our stay and cannot wait to go back!

 

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