Tips and tricks for Great Wolf Lodge

Are you looking for a fun and exciting escape with your kids? This year makes 2 years we have opted for Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio. We decided to give a few Christmas gifts and then take them here for the rest of their gift. Because let’s be honest, a trip to GWL will be remember over some cheap toy that breaks in a week right? Of course! We opt to go during the winter months during school days. Simply because 1. Hubby works a lot less in the winter. 2. Kids are in school! My Little’s get more time to play and less lines because of this! 3. Who doesn’t want to be in 84 degree weather in the water when you can peek out the windows and see beautiful icicles hanging off the lodge?

Each time we have went I’m super impressed with the staff and all the things my kids can do. They say the rooms aren’t ready until 4pm but you can start swimming at 1pm. So we usually get there at 1 and have a bag packed with just swimming suits in case our room isn’t ready, but these past 2 times it has been ready before 4 :). First you walk into a huge lobby to check in equipped with a Dunkin’ Donuts and 2 restaurants and the big tree that comes to life! I’ll touch more on that later. You check in and they give you cute little wolf ears for each child, your room keys, and a paper with daily activities and times of events. I think everyday from 11-2 is crafts in the kids club. It’s cool….and all FREE! They have family games you can borrow from in there too! So take advantage of that for a game night after swimming. Kids can make buttons for souvenirs, whatever craft of the day is, or play in the corner where there is a rug, a dry erase board, and some bean bag chairs. They also have pillowcases and shirts you can purchase and allow your kids to color if you’d like. My kids love it! We do it the day we check in and the day we check out. Because even though check out is 11am you can still use the water park until I closes and the stuff at the lodge! Pretty neat huh? They also had face painting this time. That was cute. Besides the kids club they do wolf walks (educational), sometimes morning exercises, games, and more at different times in the lobby and the kids always get some sort of prize for it. Then there is the story time where the tree comes to life and tells a story. I believe it’s 15 minutes. It’s really cool too! There is enough free stuff to do here that you could not have to spend any extra money if you packed all your food drinks. Which leads me to start off my tips/hacks. Ready? Got a note pad?


Last year we took our instant pot for supper and we opted to purchase the breakfast package. It’s all you can eat. And this year we ate all we could then asked for more. Ate a bit more and then boxed the rest! Bam! Score! So there’s a hack you’ll want to keep to get the best bang for your buck! You get fruit, some pastries, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and pancakes. It’s actually pretty good. Eggs are a touch bland, but still work to refuel for the next day. I highly suggest taking an instant pot and finding an easy meal for it. Something that will keep you full and energized. Take bottled water. They don’t offer cups of water. You’ll have a fridge and microwave. Take paper plates and utensils too. Any snacks you’d like. You can come and go from the water park as you please so if you’re hungry run back to your room grab a quick bite to eat and head back. Which leads me to my next hack.

While it’s warm air in the water park when you walk out it’s a big temperature change. This year I took our children’s robes and slippers. When we’d head back to the room we’d dry them off as best we could and the. Put their robes and slippers on. They looked cute, kept them warm, and we got lots of compliments saying that was a good idea. Also pack cute pajamas for them to wear for the story close to bedtime 😉 just for extra cuteness.


They will provide one shampoo and one lotion and 2 bars of soap. But if you forget your toothbrush or toothpaste be ready to fork out some cash from the little shop they have in there. Also pack a small first aid kit with some Neosporin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc. as this stuff is also expensive in there. Better to have it than wish you did when you might need it.

Take some extra lotion too. Especially if it’s winter. We found ourselves very dry and itchy after our first round of the waterpark. Thankfully I brought extra. The little bottle they give doesn’t go far for the family.

Buy a waterproof necklace case for your phone to take pictures in the waterpark. On the table in each room is a promo card from Shutterfly for a free 8×8 photo book 🙂 so take advantage of that and don’t forget it. I didn’t do this, but saw others and it’s a great idea. I did take pictures other places in the lodge though.

Okay next thing. I packed minimally this time. I took a large utility tote from Thirty-One, each kids own cinch sac from thirty-one and a carry on bag for hubby and I, and a toteally thermal bag from thirty-one for the food/drinks. All can be found each kids cinchsac went into the large utility tote and I clipped their swim vests to it. One trip without the cart 🙂 yay!

The day we checked out I gave hubby our bag with that days clothes and took just one cinchsac with all the kids clothes in it. I also took the laundry bag from the room for the wet clothes 🙂 so make sure to do that too. We took our showers in the restrooms in the waterpark changed and headed home.

So if you want a fun filled trip try planning your waterpark time around all the cool fun free things for the kids if you don’t want to splurge in the arcade or the little spa. Don’t forget if you need a quick warm up session there are 2 hot tub areas. One family friendly and the other for 21 and over 🙂

Do you have any good advice or tips that might help make someone’s stay more enjoyable or less stressful? If so let us know in the comments!

Enjoy planning a fun family vacation!

We splurged on the kid cabin this time 🙂 they loved it!

Kid club craft fun