Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Great Wolf

Now that the kids are getting older and needing fewer things for Christmas, we've decided that our big family gift each Christmas will be time away together. Last year we had the ultimate time away - Christmas in Disneyworld! This year we had to go a lot smaller so in early November the family went to Great Wolf Lodge.

This was our first trip to the lodge and we had a great time. The room was great and had enough room for our family, which is a struggle sometimes with a family of 5. As soon as we arrived we checked in then went to play in the water!

First up were the water slides! We went on the two big ones first - Howlin' Tornado and River Canyon Run. These were both multi-rider slides, so 2 or 3 of us sat together on a raft for the ride. Both were fun, but the Howlin' Tornado was pretty awesome, swirling you around a huge funnel for a while. We rode each big slide about 6 or 7 times during our stay.

We tried the medium water slides next. None of us were too impressed and I don't think we rode them again.

Then it was time for the kids to hit the play areas. They really enjoyed these lily pads. Carissa had the advantage of short stature and less weight so she got across most of the time. The boys struggled more, since they had to crouch under the rope and still try to retain their balance. They sure had fun trying it and went on this about 10 times during our stay.

That was attached to a play pool where you could swim, play basketball and climb on floating animals.

We took the kids nextdoor to the wave pool, where they swam around and jumped in the waves. Brian and I joined in and had fun too.

Up next was the Fort. The kids walked all around this thing, shooting spraying water at one another and waiting in line for the slides.
I did eventually tempt them over to the front so I could get some pictures of them in front of the Fort. They stood there waiting expectantly, knowing that sooner or later that huge barrel on top was going to fill with water and dump on them.
It didn't take too long before that happened!
They got drenched but so did I! The camera was WET! LOL Good thing I brought my old Sony camera and not my good Nikon.
We played in the water park for a few hours and then went up to our room to change. The kids really wanted to play the MagiQuest game they have there, this game they have with Magic Wands and quests and lots of running around the hotel. I was prewarned that EVERYONE is playing the game and that our kids are going to want to do it too. Thankfully I came prepared, but I still wasn't pleased with the $70 we spent on wands and the game. Sheesh! Thankfully the kids brought their own money, so we didn't shell our much. I will say that the kids got the most out of their money and played this game for hours on end while Brian and I walked around the lodge, sat and read books, had a hot cocoa and just relaxed. (I love that Chase has a cell phone now so I didn't have to worry about losing them!) See the wands the kids are holding and the brown compass hanging from Chase's beltloops. Those are their MagiQuest items.
We eventually went back to the waterpark that evening for another hour or two, though Brian and I were both disappointed in the lack of "hot" in the "hot" tub. Brian and I picked up dinner at a pizza joint nearby and grabbed some donuts for breakfast. Then we spent the rest of our evening vegging and relaxing while the kids played MagiQuest until it closed at 10pm.
The next morning we were up and ready to swim again. We spent another few hours there, hitting our favorites one last time and having a family game of "fish" basketball (the "horse" basketball game, only renamed in honor of the conditions). We showered up and headed out, taking this last photo on our way out the door. We had a good time at Great Wolf, though I can't imagine spending more than one night there at a time, unless we had some good friends come with us to hang out with... ;)

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