Disclosure: At least some of this trip was comped or provided at a media rate. Post written by guest author Cynthia Drake.
Great Wolf Lodge Halloween Fun
I like to think of Great Wolf Lodge as a kind of “kid-Vegas.”
You get that feeling, walking through the halls of the resort with all the latest arcade games binging at you and kids hopped up on treats weaving in and out of the crowd wearing only their pajamas and complimentary check-in wolf ears, only to (hopefully) crash hard later.
And as if Great Wolf Lodge wasn’t chock-full of kid-friendly activities already, if you head to any of the 17 Great Wolf locations across the U.S. during the month of October, you’ll also be treated to a full slate of free Halloween activities as part of the chain’s “Howl-O-Ween” celebration.
Tip: Be sure to pack your kiddo’s favorite costume, since there will be plenty of opportunities for showing it off—and great photo opps, as well.
Great news for parents of timid youngsters: a Great Wolf Halloween is all about scream-free, non-scary fun (unless the screaming is because you’re checking out).
Each resort is decked out with seasonal decorations: pumpkins, spiders, and costumed characters during Great Wolf Lodge daily storytime. Here are some example of the activities you’ll find during October:
- Daily costume parades, which encourage kids to wear their costumes for a jaunt through the hotel.
- A Trick-or-treat trail, with a variety of stops throughout the resort at Halloween displays, where kids will receive treats.
- Free face painting and balloon creations
- A daily game of Boo Bingo
- The nightly storytime becomes “Spooktacular Storytime,” featuring Great Wolf’s beloved characters, Wiley, Violet, and Oliver in costume
- Monster Bash Dance Party on weekend evenings
- Halloween-themed crafts
I visited Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, with my kids (8 and almost 4) this fall to preview the Halloween festivities. It was our first time visiting Great Wolf Lodge as a family, and we were truly blown away by the number of activities waiting for us there. The Grapevine property and a few others are currently undergoing a room refresh, debuting contemporary feeling rooms that retain their fun woodsy theme.
My 8-year-old son is still talking about his epic defeat of the red dragon during MagiQuest, an interactive game where your customized magic wand opens treasure chests and makes framed photos and other objects come alive throughout the hotel, leading you on a real-life Choose Your Own Adventure. (There were even a few tears shed due to the intense emotions, y’all!). He also loved evaluating some of the eye-popping waterslides waiting for us in the waterpark, and he paid several visits to the arcade.
Meanwhile, my 3-year-old son was mostly game for waving his MagiQuest wand at everything his big brother did, then boogying down during impromptu dance parties in the lobby. He wanted to wear his costume from check-in to check-out (because that’s what you do when you’re 3).
He also loved sampling all the treats in the on-site Great Wolf Lodge Candy Company and brought home a new customized stuffed animal friend from the Great Wolf Stuffing Station to add to his collection. (You can even take your new animal on an interactive Clubhouse Crew Adventure).
After all the festivities were over for the day, my husband and I treated ourselves to quite possibly the best parent room service offering ever: Wine Down service, which pairs various wines with light bites, with clever names like, “While the Pups Sleep, Chardonnay,” and “Kids Snoring, More Pinot Noir-ing.”
A single weekend wasn’t quite long enough for our family to take in all the activities at this resort—we had hoped to try the outdoor ropes course, all the on-site restaurants (we were partial to the chocolate fountain at the Loose Moose), and even a 3D movie theater, but we simply ran out of time in the process of enjoying ourselves to the extreme.
We’ll definitely be back, especially for the Pinot Noir-ing.
Cynthia J. Drake is a travel writer based in Austin and author of Budget Travel for the Genius.