An Honest Review of Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio
Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio has become a yearly tradition for my family. We have been returning guests at Great Wolf Lodge during the last five years as of the writing of this article, so I thought now would be a great time to post a thorough and honest review if you are considering visiting GWL.
GWL is a family-friendly environment with plenty to do. You can book your stay for any number of nights, but I recommend that you stay at least two nights (we have stayed five or more!). Kids of all ages will have fun in the waterpark that is included with your stay, but there is plenty more to do at this resort:
- MagiQuest® - this is an indoor adventure theme that allows kids to interact with wizards, goblins, and a huge dragon. The best part is that you can continue playing this game with the purchase of a wand for your entire stay, and the wand is less than $15!
- Scooops® Kid Spa - a true kid-oriented spa where your child can get flavored manicures and pedicures. Opt for the comfy robe; your child will love it.
- Northern Lights™ Arcade - an arcade for kids and adults of all ages. This arcade offers pretty much anything any kid would want to play, plus they can collect points to be redeemed for great prizes.
- Wolf Walk - we haven't tried this yet, but we are planning to do the Wolf Walk on our next visit. The Wolf Walk is a nature hike where kids and families learn about the many animals of the Northwoods. According to the description on the website, everyone gets to make a souvenir origami wolf.
- Story Time - kids (and adults) put on their pajamas and come downstairs into the lobby to enjoy bedtime stories by the fireplace. There is a Great Clock Tower Show where the characters in the lobby all come to life. The first time your young ones see this, they will love it.
My favorite part about staying at Great Wolf Lodge is that you must be a guest at the hotel in order to enter the waterpark, play any of the games, or participate in anything else that goes on at GWL. That means that it's never overcrowded, even during peak times of the year. We have stayed over Memorial Day weekend and Independence Day, and we've never felt that we were lacking any personal space. Even the main feature, the 84-degree year-round waterpark, isn't overcrowded. Who wants to pay for something and have to spend most of the day waiting in line to enjoy it?
The themed rooms make for a nice added touch to your stay. We've stayed in the Kid Cabin rooms and the Wolf Den rooms. If you have younger children, they will love having their own area separate from their parents. They even get their own television! You just have to be careful when you're winding down for the evening and Mom and Dad are in their bed flipping channels and the kids are in their part of the room in their Wolf Den or Kid Cabin flipping channels. Sometimes the remote will reach to the other television!
Save some money during your stay.
If you keep an eye out or sign up for e-mail alerts, you will see that Great Wolf Lodge has promotions that run throughout the entire year. This makes the stay much more affordable, and there are other smaller things that you can do to save some money on your vacation at Great Wolf Lodge:
- Bring your own food. There's a fridge in every room, and while there are restaurants right in the lodge, we found that they were a little expensive for what was offered. We brought food with us to keep in our room, and we used the fridge for any perishables. There's a grocery store practically next door to this particular GWL, so if you need to do a little additional shopping, it's easy to do.
- Go outside of the lodge for dining out. As mentioned above, the restaurants inside of the lodge are a little pricey for what is offered, in my opinion. Unless you are getting a pizza or something else simple, I would recommend dining at one of the many local restaurants in the area.
- If you have purchased the MagiQuest® wand, keep it for next time! They can be reactivated and used again every time you visit GWL without needing to purchase another wand (you do need to purchase the game, which is around $12 and is good for the entire stay).
- Assuming that you are staying at the GWL located in Sandusky, Ohio, there is a go-kart and mini-golf place right up the street. There is also a place nearby where kids can go to skate or use a scooter. Both of these places were inexpensive, close by, and the kids will have a blast!
While this has become a yearly tradition for my family, it never gets old. We love staying at Great Wolf Lodge, and it's a great place to build some family memories. The staff is always courteous and friendly, and they will make your stay as pleasant as possible. There is plenty to do outside of the lodge as well, including: shopping, dining, and local attractions. Discounts on stays are available if you look for them (or sign up to get e-mail alerts), and waterpark passes are included with your stay. It rarely feels overcrowded since the entire lodge is only accessible for guests staying at GWL. The atmosphere is woodsy, yet not scary (if you are taking little ones). Oh, and the song that they play at the end of the evening during the Great Clock Tower Show will get stuck in your head.