|Rafting by water slide at Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos|
With frigid winter temperatures upon us, my 6-year old son and I hopped into our car last weekend for our latest family adventure. Just a short, 90-minute ride from New York City, Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos was a perfect, fun-filled, action-packed, indoor getaway.
After our arrival, we rushed upstairs to our spacious room in the log-cabin style lodge to stash away our winter coats and change into our bathing suits. The massive room with vaulted ceilings and a small balcony was more than adequate for the two of us. The room could comfortably sleep a family of four to six. Consequently, our primary goal was to immerse ourselves in the indoor water park, not relax inside the room.
The crown jewel of Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos was, of course, the indoor water park. We entered the balmy, 84 degree oasis, with shit eating grins on our faces. Every parent and child’s dream!
The water park reminded me of something out of a Willy Wonka film, only with rivers of swirling and sloshing water instead of chocolate. Visualize a room larger than a football field with ceilings and rafters soaring five stories high. A welcoming labyrinth of huge zig-zagging water slides, a three story-tree house equipped with a gargantuan bucket ready to soak us to the core, wave pool, lazy river, ropes style obstacle course, tot-play areas, water basketball pool, and more. There was something for everyone to enjoy!
In the water at Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos
For the afternoon, we spent the majority of our time rafting down the incredible water slides. Our favorite was the “Double Barrel” – a fast-paced, tunnel slide that whisks you into a dark barrel of roaring rapids…only to make a 450 degree hairpin turn that drops you into a second vortex before splashing you into a disco music zone for the finale. With relatively short lines, we must have rafted down “Double Barrel” at least a dozen times. It was pure, edge of your raft awesomeness!
Another water slide highlight was Hydro Plunge, a winning combination of roller-coaster and toboggan. Additionally, we loved Coyote Cannon because it felt like we were being flushed down a giant toilet bowl!
With an endless supply of towels provided at the water park, we dried off, changed, and prepared for an evening of excitement using our “Wolf Pass.” The Wolf Pass (additional fee) is like a golden ticket that enables you to kick the tires with most of the awesome on-site amenities at the lodge.
The highlights for us were playing glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, pint-sized bowling in their Ten Paw Alley, and playing MagiQuest – a unique experience, where your child is transported into a world of magic, wizardry, and imagination. They wield their magic wands throughout the property to engage with numerous exhibits at every turn while scoring points and unlocking secrets on their journey to find treasure. The proverbial cherry on top for us was the thrilling roller coaster ride inside the virtual reality, Howlywood XD theater. It was so unbelievable…we had to experience it twice!
Next, we hit the bountiful dinner buffet in the main dining room with quality options, even for the pickiest of eaters, and a top-notch dessert spread with cake pops, brownies, cannolis, Rice Krispie treats, and more. With full bellies and a day filled with non-stop adventure, we were exhausted and ready to unwind as we participated in the Great Wolf Lodge traditional bedtime routine – a forest friends sing-a-long coupled with story time by the fireplace.
My only negative feedback during our weekend adventure at Great Wolf Lodge in the Ponocos was the noise level at night. Despite countless signs posted throughout the resort pleading for quiet-time between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., there were children making noise and racing down the hallways. As a result, it was hard for me to read late at night, but we were so exhausted from the day that it didn’t impact our night sleep.
We spent our second day at the Great Wolf Lodge relishing in all of the wonderful water attractions that we’d come to love inside the indoor water-park. A carbon copy of our first day was what we’d hoped for – mission accomplished.
As we climbed back into our car to make the return trip to New York City, my son had an ice cream cone in his hand and a glowing smile across his tired face when he asked, “Dad, when are we coming back to the Great Wolf Lodge?”
This was our maiden voyage to a Great Wolf Lodge property, and can’t wait to make plans for a return visit. VERY SOON!
|Welcome to Great Wolf Lodge|
|Under the mushroom waterfall in wave pool|
|Labyrinth of water slides|
|glow-in-the dark mini golf|
|Evening story time|
|Traversing the ropes course|
|Excited to be at Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park|
|Virtual reality roller coaster ride, Howlywood XD theater|
*Disclosure Note: Discounted lodging was accepted in the research of this travel review. The opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced by the brand, and are 100% my own. – L.S.