EDITOR’S NOTE: This family loved the special, gold RFID wristbands they received at Great Wolf Lodge. The wristbands serve as an all-in-one hotel room key, water park admission ticket, and cashless wrist-wallet. Parents can pre-load their kids’ wristbands and monitor how much they spend, even when they’re exploring different areas of the park away from one another. Read about this guest’s experience here:
In the midst of below freezing temperatures and extreme weather alerts, what better to way to spend time with the family than by heading out on a quick local family getaway at one of my favourite places Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls! With an estimated drive time of 1.5 hours from Toronto, it is an ideal solution for your winter woes. Plus, they have everything all under one roof. Last Friday, our family was delighted to check-in as guests of Great Wolf Lodge where we were greeted by the Director of Sales and Marketing before heading up to our family suite. Hmm, I think ‘delighted’ might be a slight understatement…
On the other side of the partition is a semi-private living area which includes a full-size sofa-sleeper, coffee table and a 37″ flat screen TV. With the sofa-sleeper, you could fit six guests in this room. Or you could use it to banish your snoring partner from the sleep area. Whatever works.
The bath is quite small but functional and clean. The shower includes a multi-use soap dispenser so you don’t have to fiddle with separate bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Not that I can read those little labels without my glasses anyhow. This mom is grateful for one-soap-does-it-all dispensers. Across from the bath, you will find the sink and blow dryer. Personally, I prefer to have the sink in the bath room. Oh, and in case you’ve ever wondered what those two round things on the shower walls were… it is a retractable clothesline where you can hang dry your swimsuits and trunks after rinsing so they’ll be ready to go in the morning.
Since our room is located on an upper level, we had a balcony that overlooked the outdoor pool, currently covered in snow, of course. In the past, we had a room on the lower level which was great because we didn’t have to take an elevator or use the stairs to access the waterpark. Plus, we had a walk-out patio that lead to the parking lot at the back so we had easy access to our car.
If you’ve never been to Great Wolf Lodge before, be prepared to be awed by their magnificent grand lobby. Here you will find the Welcome Desk where you can check in as early as 1 p.m. The lobby is also where you can lounge by the fire, as well as view and order photos taken on some of the water rides. If you are a returning guest, there is a separate lineup closer to the main entrance, which is usually a lot shorter. Don’t forget to ask for your Family of the Day ballot. You will need it to enter the drawing the following morning before the waterpark opens. If your ticket is drawn, your family will enjoy a private cabana in the waterpark that houses a patio table, a lounge chair and a bar fridge filled with bottled water and snacks. The winning family will also enjoy other perks such as tokens to the Northern Lights Arcade, Great Wolf Lodge paraphernalia or vouchers for a free craft, for example.
At the end of the lobby, you will spot the lovable group of Family Forest Friends. They come to life at the push of a button and if you stop by at 10 a.m., you can hear Mo the Moose, Mother Bear with her cubs Ivy and Rusty, and all the animals sing about life in the forest. This is also where they host their nightly Story Time sessions. We enjoyed a well-animated reading of Robert Munsch’s Mortimer while we were there and the place was packed! Following the story, they turned on some music for a little dance party. In pyjamas!
To the left, you will find the two main dining areas: Antler Shanty and Camp Critter Bar & Grille. To the right, you will find the Trading Post Gift Shop and MagiQuest Marketplace as well as the Canoe Coffee shop and public restrooms. Everything else is pretty much located on the lower level including access to the waterpark. Stay tuned as I continue with the next installment in my Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls series which will feature the waterpark and activities the whole family can enjoy.
Want to escape the cold weather for some water fun? Great Wolf Lodge has set up a special promo code for readers of Toronto Teacher Mom. Simply use TTMOMFUN when you book a getaway between February 22 and May 14, 2015 to enjoy 20% off the best available rate. Please note that reservations must be made before March 5, 2015 and that there are the following blackout dates: March 6-7, 16-17, 2015. The discount is based on availability, so other dates may become unavailable as occupancy increases.