Why We Love Great Wolf Lodge {& how to save money on it!}

Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den

You probably know by now that my family is ALL about adventure. We love to get out and experience that big huge world out there. We’ve been to 25 countries so far, but we also love trips in our own back yard.

One thing that is an absolute necessity for busy families — especially us homeschooling moms who literally work two jobs around the clock — is respite. Take. A. Break. Mom.

For me, that’s what Great Wolf Lodge is. We take lots of great vacations… but even those are a lot of work! Plan the trip. Plan the transportation. Plan the meals. Plan the excursions. Plan the clothes. Plan, plan, plan everything. Then when you are there: feed the kids, entertain the kids, feed them again… vacations are hard. 

What is Great Wolf Lodge?

In case you aren’t familiar with the Great Wolf Lodge, let me tell you a bit about it:

-So there’s a huge hunting-lodge-themed hotel, with family suites large enough for even the biggest families.

-There are several locations across the U.S., and a few more planned!

Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den

-Inside the hotel is an epic massive waterpark, with attractions for all ages.

-The waterpark is ONLY for guests of the hotel, so you do not have to deal with big crowds or overpopulated pools.

-The hotel also has on-site a Cub Club, which is a super fun crafting-and-pretend-play center, and is free!

-There are additional entertainment options on site as well, like restaurants, Magi-Quest scavenger hunt, a salon, and more, depending on your GWL location.

-They have amazingly friendly staff, and there is a free bedtime story & show in the lobby every night!

Why I ❤️ it:

This is why I am absolutely in LOVE with Great Wolf Lodge as a vacation destination.

  1. We don’t have to leave the hotel. Heck, we don’t even have to get dressed! Each day, get up, put on your swimsuit, go to the water park. That’s it! You literally walk down the hall and you are there. No buses. No lines. No waiting.
  2. You can bring your own food and eat in your room, eat on site, or walk/drive to a nearby restaurant: dining options for every budget! (Unlike many theme park/ waterpark experiences.)
  3. It’s big enough to be SO FUN, but small enough that I don’t have to keep a close eye on the kids. I can sit and relax for a while, and the kids can run amuck.
  4. It can be super affordable, with the right deals. Where else can you take SIX people on vacation for $150/day?! (As a point of reference, we looked into going to Disney World, and it would have been $8,000 for the six of us for 5 days. That’s $1,600 a day! And definitely NOT relaxing.)

Here are some of our family’s fun snapshots from our last trip:

Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy DenThey have big slides, middle slides, and little slides — something for everyone from toddlers to grown-ups! Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den Craft time in the Cub Club! Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den Bedtime story & show in the lobby!

How to Find Deals

I will start by saying that every GWL location has their own pricing structure for rooms. I suspect that this is based on the metropolitan area and/or the size of the water park. We have stayed at 2 GWL locations, and the one that cost more was a bit bigger. This year we are going back to the cheaper one, because it is closer to our home — but also because it’s good enough!

We have booked 3 trips to GWL and gotten a deal in 3 different ways. I’ll outline them from best to worst — and DO SHARE if you know of another way to get a deal!!

🌟BEST DEAL {stack ebates + groupon + coupon} 🌟

Start at Ebates. You’ll get cash back on your purchase by clicking through here. Then click through Ebates to Groupon. When you get to Groupon.com, search ‘Great Wolf Lodge’, and you should see most locations pop up, with the price varying greatly. But they should all be *about* half off. Take a minute to search for Groupon coupons, as they often have codes for Groupon Getaways (under which the GWL deals DO fall!) We were able to get an additional 10% off our Spring Getaway!

By stacking these 3 deals, we paid 1/3 the regular price!

⭐️RUNNER UP DEAL⭐️ {email and ask} 

When finances were really tight for us last year, I emailed the manager at our local GWL and asked if we could get a discount on an unfilled room. I told her we were very flexible on dates and she could choose the night we came. She wrote back and told us that we could come on a Wednesday/Thursday for less than 1/2 the regular price for the room!

⭐️DECENT DEAL⭐️ {search for codes} 

Search RetailMeNot.com for discount codes — there are many available, for military/fire/police, homeschoolers, advance booking, corporate groups, and many more. See if you can find one that you are eligible for! These discounts generally range from 10%-30% off.

More ways to save:

  1. Bring your own food. The on site restaurants are pricey!
  2. If you don’t want to prep/cook on vacay (who does!?), send mom or dad out for takeout and bring it back to eat in the room. This saves money on tips, drinks, and in Ohio — even tax!
  3. Skip the salon & Magi-Quest. Do the free stuff like the waterpark and the Cub Club.
  4. Take advantage of full hours. You can enter the waterpark at 1pm the day of arrival, even though check-in is at 3. You check out at 11am the next day, but you can stay in the waterpark until closing. Plan to stash your luggage in the car and stay longer! By doing this you can get almost 2 full days of waterpark and only pay for 1 night!
  5. Stay on a weekday. It’s not only cheaper, but less crowded too!

So, tell me!

Have you ever been to Great Wolf Lodge? What was your favorite part?

Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den
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2 thoughts on “Why We Love Great Wolf Lodge {& how to save money on it!}

  1. Meghan says:

    We stayed there for the first time last fall with our little ones (1yr & 2 yr) and fell in LOVE! We are definitely planning to go back and these are great tips! Just curious… was the cheaper one you stayed at in Sandusky? That’s the one we went to and I was super impressed!

    • ourcozyden says:

      Yes! Sandusky was the cheaper one. Little kids like yours definitely don’t need anything bigger, but I can see how a family with older kids (teens perhaps) might want a larger one. The other GWL we have stayed at was the one in Cincinnati (Mason).

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