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A Guide to Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains with Young Kids

A Guide to Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains with Young Kids

Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains is less than two hours by car from NYC and is a great place for a family getaway.

Travelling with young kids can be difficult, between airline drama and getting from place to place, you will probably end up needing a vacation from your vacation. But there are great family resorts less than two hours from the New York metro area. Great Wolf Lodge is one of those resorts and my family and I were invited to stay as part of a media weekend. We had a great time at the water park and enjoyed all the amenities that the lodge has to offer. But the best part is that everything we needed was at the resort and the vibe was comfortable and safe, which was great for our two boys, ages 5 and 1 ½-years-old.

A Howling Good Time

story time at Great Wolf Lodge

The woodland theme is everywhere at Great Wolf Lodge and kids and parents can’t help but get in on the fun. When you first arrive you are greeted by a rustic-themed lobby with a fireplace, trees, and a cabin-like feel.

Right away there is tons of stuff to do. We arrived right in the middle of a dance party.  We quickly checked in and started exploring. My kids loved the lobby and the feeling of being in the woods. I also enjoyed the cozy feel of the hotel and felt immediately relieved to be at such a kid-friendly place.

We grabbed a bite at The Loose Moose Family Kitchen, which is a buffet-style restaurant with tons of options for everyone. We then moved back to the lobby for story time and The Forest Friends Show , which is a sing-a-long that happens every morning and evening. Both of these things were great for my children, and they were captivated the entire time.

Water Fun (and More) For Everyone at Great Wolf Lodge

great wolf lodge water park

The next morning we headed to the indoor water park, which was definitely the highlight of the trip. It’s huge and offers rides and attractions for everyone in your party. My 5-year-old loved riding the thrill rides with my husband, while I explored the wave and kiddie-pools with my toddler. The Whooping Hollow features tiny waterslides perfect for the adventurous toddler.

My 5-year-old loved the Alberta Falls ride, which he went down in a tandem tube with his dad. The slide takes you outside of the park and back in before dropping you into the pool. He had a blast!

A great bonus is that the water park is open to hotel guests only, which means lines never get too long and crowds stay manageable. It’s also open late, until 9pm, which means we got to go for a late-night swim, when the crowds were even smaller than before.

We loved taking a ride on Crooked Creek (the lazy river) as a family. It was great to relax  before heading back for more fun rides.

Even the thrill rides were tame enough for my 5-year-old, which was great because we really didn’t have to say no to anything.

There is also a snack shop and bar right inside the water park, so no need to dry off to get a snack, soda, or beer (for dad).

Fun Extras at Great Wolf Lodge

ropes course at great wolf lodge 

The waterpark is enough to keep any family busy for the majority of the day, but there is so much more to explore. Here are some other of Great Wolf Lodges’ offerings for young kids:

Ten Paw Alley: A mini bowling alley with half-length lanes and five-pound balls.

Howl at the Moon Glow Golf: This glow-in-the-dark mini golf course is great for young kids, but not so much for toddlers. My little one found the black-lit creature just a tiny bit scary.

Creation Station and Clubhouse Crew: Create your very own Great Wolf Kids character and then take part in a fun interactive game around the lodge. My son’s favorite was Oliver the raccoon.

Other fun amenities include: the Northern Lights Arcade, Howly Wood XD Theater, MagiQuest Game, Scoops Kid Spa, and the Howlers Peak Ropes Course, which my kids were just a little too young to enjoy. 

Room Options at Great Wolf Lodge

Wold Den Suite at Great Wolf Lodge

There are a few room options to choose from. We stayed in a Family Suite which is suitiable for a family of four with young kids. Other fun options in include the KidKamp Suite, the Wolf Den Suite and the Kid Cabin Suite, which are all log-cabin themed suites with designated areas for kids.

Great Wolf Lodge has also just started its Wine Down Service for mom and dad. It has teamed up with The Wine Group to develop a menu that features both sweet and savory culinary treats with wine pairings that can be delivered to the guestrooms after their children go to bed. From the “Kids Snoring, More Pinot Noir-ing” to “It’s Been A Fun-Filled Day, Time For Some Cabernet,” parents can now choose from four wine and pairing packages. 

The service will launch after Memorial Day at the Williamsburg, Virginia, and Grapevine, Texas Great Wolf Lodge locations....for now.

Tips for Visiting Great Wolf Lodge

  • No need to bring towels, plenty are provided.
  • If you’re travelling with small kids, ask for a room at the end of the hall. It’s much quieter and you can avoid hearing the Magic Quest happenings that go on until late.
  • There’s a fridge and microwave in each room so feel free to bring some snacks and drinks from home.
  • Bring extra toiletries for the family and a cover-up for getting to and from the waterpark, although many people walk around in just their swimsuits.
  • I suggest investing in the Paw Pass, which will save you some money on many of the amenities mentioned above.


All photos courtesy Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.


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