Newly opened earlier this year, the Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange is the ultimate family vacation destination.
Published: October 1, 2018
By: Bethany Hunley
Tucked away in a small town about an hour outside of Atlanta is a resort built for families and overflowing with activities both adults and children will love. Newly opened earlier this year, the Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange is the ultimate family vacation destination when considerations such as distance from home, entertainment for children of all ages and receiving the most bang for your buck are integral.
My family and I were given the incredible opportunity to explore this 16th and newest edition to the Great Wolf Lodge resorts, and we are still reminiscing about some of the incredible moments and memories that were made there.
The Great Wolf Lodge resorts are well known for their indoor water parks. This was not my first stay at a resort featuring an indoor water park, but it was my first experience staying at a resort hosting an indoor water park of this caliber and quality. Separated by age, it was as if there were three or four mini water parks within this one, massive indoor space. The toddler area is where we spent most of our time, as our girls were two and a half at the time of our visit, and we stressed about finding the perfect toddler safety gear for them to wear while in and around the water. To our surprise and excitement, Great Wolf Lodge provides safety vests and gear for all ages on carts throughout the space. Towels are also provided.
There were many things to love about this resort, but my favorite addition by far has to be the dedication to water safety and the considerations that are made to ensure that children and adults with special needs are also able to participate and enjoy their water-filled fun. All entries to the water park are zero entry, meaning that they start at normal ground level and gradually slope down into the pool. This is so that visitors in wheelchairs, or with other physical limitations, can easily be placed, or wheeled, into the water with everyone else. There are also several lifts on the sides of the lazy river and outside pool that allow visitors with physical limitations the ability to get in the water and enjoy the same experience as the other guests. Considerations for guests of all circumstances are what truly set apart the great from the incredible.
In addition, lifeguards at the indoor water park receive vigorous training and practice each day. Each lifeguard is trained to constantly scan the water, and each morning before the park opens, the lifeguards undergo the Timmy-test, where a mannequin is randomly thrown in the water, and they have a time limit on how quickly they must locate Timmy and remove him from the water. As a parent of two toddlers who cannot swim, it’s difficult to describe just how appreciated and safe we felt having our daughters in this indoor water park.
Aside from water-filled fun, Great Wolf Lodge provides an abundance of activities to keep children of all ages entertained, including a resort-wide game called MagiQuest where you receive a wand, specifically coded to you, and embark on a quest to discover magical spots throughout the resort, and ultimately slay the evil dragon. In addition to MagiQuest, Great Wolf Lodge also offers an indoor rock climbing wall, a bowling alley, a miniature golf course, an indoor ropes course and many other activities that children and teens will enjoy.
Toddlers will also have a blast here, as there is a coloring and story station, a Build-A-Wolf station where you choose an animal to stuff and even character interactions and sightings scheduled throughout the day with Wiley the Wolf, Violet the Wolf and Oliver Raccoon. These characters will even gather in the lobby most nights for an indoor dance party just for kids!
Don’t let the family-friendly atmosphere of Great Wolf Lodge trick you into thinking that adults won’t also enjoy their time spent here. In fact, the entire lodge is open-container, and there is an outdoor, adults-only hot tub called Northwood Springs for those of us needing a break from the noise of splashing children. A service called Camp Howl allows you to drop your children off for a small fee, while you and the other adults in your party enjoy a meal to yourselves. Another favorite adult-friendly addition is the Wine Down Service where guests can order drinks and food, and have the staff text you when they are at your door so as not to wake up your sleeping children.
Several delicious restaurants are available inside the lodge, including a taco bar, a pizza restaurant that uses their own pizza recipe, a high-end restaurant called Barnwood that utilizes local produce to create delicious dishes and a few others. Basically, you could stay at this resort for days and never need to leave the property. As parents of two toddlers, the inclusiveness of the lodge, as well as the on-site entertainment and useful resources for parents were greatly appreciated.
There aren’t many resorts that offer such a wide variety of activities to keep your entire family entertained for days under one roof. Looking forward to the upcoming holidays, the resort plans to construct a Trick or Treat Trail around the lodge for the entire month of October, as well as create a Snow Land, complete with fake snow and holiday decorations leading to Christmas.
If you need a get away for a few days, not only can your family enjoy some holiday fun, but you can also enjoy a high-quality indoor water park, no matter the outside temperature. To find more information about Great Wolf Lodge Georgia or book your stay, visit their website at www.greatwolf.com/georgia.
Bethany Adams Hunley is the web and social media editor at Birmingham Parent.