Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California celebrated its grand opening this weekend as wowed residents descended upon the resort in droves. The crowds came to experience the first indoor waterpark in the state - and they learned that there is a lot more to this family-friendly hotel experience than just waterslides and wave pools.
True, you can lose yourself on the Howlin' Tornado, float through the lazy river and try to surf on the FlowRider. But that's only touching on one of the many adventures kids can immerse themselves in at Great Wolf Lodge, which is truly a hotel designed first with kids in mind.
MagiQuest can easily suck up a day - or perhaps a weekend -- as kids set out on an adventure throughout the hotel to put together potions, fight dragons and save a fictional world of pixies from pollution. You will want to watch out as you stroll through the lobby - or any public space - as young magi tear through the property casting their wands at oracles and objects placed throughtout the hotel.
No space is off limits as children run from one oracle to the next trying to gather everything they need to move onto the next mission. The MagiQuest store sells wands and accessories and everything else a magi may need to fight goblins, save fairies and spar with the dragon.
Parents beware: If you want to see your kids during your stay, pick up your own wand and join the quest.
READ MORE: SoCal's Great Wolf Lodge Readies for Its Debut
For those who are not as excited about battling dragons and goblins, there's the Clubhouse Crew of furry critters who are behind the story of Great Wolf Lodge. The plush creatures come to life at the Creation Station (similar to a Build-a-Bear Workshop) where they are made. Each creature is registered to a child and the first two floors of the hotel feature a variety of Clubhouse Crew stations where they can check in and take part in a scavenger hunt around the resort.
Kids can get pampered at the spa just like the adults. Kids, dressed in pink bathrobes, sit on banana split benches for fizzy foot baths and sherbet scrubs. They get Sprinkled in Scoops at a special table where they receive a lotion treatment, a hair scent, a tiara and a sash.
Girls can also bring mom along for mommy-and-me mani-pedis or they can choose from a number of scented items in the spa shop.
Main Street is the entertainment hub of the hotel. Here guests will find kid-size bowling lanes, Howl at the Moon glow-in-the-dark golf, the Glitz tattoo stand, the entrance to the waterpark, Northern Lights arcade and the Howly Wood X-D Theater, Great Wolf Kids Creation Station and the MagiQuest store. There is also Bear Paw Sweets & Eats and Hungry as a Wolf pizza. On Main Street, parents can let their kids run around from one attraction to the next with ease - or they can join the fun and take in an X-D movie or enjoy a round of golf.
READ MORE: Looking for More Great Family Travel Experiences? Head to Montage Kapalua Bay!
Each day ends with Story Time in the grand lobby. Children are encouraged to head down in their pajamas as they go on an adventure with their favorite Great Wolf Lodge characters. After the story, kids have the chance to pose for pictures with their favorite characters who are often on hand to help illustrate the tale.
Know Before You Go
Entry into the waterpark is included in your stay, but the rest of the games and activities are going to set you back a pretty penny - especially if you try and go a la carte. The best thing to do is to purchase a Paws Pass. You can select your inclusions and your kids get a pass that will allow them to go from one game to the next on their own.
Also, when booking, try to reserve a Kids Suite or the Wolf Den, where children have a special themed room all to themselves. There are elements in the "den" that are controlled by the wands such as a fish, a frog and a string of lights. They also allow adults some alone time, and kids have their own televisions to keep them entertained.
Topics From This Article to Explore