The Great Wolf Lodge Lagrange, GA
Georgia's very own Great Wolf Lodge became huge news last year. We had never been so it was on our list as soon as we heard about it! We went opening month and we really did have a blast. The biggest tip comes fast. TIP: One and two night stays is plenty for the Lagrange location. Hear me out. A lot of other GWL destinations are completely surrounded by touristy and fun attraction, as well as wonderful restaurants and museums. If you are staying at a location surrounded by such, then by all means, plan your trip as long as you would like and accordingly. But the Great Wolf Lodge in GA is surrounded by very little. It is in a somewhat secluded area with very little to do outside the resort. Our first trip there was about four days and it was three days too long. When you book your stay, you have access to the water park the day you check in, usually after lunch time, and you have access the entire day that you check out. That is a lot of hours in a water park. The second time that we went, we only stayed one night and it was so fun. To save the long drive, I may have even stayed a second night, maybe. Big secret TIP: If you plan to go and stay only one night, make sure you are flexible with your check out day. When they see that you have only booked one night, a special flyer MAY show up under your room door with a special offer to stay a second night at a discounted price. This has happened for several people but does not always. It must depend on how booked they are or are not.
The next question is usually about the Wolf or Pup pass. I have done the math and for our family, the passes are totally worth it. It helps with budget to just go ahead and purchase these. You are given a list of inclusions and when you arrive at the Lodge you are given your pass on a GWL lanyard. The pass has a list of all of your items allotted. Once you have this pass, it is easy to stick to it and leave your wallet in the room. Check the pass options carefully to decide which is best for your child. Some children are not quite big enough for the ropes course and rock wall, which are included in the wolf pass. A "build a bear" type experience is included on the pup pass but not the wolf. Be sure to read the fine print.
YES! There is an outdoor area. Some tips that I read were about not needing sunblock. If you even think that you might go outside to swim or play, bring sunblock. This is Georgia and the sun likes getting a close look at us southerners. So come prepared. There is also an adult only pool that is on higher ground than the regular outdoor pool but it was poorly regulated and children were in and out of it at all times. My cousin and I were going to check it out but when we saw all of the kids, we decided to stay at the larger pool to enjoy our own children.
The drinks at the pool side bar were definitely yummy and worth a try. Dinner at Barnwood was very slow and under whelming our first visit, however, our second trip found the kinks worked out and the service was quick and wonderful. The food is a bit pricey and good. But just good. Longhorn food for Ruth's Chris prices. So your choice. The other meal options are just as good. This is where the long stay vs short stay gets tricky. In Lagrange, you will have no where worth going to outside the resort. So unless you bring food that is able to fit in a small fridge in your room for multiple days, you will have to eat the pricey food in the resort. The only other option we observed was people ordering pizza to be delivered to the lobby. This is a great idea but will only save you so much.
If you love a puddle jumper like a favorite Aunt that comes to stay for the summer then bring one with you to the GWL! They offer life vests that are great but there's just something about having your own puddle jumper with you on vacations near water. If it were acceptable, I would make my daughter sleep in one while on vacation for peace of mind. If there is water nearby, my fearless toddler will sniff it out. Thank God she learned to swim this summer so I am now able to breath a tiny bit easier, but only a tiny bit. Remember to check height requirements for slides and such. Whether your child is tall enough or not, there is still so much to do for the littles.
There is a flip flop shop located in the Lagrange location. This is hard to recommend. The kids had a blast creating their one of kind flip flops. But they are flip flops. Years of buying flip flops for a dollar has my frugal heart saying "no way" to the expensive rubber flip flops. If it's all my kids want as their one thing to take home, then maybe. But for me, it was a hard pass.
One of my favorite things in the world is Dunkin Donuts. So I was ecstatic to find out there was a location inside the GWL! So my mornings consisted of a large iced coffee with no sugar, only cream and one pump of caramel along with a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, while watching my daughter and nephew do morning children's yoga with the GWL staff. It was definitely one of the few perks of staying more than one night/morning. You'll want to check it out.
Be sure to check the GWL site thoroughly. EVERY location is different. Meaning some locations may have what other locations don't. I was so disappointed to find that the "Milk and cookies brought to your room by a character" at bedtime was not at the Lagrange location. It was my son's birthday and I was certain that it was offered at the Georgia location but I was wrong.
Water parks are so fun for most kids. So if you do not like water parks, stay away. But if you don't mind them, then this is such a fun experience. It is very affordable, especially if you only plan to stay for a night or two. Purchase the passes before you go and budget for food and drinks. You're sure to have a blast!