This week we wanted to take a family vacation to celebrate my twins turning 13 and my son hitting his sweet 16. We always try to do something for them since their birthdays are just 10 days apart. So, we planned a vacation to Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia, just south of Atlanta.

I figured a hotel with an indoor water park would be just the relaxing vacation I needed. Time to read. Time to write. Time to lounge. I was pleasantly mistaken.

We bought the Wolf Passes and from the moment we arrived we were busy. Now, please don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t mean that we fought crowds or that we didn’t have a good time. We most certainly did have a wonderful experience. Great Wolf Lodge offers MagiQuest, a rock wall, bowling, and arcade, a three story ropes course, mini golf, character visits, bingo, story time, AND an indoor water park with a wave pool, a not-so-lazy river, tube slides, raft slides, and body slides, and and adventure park where staying dry is impossible.

So, back to the moment we arrived… Our room was a kid cabin and featured a small “bedroom” with a bunk bed and a twin size bed for our kids to camp out in. On the other side was a bed for my wife and myself. And my son slept on the fold out couch bed. Plenty of room for my whole family to have a place to wind down from the day.

Now to the important stuff. The food was a little bit more than regular fast food, but comes in pretty large portions. I’m not used to my kids leaving food on their plates. I’m not used to leaving food on my plate either. The breakfast buffet is a pay-to-eat, not included in the stay, but you can purchase the buffet when you book your hotel stay. If you only eat it one time, this is a must. Fresh eggs, chicken or pork sausage links, waffles with a little wolf paw print in them. Coffee, sodas, juices, grits, oatmeal, bacon, gravy, and more than I can remember. There is a Ben and Jerry’s and a Dunkin Donuts embedded between everything. You will not go hungry.

One of the sweetest things was the Build-a-Bear that featured the characters of Great Wolf Lodge as options. The wonderful lady that helped us build our bears was so friendly and kind.

About the staff I can only think of one word to describe them, Friendly. They were above Disney Level friendly with our kids. They always asked my children questions and made them feel important. One of the lifeguards even rode down one of the raft rides with my girls and live streamed it. And Wiley Wolf played mini golf with us for a few holes.

And speaking of the lifeguards. I have never. Never. NEVER. Seen a more active and conscientious group of lifeguards. They don’t sit in a chair and wait for something to happen. They walk back and forth actively searching for anyone in need. In fact, they were so active that, at first, I thought my kids had done something wrong. My wife thought that I had done something wrong once. But no, the lifeguards Patrol, looking around beds in the lazy river and even the steps leading to the water in the wave pool, just in case someone got into trouble. I even saw one of the lifeguards demonstrating CPR on a ResusciTimmy.

Yes, we were busy. But we weren’t rushed. At large theme-parks you always rush from one ride to another trying to get in as much entertainment as you can. We felt the urgency to complete a quest in MagiQuest, but we weren’t rushed. We felt the excitement of going from slide to slide, but we weren’t rushed. We took OUR time. And we were busy because we wanted to be busy. Busy with each other. Sliding with each other. Climbing with each other. Laughing with each other. Howling with each other, he he (it’s a thing).

Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, thank you for giving my family time to play. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not twenty anymore. Thank you for the food, the fun, and the indoor sun. We WILL be back.

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