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11 Great Wolf Lodge Resorts That Lead the Pack

Who wouldn’t want to stay at a Great Wolf Lodge? Your pack can splash at the indoor water park any time of the year, play outside when the season calls for it, sink your teeth into delicious dining, and snooze in a spacious, upscale room.

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Great Wolf Lodges are scattered across the country, with more added all the time. Which are at the top of the doggy pile for attractions, size, and accommodations?

Here are 11 Great Wolf Lodge resorts for a howling good time.

1. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

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The Wisconsin Dells Great Wolf Lodge is the OG. This was the location where brothers Andrew and Jack Waterman opened what was then called Black Wolf Lodge in 1997.

The lodge got bought out by The Great Lakes Companies Inc. two years later, then became Great Wolf Lodge by 2000.

Wisconsin Dells calls itself the Waterpark Capital of the World, and who am I to disagree? You can find places like the Wilderness Resort, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Kalahari Resorts, and the list goes on.

» MORE: 15 Best Indoor Water Park Resorts in the U.S.

However, there’s something about Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells that makes this resort the leader of the pack. Part of it is undoubtedly its size. What once was a 20,000-square-foot indoor water park is today 76,000 square feet.

On top of that, the resort once offered only 117 suites but now has 437.

There are many water rides, slides, and pools, which range from low-thrill for the little ones to high-thrill for your easily-bored teens. I love how access to the water park is included with your stay, which is common to the Great Wolf brand.

Do you need a cozy place to get away from it all for a couple of minutes? You can reserve a rentable cabana for some privacy.

The Wisconsin Dells Great Wolf Lodge offers plenty of dry ways to keep the kids entertained, from an onsite Build-A-Bear Workshop to an arcade and fun games like the MagiQuest adventure, Oliver’s Mining Sluice, and ShadowQuest.

Attraction passes like the Pup Pass, Paw Pass, or Wolf Pass make it cost-effective to spend a day on attractions.

The dining options are standard across Great Wolf Lodges, including the Bear Claw dessert spot, Hungry As A Wolf for pizza or pasta, and the Lodge Wood Fired Grill. 

However, the kid-friendly fare will impress your young wolves, and healthier food like salads give parents something to satisfy.

The selection of standard suites, themed suites, premium suites, and condos provide ample room for your family to retreat to a majestic spot and enjoy another day of fun tomorrow.

2. Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Situated in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Springs Great Wolf Lodge opened its doors to wolf packs in the area in 2016.

Its proximity to Denver makes it a popular spot, and the indoor water park keeps a steady stream of people in and out all year long.

The range of rides at the water park promises fun no matter what, whether tossing some basketballs in the pool at Chinook Cove or circling around the yellow and red Howlin’ Tornado on a slide for teens and adults.

How about a rousing game of mini-golf? The Howl in One Mini Golf is a nine-hole course that features faux fish ready to eat your ball, sand traps, and animals that try to impede your shot. It requires just enough skill to keep it interesting but not so much that your little ones will feel left out.

» MORE: How Far Is Glenwood Springs from Colorado Springs?

Howlers Peak Ropes Course is an indoor course for the whole family (although participants must be at least 48 inches unless with an adult). Put on your safety equipment and climb across bridges and ropes.

Ten Paw Alley doesn’t require ugly, uncomfortable bowling shoes, which makes it an instant hit. You can also keep your small pups active at the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall, an indoor rock-climbing course.

Between this, the arcade, mining, games, and the Build-A-Bear Workshop, the kids will be wiped out. Fortunately, you can retire to a spacious suite (although no condos available here), including themed suites with woodland décor touches.

The family dining options are Wood’s End Creamery (an ice creamery), Loose Moose breakfast, Dunkin’ Donuts, delish grilling at Barnwood, and The Outpost, a lodge and bar.

When you check out of the resort, you’re also near Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak National Forest if you wish to extend your vacation.  

3. Sandusky, Ohio

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After The Great Lakes Companies Inc. became the owners of the Great Wolf Lodge, the company opened the Great Bear Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio in 2001 that later became the Great Wolf Lodge.

This name change came about as plans to continue expanding the lodge under different names was abandoned. The Sandusky Great Wolf Lodge that’s there today is the original 2001 location, so it’s just as integral to the brand’s history as the original spot in Wisconsin Dells.

Sandusky is a great place for a resort, as it’s between Toledo and Cleveland. The Great Wolf Lodge here is one of the area’s most popular attractions.

The indoor water park features rides such as the Whooping Hollow, ideal for toddlers and children who want to ride the water slides without too many thrills.

Alberta Falls is a four-story tandem tube slide that’s far more exhilarating.

How about some grub? The Sandusky Great Wolf Lodge features resort classics like The Watering Hole, Hungry As A Wolf, Dunkin’, and Bear Paw. You can also dine at Freshwoods Market, a grab-and-go stop with premade food.

You and the pack can fill up and be back on the slides in under an hour!

Do you have more time to dine? Gitchigoomie is a sit-down buffet that will tantalize your senses with its mouthwatering options.

The kids will want to play all day with attractions and entertainment like a Build-A-Bear Workshop, Northern Lights Arcade, Ten Paw Alley bowling, MagiQuest, and Oliver’s Mining Sluice. The extensive suites (no condos here either) can sleep four to eight people.

The premium suites include full bathrooms, a private balcony, a living area, an electric fireplace, multiple queen-sized beds, and a full sleeper sofa.

4. Traverse City, Michigan

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Near stunning Lake Michigan, the Traverse Lake Great Wolf Lodge is also in proximity to skiing, vineyards, beaches, and National Lakeshore.

This resort opened in 2003 and frequently attracts visitors from nearby Detroit and Chicago.

The range of rides at this weatherproof indoor water park should please any little adventurers in your family. Totem Towers is a kid-friendly water slide attached to Fort Mackenzie, the starring attraction of the park.

The temperature is always balmy at a Great Wolf Lodge, and the water is always warm, so the kids should feel eager to explore to their heart’s content.

The fun won’t stop when they get out of the water, not one bit! Between bowling at Ten Paw Alley, mining at Oliver’s Mining Sluice, mini golf at the Howl in One, and the Northern Lights Arcade, kids can have oodles of fun. The Traverse City Great Wolf Lodge also has a Build-A-Bear Workshop.

The suites range from standard options to themed and premium suites. A standard suite for a family of four or six includes a table or chairs, a full sleeper sofa, two queen-sized beds, a living area, and a full bathroom.

When hunger roars, quell it at Hungry As A Wolf, Bear Paw, Dunkin’, Freshwoods Market, or Camp Critter. Grizzly Rob’s Bar is a dinner spot at the water park with super yummy dining options.  

5. Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

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Opening in 2005, the Pocono Mountains and Great Wolf Lodge are a match made in heaven. This wintry retreat is favored for skiing, snowmobiling, and tubing, with Great Wolf Lodge the ideal antidote to the cold.

The 80-degree weather means you and the family can have a ball at the water park even if there’s snow on the ground outside. 

Perhaps this is the park where the kiddos conquer Fort Mackenzie, an interactive water fort treehouse complete with a spilling bucket and the Totem Tower slides.

Maybe they ride Alberta Falls or the Hydro Plunge, a ride for older kids and teens. This enclosed tube slide drops you down 52 feet vertically. It’s no wonder Great Wolf Lodge says the slide has all the excitement of a roller coaster!

Are you tired out from all the excitement? The Pocono Mountains Great Wolf Lodge has standard, themed, and premium suites.

You and your family can also room in a spacious Woodland Villa. The standard villa has room for eight to 10, while the deluxe villa can sleep up to 16. It’s two stories!

The Woodland Villa includes a king-sized bed (two for the deluxe), a bunk bed, two queen-sized beds, two full bathrooms, and one queen-sized sofa.

The next day, gear up for fun with timeless Great Wolf Lodge activities like Ten Paw Alley, MagiQuest, the arcade, and the Howlers Peak Rope Course.

Moonstone Mine is a challenging mirror course that families will enjoy seeking the exit for. Howl at the Moon Glow Golf is an indoor mini-golf adventure that glows beautifully in the dark.

Obliterate your hunger at The Outpost, Dunkin’, Freshwoods Market, Wood’s End Creamery, Hungry As A Wolf, or Fireside.

6. Niagara Falls, Canada

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The only Great Wolf Lodge on Canadian soil as of this writing is the Niagara Falls location. This spot opened in 2006 and continues the Great Wolf Lodge legacy in Canada. It’s one of several Ontario indoor water parks and a personal family favorite.

» MORE: The Best Indoor Water Parks in Niagara Falls

This water park has everything your family needs, whether you seek a relaxing day in the water or something more terrifyingly fun. For the former, may I recommend Rainbow Lake? It’s a five-foot wave pool that starts with a zero-depth entry for the little ones.

If it’s thrills you come for, don’t miss the Wolf Tail. This body slide drops you straight down and then across hairpin curves and turns. I would only recommend this ride for older kids and teens.

You’ve got to stay fueled up for fun, but that’s no problem at Great Wolf Lodge. The Crazy Loon serves up poolside treats and drinks all day. You can also sample piping hot pizza at Northwoods Pizza (it serves salads, wings, and sandwiches, too!).

Camp Critter is a dine-in lunch spot with American food that serves homemade salads, sandwiches, and more. I recommend the Antler Shanty for when you’re ravenous, as it has buffet-style meals all day and into the evening.

You have your pick among standard, themed, and premium Great Wolf Lodge suites, but may I also suggest a stay at a cottage?

The fairytale ambiance your lodging creates will enchant the kids. You’ll also love the privacy of a detached three-bedroom cottage for between six and ten people.

The cottage includes a full kitchen, a loft for sleeping four, a full sleeper sofa, a king-sized bed, a queen-sized bed, and a stone fireplace.

I didn’t even talk about the attractions exclusive to the Niagara Falls location yet. You can go bowling, play at the arcade, or experience the wonders of VR at the Hologate Virtual Reality game.

The Wacky Wilderness Mini Golf is an outdoor golfing experience for kids of all ages. Children can also create stuffed animal friends at the Great Wolf Stuffing Station.

7. Bloomington, Minnesota

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The Bloomington Great Wolf Lodge is near Minnesota, so it’s conveniently located and an extremely attractive vacation proposition in the area. Established in 2017, this location is a latecomer but a favorite of many.

The indoor water park at the Bloomington Great Wolf Lodge is more than 75,000 square feet. Here, you can find the Cub Paw Pool, a pool for your young pups with wet and wild fun.

The Wolf Rider Wipeout is a surf simulator for children, teens, and adults. See who can hang ten the best without worrying about salty ocean water!

» MORE: Road Trip from Minneapolis to Niagara Falls

Continue the fun at the Great Wolf Adventure Park, which features all the indoor attractions this resort is known and loved for.

Climb an indoor rocky wall, challenge the MagiQuest, mine for treasure, play at the arcade, go bowling, try a ropes course, or create a new friend at Build-A-Bear.

The eclectic selection of dining options ranges from sandwiches to salads, ice cream, donuts, and beverages aplenty. You can also choose from standard, themed, or premium suites for your stay.

8. Anaheim, California

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The Anaheim and Garden Grove Great Wolf Lodge has one of the largest water parks under this brand, as it’s 105,000 square feet.

Opening in 2016, the Southern California Great Wolf Lodge is a great choice after you’ve seen Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.

» MORE: How Far Is Disneyland from San Diego?

Let’s review some of the rides you’ll find in this gargantuan indoor water park. The Anaheim Great Wolf Lodge features the wave pool Slap Tail Pond, the Crooked Creek lazy river, Alberta Falls, and the River Canyon Run.

This family ride requires everyone to sit in a large circular inner tube and ride on simulated rapids as you dip, twirl, twist, and spin.

Are you kids eager for a new adventure? They should have all the fun in the world at Ten Paw Alley, the Northern Lights Arcade, MagiQuest, Build-A-Bear, and Howl at the Moon Glow Golf.

Keep their stomachs full with such fantastic and kid-friendly dining options at Bear Paw, Hungry As A Wolf, Loose Moose, Dunkin’, and the Lodge Wood Fired Grill.

You also can’t go wrong at Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill, a poolside spot with yummy, fresh food.   

9. Scottsdale, Arizona

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The ginormous Scottsdale Great Wolf Lodge near Salt River is on an 18-acre patch of land near Salt River Fields in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Since 2019, the spacious resort with 350 rooms has welcomed families from all over Arizona.

Its treehouse, the Talking Stick Treehouse, is several levels and has a huge tipping bucket that’s sure to get the whole family wet if they’re standing within its vicinity when it spills!

The Diamond Back Drop for Three is named after a snake because of the way this large water slide turns and coils.

Eat East Coast ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s, snack on pizza at Hungry As A Wolf, get a fully-loaded sandwich at Freshwoods Market, or enjoy Timber Tacos, which serves tacos, nachos, and quesadillas.

10. San Francisco, California

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Anaheim isn’t the only local Great Wolf Lodge in town! In Northern California, the San Francisco and Manteca location is on 29 spacious acres.

This new resort, which debuted in 2021, features 500 rooms, so it’s one of the biggest Great Wolf Lodges around.

From Stockton to Modesto, Fresno, San Jose, Oakland, and San Fran, Northern Cali residents, and travelers far and wide flock to this Great Wolf Lodge, the 19th of the 20+ across the country. 

There is so much to love about this resort, such as the enclosed tube slide called Otter Run, a medium-thrill ride for family members 48 inches and up. Ride down on a tube or use your body, allowing the waves to carry you down.

Rapid Racer is a tube ride that sees riders racing down to the end. See who among you in your family can reach the summit the fastest!

The standard, premium, and themed suites are plentiful, with the themed Wolf Den Suite offering a full bath, bunk beds, a full sleeper sofa, one queen-sized bed, and a living area.

Wake up and play! Besides the water park, you and the family can also enjoy attractions like bowling, mining, an arcade, a ropes course, and mini golf.

Feed your pack at favorites like The Watering Hole, Dunkin’, Wood’s End Creamery, Freshwoods Market, Campfire Kitchen, and Barnwood.

11. Chicago, Illinois

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The Gurnee/Chicago Great Wolf Lodge has an indoor water park measuring 80,000 square feet. This resort, which opened in 2018, is the 17th in the list of Great Wolf Lodges.

Do you and your family dare to ride Coyote Cannon? This encircling, multicolored water slide has a 40-foot drop. That’s approximately four stories! It’s not for the faint-hearted, but Racoon Lagoon is.

Here, the kids can enjoy water fountains, child’s slides, and water basketball while parents lounge and maybe catch up on a book (or at least some emails).

» MORE: Road Trip from Chicago to Orlando

Did you say more fun? But of course. The Chicago Great Wolf Lodge offers Howlers Peak Ropes Course, Ten Paw Alley bowling, the Northern Lights Arcade, Howl in One Mini Golf, and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Figuring out what’s for lunch (or dinner, or breakfast) is easy with exceptional options like the Campfire Kitchen, Barnwood, Hungry As A Wolf, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Watering Hole.

You can also sleep comfortably and spaciously with standard and premium suites. Don’t worry, as themed suites are also available for the cherry on top of what is sure to be one amazing vacation!