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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at Lisa@GrandmasBriefs.com.

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    « Saturday movie briefs: Romantic mish mash | Main | Kite Flying Day? Plus GRAND Social No. 242 link party for grandparents »
    Wednesday
    Feb082017

    Get wet and wild with the grands at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs

    A wet and wild weekend designed for grandparents and grandkids? I recently experienced exactly that — without my grandkids.

    The story: I was invited to the grand opening celebration of Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs and encouraged to bring along my grandsons and husband. But my grandsons couldn't make the 800+ mile trip to spend the weekend with me. My stepgrandson — my only local grandkiddo — couldn't come either. My husband did get to attend with me, though. And even without our favorite boys in tow, our free weekend adventure left no question that the expansive indoor water park resort offers a great, nay, grand getaway destination for grandparents and grandchildren.

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs — the fourteenth location of the family-friendly indoor water park resort — has all the first-class entertainment and accommodation amenities of its sister spots across the U.S., plus a few goodies only guests of the brand-new resort on the north end of Colorado Springs get to enjoy.

    The incredible view of Pikes Peak to the west is a perfect example of what sets the Colorado Springs location apart from other Great Wolf Lodge locations. This early morning shot was taken from the balcony of my room for the weekend:

    pikes peak 

    Breathtaking, right?

    The majority of what my husband and I experienced at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs, though, was similar to signature features, fun, food and such found at all Great Wolf Lodge locations across the country.

    WET FUN
    The 50,000 square-foot indoor water park is the highlight of Great Wolf Lodge. Access is exclusive to guests of the resort and the primary place for grandchildren and grandparents to play. My favorite photo opp was the 300-gallon tipping bucket, which spills over every four minutes.

    Rides? I rode a few. In fact, Jim and I screamed all the way down the Howlin' Tornado six-story funnel slide. Okay, I did all the screaming, I admit. The full list of water features catering to all, from the tiniest tots to the bravest of big kids (and kids at heart):

    • Fort Mackenzie multi-level tree house water fort
    • Totem Towers two-story body slides
    • Howlin' Tornado
    • Mountain Edge Raceway four-story water slide
    • Wolf Tail 360-degree thrill ride in which the platform on which riders stand to start drops. out. from. beneath. them. (Jim and I were not brave enough to try this one.)
    • Alberta Falls four-story enclosed slide
    • Whooping Hollow kiddie slides
    • Slap Tail Pond wave pool
    • Chinook Cove water playground with basketball and climbing wall
    • Big Foot Pass water obstacle course
    • Cub Paw Pool spray-and-play kiddie pool

     

     

    DRY FUN

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs 

    Great Wolf Adventure Park provides plenty of options for family fun (and competition) that doesn't require a swim suit or towel — though they do require an additional fee per activity:

    • MagiQuest live-action adventure game (which has challenges and quests throughout the resort)
    • Ten Paw Alley family-style bowling alley
    • Northern Lights Arcade
    • Howlers Peak Ropes Course 20-foot-tall climbing attraction
    • Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall 21-foot-tall rock wall
    • Oliver's Mining Co. where guests sluice for gems and minerals to take home
    • Howl in One Mini Golf nine-hole course
    • Clubhouse Crew interactive scavenger hunt

     

     

    OTHER FUN
    Scooops Kid Spa with ice-cream themed services for grandgirls and their grandmas.

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs

    Creation Station stuffed animal-making magic

    The Great Wolf Kids Program

    Daily activities scheduled morning to night, from yoga programs and wolf walks first thing, to lunchtime projects, to evening dance parties, bedtime stories and more. Most take place in the Grand Lobby.

    Plus, month-long seasonal events throughout the resort in March (Spring-a-Palooza), October (Howl-O-Ween), and December (Snowland).

     

    SHOPPING FUN
    Shopping for souvenirs is a must, and Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs offers plenty of options for perusing and purchasing.

    Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop with shelves and racks and walls filled with Great Wolf Lodge mementos and more

    Bear Essentials Swim Shop offers swimwear and such... just in case

    Great Wolf Candy Company, one of those "Colorado Springs only" goodies, has sweets of all sorts, packaged or bulk — including my favorite, jelly fruit slices, which are hard to find.

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs

     

    DINING OPTIONS
    I was privy to a lunch-time talk with Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs Executive Chef Chris Hammond, who served up delicious dishes from Barnwood, a "farm to fork" lunch and dinner spot featuring local ingredients and craft cocktails. Barnwood sources ingredients from Colorado providers, including but not limited to natural chicken from Platteville, bison from Denver, mushrooms from Ft. Collins.

    Hammond also stressed the fact that Great Wolf Lodge is completely peanut free and offers gluten-free options galore — one reason the resort tops the list of vacation spots for families with those allergy issues.

    In addition to Barnwood (which is rather upscale and more geared toward adults than kids, though little ones are welcome) Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs has palate-pleasing options for all ages and appetities:

    • Ben & Jerry's — the first location featuring the popular brand
    • Hungry as a Wolf — pizza, sandwiches, pasta, salad
    • Buckets Incredible Craveables — burgers, hot dogs, fries and more
    • Dunkin' Donuts — need I say more?
    • The Loose Moose Family Kitchen — buffet-style restaurant with breakfast and dinner delights for the family (including chicken nuggets and mac and cheese!)
    • The Outpost at Great Wolf Lodge — craft beer and signature cocktails... for the grownups, of course
    • The Watering Hole — soft drinks as well as craft beer and signature cocktails, located in the water park

     

     

    FUN (FIRST-CLASS) FAMILY ACCOMMODATIONS

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs

    Of course, with all that fun and food and activity, grands of all ages — parents and pint-sized — need a place to rest one's head. Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs has 311 rooms on 10 floors, with suites of assorted sizes and prices.

    Standard suites sleep up to six and start from $199.99 per night.

    Themed suites sleep up to seven (and have cool fort-style bunk beds) and start from $279.99 per night.

    Premium suites, virtually mini apartments, sleep up to nine and start from $419.99 per night.

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs 

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado SpringsAll rooms include refrigerators, coffee makers, and microwaves. Plus, every single guest gets unlimited access to the water park.

    Water park access as well as room keys comes by way of special (waterproof) wristbands every guest must wear throughout their stay. No worries about losing bands or key cards!

    I can't imagine there being anything else grandparents might desire in a getaway with their grands than what's available at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs.

    I can imagine, though, taking my own grandkiddos there one day. I look forward to soon (I hope) experiencing wet and wild weekend with my favorite boys at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs.

    IF YOU GO

    Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs
    9494 Federal Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
    greatwolf.com/colorado-springs
    844-553-9653

    Check out other Great Wolf Lodge locations across the country by visiting GreatWolfLodge.com.

    What I learned (tips to keep in mind when visiting):

    • Prices vary greatly depending on time of year and specials currently running. Stay aware of less-expensive opportunities by signing up for the Great Wolf Lodge newsletter as well as following the Facebook page of locations you plan to visit.
    • Guests can access the water park beginning at 1 p.m. the day of check-in (rooms are available at 4 p.m. but staff will store your luggage) and up through close the night of departure (even after checking out at 11 a.m.). Which means visitors get basically two full days of water park fun in the price of the stay.
    • If you and yours prefer peace and quiet in your resort room, be sure to ask for a room that is not on a floor where the MagicQuest activities take place or you'll hear enthusiastic kids racing about to collect virtual scavenger hunt items from the magical machines on such floors (usually two or three floors dedicated to the game at each resort).
    • For an amazing view — at no additional cost — be sure to request a room on the west side of Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs to see Pikes Peak and the expanse from the Air Force Academy south to Cheyenne Mountain from your balcony.
    • Though the water park is reserved for exclusive use of the guests (except for birthday parties; call for information), the restaurants, shopping spots, and Great Wolf Adventure Park are open to the public.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    Lisa - what a fabulous place for a family trip! We have one in Texas, but I know it's not nearly as scenic as teh Colorado location. Great review! Thanks for the tips!

    February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Lawdanski

    We will definitely have to bring our grandsons here one day, Lisa, for an overnight stay. They are 8 and almost 6 so I think there would be rides/activities that they would enjoy. I'm going to join the faebook page--thanks for that suggestion!

    February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat
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