In mid-December, Brad and I treated our three kids (and ourselves!) to one night at Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC. My mom and my sister Karie and her family met us there for a fun, family gathering! We were not prepared for all the fun that awaited us!
Official check-in time was not until 4:00pm, but we showed up at 1:00 to begin using the water park and were able to check into our rooms early, which was really nice. After a quick change into swimsuits, we all headed downstairs to the indoor water park where it’s always 84 degrees. Being that it was a Thursday, it was not crowded at all. We did not wait in line for long for any ride, if we even had a wait. Logan and his cousin Anderson went off on their own with the buddy system. I felt very comfortable allowing them to go off together because the park was enclosed with employees at the doors and it was pretty open so within a few seconds or minutes of searching, the boys could always be spotted. I felt very safe there.
The rides included slides requiring mats or tubes, a toddler/preschool play area, a water tree house with slides and a big water-dumping bucket, a wave pool, a pool with what I call “wipe out” courses (where you grab an overhead net and walk over floating objects to get to the other side). The lifeguards were attentive and friendly. The locker rooms included a spin basket to remove water from swimsuits, and I found that very handy!
Around 5:30 pm, we left the park and headed upstairs to change for dinner. We ate at the Loose Moose Cottage which featured an incredible buffet. The salad bar was amazing! Dessert was cheesecake and mini chocolate bundt cakes drizzled with chocolate sauce. After dinner, we went to the lobby which was decorated as a snow village for pajama story time and soap bubble “snow.” After lots of pictures, we went back upstairs to our rooms (afterall, there was a republican debate on t.v.!) and settled the children into their beds, the girl cousins in my sister’s room and the boy cousins with us!
We stayed in standard suites and let me tell you, the beds were the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in at any hotel! They were so comfy and cozy, as were the rooms. I was very impressed!
Aunt Karie bought doughnuts for the kids at Dunkin Donuts in the lobby for breakfast. Then she and I took the kids down for a lesson on animals in the lobby and an origami wolf craft. After a visit to the Cub Club, the kids earned tokens for the game room.
Back in our rooms, we packed, changed into our swimsuits again, checked out, loaded our cars with our bags and spent a couple of more hours at the water park. My personal favorite ride was the Howlin’ Tornado. Up to 4 people could ride inside a large inner tube, drop through a six-story funnel into a huge room where we slid up and down the sides. We figured out the more weight on the ride, the higher you slide back and forth. It was very fun with four adults! My brother-in-law was a hoot! We did even get my mom on one of the slides, the River Canyon Run. Mom’s face when we walked out of the pool at the bottom of the ride made a lady sitting nearby laugh hysterically. I don’t think mom enjoyed it as much as my sister, my daughter, and me!
We changed into our dry clothes in the locker room, made a quick visit to the gift shop and the Bear Paw Sweets & Eats and decided it was time to leave and go somewhere for lunch. We had lunch nearby, visited Bass Pro Shop at the Concord outlet mall, and then headed to drive through the Christmas light display at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. To save money, the ten of us piled into my mom’s small Lexus SUV once we got to the speedway. It was cramped and noisy, and we all agreed we should have just paid our own way! Too funny!
Everyone came back to our house to spend the night before departing for their homes the next morning. Before they left, the kids opened their Christmas gifts to each other after a breakfast of blueberry muffins and hot chocolate. We all decided that we would love to meet again next December at Great Wolf Lodge, and maybe make it our Christmas tradition together!