Waterslides. Wave Pool. Ropes Course. Mini Golf. An arcade. Magiquest. A stunning view. Storytime with fun characters. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. A fun spa for kids (and adults!). Delicious crafted drinks. Fabulous restaurants. Themed guest rooms. Friendly staff. Exhausted children after a few days of fun. A stunning view. Did I already mention that one? The majestic Pikes Peak view is beyond incredible – I had to mention it twice.
If you are planning a trip to Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs, this is your go-to guide for everything you need to know. We had many questions about what to expect and what to pack before our family trip to Great Wolf Lodge. This guide will help you prepare for your adventure. Your trip is sure to create many memories in your bank of family treasures.
The indoor water park is what gave Great Wolf Lodge it’s claim to fame, starting in the Midwest, expanding all over the country, and finally finding a new home in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO. This 50,000+ square foot facility is heated to a comfortable 84 degrees inside, and it is packed with attractions for the young and the old.
Only hotel guests can use the water park, and let me assure you that this is one of the features that Great Wolf Lodge has in place for a reason. We visited on a weekend, and it was plenty full without feeling overly crowded. They can control the safety and crowds by limiting the water park guests to those staying at the hotel.
Lifeguards and Safety
Upon entering the water park, your wristband is scanned for entrance, and a lifeguard checks each child for height. The kids are given an additional wristband (one of three colors) which indicates the appropriate attractions. Life jackets are provided and highly recommended for children under 48 inches.
The lifeguard staff was impressive. Lifeguards were positioned close together, and they were very alert. I watched closely (as a former lifeguard and paranoid mother!) and I could not find a lifeguard that didn’t actively scan the pool continuously. There is an immense amount of activity and noise in the water park, and even with life jackets and attentive lifeguards, I still recommend you stay with your younger children at all times.
Water Slides and Water Attractions
You can find details on all the water attractions here, but the list below is a quick overview:
- Fort Mackenzie – Multi-level tree house water fort that combines treetop slides and spray stations. The park’s signature tipping bucket dumps hundreds of gallons of water every four minutes.
- Totem Towers – Three two-story body slides attached to Fort Mackenzie.
- Howlin’ Tornado – Six-story funnel slide.
- Mountain Edge Raceway – Four-story water slide with body surfing mat allows riders to race one another as they slide down the hills.
- Wolf Tail – 360-degree thrill ride with a vertical plunge through a trapdoor into an enclosed tunnel.
- Alberta Falls – Four-story enclosed tube slide.
- Whooping Hollow – Kiddie slides exclusively for guests under 52” tall.
- Slap Tail Pond – Gigantic wave pool complete with waves reaching up to three feet in height as they roll through every five minutes.
- Chinook Cove – Water playground for children of all ages featuring basketball and a poolside climbing wall.
- Big Foot Pass – Unique water obstacle challenges kids and adults alike to balance on floating logs and lily pads and hold on to hanging nets as they try to get across the pool.
- Cub Paw Pool – Zero-depth entry children’s pool with water fountain features and spray-and-play adventures.
There wasn’t an area of the indoor water park that we didn’t enjoy. Our kids are a bit on the short side (and ages seven and five), so we didn’t do as many of the big slides. We loved every minute of our time in the wave pool, Fort Mackenzie, on the smaller slides, and in Chinook Cove and Big Foot Pass. The kids would have stayed all day if we would have let them. Fort Mackenzie alone had enough moving pieces and small slides to entertain them for hours. The GIANT tipping bucket was a huge favorite as well!
For us, the only feature we were missing was a lazy river or something similar. Besides that, we had a great time in the water park! One suggestion I have for your walk back to the hotel is to pack a robe – especially if you come in the colder months. It can be a cold walk back to your room.
Great Wolf Adventure Park was our favorite part of the entire property. And the best part? You do not have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy all the attractions in the Adventure Park. So, if you are local to Colorado Springs and need a day of fun, or you are visiting from out of town and find yourself in a pinch on a rainy day (rare!), the Great Wolf Adventure Park is a perfect option.
Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs is the first GWL property of all 16 to have an indoor adventure park. There are countless attractions, and our kids had probably the MOST fun in this section of the property.
You can experience each activity on it’s own, or you can buy one of the “Pup Passes” for a bundled deal on several attractions. There are three price points and packages to fit your needs. This is definitely the way to go, as each pass offers significant savings on the activities.
We didn’t have time to experience the Northern Lights Arcade, Ten Paw Alley or Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall, but you can find details on those attractions here. Below are my thoughts on our favorites.
Oliver’s Mining Co.
The kids in our group (mine and my nieces and nephew) loved this experience. The age range was three to eight. This activity is really unique. We received a bag of dirt and sand, as well as a sifter and a card with different rocks and gems listed. We sifted and panned for the gemstones in running water, and the kids loved finding the minerals. We took them home in a keepsake bag. This is probably best suited for younger kids, although middle school age may still really enjoy it.
Howler’s Peak Ropes Course
This was a favorite. From balancing on ropes, climbing through obstacles, and crossing tough bridges, the kids and adults alike had a great time. There isn’t a set time limit for this attraction, so once you are geared up in the climbing harness, you can spend as much or as little time on the course as you choose. It was a challenge in the beginning, but everyone seemed to get more comfortable after about 10 minutes.
The Ropes Course is also a great activity for a team building or corporate retreat day.
- Be sure to bring shoes for climbing. Shoes must be closed-toe and closed heel with rubber soles. Athletic shoes are ideal. No flip-flops are permitted. (they checked everyone closely)
- Must be 48 inches tall or be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Our kids wanted to stay for days and days to play MagiQuest! And they keep asking when we get to go back to play.
I’ll admit we were a bit confused in the beginning about how to play. We all got a wand in the Adventure Park. The wands range from $17.99 to $23.99 depending on what you choose. Each game is $14.99, but we could play for unlimited time during our stay (we played on all three days we were there!). And, upon our return, we will bring our wands back, so we only pay for a game on the 2nd visit and beyond. Plus, the wands make great souvenirs.
Once we had our wands, we ventured to floors three – five of the hotel to start our quest. Each player may choose his or her own quest, and there are many quests to play. Once we got the hang of the game, we were running down hallways and taking the stairs like everyone else to try to find our next portal. It was a fun family activity, and we saw many groups of kids and adults playing together. Great for getting in thousands of steps or wearing out the kids before bedtime!
This is another feature of the Great Wolf Lodge that would be a fabulous team building activity. We heard there are groups of executives that come in and run around the halls in a suit and tie or high heels with a wand in hand!
We will be back soon for a day of MagiQuest fun!
Howl in One Mini Golf
This nine hole mini golf course in the middle of the Adventure Park was a fun break in our afternoon. Our kids have been loving mini golf lately, so they were thrilled to try this one out. The holes were creative and challenging enough for a serious mini golfer 🙂 while still being easy enough for the younger kids. (We don’t keep score when we golf!) The last hole is a wishing well with a sign that says “make a wish” as you are hitting your ball in the bucket. My seven year old wished “to own the Great Wolf Lodge”. The kids clearly had the time of their lives!
Creation Station & Clubhouse Crew
Huge hit! With all the kids (and the parents). At Creation Station, we could build our own Great Wolf Lodge character and choose an outfit and a name for it. The kids had a blast deciding on their character, and the stuffed animals turned out so adorable. We did this the first night of our stay, and our hotel room beds were cozy with buddies for the rest of the weekend!
We also activated a game called Clubhouse Crew that took the kids and their stuffed animals on a journey around the hotel. Each station told part of the story when you shook the stuffed animal near the station. This was a hit with the younger kids.
I know all of you parents can relate. Ten minutes after the kids are home from school you hear, “Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?” I can assure you this will not ever happen during your stay.
At Great Wolf Lodge, you will find everything from Yoga Tails (kids’ yoga) to Character Meet & Greets to dance parties in the lobby. Check the Events and Activities schedule here. The schedule may change from day to day. Every single time we walked through the lobby during our stay, there was a fun, engaging activity happening.
Story Time was highly anticipated. Our kids were talking all day about getting in their PJs for this. Story Time happens every evening at Great Wolf Lodge. The Forest Friends Show opens with engaging songs and lights. I wasn’t sure if my seven year old would stay entertained with this, but he loved it. After the Forest Friends, a GWL staff came out with Wiley to read a giant story book to all the kids gathered around. I loved that the stories had a great lesson in them (being kind, etc). After Story Time, there was an opportunity for photos with the characters. We made our way up to our room, crawled in bed, and our kids were sleeping in approximately 15 seconds. Story Time was a great activity to wind down after a day of fun.
Scooops Kid Spa
Adorable. The Scooops Kid Spa is a little girl’s dream come true. My three nieces spent time getting beautiful, and their smiles were enormous when they finished. This ice cream-themed spa has many services, including a Mommy & Me Pedicure, fizzy soaks, sherbet scrubs and many nail colors. You do not have to be a guest at the hotel to book an appointment at the Scooops Kid Spa. It will make any little girl feel like a dazzling princess.
Have you worked up an appetite reading all about the Great Wolf Lodge? You definitely will be “as hungry as a wolf’ from all the fun. Eight establishments on the property make up the fabulous list of dining choices.
A Special Approach to Food Allergies
During our stay, we got a unique opportunity to hear from Executive Chef Chris Hammond. He oversees menu creation and food quality at all Great Wolf Lodge Properties. We learned so much from listening to the history of food offerings at GWL. They set out to make not only quality a priority, but also strive to take a new approach on food allergies. Hammond explained that it is so important to the team at Great Wolf Lodge to be able to provide a food safe vacation for families. We do not have food allergies in our family, but I can imagine how hard it would be to vacation with children who do. At Great Wolf Lodge, you can let them know ahead of time about your food allergies, and your menus and choices will be ready for you when you arrive. If you’d like to discuss your dietary needs before your stay, you can email the team at [email protected].
Loose Moose Family Kitchen:: This establishment serves up delicious breakfasts and dinners in a buffet style, although this is not your average buffet. Fresh fruits, organic yogurt, farm fresh eggs, and apple wood smoked bacon are a few tastes available for breakfast. We enjoyed dinner at the Loose Moose Family Kitchen on our first night. The dinner buffet was overflowing with fresh salad options, an amazing salmon, many other delicious, healthy side dishes, and a carving station with brisket and turkey. At the end of our meal, our server brought a basket of warm, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies that were incredible. The view from this restaurant is tough to beat, and when we return in the warmer months, we will certainly be sitting out on the patio!
Hungry as a Wolf :: There is nothing frozen or pre-made about this pizza and pasta restaurant. Great Wolf Lodge has created their own delicious recipes for all items on the menu. We had a large, fresh salad alongside our pizza as well. You can dine in or carry out and head back to your room if you prefer! The beverage options include soft drinks, water, beer and wine.
Buckets Incredible Craveables :: While we didn’t have a chance to dine here, the menu looks great and the restaurant is poolside, so when you need a break from the water park, it is easy to grab a bite to eat! Burgers, sandwiches, fresh salads and vegetables round out the menu. We will be making a trip back to try the signature Tipping Bucket — a family-sized treat layered with ice cream, brownies, cookies, candy, chocolate sauce and whipped cream! YUM!
Barnwood :: This farm-to-fork specialty restaurant and bar is a must visit, even if you do not stay at the hotel. With 10 signature hand crafted cocktails, locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes, this place is sure to please your taste buds. The rustic decor is beautiful and the view (once again) is spectacular. Prepare to pay a bit more here, but in my foodie opinion, it is worth it! My husband and I will be back for a date night soon.
Hand Crafted Drinks and Craft Beer
There are ten distinct signature drinks each at Barnwood, The Outpost, and The Watering Hole. One nice feature about the property is that these three are spread out throughout the property. If you would like to grab a drink before heading up to your hotel room, hit up Barnwood. If you are sitting in the Adventure Park watching the kids tackle the rock climbing wall or the ropes course, you can pull up a seat at The Outpost, grab a drink and still be able to watch the kids having fun. If you are thirsty from all the water park fun, take a stroll over to The Watering Hole inside the water park and order up a blended drink or an ice cold beer!
I can’t forget to mention Dunkin’ Donuts, Ben & Jerry’s and the Great Wolf Candy Company. If you are looking for a treat, you are covered between the three of those! Enjoy!
The guest rooms at Great Wolf Lodge are modern yet have a lodge feel. They are simple, yet have fun touches (like the little lanterns for lamps). We stayed in the Family Suite with two adults and two kids (ages 7 and 5). I would recommend this for your first stay. It is most affordable, and we were hardly in our room because there was so. much. to. do. The Themed and Premium Suites were incredible (we got a media tour of all the available room layouts). The Wolf Pup Den Suite and the KidCabin have adorable bunk beds. The Themed and Premium Suites would be a fabulous option for bigger groups (think family holiday trips or family reunions), large families, your second visit, or if you really want to splurge on a special trip.
At check in, each member of your family will get a wristband. This is your room key (which is convenient because you don’t have to remember to carry a key with you every time you leave your room). You are also able to add a debit/credit card to your wristband to use it at any restaurant, store, or attraction on the property. Again, convenient (and possibly dangerous!). The wristband serves as your entrance to the water park as well, which is only available to guests of the hotel.
Refrigerator & Microwave
Each room on the property has a refrigerator and microwave. GWL keeps a few water bottles in the fridge to welcome you to your room (included). This was helpful – we loaded up our cooler with drinks and packed many snacks. If you are looking to save money or if you are staying for an extended period of time, these appliances are fantastic to have in your room.
Floors Three – Five
The MagiQuest game (which our kids LOVED! details under the “Attractions” tab) takes place between floors three and five of the hotel. The game is highly interactive, with kids and adults racing through the stairwell and on the floors to find their next quest. We happened to stay on floor five, and a MagiQuest portal was stationed right outside our door. This could have been a tragedy (we like our sleep!) and we were honestly worried about the noise and inconvenience of random people right outside our room. It ended up being a non issue. The hours for MagiQuest when we stayed were 8:30 am – 9:00 pm, and it wasn’t all that noisy in our room. If you prefer a very quiet stay, I suggest requesting a room on floors six – ten.
This is my only complaint about our stay. The entire hotel has only 3 elevators, and they were consistently backed up, no matter what time of day. Also, the MagiQuest game adds extra traffic for people moving between floors three-five for the game. The stairwells were very hard to find from the main lobby. They are not clearly marked and in odd locations. Prepare to wait for the elevator or get used to taking a lot of stairs.
Most of this guide is from a parent’s perspective, but we thought it would be fun to share the perspective from our kids. We asked Ryker (age 8), Landon (age 7), and Priya (age 5) all about their experience!
As Told By Ryker (age 8)
My mom and dad surprised my sissies and me with a Great Wolf Lodge weekend and we were SO happy and excited. My sister Priya and I had our bags packed to stay a week before we got to go. I couldn’t get to sleep the night before our stay because I couldn’t wait to see inside Great Wolf Lodge! If you get to go there (which I really really hope you do!), these are the things I really like and some things you need to make sure you pack before you go!
- If you go to the water park, don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and goggles! The water is warm but it is cold when you walk from the water park to your room, so pack a towel or robe in your bag. And don’t forget your sandals. My favorite thing about the water park was the slides.
- The Adventure Park was the best part. One word to describe this place: FUN! We got to try out everything except bowling and it was awesome! If you go rock climbing, be sure you pack tennis shoes- That climbing wall is very tough! But fun. Oliver’s Mining- It rocked! If you do mining, be sure to keep your eye out because there are lots of crystals. I really like Science and I found a big green rock that is my favorite to add to my rock collection at home.
- Pack a toothbrush because you will want to get candy at the Candy Company! You need a toothbrush to get the sugar bugs out before bed.
- I liked playing MagiQuest with my cousins. I picked out a red and black wand, and you get to bring it home!
- My favorite food there was pizza.
- Be sure to pack your camera because you will want to get a picture with Wiley the Wolf. He takes pictures after story time every night in the lobby.
- I can’t wait until we get to go back there to stay- I LOVED IT! The End.
As Told By Landon (age 7)
It all starts after lunch. Mom said we are going to the Great Wolf Lodge. I was so excited. I went to go get my clothes packed. I packed my stuffed animal. Then I put my clothes in to the car. And off we went. It took like 30 minutes to get there. When we got there, we checked in. Then we went to the front desk to get our room keys and the keys are bracelets. We got them and they gave us some goody bags. Our room had a TV and two queen beds. They even were so nice that they gave us a cup of gummy worms and a plate of food. We ate the food. It was so good. We stayed at our room for a little bit and then we had dinner at Loose Moose. I had French fries and some ham and meat. Then we went to the Adventure park we could do anything we wanted. I chose to make a stuffed Animal. And I chose Oliver. He came with socks, shoes, a hat and a shirt and pants. So, I stuffed him. When I was done, I put his clothes on. When he was done he looked so cool. Then we played a stuffed animal Quest. After we did that we went back to our room. Then we went to bed.
In the morning, we get breakfast. I had bacon, cinnamon roll and apple juice. Then we went to get our MAGIQUEST wands. I picket a black and red wand. We played it for a little bit. Then we had lunch we went to BarnWood. Then we went back to our room. We got our swim suits to go to the water park. First I went in the wave pool. Then I went on an orange slide then on a blue slide then I went in a slide that was a yellow slide. After that I went in a part where the water is like 90% chance of warmth. Then we went back to our room and got dressed. Then we went to a place that you get to mine rocks which was one of my favorite things. I found a really cool rock. It was shiny blue and black. Then we went to go get pizza and I had vanilla sprite, mom had cherry sprite and my brother had orange spriet. After that we went back to our room in the elevator. I said are we just going back to our room to put our stuff back then come right back down to do the rope course. At first I was afraid I was going to fall. Then I got the hang of it. Then we went to finish the wand quest we were only fighting the dragon. I almost killed him. Then we went to our room. We went to bed. In the morning we packed all of our stuff, then we went home. The end.
As Told By Priya (age 5)
My Top Three Things I Loved at Great Wolf Lodge
Hi. My name is Priya and this is what you want to know about Great Wolf Lodge. That there’s really cool stuff there. And the waterpark was really really really fun. I love the water park the most. The slides were my favorite. There is a spa and I loved the salon (Scooops Spa) because I got to get all prettied up by the nice lady working there- she was so nice- Everyone there was so nice and smiled at me. And the third thing is that I really liked the candy store because it is full of goodies. Oh and story time- I got to get a picture with Wiley and Violet. And the adventure park. I just loved it all. I can’t choose. Best vacation ever. Can we go there for my birthday?? I am saving up my money so we can go back!!! The End