VISIT GRAPEVINE TEXAS
Our Spring Break was full of so many fun family activities in the city and it also included a trip to Grapevine, Texas. We had been wanting to take the kids to GREAT WOLF LODGE for a while now, but I didn’t think they could handle the long drive from Houston and I am so happy to see we all did just fine with no stops. We drove on Friday morning and explore the city first and checked in later that afternoon. They had no idea where exactly we where arriving to, or what to expect, or the fun filled days they had up ahead. As first timers I am sharing everything you must know when visiting a Great Wolf Lodge near you. If you are considering visiting Grapevine you are going to want to save this.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE
At check in you will receive your complimentary wolf ears (the kids and I loved them and used them everyday while we were there). Also if you arrive early you can check in before your room is ready and access the water park as early as 1 PM. They have a locker room and changing room inside the water park for your convenience. Once your room is available you will get a notification by text with your information and room number. You will pick up your wrist bands at the front desk with the adults having access to open your hotel room with it. They have newly renovated suites and you can either go with a theme or a standard one depending on what your family might be interested in.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You probably may have already noticed but every Great Wolf Lodge is different in what it offers and how it is designed from the inside. There are 18 properties across the US and Canada. Since everything is bigger in Texas- The Grapevine location is the largest property and it includes so many things. An 80,000 sq ft indoor water park and 30,000 sq ft outdoor water park area. (During our Spring visit the outdoor water park was closed)
WATER PARK: (all included)
- Howlin’ Tornado/ thrilling ride as you speed super fast through and drop six- story funnel of fun. There is a height requirement for this ride. Perfect for a family group and teens.
- Fort Mackenzie/ This water tree fort provides endless fun with kid friendly activated features. Perfect for toddlers, children, and family.
- Coyote Cannon/ Spin in this water vortex for four stories of fun with a 40 ft drop.
- River Canyon Run/ This ride we got to as a family since children are allowed. It is a raft riding adventure with dips and curves. Definitely a favorite since all 3 kids joined.
- Alberta Falls/ Another ride that is perfect for children, teens, and families. A tandem tube ride- 2 people at once while you swift through four stories of fun. This ride takes you outside the building and back in again.
- Totem Towers/ Climb the tree house and slide your way down. Perfect for children.
- Raccoon Lagoon/ This outdoor water park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Perfect for everyone- families, teens, children, and toddlers.
- Whopping Hollow/ the perfect sized water slides for small children.
- South Hot Springs/ the whole family can relax in these soothing hot springs.
- Crooked Creek/ if you need a break from the pools grab a tube and float your way around the creek & relax.
- North Hot Springs/ reserved for adults only section, relax in warm North Hot Springs.
- Slap Tail Pond/ friendly wave pool, a family favorite.
- Big Foot Pass/ challenge yourself across large floating lily pads.
- Chinook Cove/ an activity pool that allows you to play basketball and float.
- Cub Paw Pool/ made for little ones to play safely in fun activities.
- Cool Cabana Rentals (extra charge)
- Character Appearances
- Wake up with Wiley and Friends
- Lunch Time Lineup
- PJ Party with Great Wolf Kids
- The Great Clock Tower Show
- Night Time Story Time
- Cub Club
- Ice cream themed kids spa
- Ropes course
- 6D theatre
- Lazer maze
- Adult Spa
- Retail shopping with wolf themed merchandise
GREAT WOLF LODGE PAW PASS
The paw Pass gives your kids “extras” on top of the access to the water park. If you purchase them individually it will start to add up and cost you more in the end.
This indoor water park is a perfect location during the winter time or rainy days that happen a lot during Spring. What is so great about this water park is the continuous safety that is provided all around. Lifeguards are in every corner and station monitoring the guest. All children that are 48 inches tall and non swimmers should wear a life jacket (they are available for you at all times) You will find staff members around the property helping out all day and night happy to answer any questions you might have. Also one thing that I loved aside from the lifeguards with safety equipment at the pools is at night time they have the parking lot entrance to the resort close off and it is being monitored by a security guard who will ask for your resort card/ wristband to ensure you are staying at the resort when coming in to park. It is a very safe environment all around.
TIP LEAVE YOUR WALLET IN YOUR ROOM– You will find out you don’t need your wallet while being out in the park. Guest can enjoy dining and shopping with their GWL wristband. Your wristband gives you access back to your room as well, as well if you leave the resort and are trying to get back in from any of the back or sided entry doors.
WHERE TO EAT IN GRAPEVINE TEXAS
Okay as you may already know you do not have to leave the hotel to eat out with family. They have restaurants on site that you can either order from and take back to your room or you can make a reservation and eat there. If you do not have reservations the wait time is long so be ready to sit down nearby and wait for them to text you your table is ready.
CHARACTER BREAKFAST– start your day having breakfast with the Great Wolf Kids characters from early 7:30-11AM (tip: get there early because the lines start getting long super quick)
HUNGRY AS A WOLF– think pizza, pasta, salads. Call ahead and easy pick up.
BUCKETS INCREDIBLE CRAVEABLES– If you are inside the water park swimming and having a good time no need to leave it. Right by the poolside place an order of burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken tenders, or tots. The kids shared with my husband and I as we kept it small in order to still continue to enjoy getting on rides right after.
THE LOOSE MOOSE COTTAGE– all you can eat buffet for everyone.
BEAR PAW SWEETS AND EATS– treat yourself to cupcakes, ice cream, coffee and more.
LODGE WOOD FIRED GRILL– Trying to enjoy a nice culinary dinner with the family come to this place. It ranges from steaks to seafood to smoked ribs.
TIPS TO SAVE MONEY ON FOOD:
As many can imagine dining out on the resort everyday can get expensive for a big family. The biggest savings for us was bringing our own snacks for the road trip and also to last us through our 3 day stay. We packed small cereal containers to go, breakfast bars, granola, water, juices, yogurts, cookies, chips, crackers. All the cold items we purchased at a local grocery store nearby the first night we arrived like sweet tea, iced coffee and milk for breakfast and plastic bowls and spoons and any small items we may had forgotten at home. We did enjoy Starbucks (they have one inside the gift shop at the resort) one of the days mid day because we needed all the caffeine to get us through the rest of the day with all 3 kids.
Another thing I did see and was shocked with were the long lines for restaurants and even the buffet. Honestly you need to ask yourself what is worth it for you and your family. There were quite a lot of adults going out and coming back in with outside food from local fast food places. We opt dining there and did our own thing outside the resorts for our afternoons. Places I recommend that are nearby are:
MI DIA FROM SCRATCH
All I have to say is I wish there was a local Mi Dia From Scratch in Houston like the one you find in Grapevine. This restaurant was amazing, modern Tex Mex, and a complete dream for an avocado lover like myself. They have a fresh table side guacamole stand right to your table as you order with all the toppings you can think of. The meats and their different unique taste were the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
CHILL BAR & GRILL
This is where you will want to come and try delicious fresh made burgers. Chill Bar & Grill is where it is at! It is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Grapevine and less than 5-10 min from the GWL Resort.
Located at 814 S. Main Street, at the corner of Dallas Road and Main Street.
TIP WHEN CHECKING OUT: The morning you check out of you room you still have access to the water park the whole day. You can go back to your car and load up all your belongings and head back for more pool fun.
Thank you to Mi Dia From Scratch, Chill Grapevine, and Great Wolf Lodge for hosting our stay and all the special accommodations. All opinions as always are my own.