Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fun, Fun, Fun at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

I have always enjoyed trips initiated by a resort. This has been especially true since I’ve been dealing with health issues and don’t do a lot of walking. I can bring my scooter into the place and use it wherever needed – without having to worry to get me (and it) in and out of the car.



Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, Illinois, is made for those of us who like an all-inclusive experience in one place.

There is never a need to get into your car, whether it’s Band-Aids, lunch, or activities you are looking for.

A lot of the experience at the Illinois Great Wolf Lodge is about bringing the outside in – with the exception of the weather. The outdoorsy experiences and d├ęcor make you forget that you are inside a resort.

After a hearty breakfast, Brittany, Kyler, Shaun and I toured the lodge, checking out the various suites (they have ones that are even big enough for 12) with the management and those from the public relations firm.

Then we were off on our own. We were given one of Great Wolf’s all-inclusive packages, which included many activities, as well as credits for the Northern Lights Arcade and Magic Quest wands, for which there are spots throughout the hotel to check out.



You will not find any shortage of things to do here. We could have easily spread it out over three or four days.

I was able to enjoy the Howl in One Mini Golf and Oliver's Mining Co attractions with my friends, before we stopped at Hungry As A Wolf for a family-size special with pizza and salads.



I also loved the Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain in the Great Wolf food court for sugar-free flavored iced tea, while everyone else did a bit more experimenting with flavors.

We finished up the pizza and I watched a bit while they went through the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall and the Howler Peak Ropes Course (definitely for older children).

I then headed to the waterpark, where I relaxed in the lazy river and then headed to our room for a nap.



Great Wolf's Barnwoods is a full-service restaurant that has everything from Wisconsin Cheese Curds to New York Strip Steak.

Their bar is also interesting, and I met some local friends there for some cocktails and a warm Bavarian pretzel, large enough to share.



I met back with my friends, who had been playing Magic Quest, and going down the slides in the waterpark, for dinner at the Campfire Kitchen.

This food outlet has different entrees each night. Their portions are large and side dishes plentiful. We were very satisfied with our BBQ Ribs.


In addition to attractions, Great Wolf Lodge has free activities for all its guests.

Although most are geared toward younger kids, we did stop in on the Yoga for Kids and Parents and the Nighttime Story Time.



As I had the night before, I spent some time with Brittany in the Whirlpool before bedtime.

It had been a very long, but extremely fun, day at Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee.



Monday, August 6, 2018

Welcome to Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

When I received an invitation to bring my family to the opening of the first Great Wolf Lodge in Illinois, I was excited. I had never been to one of the chain’s properties and I’m always anxious for a press trip that keeps me in one place for food, lodging, and activities.

The Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee was actually not a new structure, but the brand updated the resort to be similar to their others-a family-friendly hotel with non-stop fun for everyone in the family.

There was a check-in desk set up near the entrance for the press group, about a dozen of us with families. In my case, my “family” for the weekend was Brittany, Shaun, and Kyler.

Since Great Wolf Lodge is meant for family groups, they have 13 different types of suites. The largest suite can sleep 12.

Our had more than enough room for the four of us, with two queen size beds and a pull-out couch in the living room area.  

We explored the property and found there was more to keep us busy the entire weekend than we imagined.

Great Wolf encompasses a combination of games and activities, such as story time, yoga and character appearances, with attractions.

This Gurnee location also has nine different food venues, which range from a Ben & Jerry's to the Barnwood, where you can feast on steak, seafood, and craft cocktails.

The group was meeting for the first time at the bar in the back of the Indoor Water Park, so we decided to go early and check out the facilities.

There are three large slides within the waterpark, along with a lazy river (my favorite), and areas for younger children.

I was most impressed with the machine which brought the rafts (which are large enough for the whole family) up to the top, so you didn’t have to carry that heavy piece of equipment to the top.

We sampled some of the delicious food and cocktails at the bar and got to know each other a bit. Management from Great Wolf, as well as their public relations company, Agency h5, were on hand to great us and answer any questions we had about our stay.

When the group broke up, Brittany and I headed outside to the heated outdoor pool and whirlpool. In the summer, the bar opens its windows out there, so you don’t have to go inside if you want to get something to drink.

Everyone in the press group was given an all-inclusive bracelet so that we could experience everything Great Wolf Gurnee had to offer.

You do not need to purchase one of these packages to take advantage of the water park and daily activities, but it can save you a lot of money if you have kids who want to go to all the attractions.

The package included tickets to use in the arcade, so we headed there before going back to the suite.

It was a lot of fun, but we were pretty worn out from the drive and evening in the water.

There would be plenty of time the next day to explore and enjoy Great Wolf Lodge Illinois.