by Karon Warren
With this latest location in LaGrange, Georgia, Great Wolf Lodge introduces a new look and approach to its family resorts. While the massive portico out front remains, gone are the massive wood log accents that gave the properties a supposed rustic appearance. The wood log accents within the lobby also are gone. Instead, guests will find a more sleek, modern aesthetic, but with enough wolf and outdoor touches keeping in line with the Great Wolf Lodge name.
For instance, the front desk has now been broken up into segmented desks; behind them, there is a wall of wood that contains the outlines of two wolves, as well as a paw print. The massive lobby also remains, but gone are the log wood railings and other rustic elements. The enormous stacked stone fireplace continues to hold court in the space, with metal cutouts of wolves (backlit for effect) high above the mantel. Near the ceiling, the walls contain drawings of trees.
On the rear side of the fireplace, the famous “Great Clock Tower” and animated animals have been replaced with an oversized screen, where Story Time is broadcast. Surrounding the screen are “wood” carvings of animals, which are highlighted during the broadcast and appear to move as the story is told.
Another change is Great Wolf Lodge’s effort to separate the “play” side of the resort from the “sleep” side. Therefore, when exiting the lobby, heading left will take guests to the Great Wolf Adventure Park, which contains the water park, restaurants and attractions. Heading right leads to the guestrooms. There definitely is a noticeable difference in the noise level between the two.
This is certainly a new look for Great Wolf Lodge, one expected to carry over into future properties. However, the family-friendly fun for which guests flock to the resort remains intact and will continue to draw families looking for a one-stop family vacation destination.
Our Editor Loves
- Onsite water park
- Multiple onsite restaurants
- Spacious accommodations
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All 457 guestrooms contain refrigerators, coffeemakers, flat-panel TVs and free Wi-Fi. Microwaves are available on each floor in the same space as the vending machines. Complimentary Pack n' Play cribs are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to reserve when booking reservations. Although rollaway beds are not available, guests can request a complimentary air mattress.
Regular amenities include conditioning shampoo, lotion and soap; unfortunately, there is no clothesline in the bathroom, which can be a problem when trying to hang up a lot of swimsuits to dry.
Room keys are no longer issued; now all guests receive a wristband with a special chip. This serves as the room key and the water park pass, and also allows guests to charge meals and purchases to their room.
Measuring 365 square feet, these suites accommodate up to six guests. Furnishings include two queen beds, nightstand, a dresser, desk with chair, full-size sleeper sofa, coffee table, side table and bathroom with tub/shower combo.
Deluxe Queen Suite
Accommodating up to five guests, this 349-square-foot suite features two queen beds, a nightstand, a twin-size sleeper chair, a table with chairs, and a bathtub/shower combo.
Wolf Den Suite
Inside this 365-square-foot room, kids will love the Wolf Den, a cave-themed sleeping area with bunk beds and a TV. Accommodating up to six, there's also a queen bed, a full-size sleeper sofa, a nightstand, coffee table, dresser, desk, chairs, and bathroom with tub/shower combo.
Measuring 400 square feet, this room features a cabin-themed "room" for the kids with a set of bunk beds, a daybed and a TV. With room for up to seven guests, there's also a queen bed, a full-size sofa sleeper, a nightstand, a dresser, table with chairs, and a bathroom with a tub/shower combo.
Grizzly Bear Suite
Accommodating up to eight guests in 808 square feet, this suite has a master bedroom with king bed, two nightstands, a dresser, TV and a master bathroom with shower. In the second bedroom, there are two queen beds, a nightstand and a dresser with TV. The main room contains a full-size sleeper sofa, a desk with chairs, a chair, coffee table and TV. There is a second bathroom with a tub/shower combo.
Deluxe Wolf Den Suite
With 765 square feet, this two-room suite sleeps up to 12 guests. Young kids will love the Wolf Den, a cave-themed sleeping area with bunk beds and a TV. Outside the Wolf Den, there is a queen bed, two nightstands, a full-size sleeper sofa, a coffee table, table with chairs, and TV. A second room contains two queen beds, two nightstands, a full-size sleeper sofa, a coffee table, a table with chairs, and a TV. There also are two full bathrooms with tub/shower combos.
Deluxe KidCabin Suite
Inside this 765-square-foot room that sleeps up to 13, the main attraction is the cabin-themed "room" with a set of bunk beds, a daybed and a TV. Outside the "cabin," there's also a queen bed, a nightstand, a full-size sleeper sofa, a coffee table, a table with chairs, and a TV. In the second room, there are two queen beds, two nightstands, a full-size sleeper sofa, a coffee table, a table with chairs, and a TV. Plus, there are two full bathrooms with tub/shower combos.
Family activities are located in the Great Wolf Adventure Park, which includes the water park. The water park encompasses 100,000 square feet, while the adventure park covers another 40,000 square feet. While these are very large spaces, they can feel crowded when the hotel is operating at full capacity.
Indoor Water Park
Exclusive to resort guests, water park access is available from 1 p.m. on the day of arrival until the water park closes on the day of departure. Hours of operation for the water park are usually 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but are subject to change based on occupancy. Towel service is provided, and locker rentals, bathrooms and changing areas with shower facilities are available. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the water park during water park hours. Life jackets are available for use and are highly recommended for all children 48 inches and shorter, and for those who are weak or non-swimmers. All children age 12 and younger require adult supervision. The water park maintains 84 degrees year-round. There are lounge chairs, chairs and tables with chairs in front of the wave pool. More chairs line the lazy river and sit in front of the toddler zone. Tables with chairs can be found in front of the restaurants, too.
A multi-level treehouse, this interactive splash pad includes more than 40 water features, including a 1,000-gallon water bucket that dumps water every three to five minutes on bystanders below. It also includes water slides that are good for kids not big enough or ready to try the main water slides. No age or height limit for this attraction.
The indoor water park contains five water slides that require climbing several flights of stairs. These include the Rapid Racer (side-by-side racing slides), Triple Thunder (a raft ride for groups of two to four), Otter Run (a body slide), River Canyon Run (a raft ride for groups of two to five), and Wolf Tail (a 20-foot free fall turns into a 360-degree, high-speed loop). River Canyon Run and Rapid Racer have a minimum height requirement of 42 inches tall, while Wolf Tail and Triple Thunder both have a minimum height requirement of 48 inches tall. There is no height requirement for Otter Run, but children less than 42 inches tall must have a supervising companion with them at either the entry or exit of the slide. It's also recommended for them to wear a lifejacket. Rapid Racer and Triple Thunder are unique to this location. For children not ready for the large water slides, there also are five three-story body slides attached to Fort Mackenzie.
Cub Paw Pool
Geared toward toddlers and children less than 54 inches tall, this play area contains slides, "jet ski" rides, and water elements in a zero-entry pool. The pool reaches a maximum depth of 2 feet. At one side of the pool there are small water slides called Whooping Hollow. These slides are designed for children less than 52 inches tall. Life jackets are recommended for children who are less than 48 inches tall and/or weak or non-swimmers. Kids who are not potty-trained are required to wear a protective swim diaper at all times. Note: Bathrooms are located right next to the Cub Paw Pool, so parents won't have to go far when the need arises. Also, there are a number of chairs right in front of the pool area, so parents can keep a close eye on children.
Wave Pool, Lazy River, Activities Pools
Easily the largest pool inside the water park, the zero-entry wave pool, called Slap Tail Pond, reaches a maximum depth of 5 feet. It alternates between five-minute periods of waves and periods of "still" water. All entry in and out of the pool is via the zero-entry side. Although there are ladders on each side of the pool, these are not for regular use; instead, they are only used in the case of emergency.
To the left of the wave pool, there are two activities pools, both with a maximum pool depth of 4 feet. The first, Bigfoot Pass, is a water obstacle course wherein participants try to cross the pool on a series of "sliced logs." An overhead net provides aid. In Chinook Cove, guests can play a variety of games like water basketball, climb on a water log, or just splash one another.
Winding around and under Fort Mackenzie, the lazy river, called Crooked Creek, is 2 feet 6 inches deep. While floating on the provided tubes could be relaxing, because of its location, those on Fort Mackenzie happily dump water and point water guns at those floating below. There also are waterfalls from the fort, as well as additional water guns around the lazy river. For those who do not want to get sprayed, dumped on or otherwise drenched, you may want to avoid the lazy river.
The indoor water park has nine cabanas for rent. Accommodating between six and eight people, the cabanas include two lounge chairs, a couch, a small table with two chairs, a TV and a ceiling fan. Cabana rentals also include a 24-ounce Souvenir Sipper cup for each person; these cups can be refilled for free at all Coca-Cola Freestyle stations during the current stay.
Outdoor Swimming Pool
The outdoor swimming pool ranges from 2 feet 6 inches deep to 3 feet 6 inches deep. On one side, there are eight built-in loungers in the pool; here the water is only 6 inches deep. Lounge chairs with small tables surround the pool; there are a few umbrellas, but most chairs are in the sun. There also are 10 cabanas available for rent.
Up the stairs from the swimming pool is Northwood Springs, an adults-only space open to guests ages 21 and older. This area contains lounge chairs and tables with chairs. There's also a hot tub, which is 3 feet, 6 inches deep.
Exclusive to Great Wolf Lodge, MagiQuest is a live-action, interactive game that takes place at various spots in the lobby and throughout the Great Wolf Adventure Zone. Each game is at cost, per game and includes a magic wand (upgrades are available for an additional fee). If played straight through, the game can last approximately three and a half hours. However, most players play the game sporadically, meaning whenever they are walking through the lobby or adventure zone. Beware of players darting around others and pointing their wands at various elements as they walk along. For a fee, returning guests can bring their wands to reactivate for a new round of play.
Howlers Peak Ropes Course
Filled with four levels of rope bridges, balance beams, tightrope crossings and other obstacles, this ropes course reaches 50 feet into the air over the mini golf course. All participants must wear closed-toe shoes, and anyone less than 48 inches tall must be accompanied by a responsible adult. There is a smaller course for younger children.
**This attraction requires a fee.
Howl-in-One Mini Golf
This outdoor-inspired course contains nine holes of miniature golf surrounded by campsites, raccoons roasting marshmallows, acorn obstacles and more. **This attraction requires a fee.
Northern Lights Arcade
This game room contains more than 100 games ranging from racing games and games of skill to "ticket" games where players try to get as many tickets as possible. This is a cashless arcade; guests must purchase a Paw Points card and pay to load with points to activate games. Cards can be reloaded. Guests earn points at each game, which can be redeemed for prizes.
Ten Paw Alley
Compete against family for bragging rights at this mini bowling alley. With shorter lanes, smaller balls and built-in bumpers, it's a tiny take on big family fun. And you don't have to wear special shoes. **This attraction requires a fee.
Oliver's Mining Co.
At this attraction, guests purchase a bag of dirt and rocks, and then "mine" for gem stones in the water troughs. Participants receive a small chart detailing the various stones that may be in their bag, as well as a plastic bag for collecting and transporting stones home. **This attraction requires a fee.
Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall
Located in one corner of the Great Wolf Adventure Park, this 21-foot-high climbing wall challenges all ages and skill levels. Depending on which section you climb, it can range from easier to more challenging. The guides will direct you to the path you prefer to try and can move you if you want something more or less challenging. **This attraction requires a fee.
In this store, guests can create their own stuffed animal souvenir; choices include the Great Wolf Lodge characters along with a variety of animals. Prices vary by animal and outfit.
Northwoods Friends Show
Every morning and evening, the large screen behind the lobby fireplace comes to life with the Northwoods Friends, who share tales and songs with guests.
Every evening, the Great Wolf Lodge characters share a bedtime story to prepare the younger guests for sleep. Attendance in pajamas is greatly encouraged.
Camp H.O.W.L. Kids Club
The brand's first location, Camp H.O.W.L. Kids Club is located along the hallway between the lobby and the Great Wolf Adventure Park next to Creation Station. In this room, kids and parents can find color and activity sheets, enjoy story time, take part in science experiments, and more. The back wall is magnetic, covered with a mural, and kids can place magnets of the Great Wolf characters on the wall and create their own stories. Also, right outside the room is an outdoor playground, which is fenced in and only accessible via the kids club room. In the evening, parents have the option of dropping off their kids for a "parent-free" outing. From 5 to 9 p.m., rates are per child and include dinner. There is a lesser rate for additional siblings. From 7 to 9 p.m., rates are per child but do not include dinner. All children must be between the ages of 4 and 12 and potty-trained. Also, parents must stay on property at all times.
Great Wolf Lodge Kids Activities
Throughout the day, the hotel offers a variety of free kids activities in the lobby, kids club room or adventure park. Sample activities include yoga for kids, character appearances and face painting. Guests can pick up a current schedule of activities at the front desk.
For five weeks in March and April, Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange hosts Spring-a-Palooza to celebrate the season. Activities include a spring picnic in the lobby, spring-themed story time, scavenger hunts and more. During October, the hotel celebrates Howl-O-Ween, a family-friendly take on Halloween. Families can enjoy a Trick-or-Treat Trail, Spooktacular Story Time, the Monster Bash Dance Party, a costume parade and the Howl-O-Ween House. Throughout December, the property turns into Snowland, a winter wonderland that includes daily snow showers in the lobby, visits with Santa Claus and a meal in a life-sized gingerbread house. Special hotel packages are available for each event.
Note: For all restaurants, hours are subject to change based on occupancy.
Open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., this favorite stop for doughnuts and coffee also features bagels, breakfast sandwiches, orange juice, milk and other breakfast treats. Not surprisingly, this spot is very busy in the morning; to avoid the crowds, grab a dozen doughnuts the night before and enjoy at your leisure in your room.
Hungry As A Wolf
Available for take-out from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the menu at this dining spot includes pizza, pastas, salads, garlic cheese bread, wings and sub sandwiches. While items are available for carry-out, there are tables inside and outside the space where families can sit and eat. To avoid a wait, you can call and place your order for pick-up.
Serving breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m., this is a buffet-style restaurant with seating inside and outside the restaurant space.
Open for breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. for breakfast and from noon to 10 p.m. for lunch and dinner, this farm-to-table restaurant is a step up from the hotel's other eating options. Located off the lobby, this family-friendly restaurant features waitstaff service unlike the hotel's other eateries.
Buckets Incredible Craveables
With counters both inside the water park and inside the adventure park, this dining spot serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Menu items include burgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, salads, French fries, chips and salsa, hummus, and more. For a special family treat, order the Tipping Bucket. Served in a souvenir bucket, this dessert contains layers of soft-serve vanilla ice cream, brownies, cookies and candy pieces covered with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Timbers Taco Bus
Available with counters in the adventure park and the water park, this Mexican-themed eatery offers lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Choose from tacos, salads, quesadillas, nachos and rice bowls, along with chips and salsa or queso dip.
Ben & Jerry's
Because everyone loves ice cream, this hot spot is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Choose from your favorite flavors in a cone or a cup, or include them in a shake, smoothie or sundae.
Inside the adventure park, this casual bar is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and serves craft beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. It sits outside the Campfire Kitchen across from the mini golf and ropes courses, so it provides a good spot to enjoy an adult beverage while keeping an eye on the kids.
The Watering Hole
Open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., The Watering Hole inside the water park is a bar situated between the wave pool, the splash pad and the lazy river, so parents are in a good location to watch the kids. In addition to the bar itself, there are several high-top tables and chairs located on one side of the bar. Those sitting at the main bar can plug in to the USB and regular outlets mounted under the bar.
Located in the hallway between the lobby and the guestrooms, this grab-and-go market is perfect for a quick snack or drink. Offerings include a wide selection of beverages, including beer and wine, as well as cereal, yogurt, sandwiches, salads, chips, candy and fruit.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Check-in starts at 4 p.m., but visitors to Great Wolf Lodge LaGrange can arrive as early as 1 p.m. to pick up water park passes and head out to the Great Wolf Adventure Zone and water park. Check-out is 11 a.m., but guests can stay and enjoy the water park until it closes.
Great Wolf Lodge LaGrange charges a daily resort fee to cover self-parking, Wi-Fi, in-room coffee, two bottles of water, the fitness center, pool towels, life jackets, wolf ears for children 12 and younger, concierge service, and access to fax and local phone calls.
All children age 12 and younger visiting Great Wolf Lodge LaGrange receive a pair of "wolf ears" at check-in. If your child has a birthday during your stay, notify the staff when making reservations or checking in, and your child will receive a special pair of birthday "wolf ears." Guests celebrating birthdays also will receive a "Happy Birthday" poster on their guestroom door.
Great Wolf Lodge LaGrange has a number of shops throughout the resort where you can purchase souvenirs or grab a toiletry or pair of flip flops. Thgi belt; one bulk candy cup at Great Wolf Candy Company; a single scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream; and 20 Paw Points at the Northern Lights Arcade. The Pup Pass is geared to kids ages 5 and younger, and includes the following: one animal at Createse include Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop, Paddle Bay Outfitters, MagiQuest Marketplace, Camp H.O.W.L. Kids Store, and the Great Wolf Candy Company.
Iron Horse Fitness Center
Open 24 hours to guests ages 18 and older, this fitness center is outfitted with exercise balls, free weights and a selection of cardio equipment including a stationary bike, an elliptical and two treadmills. Towel service and water also are provided.
Paw Pass/Pup Pass/Wolf Pass
To save on attractions in the Great Wolf Adventure Park, the resort offers passes that package together several activities at a savings of up to 30 percent over individual pricing. The Paw Pass is aimed at kids ages 6 and older, and includes the following: one MagiQuest game with choice of classic or color wand, standard topper or Maion Station (outfit not included); Color-Your-Own item at Camp H.O.W.L. Kids Club; one bulk candy cup at Great Wolf Candy Company; 20 Paw Points at the Northern Lights Arcade; and a single scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The Wolf Pass includes admission to Howlers Peak Ropes Course (valid for entire stay); double climb on Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall; one game at Ten Paw Alley; one MagiQuest game with choice of classic or color wand, standard topper or Magi belt; one bulk candy cup at Great Wolf Candy Company; a single scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream; 20 Paw Points at the Northern Lights Arcade; and one game at Howl-In-One mini-golf.
The Best Time to Visit
Great Wolf Lodge LaGrange stays busy any time kids are out of school, with holidays also being a popular time. To avoid most crowds, consider a fall visit right after school starts.
Just an hour southwest of Atlanta, Great Wolf Lodge LaGrange is directly off Interstate 85 near the Georgia/Alabama state line. Take exit 13, and head west. Take the first right onto Tom Hall Parkway, and the resort is on your right. The resort is about an hour southwest of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, so if arriving by air, a rental car will be necessary as there is no shuttle service available.
Given the property is several minutes from downtown LaGrange, the best way to travel around town from the hotel is by car.
When parents find themselves with some time to themselves, they should head to Barnwood for a cocktail at the bar before enjoying a quiet dinner for two. Afterward, share a nightcap from the bar outside on the patio by one of the fire pits.