All the way back in January we were talking about Logan's upcoming February birthday. Of course, that led Olivia to start talking about her birthday. She started spouting off all of these details of what she thought would be perfect for a party. I tried to explain that we don't really do a huge party every year, and that she just had a big party for her 5th birthday. I suggested that instead we could do something fun as a family. She thought this was a terrible idea... until I started throwing ideas out. I had kind of already planned that we would go to Great Wolf Lodge in my head. It's on the expensive side for a "go just because" type of thing for us, but on the flip side, it would be much cheaper than a birthday party. So it was a great opportunity to tie it with a special event and call it a day. We have never been to a water park, so she didn't really have a point of reference. We showed her a few youtube videos and she was sold!
She spent the next few months telling everyone that she was going to a water park for her birthday. She started drawing or painting pictures of the water slides. She was beyond excited!
Her birthday isn't for another month, but the prices start going up the last week in May. The crowds start going up, too! So we decided to go a month early and go in the middle of the week to try to avoid high costs and high crowds. We didn't tell her the exact dates we were going, because no one would have slept the night before. So we just loaded up the car and drove and waited until she read the sign in the car. There were tears of joy! :)
On a normal day, you can't check into your room until 4, but you can start using the park at 1. So we planned to get there at 1. Thankfully, since it wasn't that busy, our room was ready. I paid for the cheapest possible room, because we were there for the water not the beds. But they ended up upgrading us. Our room had the regular two beds, a separate living space, and a LOFT with another bed, TV, and half bath. The kids thought that was just the coolest thing-- an upstairs in a hotel room!
We dropped our things off at the room, changed quickly into our suits, and headed down to the water park. We didn't take our phones down with us, but the kids were in awe and had an amazing time.
Logan wasn't tall enough for some of the slides, but Olivia is all about the adventure. So we split up. Michael and Olivia road all the slides multiple times--even one that she technically wasn't tall enough for-- and Logan and I played in the little kids section, lazy river, and wave pool.
We were in the water from about 1:30 to 5:30. We headed up to our rooms to clean up real quick, then we just ate dinner at one of the resort restaurants.
After dinner, we headed to the lobby for a dance party.
After the dance party, there is a tree house with a show. Then there was a story time.
When we came back to our room at the end of the night, there was a special birthday poster on our door!
And then we had a special treat. You can bring your own food. There is a fridge in each room. So I packed snacks, a fun dessert for the evening, breakfast, and even our lunch the next day.
Cookies in bed while watching cartoons?!? That's a pretty big deal when you are 3 and 5! ;)
We had hoped to sleep in, but you know how kids are!
So instead we had our breakfast in our room, watched a little Disney Junior, relaxed for a bit and then packed up our things.
You have to check out by 11 on the day you are leaving, but you can use the park all day!
We headed down to the water at about 10. We split up again, for about the first 2 hours. Then we stopped and had the lunch I had packed. Some people had said that you could bring food in, but hide it under towels. But no one checked our bags any of the times we went in. It was a good way to save money, and the kids got to eat food they liked.
After lunch we split up again, but this time I went with Olivia. I had rode one ride with her the day before, but she wanted me to do the others with her as well. So we rode every slide together (except the one where she wasn't really tall enough). We did the lazy river, and then rode some more.
There were a few slides where Logan could go down (that orange and green one), so for a while all 4 of us just rode those over and over and over again. We also all went on the lazy river together (to the right in the picture) and the wave pool. We decided to call in quits at around 3:30. The kids would have stayed if they could have, but that's a lot of water for 2 days!
Before leaving we checked out the kids club area. They had games to play, pictures to color, and then you could also pay to paint pottery or shirts.
There were a lot of other things at the resort as well. There was an arcade, a kids spa, and game you can play where you get a special wand and run all over the resort looking for clues, etc. All of that costs extra, so we just stuck with the basics. It was our first time, our kids are young, and we were going for the water. So that's what we did. I'm sure if we go back in the future, we'll get roped into doing more. Olivia is already talking about going to the kids spa. :)