What to expect from a night at Great Wolf

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge started its soft opening on Monday, giving some locals a chance to stay overnight, enjoy the amenities and see what the fuss is all about. The soft opening will continue for the next week or so, with Great Wolf currently accepting reservations for May 18 and on.

I was lucky enough to receive one of the invitations for a complimentary stay at the hotel and spent about 12 hours there.

As a journalist, I would not have accepted the invitation if everyone at the lodge wasn’t staying for free, but felt it was a good opportunity to see the lodge up close, considering we’ll likely be reporting consistently on Great Wolf for the foreseeable future. 

One other note — I’m not a hotel critic. I lived out of hotels during my first month here last year and stayed at almost every hotel in LaGrange during that time. I’d stay at all of them again. It’s not my job, nor is it one I want, to give my opinion on how two different businesses are run.

What I do think is helpful is a simple rundown on what the night was like, and the options available to people who stay overnight and locals who just want to make a quick visit.

My wife and I arrived around 6 p.m. Monday night. By the time we got down to the water park (and stopped baby Autumn, who is 10 months old, from crawling long enough to get her dressed), it was 6:30 p.m.

Autumn wasn’t sure she liked the loud noise of the water, so the majority of our time was spent trying to make her comfortable. Eventually, Alyssa took a turn on a couple of the slides, and then we all spent some time in the wave pool and lazy river.

The water park closed at 8 p.m. The times for each business and activity depend on the night of the week, so the closing times we experienced might not be the same for other visits.

At that point, we went to find dinner, but most of the restaurants closed at 8 p.m. on Monday. We ended up going to the pizza restaurant, which seems to always be open late, and grabbed a quick bite.

Next to the restaurants is the arcade, mini-bowling, mini-golf and the ropes course. Again, we didn’t participate in any of those activities. I’m already bad enough at golf, so I can’t imagine how bad I’d putt with a tired 10-month-old on my hip.

That area — the adventure park — stayed open until 10 p.m.  We left a little earlier than that, heading back to our room. On the way back, we grabbed a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Both Dunkin and Ben & Jerry’s are between the rooms, restaurants and water park area, so you walk past them multiple times. They couldn’t be better positioned.

By the time we got to our room, we were tired and most parts of the lodge were closed, so we went to bed. We got up bright and early Tuesday, left and went to work.

It was a short look at the new lodge, but we enjoyed ourselves and would definitely consider going back for special occasions in Autumn’s life, like future birthdays.

There’s a lot to do and a lot to see. Just like any new business, I recommend taking a few minutes to check it out for yourself, even if you don’t stay the night.