Living in Texas: Weekend at the Lodge

by Dana on December 17, 2012

That sounds kinda fancy.  Wish I had pics of some hoity toity Ski Lodge in Aspen.
But think more along the family-fun Disney-esque lines….
It’s the Great Wolf Lodge!
(please note, this is NOT a paid post. Just simply sharing our weekend getaway and what we did)

Have you stayed there?
We gave it a whirl over the Thanksgiving and overall it was a success.   It took forever to drive from Austin to Dallas but the kids were such patient troopers in the car.  And when we walked into the lodge and they saw all this….pure giddiness.  Wow!  They were full of gasps….while Casey and I chuckled over the silly music playing on loop in the parking lot, “welcome to the lodge, welcome to the lodge” (or something slightly more clever).

Cool acorn/leaf carpet? Check.

Beautiful big lodge with a huge fireplace and Tree?  Check.

Little staged canoes and cozy lodge-y decor?  Check, check.

But the real draw to the Great Wolf Lodge is that it’s a hotel with an indoor waterpark!  Yipee!  They heat the water area to 84 degrees so it’s warm and balmy in there even on a cold winter day.

There are different areas for all age ranges.  And they have some really cool TALL waterslides for the adults.  Next time we visit, we should go with friends and take turns watching kids so Casey and I can go on the big slides together.  Serious speed.

Lucy’s school teacher sent her home with Corduroy for the weekend.  So he joined the fun as well, from a dry spot.

We brought along some snacks.  And of course, enjoyed the snackbar.


And every 15 minutes it was fun to watch the big bucket drop on victims below.


Lucy and Owen could play on about 1/2 of the areas and actually loved the medium-size slides (once we convinced them to give it a try).  And Clara surprised me too.  She was so easy! Just crawled from here to there, exploring.  I loved seeing her diaper bum in a suit again.


And of course there’s always the excitement of sleeping a hotel room.
Mama bear and cubs.




The hotel had kid’s activity areas and overpriced drinks.


And a life-size gingerbread house!  Seriously, this thing was so cool!  I’m not sure the icing was edible but everything else on it was.

What kid wouldn’t want to live here?

The other highlight of the Lodge was playing the MagiQuest wizard game.  You purchase these magic wands and wander the hotel in search of special clues, treasures, etc.  And all the other kids are doing it too.  It’s the perfect night-time entertainment.


I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the kind of vacation Casey and I would choose.  But the kids were happy so we were happy…and we topped off the trip with some In-N-Out, the Czech Stop, and an hour at the Lego store (these last photos via Instagram @danamadeit).  Thanks for a fun weekend Dallas!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy@New Adventures December 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

That looks like great fun for the kids – wish we had something similar here in Australia!

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2 Kelly December 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

My husband and I live only 20 minutes away and have never been there- looks like we need to pack up our 3 kiddoes and head over there sometime.

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3 Rachel December 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

How fun! That place looks awesome! I’m glad you guys had a great time :)

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4 christa December 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I’ve never been to the Lodge, but my eyes lit up when you mentioned the Czech Stop! I’m no longer living in Texas and I really miss those yummy treats! Making me hungry…

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5 Jennifer McCaffrey December 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I used to coordinate events at the one in Virginia :) it was probably my most fun job! Great Wolf is a really fun place, I can’t wait to take my kids someday. -jen

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6 Nikki December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

We stayed in a resort/lodge recently in Billings, Mt. They had the water park attached and the kids (but mostly my husband) were so excited. We quickly changed into swimsuits after we got there. The wave pool was closed because there weren’t enough life guards, and them someone’s kid pooped in the hot tub! Your lodge looks loads better than ours. Always fun to get away though.

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7 Kell December 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

When my parents drove my sister & nephew to Florida last October they stayed at the Great Wolf in NC. My nephew loved it. He still talks about wanting to go back. The closest one to us is in Pennsylvania.

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8 Yuki December 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm

What a great weekend! Love the picture of you and the kids on the cough. Your kids are so very very cute. :-)

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9 Joy December 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm

You crack me up! It’s funny reading basically my feelings every time we think about going here (there’s one a few hours south of us). It does look like fun for the kids, but I just can’t get myself to do it… Yet. Maybe one of these days. :-)

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10 Jane December 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm

That looks so cool! Thanks for the reminder of the awesomeness that exists in the US. Needed that right now.

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11 Amber December 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

The Czech Stop! So delicious!!!

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12 palak December 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

so funny– we just drove from dallas to austin for a getaway!

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13 KC December 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

We have been to that particular Wolf Lodge and love it. We live an hour northwest of Austin near Fort Hood.

The first time we were there, the fire alarms went off at 5 am. It was a very harsh start to the day, but everyone was quite cheerful.

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14 Nancy December 18, 2012 at 1:27 am

Cute pics, thanks for sharing…and I have to comment that your hair has really grown, it seems like just yesterday you did a post on your haircut??:)

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15 Ivana December 18, 2012 at 2:16 am

the Czech Stop!!! Greetings from the Czech republic :-D

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16 Christine December 18, 2012 at 3:33 am

What fun! We went there last year about this time while we were stationed at Fort Hood. It is a really fun place! Glad you guys had so much fun!

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17 patty December 18, 2012 at 4:25 am

Looks cool.
You are guys are brave I cant even imagine taking my 5 years old and my 6 months old baby there yet..i will be so so stress and super tired.
thumbs up to both of you
patty

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18 Sarah M. December 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

We live about an hour from Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg! Can’t wait to take my Little Peanut there in a couple years. :)

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19 Melani X. December 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

Hi Dana!

I’ve got to say how much I love your blog! So much inspiration and such a beautiful family. :)

My husband’s company is moving us from CA where we both have lived forever (and where both of our families are) to the suburbs of Austin in about September of next year! I’ve been pretty darn nervous about it, but reading your several posts about events in the area have helped a little, so thank you! The kids are going to love growing up there (I have an 8 year old girl, 2 year old boy, and one on the way!) and I can tell our family will be happy. Now just to get used to the idea. :)

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20 Heather December 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

We went to Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, OH last year and it’s all my son can talk about still. We’re hoping to go again very soon, but it is a 3 hour drive! My husband and I actually discovered Magiquest on our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach. If you ever have a chance to go to one outside of Great Wolf it is amazing! Needless to say we’ve racked up a lot of experience on our wands :)

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21 Deborah Jennings December 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Awesome pictures! It really looked like a lot of fun! I wonder if we could get by with taking the granddaughter there instead of on a cruise. LOL She really wants to go on a cruise. She is 12.

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22 Melissa Shultz December 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Wow, I just googled this place and there is one in my state. They have an area where it snows indoors. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! I don’t have any children, but I would love to go to this place someday and get the suite with the whirlpool.

For now I’ll live joyfully through your pictures and narration. Love all the photos and glad to hear your family had a great time. I must say, I absolutely adore that picture of Clara with her back to the camera. I just want to reach out and grab those cute little chubby legs. Makes me miss those days with my niece who is now 15. Sigh!

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23 Nan December 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

OMG, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this. Reading your post makes me want to be there. Maybe I need to convince my husband that we need to go there for a vacation.

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24 Lynet Witty December 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Oh I had heard you posted about staying there! THANK you for posting all your pics, because this weekend my inlaws are taking all of us to stay there. I’ve never been, we used to go to the neighboring hotel, The Gaylord, to their ICE exhibit, but this year they wanted a change. I’m so thankful we are going (because they foot the bill:)) and also because it’s an indoor waterpark! I can’t wait to see about the wands.

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25 Nadia December 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Oh no, what happened to Clara!?

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26 Jody December 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

Looks like a blast! Love indoor waterparks when the weather starts getting cold. :)
Jody @apinchofcharacter.com

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27 Becka December 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm

hello Dana i was wondering if you were invited to this lodge or did you guys choose this place on your own.
when i read reviews esp. on blogs this is the first thing i want to know
thanks

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28 Mat @ HotelsWithIndoorWaterParks.com December 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

Those are some stunning photos. It really captures what it’s like to be there (and makes me want to go). For people who don’t know, there are about a dozen Great Wolf Lodge locations around the country, all with the same concept (lodge resort + indoor water park).

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29 Dakota December 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Whoa. HOLD THE PHONE. There’s In-n-Out in Dallas?! WHAT?! I had my last In-n-Out in very likely a few years on November 18th. We moved the the northwest. But.. In-n-Out in DALLAS?! I’m freaking out a bit.

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30 Jeri January 5, 2013 at 2:20 am

I didn’t realize you were here in the Austin area! We’re 30min east of Austin, well, just past Round Rock…maybe northeast a bit. I’ve thought about going there but it’s crazy expensive for a family of 8. Need to find out about a sale or something. :o) And we always stop at the Czech stop!

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