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June 24, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains, PA

Great Wolf Lodge located in Pocono Mountains; PA is a family-friendly resort that all ages can enjoy. We visited as part of the Reviewers Retreat in May taking my five, two and ten-month old along for the short visit. For three days, we splashed, swam, rode water slides, played games and had a ball. Inside it was a balmy 84 degrees in the water park. Outside it, was a rainy, grey mess but who cared?

While there my family of five stayed in a family suite (sleeps four, max of six) that had two queen beds, a sofa with a pullout couch (queen-sized) and a small table with a balcony. My girls loved sitting at the tiny two-person table eating their lunch and dinner while my husband and I sat at the larger two-person table inside. A microwave, refrigerator and countertop were also in the room. This was a huge convenience as we packed a cooler full of drinks and snacks and used both appliances during our stay. It is tough to leave the room to eat all the time when you have three little ones. That was why I was so surprised and dismayed that room service was not available at Great Wolf Lodge. There was no room service and actually very little options when it came to dining in general. Just because we are at a family-oriented establishment does not mean I want to eat fried food and pizza all the time. A lack luster buffet and snack shack and ice cream parlor were our only options for each meal and it made us glad that our stay did not go beyond three days. That is a real shame. We are not into specialized foods and none of has have food allergies either but I would have liked more options than sugar-laden foods at breakfast and fast food type items at lunch and dinner. There is a Starbucks and bakery on premises as well.

Other than the food issue, we loved staying at Great Wolf Lodge in Pocono Mountains. It was easy to navigate despite being under renovations. The lifeguards on staff are located every five feet it seemed and I always felt that my family and I were safe while using the water park. There are four pools located in the park and that does not include the adult only swim area. The wave pool was a big hit with my kids and so were the water slides. My oldest loved waiting for the big "wooden" bucket to pour our its contents from the sky every few minutes. There are slides and games for all ages and I loved that about the park. No age was discriminated and it made for a great time. Another plus that I adored was the wrist bands. Everyone gets one, except those under three, and you wear them the whole time. You can have them activated for charging purposes effectively eliminating the need to carry your debit or credit card or wallet while at the waterpark or anywhere else on site. That was so wonderful! It makes life so much easier, especially in that that type of environment.

Great Wolf Lodge has accommodations for all sizes of families and groups from large too small. There are suites with bunk beds and bigger eating areas and more. I hope the bathrooms are bigger in those rooms. Our four to six person bathroom was quite tiny with only room for a shower and toilet. It was a surprise to find a family resort with that sort of bathroom. Maybe Great Wolf will consider renovating that portion of their facilities next.

Despite the food choices and small bathroom, Great Wolf is a fun, special place to stay. Your kids will love the story time, water park, arcade and MagiQuest adventures that are programmed throughout the site. The bear hunt my kids went on was a blast for them as was the arts and crafts room. The Gr8 Space for older kids is good too. All ages can enjoy this place and we would go back to another location again in the future.

MPR Rating: Four Stars/Three Stars (Four for fun, three for food)

Disclaimer: MPR was not paid for this post. Products received are for review and test purposes only. We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge as part of the Reviewers Retreat. Opinions are MPR’s only.

*Images from, and