Looking for a great family Staycation in Los Angeles? Try the Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim – in Southern California. The resort has dozens of activities that will keep your family busy and enjoying themselves.
The Great Wolf Lodge is known for their indoor water park, ideal for the mid-west spots where they first started, but just as fun here in LA, especially because, unlike most other water parks, they are open year-round.
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But the Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim, just a 45-minute drive from Los Angeles, offers much more than just the water park. There are many additional family activities right on site to keep you and your little ones busy and happy, as well as seven restaurants for dining options, a fitness center, and a mommy and me spa.
MomsLA was invited to experience all the Great Wolf Lodge has to offer as guests of the hotel. This post contains affiliate links.
Hotel Rooms and Amenities
The Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim, which just celebrated its two-year Anniversary, has 400 family suites, some of which come with a full-size sofa bed. Plus there are themed suites for families that have amazing character-inspired bunk beds, in two styles: the Wolf Den and the Log Cabin. Both are also available as Accessible Suites.
The Great Wolf Lodge also offers Double Suites, ideal for multi-generational travel, when maybe Grandma & Grandpa (who are traveling with you) can have their own room, but there can be shared space for hanging out.
The resort offers free, unlimited wifi for guests, and there is a Conference Center, which hosts many meetings and events.
Great Wolf Lodge Holidays
The Great Wolf Lodge adds to the fun by celebrating holidays with their special touch. Halloween is transformed into Howl-o-ween, and kids are invited to go on the Trick or Treat Trail. Beginning on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (and running through New Year’s), the Lodge is transformed into Snowland, with themed decorations and daily snowfalls in the lobby.
In March & April, the Lodge offers their Spring-a-Palooza event, with themed crafts and fun. And on the 4th of July, the Great Wolf Lodge hosts a dance party for families on the rooftop of their parking garage, so guests can experience the fireworks shows at nearby resorts in Anaheim.
Indoor Water Park
With 105,000 square feet of water park and a constant temperature of 84 degrees, there is plenty of fun to be had for the whole family. There are 14 water slides, ranging in height and speed from something a toddler would love to something only a true daredevil would enjoy: The Wolf Tail, which has a vertical plunge through a trap door!
There is a wave pool with a beach entry, a shallow toddler pool with spray jets, a lazy river feature, a multi-level play structure with water jets, and a giant bucket spilling water over guests’ heads every 5 minutes – and with all that, they still only use about the same total amount of water it would take to fill one Olympic swimming pool.
Access to the water park is exclusive to guests of the hotel, and a one-night stay allows you to play in the park from 1 pm on check-in day until closing time on the day you check out.
Here’s a pro tip: during most of the day, the Flow Rider boogie board activity can only be used while lying on your tummy, but take your best shot and try standing up on the boards during the first and last hour the park is open.
Water Safety is very important to the Great Wolf Lodge, and there are 32 lifeguards on duty at all times the park is open. All the lifeguards are certified and the resort works with an independent auditor who makes unannounced safety checks four times per year. Great Wolf Lodge has been awarded Platinum status for water safety, a fact they are understandably proud of.
Dining at the Great Wolf Lodge
There are seven dining options at the Great Wolf Lodge, all overseen by Executive Chef Hany Ali. Ali, who spent many years as a chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach, is committed to a wonderful dining experience for every guest, especially those who have food allergies.
“My team and I are focused on making delightful and interesting food for everyone, regardless of their dietary restrictions,” says Ali.
Food Allergy Awareness
Indeed, beyond the dining options, the kitchen is strictly sectioned off for allergy-free food prep, and it’s clear the rules are followed. In fact, the entire kitchen operation at Great Wolf Lodge is nut-free, in order to be as safe as possible.
And yet, Chef Ali has sourced nut-free peanut butter and even nut-free “Nutella” in order to be able to serve a child a peanut butter sandwich or “Nutella” crepes, regardless of their allergies. “When you see the look on their face when they can eat a food they’ve been denied, it’s all worth it,” says Ali.
Dry Land Activities at the Great Wolf Lodge
Let’s say you get a little water-logged and want something fun to do on “dry land” during your stay. Not a problem. The Great Wolf Lodge has so many games and activities, you will be hard-pressed to fit them all into one stay.
Let’s start with all the activities that are included in the price of the room. Besides the Water Park admission, there are Lodge Activities for Great Wolf Kids all day long.
Start the day with Wake up with Wiley, one of the Lodge’s wolf character mascots. There’s a show, kid-friendly yoga, and a Wolf Walk around the property.
At lunchtime, there are crafts and other “Paws-on Projects” including some face painting and balloon animals. After dinner, the PJ Party begins, with story time, games like Bingo and Trivia, an animatronics character show, and two dance parties, one for little kids and one for tweens and teens at 9 pm.
Paw Pass Activities
There are still more activities in the Lodge, and these all come with a fee. You can purchase each one individually or buy one of the Great Wolf Lodge Paw Pass options, which will save you money if you’re planning to do several.
The game you’ll see a lot of kids playing is Magiquest, which involves using a special “magic” wand to play an electronic scavenger hunt all around the Lodge property (even near some of the guest rooms). There are multiple levels to the game, and we’re told it can take hours to master the whole thing. Those who do are treated to a special Master Magi ceremony in the lobby and can earn bragging rights. Wands cost about $20 each and can be customized with different toppers.
Other games and activities include glow-in-the-dark Mini-Golf, mini-bowling, a 24-hour arcade with tickets that can be redeemed for prizes, a stuffed-animal creation store (think of Build-a-Bear, but with wolves) with an added bonus of a special scavenger hunt game of its own, an XD movie experience, and even a nail spa for mommy & me mani/pedis.
Great Wolf Lodge a Great Family Staycation
With all these activities right on the property, the Great Wolf Lodge is a terrific family staycation (or vacation) right here in Southern California. Whether you’re flying in to visit or driving from Los Angeles, check out all the Great Wolf Lodge has for families.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder and CEO of MomsLA. She and her family were guests of the Great Wolf Lodge in order to write this review. This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase via our links, MomsLA is paid a small percentage. Some photos were provided by the Great Wolf Lodge.