Sometimes after schlepping kids from one attraction to the next, seeking out restaurants where everyone can find something to eat, and keeping the kids from touching pretty things in the hotel lobby, you need a vacation from your vacation.
All-inclusive resorts solve some of these problems, but many cater more toward adults and older kids or teens. Not many hotels outside of theme park destinations are created specifically for kids and their parents, but Colorado’s latest travel addition, Great Wolf Lodge, is one of those unique properties. It offers just about everything a family needs to relax under one roof: family friendly restaurants, kid-and parent-pleasing suites, an aquatics center (really, it’s more of an indoor water park), and a selection of activities. So park the car and forget about it.
Located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, nestled between iconic red sandstone formations and majestic mountain views in Colorado Springs, this is Great Wolf Lodge’s fourteenth property. “The area itself is beautiful, and it has the seasonality to fit with our year-round entertainment offerings,” says James Anderson, general manager at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs.
Touted as North America’s largest family indoor water park resort, Great Wolf Lodge is an all-inclusive getaway suitable for kids of all ages. “Everything’s under one roof,” Anderson says. “From the time you check in to the time you check out, we”ve got you covered.”
The main attraction is a 50,000-square-foot aquatics center containing three pools, obstacle courses, a multi-level treehouse/water fort, and nine waterslides. There’s a trio of two-story body slides, the four-story Alberta Falls, and Howlin” Tornado, a six-story funnel. Kiddie chutes are available for wee guests, along with the zero-depth entry Cub Paw Pool. Daring adolescents and teens can give Wolf Tail a whirl—a 360-degree thrill-ride in which patrons take an unexpected vertical plunge through a trapdoor.
Great Wolf’s water park is impressive, but it’s only the beginning. “Unique to Colorado Springs is our first-ever Great Wolf Adventure Park,” Anderson says, highlighting the resort’s 20,000-square-foot indoor entertainment complex. The space offers a 20-foot-tall ropes course, a climbing wall, family-style bowling, miniature golf, and the Northern Lights Arcade, with a variety of interactive video and redemption games. “Our adventure park will be the first to have a Great Wolf Candy Company, plus we”ll be the first lodge with an on-site Ben & Jerry’s,” adds Anderson.
Dining is another point of distinction at Great Wolf. Families have access to nine eateries, ranging from the casual Hungry as a Wolf sandwich and pizza joint to Barnwood, a farm-to-fork establishment specializing in shareable plates made with local ingredients. Parents, swing by the Outpost for craft beers and cocktails. Anderson recommends the Loose Moose Family Kitchen for a fabulous buffet-style breakfast.
Post-supper, settle into one of 311 themed rooms; whether you”ve booked a Junior Wolf Pup Den Suite or the deluxe Majestic Wolf Suite, you”ll find solace in a clean space styled with contemporary Northwoods décor. Anderson himself is partial to the KidCabin Suite. Sleeping up to seven, these dormitories come with a queen bed, full sofa sleeper, and Great Wolf Kids-themed cabin, complete with bunk beds.
Water park access is included with lodging. “Stay one night, and you”ll get two days to play,” Anderson clarifies. Free supplemental activities are offered daily through the Great Wolf Kids Program. Wake up with Yoga Tails, an all-ages daily flow, or learn about the Northwoods wildlife on a 15-minute morning walk. Try origami, face painting, and balloon twisting, and don’t miss Great Wolf’s popular nightly storytime, when families gather in their pajamas to hear a tale from one of Great Wolf’s characters.
Add-Ons Passes and packages are available for add-on activities, including MagiQuest, a live-action adventure game that”ll have families battling dragons, befriending pixies, and waving magic wands throughout the hotel. Tuckered kiddos can wind down at Scooops Kid Spa, featuring ice cream-themed manicures and pedicures.
“From the water and adventure parks to the restaurants and activities, we offer something for everyone,” Anderson says. “That’s why so many families continue to come back to us year after year.”
Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer and mother.
Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs opens Friday, December 16, just in time for a family-friendly holiday staycation. For reservations call 844-553-9653, or book online at greatwolf.com/colorado-springs during the resort’s Grand Opening Period, and get up to 30 percent off your stay.