Without a doubt, one of the things I get asked the most for a deal on is a Great Wolf Lodge stay. This post will have some general tips and advice, but I will occasionally update you here as to any Great Wolf Lodge deals that are currently going on, especially at Groupon Getaways and LivingSocial Escapes.
And now on to some general observations regarding past Great Wolf Lodge coupons and discounts I’ve shared. I hope these will be helpful as you try to determine “what’s a good deal?” and “when’s the best time to book?” Please note that while I’ve intended to be inclusive of all the Great Wolf Lodge locations, my personal experience has been with the Grand Mound, WA location and that some locations may vary in their pricing and offerings.
Great Wolf Lodge Room Options
Lodge rooms are going to be more expensive than your average, budget-friendly family hotel. Note that included in your stay is water passes for everyone and those passes span both days of your stay (for example: if you were staying on a Friday night, you could enter the water park Friday and Saturday).
Prices vary greatly depending on which room option you select. The simplest option is the Family Suite (pictured above – image from site), which sleeps 4, and holds a max of 6 guests. In the absence of any discounts, expect to pay at least $199/night for this room option.
If you have a larger family, or can swing the extra bucks, staying in one of the larger, themed rooms may also be worth considering. The Kids Cabin theme pictured above (image from site), will run you around $249.99 before discounts. It sleeps 6.
We have stayed in both a pretty simple room and a “themed” room (snagged on a deal!), and I have to say having the slightly nicer “themed” room made the experience a little more special for the kiddos.
There are even larger room options still, so consider the size of your party as you book.
Ways of Saving on Your Stay
Here are the best tips I have for getting a room on the cheap.
- Be flexible on your dates. Try inputting a few different options to see if there is a meaningful price difference. I just did a search for the Grand Mound location and found a July booking would be $279 for the Family Suite and a whopping $379 for the Kid Cabin. However, if I pushed the booking out to January, the Family Suite fell to $199 and $249 for the Kid Cabin. Even aside from the 20% summer discount, you’d save more by going in January.
- Get on the Great Wolf Lodge email list. By signing up for the email list, you’ll be notified of upcoming sales. Particularly watch the “48 hour” sales. The 48 hour sales seem to have the best discounts for the simpler, Family Suites. I would consider $169 or less a “buy time” price.
- Watch Groupon. Groupon seems to be great for the larger suites. In the last year, I’ve reported Groupon offers in early September, mid-April, and early January (about 10 days before their 48-hour sale). If you have a larger family or want one of the $300-$400/night rooms, watch Groupon. Some of the options were in the low $200s and included dining credits. Solid deals!
To recap – the best advice I can give about saving on a stay is to be patient and try to time your stay off-season, and/or to book your stay with a great Groupon offer or sale.
Saving Money During Your Stay
I thought I should provide a few quick tips on saving money during your stay.
- Bring your own food. Each room is equipped with a small fridge and a microwave. You’ll find that many of the on-site food options are spendy (and not a ton of healthy offerings, either). Stop at the store on your way or prepare your own snacks from home. I also hear there is a really good burger joint down the street if you want to eat out, but pay a bit less than the on-site food options. There is also a Starbucks in the Lodge, so brace yourselves if that will be a source of temptation!
- Look for free activities. You’ll quickly realize there are a lot of ways you can spend a lot of money once in the resort, but there are a few free things you can take advantage of, too. My kids loved coloring in the Cub Club room (pictured above). While not all the crafts are free to do, some are – just ask! There is also a free story time at night for the little ones. And of course, make as much use as possible of that water park!
- Plan ahead. Knowing what’s offered at the Lodge and what to expect can help you decide how much money you want to bring/spend while there. You can visit the Lodge’s website and see what amenities are offered as you plan your stay.
If you have other tips for saving on a stay or while at Great Wolf Lodge, please feel free to share them below!