[Note: This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children. She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here, here, here, and here.]
In case you missed it, a Great Wolf Lodge opened this summer in Perryville, MD, less than two hours away from the DC metro area. The appeal of a sparkling new indoor water park and lodge – because we all know the wear and tear of kids – is a big draw. If Great Wolf has been on your radar, now’s a great time to check it off your kid bucket list.
Many bloggers can give you the ins and outs of Great Wolf, including this previous KidFriendly DC post, but there were a few main takeaways from my family’s visit this past month. Here are five things to know before you go…
1. Timing may be everything. We booked our August stay using an opening deal, however, summer was not ideal timing. Even on our weekday visit, the place was packed. If you’re crowd-phobic like me, try going on a random weekday during the school year. If the timing is right, take your child on their birthday (and add a birthday package).
2. Age matters. If your little ones need constant supervision in crowds or around water and they outnumber you, consider holding off. The water park is massive and not a place to “sittervise” (you’ll want to get in on the action anyways!). Expect to stay one-on-one with young children and to accompany confident, but young swimmers. Note that there are height restrictions for several water slides (42-48” requirements), as well as the indoor ropes course (48” requirement).
3. You’re not going for the food. We added the breakfast package, which ended up being unnecessary for my family. There is a Dunkin’ Donuts on-site which could have sufficed (bagels, breakfast sandwiches, COFFEE). We ate dinner at Barnwood, which offers reservations for up to 14 people. And we brought our own food for the rest. Rooms have mini-fridges, and coolers are allowed in the Lodge. No outside food or beverages are permitted in the water park.
4. After the water park, it’s the hotel lobby. The water park is the main attraction, MagiQuest is a must, and you’ll have to peel your kids out of the arcade… but there is something special about the free activities in the hotel lobby. The dance party was a highlight for us. Don’t miss the story time before bed and morning yoga if everyone can rally.
5. Less is more. If you’re local, a one night stay gives you two full days (read: plenty) of fun. Check-in is at 4pm, but guests can check in early to access the water park when it opens at 9am as well as other activities. Your room may or may not be ready early. Day passes are also available and more than feasible coming from the DC area.
Read more Great Wolf FAQs and details here.
Great Wolf Lodge Perryville Resort
Where: 1240 Chesapeake Overlook Pkwy | Perryville, MD
Admission: Check rates here
Have you been to a Great Wolf Lodge? Tell us about your experience in the comments!