After nearly 2 years of being a full-time student, a full-time employee, a teacher to my home-schooled son and trying to build a new home it was time to get away even if only for a few days. I chose to take the family to a place where we could enjoy together, what would typically be an outdoor activity. We went to the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kansas, an indoor water park.
We chose to stay 2 nights, beginning with Christmas Eve, and return home on the day after Christmas. We chose these dates partly because of our work schedule, and partly because of the offered discounted price for the holiday stay.
The Great Wolf Lodge leaves an incredible first impression. Picture in your mind a massive log cabin that houses not only an indoor water park, but also 4 floors of guest rooms, a spa, nearly 3800 sq feet of meeting and convention space, a fitness room, a large game room, a couple of gift shops, a restaurant, and a snack bar! Some of the guest rooms are large enough to host a loft and a fireplace, with sleeping for 6 or more people. The location is also impressive, with Cabela’s across the parking lot, Legends Mall and Nebraska Furniture Mart along with a number of impressive eating establishments just down the street, there is no doubt that a trip to the Kansas City, Kansas Great Wolf Lodge can provide something for just about everyone.
The water park was amazing fun for all of us, and our ages range from 12 to 44 years. There were many activities including water slides for those much younger than us as well. The water park has a large wooden “Fort Mackenzie” gym to climb on and when you finally make your way to the top, a watery slide brings you back down the other side, and this too is for all ages.
Most of our time in the water park was spent making our way up to the top of the 3, 3 story tall water slides, all very exhilarating rides as they wind through a series of twists and turns, accelerating until finally splashing into the pool at the end of ride.
The lodge also offers a game that they call a “MagiQuest“. After purchasing a wand and paying to play the game (well worth the cost), you can literally spend hours trying to complete the assigned tasks. We made this a family event and found ourselves getting plenty of exercise as we sought out the locations of each required target.
At 8 p.m. we gathered in the open lobby and listened to a bed time story, and watched as snow fell from the rafters to the audience below. All are invited to attend story-time in their pajamas if they would like to do so. Definitely a fun treat for those who are young at heart!
While everything outside of our room offered an incredible experience, unfortunately the room itself left something to be desired. It is as if the Lodge forgot all about the people who may wish to enjoy their room just as much as what they offer outside of their room. We stayed in what is known as a Family Suite. The size of the room was certainly sufficient, but the quality of the room was poor by my standards. The sink was very slow to drain and the water pressure at the sink was very weak. Many of the electrical outlets were not secured in the walls and would press into the wall or pull out of the wall when used. Our room held 2 queen beds and a couch that opens into another bed. Each of the queen beds sagged terribly in the middle, and the couch, when folded out was impossible to sleep on. The mattress was so thin and worn that it was almost like sleeping directly on the springs. The couch cushions themselves were also worn and torn. I had to use a piece of cardboard to replace a missing leg on the mini- refrigerator in order to level it out, otherwise, when the door was opened the refrigerator would lean forward enough that the door would hit the room floor, stopping it from fully opening.
The room did offer free wireless internet service, and if willing to pay for it, in-room video games and movie rentals.
Although check-out was at 11 a.m., this time only pertained to the room. The remainder of the facility, such as the water park, remained accessible until the 10 p.m. closing time.
Despite the issues with the room itself, Christmas at the Great Wolf Lodge was quite an enjoyable experience. One that we hope to duplicate again next year!
You can visit the Kansas City, Kansas Great Wolf Lodge on-line at: (http://www.greatwolf.com/kansascity/lodge)