By: Vallery Schofield-Miller
With the winter that seems to never end, we are all looking for ways to be creative and have some fun! We found it with a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg. We excitedly made our reservations for a surprise getaway with the kids. In an effort to keep it a surprise, we packed while they were asleep so they wouldn’t catch on! We left after school on a Friday and we were off to, as the kids put it, “the greatest adventure EVER!”
We pulled in the driveway of the lodge and they went crazy with excitement when they realized where we were. They couldn’t wait to get out of the truck and hit the pool; I actually think they were out of the truck before we even stopped! After checking in we walked to our room way at the end of lodge. We had to walk past the pool areas and the kids were dying to get in there!
We entered out room and that set off another round of delightful squeals as they saw they were going to be sleeping in a “tree trunk.” They had bunk beds in a small alcove of the room where it was decorated to look like the inside of a tree. The room was very spacious, which was a good thing since we’d all be sharing the room for 3 days.
With the kids already in their suits (never have they changes so quick before!) we were trying quickly settle in and get organized so we could get down to the pool. That’s when we noticed the chewed up food on the couch and floor- it was 4:30 pm so the room should’ve been well cleaned at this point. As we went through the room we noticed more issues- the kids room was missing their TV remote, one bed was missing sheets, room safe wasn’t working properly. We got all of these issues taken care of promptly, but I found myself wondering, “What’s next?” It soon became apparent as to what was next, we purchased souvenir tumblers at $15.00 a piece, which we were told you could refill at any of the 3 Coke kiosks through out the lodge. However, every one we tried to use throughout our 3-day stay was ALWAYS empty. We would tell staff and were dismissed with “I’ll get to it later.”
Now, getting back to the pool area. We arrived to the pool and kids were quickly on their way to the wave pool, where they stayed for over an hour. We decided to go to the Pub restaurant in the lodge for dinner. Unfortunately, our waitress was excessively rude, bringing wrong drink and food orders and becoming exasperated when we said anything. Yes, I do believe that your tip reflects your service. We tip generously for great service, but service liked this warranted a note explaining why there was no tip, especially considering the restaurant wasn’t even busy at this time. When we left I found a hotel manager and explained the situation as to why there was no tip left and the rest of the stuff that had happened to us up to this point. This woman was terrific! She was kind, empathetic and very understanding to what had happened to us. She gave us vouchers for free breakfast at the buffet, which was great, and gave us a voucher for the gift shop to, as she said, “get those two little cuties a cool surprise.”
We spent the next day in the pool areas where everyone enjoyed riding the water slides, jumping in the waves, and playing all the different obstacles. My kids are total water babies so they were in heaven! That night we decided to try out the lodge’s pizza shop, and it was excellent! After dinner we joined in on a bingo game and then Matthew and Kelsie danced the night away (okay, 9pm) in the kids’ dance club. As we strolled back to our room, we passed through the arcade, which the kids decided would be their next day’s adventure. Kelsie made sure to add AFTER we spend the day in the pools. They were up early and ready to go before pool areas even opened. I barely had an eye open and my husband was still snoring away (we made the mistake of thinking this could be a getaway for us, too) when the kids were already begging to get out of the room!
When we left the room we decided to check out the high ropes course outside our door. Both the kids tried it, but Matthew decided heights were not his thing and needed to be rescued by staff member. Kelsie sailed through the course and wanted to do it again and again. After the day’s adventures and dinner (lunches were from their little snack shops that sell the typical chicken fingers, fries, soft pretzels, etc.) We did the game time and listened to story time then we were off to the arcade area. The kids had a blast playing EVERY game. We finally got back to room and they were out within 10 minutes. We checked out the next morning and loaded up the truck, but were able to still enjoy the pool for several more hours. Once we were dry and changed, we got in the truck and headed for home. The whole ride all the kids could talk about how much fun they had and how excited they were to get to school the next day and tell their friends all about their winter breakaway!
These are the memories I know they will carry with them forever and talk about as adults. I love knowing we are giving them great memories to treasure and look back on fondly. Until next blog, make a lasting lifetime memory not just for your children but you also, take care, Val!