7 Tips for Visiting Great Wolf Lodge Bloomington

Great Wolf Lodge invited us with all the other media outlets around the Twin Cities to spend a weekend at their newest resort here in Bloomington. Our family had a blast spending the weekend together (with me sneaking away here and there to post on social media), and we kept our eyes open for the best deals and tips.

  • Great Wolf LodgeMining for Gems
  • Great Wolf LodgeClimbing Wall
  • Great Wolf LodgeEating at Campfire Kitchen
  • Breakfast at Campfire Kitchen
  • Great Wolf LodgeFort MacKenzie in Wileys Waterpark
  • Great Wolf LodgeThe different paw passes available
  • Great Wolf LodgeWiley and Violet

Disclosure: FFTC received a weekend stay and admission to the attractions. Keep reading because this isn’t so much a sponsored article as a insider’s guide to the resort.  I promise that all opinions are my own.

Click to Skip to Tips

My kids were so excited to go to Great Wolf Lodge. Unfortunately, the Sunday before, Daddy came home from a weekend away with the stomach flu.

So to prevent a possible cancellation of the fun, we had two rules for the rest of the week.

  1. Do NOT share any food or drink.
  2. Stay away from Daddy.

I am happy to say that the preventative action was successful.

Great Wolf Lodge

Meeting Wiley and Violet

When Friday came, the kids hopped off the bus, into the car and away we drove. We were excited for the water park and seeing what the room was like. What we didn’t know was that most of the weekend was spent outside the water park in the Adventure Park.

Why?  Because Great Wolf was so much more than a hotel with a water park.  A list of all the attractions and logistics about the resort are located here.

Here are seven tips for you to make your visit to Great Wolf Lodge enjoyable for the whole family.

Tip #1Avoid Peak Check-in Hours

Check in is at 4:00 pm, but the water park is open at 1:00 pm for the guests checking in for the night. Therefore, the line is down the hall at 1:00.

Again at 4:00 pm you will find a lengthy line, so my suggestion is to check in to the water park between 2:30 and 3:00 or into your hotel room after 7:00 pm.

Tip #2Take Advantage of all the Free Activities
Great Wolf Lodge

(photo by Preston Mack / Great Wolf Lodge)

Our favorite free activity for sure was Wiley’s Waterpark, but Great Wolf Lodge also offers other free activities throughout the day.  You can do yoga in the morning, make crafts, decorate your ears that you receive when you check in, listen to stories, play games.

Tip #3Make use of the fridge, microwave, and storage cupboards for meals

While staying the night at Great Wolf is definitely a splurge for our family, they do make it possible for you to feel at home. They provide a mini fridge and microwavein each suite.  Stock the fridge and eat for less.

Tip #4But First, Coffee

Great Wolf LodgeThe coffee available in the different restaurants was not my favorite, and the line for Dunkin’ Donuts was incredibly long–as in down-the-hall long. There is small coffeemaker in the suites, but I suggest having a coffee plan.

Tip #5 Go Bowling

Great Wolf LodgeTen Paw Alley was my favorite activity of the entire weekend. It’s mini bowling so the balls are five pounds and approximately the size of a shotput. You play 10 frames for up to six players at a time. And I just want to point out to everyone that I won!!! I SMOKED my husband! Our whole family had fun bowling together.

Great Wolf Lodge

Mom WINS!!! Gotta document this for the whole world to see. That’s really me at the TOP!!!!

Tip #6Enjoy the enormous wood burning fireplace

Great Wolf LodgeSaturday morning, I–and two of my kiddos–woke up really early (I think we were too excited to fall back asleep), so I sauntered into the lobby where I found a rocking chair in front of the gargantuan fireplace. They came over immediately and added logs to the fire and I relaxed for an hour while my kids explored the Adventure park in their pajamas.  It was absolutely my most favorite part of the weekend.

Tip #7Let your kids be the experts and play MagiQuest.
  • Great Wolf LodgeMagiQuest Pixies
  • Great Wolf LodgeMagiQuest Portal
  • Great Wolf LodgeMagiQuest--Battling the Dragon

Okay, this game is incredibly active.  MagiQuest caused our whole family to fall asleep hard after walking probably 50,000 steps in one day.  Up and down we went going from portal to portal.

There are lot of things to remember about MagiQuest, and it is on the pricey side. However, I believe of everything you can spend your money on, this is worth the cost.

To play, you need a wand and a wand topper.

For the weekend, we had three quests to complete: Rescue the Pixies, Defeat the Goblin King, and Defeat the Dragon.  Each quest has a series of actions you need to take including (but not limited to) collecting money, collecting objects, finding paintings, etc.  Now what is going to cause your head to spin is the number of things your children will wave their wand at and you will have no idea why. Their are physical objects to find, virtual objects to find, treasure chests to open, stars to collect, portals to discover, paintings to locate, and more.  It’s the “and more” keep you shaking your head.

Let me give you a quick rundown of how the game works.  In fact, here is a chart.

Quest: Rescue the Pixies
Step 1:

Obtain 3 runes.  To obtain the 3 runes, you must collect certain items.  (these examples are not accurate, just a representation)

  Rune 1 Rune 2Rune 3
Collect Blue Crystal

Collect White Crystal

Collect Red Crystal

Collect Purple Crystal

Collect Green Crystal

Collect 1000 gold coins

Collect the tanglebranch

Collect the brooch

Collect the crown

Collect moss

Collect 5 stars
Step 2:  

Rescue the Pixies (at the Pixie and Princess Station)



It is a huge guarantee that you will wonder around not knowing what you are doing.  In fact, it will take you most of a weekend to figure it out, BUT it will be loved by your whole family.

Budget Friendly Tips for Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is definitely a splurge, but with a little planning and budgeting, it can be a great memory-maker and not ruin your financially.  Here are my top three tips to help your budget.

  1. Take advantage of the Park Passes.
    Great Wolf Lodge

    The different paw passes available

    Great Wolf Lodge

  2. Spend most of your time in Wiley’s Waterpark

    Great Wolf Lodge

    (photo by Preston Mack / Great Wolf Lodge)

  3. Bring your own food.

And there you have it folks.  I’m excited to have this resort in the Twin Cities since I’m a huge fan of Jellystone, and since Great Wolf owns Jellystone, we felt right at home.

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Great Wolf Lodge

Published January 9, 2018.


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