Looking for a last minute family getaway during winter break this week? A short drive from Baristaville through the Delaware Water Gap and into the Pocono Mountains sits a small patch of paradise–Great Wolf Lodge. This mythical place I had heard existed, but I never truly believed it. Like all claims of paradise found, the promise usually hovers on the horizon until upon finally reaching it you discover the vision was merely a mirage.
Last weekend I became a believer. As winter temperatures dropped into the 20’s and snow piled up along the mid Atlantic coast, I pulled on my bathing suit, slipped into an inner-tube and rode the routinely rolling waves in the controlled balmy weather.
Calling the Great Wolf Lodge paradise to children might be an understatement. Here, they were able to run through the halls until 11 pm when hibernation hours started, dine while watching Sponge Bob in the hotel restaurant, eat smiley fries and endless ice cream sundaes for dinner, and bunk in a semi-private room within a room. We had reserved the Wolf Den for our stay, which was one room option that came with a kid-sized nook carved out and formed into, well, a wolf den.
None of these treats, though, were the real reason we came. My kids, as well as the sea of other pint-size people, descended on the Lodge that winter weekend for warm water fun. These kids took over the attached indoor water park. Some splashed in the wave pool as others spun through spiral water tunnels overhead. The older and braver among them climbed abroad a speeding water coaster while toddlers zipped down baby water slides.
If all the fun is too much for the parents, Grizzly Rob’s sits at the far end of the contained park where adults can order adult beverages and where my kids found me hours later when they were on the verge of collapse and begged to go back to the room.
In the morning when it was time to shed our swim suits for boots and down jackets, I watched my exuberant 7-year-old son sink into depression. By check-out he was desperate. He almost refused to leave until I bought stuffed wolves for everyone and promised to return for every family vacation until he turns 18.
Great Wolf Lodge
1 Great Wolf Drive