Guide to Visiting Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos with Kids: Indoor Water Park and More Fun

Great Wolf's indoor water park draws kids of all ages to its slides and recent renovations mean its added seven new slides to its collection..
Great Wolf's indoor water park draws kids of all ages to its slides and recent renovations mean its added seven new slides to its collection..
8/24/23 - By Gina Massaro

Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos is a perfect, easy weekend getaway for families from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. With a brand-new 40,000-square-foot water park expansion and tons of interactive all-ages fun, it's sure to draw tri-state area families for years to come.

We recently revisited this longtime family retreat, and we were reminded why Great Wolf Lodge Poconos is one of our top Poconos resorts for families. If you're headed there, find more fun nearby on our list of 70 things to do in the Poconos and our Poconos Family Travel Guide.


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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos Water Park

The huge—and simply fantastic—indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge caters to all ages. There are water slides that range from 1-foot-long slides for toddlers to the Double-Barrel Drop for those 48 inches and taller. You can ride down the lazy river on an inner tube or sit in the hot tub (there is a family-friendly one and an adult-only one). There's an activity pool with floating islands that you can play on or even hop across from one side of the pool to the other with the help of a rope.

Enjoy old favorites, like Fort Mackenzie—a four-story water tree house with water guns, pullies, plenty of slides, and jumbo tipping buckets—alongside brand-new attractions. We loved Slidewinder, a two-person raft ride that takes riders on a wild half-pipe journey before a big-time plummet.

Like Slidewinder, Mountain Edge Raceway is another thrilling addition. The mat slide lets competitive families battle it out in a race to the bottom. The addition also introduced a longtime Great Wolf Lodge favorite, Wolf Tail, to the Poconos resort. Brave big kids—and parents—can step into the capsule for a 20-foot-free fall to splash down in the pool.

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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos: Kids play at water table
There are plenty of water attractions for little ones at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos.

Little ones aren't left out either with the Whooping Hollow and Cub Paw Pool making perfect splash play areas for babies and toddlers who can explore water and movement, with water wheels and other spinning structures. The kiddie pool also has toddler-sized slides, including a side-by-side slide for parents to go down alongside their little ones.

During the warmer months, families will flock to Raccoon Lagoon, Great Wolf Lodge's outdoor pool, which comes complete with cabanas, lounge chairs, and a new hot tub. Little ones can enjoy the spraying water features for extra fun.

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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos: Playing MagiQuest
Kids go on an interactive adventure during a visit to MagiQuest, one of many activities for kids at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos.

Great Wolf Lodge's Top Activities for Families

Beyond the water park, there are tons more kid-pleasing activities at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos. Many of these attractions are indoor activities, so no matter the weather, there is something fun happening. Some of the activities require an extra fee, but Great Wolf Lodge bundles its most popular attractions by offering special passes to save families money. These are known as Pup Pass, Paw Pass, and Wolf Pass. Each one provides children with a variety of activities. Some of our favorites are detailed below.


Build your wand, collect treasure, battle a fierce dragon, and shake your booty to the disco pinecone during your MagiQuest adventure. Recently updated, there are now more interactive features and a streamlined experience.

Howl at the Moon Glow Golf

This blacklight, nine-hole mini-golf course is nature-themed, with frogs, trees, and hungry bears decorating the course.

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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos: Ten Paw Alley
The mini bowling alley at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos makes it easier for little ones to score big.

Ten Paw Alley

Smaller balls and shorter lanes make this bowling experience more little-kid-friendly.

Howler's Peak Ropes Course

Kids of all sizes can tackle this outdoor ropes course. Those over 48-inches can slide into a harness to traverse the ropes course from above, while little ones can explore the ground-floor course with an adult. This attraction isn't included in the passes and requires an extra fee.

Moonstone Mine Mirror Maze and Oliver's Mining Co.

Kids can become a prospector at Oliver's Mining Co. Pro-tip: Opt to purchase a family-sized bag, which contains both fossils and gems; it may yield bigger gems. While you're there, save time for the mirror maze.

More Fun Perks at Great Wolf Lodge

During your stay at Great Wolf Lodge, you'll find year-long activities like Yoga Tails for kids to follow along with on your TV. There are dance parties and character appearances, as well as seasonal events. In the fall, kids can trick-or-treat around the resort and an annual summer camp-in event brings the joy of camping inside—all the resort's creature comforts are included!

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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos: Fireside's Smokehouse Burger and fries
Visit the Fireside restaurant for a family-friendly sit-down meal that elevates the typical campfire eats. 

Family-Friendly Restaurants at Great Wolf Lodge Dining

There's no shortage of family-friendly eateries at Great Wolf Lodge, including some new options. Outpost is an indoor/outdoor restaurant in the new area of the water park and poolside at Racoon Lagoon. You'll also find quick eats, snacks, and beverages for kids and adults at water park outposts Buckets and The Watering Hole.

Fireside is a new sit-down restaurant with a menu featuring upscale camping eats. Start your meal with pull-apart garlic bread before eating one of its specialty dishes, like the Smokehouse Burger or NY Strip. Kids' menu items are generous and options include macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, grilled chicken, and more.

Timbers Tables and Kitchen transforms from a breakfast buffet by morning to a Mexican-inspired sit-down dinner spot. For grab-and-go fare, opt for Freshwoods Market with its sandwiches and chips, while Hungry As A Wolf serves kid-pleasing, pasta, and salads.

We loved the handy scan-in-advance Dunkin' Donuts QR code in our room that made early morning coffee runs a breeze, and it's hard to pass up a sweet treat at day's end from Wood's End Creamery.

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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos: Accommodations
Kids always love the curated accommodations made just for them at Great Wolf Lodge. 

Accommodations at Great Wolf Lodge

There are multiple room options available, from standard suites to themed rooms and soon, three-bedroom villas. Standard suites include two queen beds, a sofa, and mini-fridge. The Mountain Towers have kid cabin suits and wolf den suites with fun bunk beds for the kids. Opening in the fall, the Woodside Villas are a great alternative to an Airbnb, combining resort amenities with three-bedroom, two-bathroom suites that have full-sized kitchens, and a large patio complete with barbecue grills.

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Great Wolf Lodge Poconos: Build-a-Bear Workshop
Make a new friend at the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos.

Great Wolf Lodge Shopping

The on-site Build-A-Bear has Great Wolf Lodge exclusive characters as well as bears, and the experience is included in both the Paw and Wolf passes, though you'll pay extra to dress your new furry friend. An adjacent gift shop carries candy, as well as shirts, toys, and other souvenirs. You'll find gift shops at MagiQuest and Moonstone Mine, too, plus Paddle Bay Outfitters sells water necessities, including towels and swimsuits, right inside the water park.

Tips for a Family Visit to Great Wolf Lodge

  • Check-in is at 4pm, and check-out is at 11am, but your stay includes water park access from open to close both days. Rent a locker to store your clothes and belongings, and use the swimsuit dryer in the bathrooms located near Outpost Bar and Grill.
  • If your kids want to enjoy all the extra activities, look into buying a Pup, Paw, or Wolf Pass. These passes allow access to top attractions at a discount.
  • A select number of day passes are available for purchase if you want to visit the water park without staying over. Purchase in advance because they sell out during peak times.
  • While an action-packed stay can add up, Great Wolf Lodge offers frequent specials and discounts for guests.

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Photos courtesy of the resort except where noted. Originally published in 2019. Michelle Vames contributed additional reporting.

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