We don’t do the big birthday party every year for our girls where we invite all our friends. On those “off” years, we find other ways to celebrate. Since both girls’ birthdays are in March as well as our anniversary, we usually find something fun to do together as a family. It can be a short trip or something we don’t normally do in town. Last year, we went to Sea World in San Antonio. We have also taken Hannah to have lunch at the American Girl Store in Dallas and to the Disney on Ice Show that happened to be coming through.
This year, we booked three nights at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. We drive by it all of the time to go to the mall (it is only about 25 minutes from our house) but we had never been inside. (Since our main focus of the trip was the water park, I didn’t take my nice camera. Please excuse the blurry iPhone pictures!)
We had a blast! We were very impressed with the resort. Their level of service is equal to the service of the Disney Resorts. The theming was fun, too! Chet booked us a Kid Cabin. Our room was a standard room except that one wall was made to look like the entrance to a log cabin. Inside was a set of bunk beds as well as another twin and had a small TV mounted to the wall. The girls loved it!
Other than eating and sleeping, we spent our time doing two things at the Lodge. The first was playing MagiQuest. Hannah loves the interactive games like Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom and Agent P in Walt Disney World so we knew this would be right up her alley.
Hannah ran around the resort making trees talk, helping the pixies (which Olivia promptly named Tinker Bell), finding treasures, and enchanting objects. Olivia figured out the game by time our stay was finished and would run up to the crystals, exclaiming, “I found it!”
The rest of our time was spent in the indoor water park. Even Cousin Maddie got to come play for one evening! The water park was a blast! There is one area that is perfect for our girls’ ages. The water is only about 18 inches deep. I felt comfortable enough to let Hannah run around and play with Maddie and her new friends in that area as long as she could always see us and we could see her. The bright, neon swimsuit made her easy to spot!
Olivia wasn’t so sure about the water. Each trip to the water park, she would ease herself back in taking a few steps then running back out. But, she loved splashing! She was also concerned every time the 1,000 gallon bucket would tip over spilling the water below over at the treehouse. Each time, she would cover her mouth and exclaim, “A mess!”
With the ages of our girls, we didn’t make it to the big slides and even the four story tree house was too intense but I am sure we will as they get older. This was definitely the time of year and time of the week to go. It was a little crowded when we arrived on Sunday, but by Monday afternoon, it had cleared out. I can’t imagine going during the Summer peak season.
Eating out is never easy for our family. I knew there were plenty of safe gluten free options near the Great Wolf Lodge but sometimes when you are on vacation, it is nice to not have to jump in the car. Since I forgot to pack diapers (and their store only carries them in packs of two and in only one size), we ate only once outside the resort.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the chef came to talk to us about our dietary needs at the Loose Moose Café. They had gluten free buns to make us a burger, the girls a grilled cheese, and made us fries in a dedicated fryer. The Hungry Wolf also had gluten free pizza that we could take in with us to the water park. The buns were some of the best gluten free buns we have ever had. They are made by a company called Local Oven and are based in the area. We are planning to find where they sell them nearby! The pizza was not that great but it made the evening easier by not having to leave the water park. We always bring our breakfast to eat in the room.
You know you are having a great time when your children are worn out, asking to go to bed! We will definitely go back when the girls are a little older!