"A family Review of Great Wolf Lodge" and a parent and baby seated on a wooden Great Wolf Lodge bear in Sandusky

Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky is near Lake Erie by Cedar Point. It is a must-do if you are visiting northern Ohio or (like us) Ohio residents craving warmth in the winter. A weekend at this warm indoor water park is a perfect vacation getaway for those who live in Toledo or Cleveland, Ohio.

Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky Ohio with a baby 

Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky, Ohio

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky is a fantastic family-friendly resort that packs every square foot with fun. The kind staff made us smile from check-in through checkout. Unfortunately, there are major drawbacks at Great Wolf Lodge, like the food and the noise. Overall, Great Wolf Lodge for toddlers did not disappoint.

baby wolf ears great wolf lodge sandusky ohio review

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Check-in

While check-in to the family suites occurs at 4 PM, access to the Sandusky water park is as early as 1 PM. We checked in to Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky at 2 PM on a Thursday. The drive towards the lake is peaceful. The front desk clerk was incredibly friendly, chipper, and wore wolf ears. Furthermore, she offered us wolf ears! What’s not to love?

mom dad smiling baby cub wolf ears great wolf lodge sandusky ohio

After early check-in, our room was ready. If the resort is empty, the front desk may give you the option of which level you would like. However, we did check in early. We chose the fourth floor because it is the furthest away from the commotion and ideal for little wolf pups who still take naps.

The front desk gave each party member a band for the water park and explained how to charge items to the room. Now that we secured our Great Wolf Lodge accommodations, our little wolf cub was ready to splash!

Accommodations at this Ohio Indoor Water Park

Our suite had two double beds, a fold-out sofa, and an outdoor balcony. The room was not up to my standards for hotel cleanliness, with dust bunnies under the bed and a misplaced toy from a prior guest. The bathroom was clean, but the wallpaper in the corners was peeling. It seems like some renovations may be due.

Walking into the room, there was a mini-fridge and sink area to the left. The mini bar area also had snacks. Great Wolf Lodge provided coffee, a coffee maker, and small bites. The nearby closet was large enough to stash suitcases and coats.

The room was wide open but had a half-wall divider between two double beds and the fold-out sofa. We could easily fit in this room between the three sleeping surfaces. A large television was in front of the couch- a perfect retreat for my children to have some space after a long family-filled day.

dad baby smiling great wolf lodge review sandusky swimsuit water park

The Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Water Park

Our trip to Great Wolf Lodge with a baby was in the middle of Ohio. Being an Ohio attraction, the outdoor water play and pools are closed and inaccessible.

In the winter, the following indoor areas are available:

  • Soakin’ Oak Springs:  A perfect baby and small toddler playland. There is a little slide, water spouts, and a slightly deeper but relatively shallow area.
  • Fort Mackenzie:  Climb this water-themed treehouse. Ride down the Totem Tower water slides– three-story water slides with a gentle slope, twists, and a dip into the landing pool.
  • Whooping Hollow: A play pool for children under 52 inches with smaller water slides.
  • Caribou Creek:  Lazy River with one and two-person rafts.
  • Big Foot Pass: This was a kiddie water obstacle course. There was a cargo net above giant floating lily pads that were surprisingly hard to cross.
  • Chinook Cove: Here, you can play water basketball in the pool or hop on various pool floats
  • Alberta Falls: A thrilling, four-story raft water slide with whipping turns with a slide track that takes you outside and back inside. Also, you can choose between one and two-person rafts for a family experience.
  • Manitoba Tubs:  These hot tubs are for the whole family: a giant family jacuzzi and a smaller one on the upper level. The upper-level staircase had a sign pointing to the tub that said, “Adults Only Past This Point.” However, there were small children in each of the unenforced spa baths.

Best Waterslides at Great Wolf Lodge for Baby

The best water slide at the Sandusky water park for babies was Soakin Oak Springs which she loved and could play with other tiny tots. I could lay on a raft on the Caribou Creek lazy river and hold my baby on my tummy.

We wandered through Fort Mackenzie (except the slide) and Whooping Hollow. At Fort Mackenzie, children are pretty boisterous, and it gets a little wild inside. We have two older children and expect that kids want to have a great time and burn energy at a water park. Whopping Hollow is a bit calmer. While obviously, the water slides are too big for a baby, this is optimal for smaller children.

Great Wolf Lodge Activities and Entertainment

Upon check-in to Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, we were given an activity schedule for the weekend. If you are attending during a seasonal festival, the schedule may change. For instance, Halloween features a trick-or-treat ‘trail’, and the winter holidays have holiday flair.

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Activity Guide
During the day, most kids are in the water park. However, “Yoga Tails” is a yoga event for small children on weekend mornings. The clock tower show occurs twice during the day. There is a wolf walk on the property, a craft project, and face painting in the cub club.

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Review Ohio, Great wolf kids

The evenings are full of fun for children. We were able to meet the Great Wolf Lodge Kids in the lobby. In the evening, there is game time, a dancing selfie-taking PJ party called a “Jammie Jamboree,” a dedicated storytime, and even a dance party called Hustle & Howl.

The Great Clock Tower show is offered twice in the evening and was a half-hour each time. It was entertaining for preschool-aged children.

Dining Options at Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky

Luckily, there are several restaurants at the resort for hungry little folks. The food is nothing special and basic. For starters, a poolside counter-service restaurant called Buckets Incredible Craveables serves salads, burgers, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. If you’re thirsty, they also have buckets of beer and cocktails.

The lobby floor features a couple of dining options. The sit-down restaurant is Gitchigoomie Grill, and is open all day long for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the lobby, there is a Dunkin Donuts with limited hours.

A Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, Ohio Gitchigoomie Grill gluten-free menu review

Across from the grill are two quick-service eateries that share space: Bear Paw Sweet & Eats and Hungry as a Wolf.

  • Bear Paw Sweet & Eats features baked goods like cupcakes, pastries, or fudge. If you’re looking for refreshing desserts, there are chocolate-covered strawberries, caramel apples, ice cream, and Dippin Dots.
  • Hungry as a Wolf provided dinner to pick up for the room (including children’s meals). Meal options include salads, pizzas, chicken wings, burgers, and chicken tenders.

I recommend buying premade food at Meijer across the street to save money. Some prepared food items and breakfast sandwiches will also buy you more time in the Ohio waterpark. I recommend stocking up on snacks in your room to stave off hunger.

mom baby smiling Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky

Checkout at Sandusky’s Ohio Water Park Resort

Checkout at the Great Wolf Lodge is 11 AM. However, guests can access the water park until it closes in the evening. Because the water park typically closes at 9 PM, paying more for a late checkout is worthwhile. Once upon a time, they offered a deal to check out early, including a free pizza!

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Last Day

After snagging some Dunkin Donuts coffee and breakfast and riding on the water slide, it was time to leave the Great Wolf Lodge Ohio water park resort. We can’t wait for our next trip to Great Wolf Lodge and will bring the entire family back for a long weekend or spring break destination.

Are there discounts for Great Wolf Lodge?

The Great Wolf Lodge water park day pass admission lets you stay at a cheaper resort and still revel in Sandusky, Ohio’s most family-friendly indoor water park. There are Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Groupon deals with getaways that are reasonably priced. However, it’s important to remember that Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky also has a $29.99 daily resort fee.

Does Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky have cabanas?

Yes, but only in the summer. Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky offers outdoor cabanas for an extra charge. Cabanas offer a location reserved just for your family with beverages, towels, and other smart amenities. You can get four bottles of water, four towels, and a deck of playing cards. Some cabanas offer a TV, mini-fridge, and server.

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