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A Mom’s Guide to Great Wolf Lodge with Toddlers

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A real mom’s guide to the Great Wolf Lodge with toddlers (from a mom of three). If you are looking to go to the Great Wolf Lodge with your toddler, this post can help!

Considering going to the Great Wolf Lodge with your older kids and leaving your toddler at home? Don’t!

We have been to the Great Wolf Lodge twice now with toddlers and are planning a third trip. Although I do think that the Great Wolf Lodge AZ is great for slightly older kids age 5-12, toddlers can have a great time, too! Keep reading to find out all the benefits of going to the Great Wolf Lodge with toddlers.

This post is written based on our experience at the Great Wolf Lodge Arizona, however most of their locations have similar water parks and attractions. Pro tip: always check for discounts before booking!

Inside the Water Park with Toddlers

Although the water park may seem geared towards older kids, there are tons of things your toddler can do inside the water park at the Great Wolf Lodge.

We mostly like to hang out around Cub Paw Pool and make that our home base. We love that they have lounge chairs inside this gated area so that we can sit and watch while our toddlers played semi-independently.

Here are some of our favorite water Great Wolf Lodge park features with toddlers:

  • Cub Paw Pool and Splash Pad: this area is gated! There is a splash pad and shallow walk-in pool with three slides. Parents aren’t allowed to go down these slides, but you can walk your toddler up to the top if they need help. Our kids got great at walking up themselves and having us catch them at the bottom.
  • Talking Stick Treehouse: great for the more adventurous toddler! Interactive water toys and larger slides, plus a gigantic water bucket on top that dumps all its water when its full.
  • Slap Tail Pond Wavepool: with walk-in access, the shallows are a great place for toddlers to splash and enjoy the waves.
  • Crooked Creek Lazy River: ride on tubes and float around the lazy river.
Boy on water slide at Great Wolf Lodge AZ

Are there Life Jackets Available for Use?

Yes, there are life jackets and water wings (puddle-jumper style) available for use. They are free and are first come, first serve, but based on our experience there were a ton available.

Is there a Place to Eat Inside the Waterpark?

Yes, there are two restaurants and seating available inside the waterpark at the Great Wolf Lodge, including high chairs.

Are there Life Guards on Duty at the Great Wolf Lodge?

Yes, there are life guards on duty and they do a great job to stay attentive and make sure everyone is safe. There is normally one life guard per water feature, including the toddler area Cub Paw Pool.

Is there Alcohol at the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark?

Yes, if that is your thing there is a full-service bar inside the waterpark at the Great Wolf Lodge. If you are like me and excited about relaxing with a margarita, you will be happy to know it is right next to the gated Cub Paw Pool play area.

Great Wolf Lodge Activities for Toddlers

Besides the water park, there are also a ton of other activities and attractions that your toddler will enjoy at the Great Wolf Lodge. My kids’ favorites were Build-a-Bear and story time, but here is a full list (non-bolded activities do cost extra):

  • Northwoods Friends Show
  • Story Time
  • Dance Party
  • Kids Yoga
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Build-A-Bear
  • Mini Golf
  • Climbing Wall
  • Bowling
  • Arcade
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
  • Candy store
  • Gift Shop
boys at great wolf lodge az

Toddlers will also love just walking around the lodge and seeing everything that is going on around them. It seems like there is always something going on!

There are attractions for older kids like MagiQuest and the ropes course that are fun to watch, even if you toddler can’t really participate. My boys love watching the climbers on the ropes course and keep talking about how excited they are to do it themselves one day.

For a full list of attractions, check out my full review post of the Great Wolf Lodge Arizona.

Pro tip: always check for discounts before booking!

Toddler-Friendly Restaurants at the Great Wolf Lodge Arizona

One of my favorite parts about the Great Wolf Lodge (besides all the fun activities and water park) is that there are multiple restaurants on-site, and most of them are toddler-friendly!

The best restaurants for toddlers are Hungry as a Wolf pizza, Buckets hamburgers, and Campfire Kitchen breakfast. All of the restaurants are family-friendly so you could definitely book a reservation for Barnwood or grab a bite to eat at Timber’s tacos (my personal favorite!), Ben & Jerry’s, or Dunkin’ Donuts.

Boys at odysea aquarium

Things to Do Around the Great Wolf Lodge with Toddlers

If you do want to leave the lodge (although you definitely won’t need to!), the area surrounding the lodge has lots of other activities your toddler may enjoy. I actually grew up in the area and it’s amazing how many things have been built there recently that cater to families.

Two of my personal favorites that your toddler will love are the OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland. These are just a quick drive from the Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale and could easily take up half a day.

A little farther away (just a 10 minute drive) is the McCormick Railroad Park. There are multiple playgrounds to play on, fields to roam, a carousel, and of course a real motorized train ride! The carousel and train do require tickets at a small cost, but the park itself is free to visit.

Pin image great wolf lodge with toddlers

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