2 bathing suits per person.  There’s no fast way to dry a bathing suit and no one likes to put on a wet one.  Bring 2 so you can always have a dry suit handy.  FYI, there’s no drying rack in the room.  I’ll probably add one to my packing list for our next trip.  Also, forget mascara.  Save the room in your bag for hair product so you don’t look like a poodle in the couple pictures you manage to get in.

Put away your phone.  Not to get all preachy here, but whatever’s going on on Facebook, or your current level of Candy Crush can’t possibly be as entertaining as watching your kids have this much fun.  Even better, join in!  I’m not saying to leave your phone at home, just leave it in the room sometimes, and have your kids do the same.  You’ll never get these moments back.

Shower after using the pool.  And have your kids shower, too.  If you’re like me you grew up using a lake, river, pool, etc. as a daily activity/bath, and we tried to do that, too.  Whatever the new chlorine solution is is nice because it doesn’t have that overwhelming bleach-like smell, but it’s very irritating to sensitive skin.

Be prepared for your kids to forget every good manner they’ve ever learned.  We’re big on manners in our house.  Miss O says “please” and “thank you”, “may I be excused,” and all that good stuff.  Until we got to Great Wolf.  I don’t know if it’s something in the air, or in the water, or just the ridiculous levels of stimulation, but I heard more rude things come out of my child’s mouth on our 2-night stay than I think I ever have.  There are really 2 choices; Correct them endlessly, or let it go.  I promise that I will not judge you if your child is a demanding brat when I see you in the arcade – I will assume it’s just the Great Wolf effect.

Your children are your responsibility.  Yes, there are lifeguards.  Yes, they are very vigilant.  Even in the 6″ kiddie pool the lifeguards scan every inch of pool, but at the end of the day, your kids are ultimately your responsibility.

Have you ever been to a Great Wolf Lodge?  Share your tips in the comments.

Real Family Tips GWL