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5 Reasons to Celebrate a Birthday at the Great Wolf Lodge

This year for her eleventh birthday, Hannah requested to go somewhere special with a friend, much like we did on our weekend in NYC two years ago. While I was really happy to see her value experiences above things and not request a cell phone or some other expensive gadget; we were then faced with the conundrum of where to go. We’ve done New York many times and she felt Boston was “too familiar” — so what could we do? I considered going back to the John Carver Inn for some spa and pool time, but then I thought of the Great Wolf Lodge New England.

I checked Groupon since they often have deals on the Great Wolf Lodge and sure enough, we were in luck. If we went mid-week I could afford to rent a Kid’s Cabin suite, which sleeps up to six people, making for an awesome Great Wolf Lodge birthday party for Hannah and four friends. Great Wolf’s online price was about the same, but Groupon included a $75.00 food voucher so the deal was sealed and the plans were laid. I’m not sure I could have picked a better choice for a tween birthday party. If you have ever considered a Great Wolf Lodge birthday, here are five reasons why you should.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

Getting ready for a fun time at the Great Wolf Lodge New England

5 Reasons to have a Great Wolf Lodge Birthday Party

1. Birthday ears. Your little wolf pup will get special wolf ears with a little birthday hat, making them feel special throughout their stay. Plus, the rest of the wolf pack gets ears too.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

My birthday wolf pup

2. Unlimited ice cream. Not only does the birthday kid get special ears, they also get a birthday wristband, entitling them to free, unlimited ice cream at the Bear Paw Sweets and Treats ice cream shop.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

Getting unlimited ice cream for the birthday girl

3. Special treatment. The nice thing about wearing birthday ears around the resort is that everyone on the staff knows you are celebrating a special birthday. Hannah was greeted by “Happy Birthday” throughout our 24 hour stay from so many staff members. Even in the waterpark she was recognized by the staff by her birthday wristband. And to top it off, without prompting, the team at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill treated her to a free birthday treat (some “dirt” chocolate mousse with gummy worms) and a very special serenade.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more. -- Kids Cabin Suites for the whole wolf pack

Our Kid’s Cabin Suite

4. Kids Cabin suites. Theme rooms may not do much for adults but the tweens in our group thought it was pretty cool. In addition to the lodge-like decor, which spruced up an otherwise unremarkable hotel room, they feature a private space just for kids — a true kid’s cabin. In addition to a queen size bed and a pull-out love seat that sleeps one (in this case me), the kid’s cabin is a walled off space within the room, designed to look like a log cabin, hosting bunk beds and a twin bed, with their very own TV. This room setup gave the girls a chance to have their own space to hang out and chat in private, without having to get a separate adjoining room, something I don’t yet feel comfortable with at this age.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

The Howling Tornado from the outside

Great Wolf Lodge waterpark

The Great Wolf Lodge New England waterpark

5. Unlimited entertainment. Included in every stay at the Great Wolf Lodge is entrance to their massive waterpark. At Great Wolf Lodge New England, the waterparks are divided into two separate areas, connected by a hallway. This makes it a little tough to keep track of a big crowd, especially as my less adventurous pups were hanging out at the Crooked Creek lazy river and Alberta Falls waterslides, while the more courageous were on the other side racing down the Howlin’ Tornado and River Canyon Run. Luckily they were soon all enjoying everything the waterpark had to offer — again and again and again.

While the girls could have stayed at the waterpark all day and night, especially since there is a snack bar inside the waterpark, they did have to come out eventually to explore the rest of the resort. Also included for guests is access to the Howler’s Peak ropes course in the Howling Timbers Play Park. Unlike our ropes adventure at Ramblewild, Howler’s Peak is a bit more of a free-for-all with kids going every which direction across ropes, bridges and other obstacles.

Howler's Peak Ropes course at the Great Wolf Lodge New England

Enjoying the Howler’s Peak ropes course

Of course the fun doesn’t stop there. If you are willing to spend a little extra, there are manicures and pedicures at Scoops, the kid spa, mini golf, a four-lane bowling alley, the Northern Lights arcade, a Mission Impossible-like laser maze called Lazer Frenzy, a 4D theater, and, of course, MagicQuest.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

Howlin’ Timbers Play Park, Northern Lights Arcade, Forest Friends show

If you haven’t been to a Great Wolf Lodge before, MagicQuest is their signature game, an electronically-enhanced scavenger hunt that sends kids on a series of quests throughout the resort to find runes and rewards to become a Master Magi. You’ll need to purchase a reusable wand plus pay to activate the game, but the good news is that your partygoers can play as a team, which actually makes it more fun.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

Playing MagicQuest

The best thing about a Great Wolf Lodge birthday party is the time spent together. Like my daughter said, experiencing something together brings people closer. Seeing the smiles on these girls’ faces was the best reason of all.

5 Reasons to host your tween's birthday party at the Great Wolf Lodge -- free unlimited ice cream, special birthday wolf ears and so much more.

They all had a howling good time!

Be sure to check out this ultimate list of Great Wolf Lodge tips for families!

See Inside the Great Wolf Lodge New England

I guess I need to start thinking about what to do for birthday number twelve. Any suggestions?

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5 Reasons to celebrate a birthday at the Great Wolf Lodge -- unlimited ice cream, special wolf ears and so much more.

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19 Comments on “5 Reasons to Celebrate a Birthday at the Great Wolf Lodge

  1. Tamara, Hannah must be so happy (and appreciate:) you organized such an exciting birthday for her! I can’t imagine how you kept track of everyone! no down time for you I am sure but lots of great memories. The only downside- it will be hard to beat this one (next year). Now you MUST take them to Rome:)

      It was definitely a lot of work but she loved it so worthwhile! You are right, it sets a high bar!

    My daughter also turned 11 this year and she wanted to same thing for her birthday, time with her friends. This lodge is definitely a fantastic place to entertain 5 tween girls! Looks like a very memorable time for them all. I’ll have to check it out when we come back to NYC, one day.

    My almost 6-year-old daughter wants a water party birthday party this year. I can only imagine how much fun she would have at the Great Wolf Lodge. Great post!

      Thanks Katie, it was a real treat!

    Great Wolf Lodge does sound like a great place to have a birthday party! I had no idea the birthday child gets wolf ears, what a cool idea to let everyone know it’s someone’s birthday!

    this place looks great! we have one not too far away from us (just south of Seattle) and i plan on taking the boys soon!

    What a truly awesome concept for kid’s parties. I had absolutely no clue that something like this existed. Kids, suites! Who would have thought!

      Right? They loved it. Genius marketing.

    That’s sounds like an awesome birthday party! My son turns 11 next year, he would so many things about this place!

      It was great and a fantasy land for kids!

    Cute! I didn’t know Disney did that but something to keep in mind.

    looks like such a great experience. how cool is it that she’s already learned to value experiences over things!

    What kid wouldn’t want a birthday party here?!
    I am in the same boat as Esther too – you’re creating life long memories!

      It makes me so happy to provide her with experiences that she will remember always.

    This video happened to be playing when my 7 year old was home. He loved it! Made me replay it for him at least 3 times. Any guesses on where we went this summer for his 8th birthday? It was great! This post really inspired us and gave us some insider skinny that help us navigate the park. We even got the same suite. We all had a great time, even our snarky tween had a blast. GWL, really does make a birthday kid feel great. Thanks so much for this wonderful post.

      That’s so great to hear Michelle!! I’m glad to hear your son had a great time — and happy belated birthday to him!

    Great idea. My DD is turning 11 soon. However, her little sister would be upset if she didn’t get to go, and DD11 would be upset if she came!

      Maybe the family suite and the little sis brings a friend too? That’s a tough one!

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