If you are looking for the perfect family-friendly day trip or short weekend vacation near Boston, then the Great Wolf Lodge in Massachusetts is the place for you. Only an hour from Boston, this perfect laid-back family vacation destination is great from tots to teens.
You’ll find plenty of great kid-friendly activities in Boston, but the Great Wolf Lodge is unique.
Located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, it is very close to the Wachusett ski resort. It is a great place to stay if you want to spend days skiing and the evenings having fun.
Or, you can make Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts your destination since the activities and lodging are all in one place. There is plenty to keep the kids busy, so you never have to leave the premises to join the fun.
Our family has spent many weekends enjoying Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts, and it is always a huge hit! If you’re ready to plan your next trip, here’s everything you need to know about it in my Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts review.
And, while this review highlights the New England location, many of the Great Wolf Lodge Frequently Asked Questions at the end can be helpful for any Great Wolf Lodge vacation.
This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase using this link. See my disclaimer.
About Great Wolf Lodge Family Resort
The Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor waterpark resort focused on fun vacations for the whole family. The one in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, is one of 17 lodges all across the United States.
But their family activities don’t end with just waterparks. They have many other innovative, fun activities too.
My kids love the mythical interactive adventure game MagiQuest. And it’s exclusive to the Great Wolf Lodge.
You’ll also find mini-golf, arcade games, a bowling alley, Build a Bear Workshop, a ropes course, and more.
Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts
Sometimes, a mini-vacation is just what you’re looking for. If you decide to make a road trip to the Great Wolf Lodge, you’ll want these great road trip tips for traveling with kids.
Why the Great Wolf Lodge?
We love taking trips to the Great Wolf Lodge for many reasons, but for one, it’s close to home since we live in New England. There’s something for kids of all ages to do which ensures everyone has fun!
It makes for a great weekend getaway, and its resort-style really makes you feel like you are on vacation far away. We have also loved it during school breaks and during the holidays, as they often add thematic events for Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.
And let's not forget birthday celebrations! Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts has birthday packages if you want to really throw your pup a memorable birthday.
Great Wolf Lodge For Families
Every activity and hotel suite was developed with families in mind, and it is suitable for babies up to teens.
The magical interactive adventure game takes kids on a journey reminiscent of Harry Potter’s mystical world, and you can even take pictures with the dragon.
The endless supply of jellybeans in the lobby is enough to make me happy on its own.
Also, there are several places to eat at the resort, including a Dunkin’ Donuts (a New England staple!) and Wood Fire Grill. We love the Wachusett Brew Barn, where the whole family can play games while mom and dad drink local craft brews.
From the wave pool to the signature water slide, the many water activities will keep your family entertained for days. And there is even splash areas for the youngest in your pack.
The comfortable suites all have rustic furniture, and there are premium and themed suites too, where the kids can play in a teepee in the sitting area. The Great Wolf Lodges are the best all-inclusive waterpark resorts in America, so read on to learn why.
What to Do at the Great Wolf Lodge
You’ll find plenty of things to do at the Great Wolf Lodge. In fact, there may be TOO much to do. Here’s a look at all the activities you’ll find to do.
Water Park Events and Activities
The indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge is why most people choose this location for a vacation. It’s made up of several mini-attractions.
It's important to note that Great Wolf Lodge check in time is at 4:00 p.m. on your arrival day. However, you will have access to the waterparks beginning at 1:00 p.m. So, while you wait for your room, you can enjoy the water parks.
Great Wolf Lodge check out time is 11 a.m. However, you are allowed to use the water parks until closing. So, you really can maximize your stay if you take advantage of these perks!
You should include in your Great Wolf Lodge packing list an easy to access day bag with a swimsuit, swim diapers, goggles, swim shoes, etc. and anything you need for the pool so you can enjoy the waterpark on your arrival day.
Fort Mackenzie is a four-story interactive treehouse that is toddler-friendly.
Whooping Hollow has water slides the perfect size for little ones, including toddlers, to join in on the fun.
Cub Paw Pool
The Cub Paw Pool has spray features and other water fun that young children and toddlers will love.
At the very top of the treehouse water fort, you’ll find the Totem Towers, which are water slides safe for toddlers and the rest of the family to sail down.
Tadpole Pond is the Great Wolf Lodge’s outside water area where you can enjoy summer weather outside and beat the heat in the water with the whole family.
Climb four stories for a tandem tube ride down on the Alberta Falls. This water feature is great for every age group except for toddlers.
Slap Tail Pond
Children and teens will love the wave pool called the Slap Tail Pond. The deep end is five feet and travels down to a zero-depth entry.
River Canyon Run
The River Canyon Run is the Great Wolf Lodge’s signature water attraction. Anyone in the family at least 42 inches tall can ride this twisting white water rafting adventure.
The Otter Run at the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts is a water tube slide and fun for children and teens.
If your family is looking for something a little more relaxed, the Crooked Creek is the Lodge’s lazy river. Float along in the gentle current as long as you want to.
Chinook Cove is the activity pool where kids can play basketball in the water or swim. It’s perfect for teens and children.
Diamond Back Drop
This water feature is a unique high-speed four-person raft ride. Ride through coils, curves, and high banks into a funnel where you slosh around from side to side.
Big Foot Pass
Teens and kids will love the Big Foot Pass, a water feature that tests your skills and balance on floating cargo nets and lily pads.
The Howlin’ Tornado is best for teens and adults and not for young children as it’s a giant six-story slide.
Exclusive only to the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts, the Wolf Tail is a thrill slide that will have you gliding through hairpin turns and corkscrews. My husband was brave enough to do this, but I was not!
Before playing in any of the water features, just check the height restrictions for each one.
On Land Activities
Kids can bring the great wolf to life at the Build-a-Bear workshop, where they can watch their cute stuffed animal come to life as it’s filled. They can pick fun costumes and accessories, so their little wolf is unique to them.
Go on a mythical quest in the MagiQuest adventure. You get to choose your magic wand, and special powers, then start your quest.
You can play as little or long as you like in the imaginary Kingdom of Vellara where you help your guardian friends protect the portals in the realm. Make friends with the Treetop Pixies and fight the Goblin King and Charlock, the evil dragon, to become a Master Magi.
Or you can travel to the future to save the kingdom from the corrupt Shadow Lords. Summon help from a spirit totem animal that you bring to life using your magic and then power it with relics. Fight the evil minion army and the head Shadow Lord to save the realm.
The quest also has a Mini Magi model for kids five and under.
Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall
This attraction is a climbing wall for adults and kids 48 inches and taller and provides a climbing challenge for people at all skill levels. The goal is to climb to the summit 21 feet above but don’t worry; the team ensures everyone is safe with a climbing harness and helpful tips.
Ten Paw Alley
Ten Paw Alley is a real bowling alley just mini-sized where the whole family can play, including toddlers. The bowling balls and the lanes are smaller, but the fun is super-sized.
Oliver’s Mining Co.
Oliver’s Mining Co. offers fun outside the water. Find minerals and gemstones as you pan and sift. You can take these home with you in a personalized special keepsake bag that includes labels and a gemstone identification card.
Howlers Peak Ropes Course
This is another attraction unique to the Great Wolf Lodge. It’s an aerial rope course adventure where you’re crossing bridges, balancing on various ropes, and crawling through obstacles. Everyone is protected in a safety harness.
Howlin’ Timbers Play Park
This play park encompasses the mini-golf course, Ten Paw Alley, Howlers Peak Ropes Course, the Frog Hopper amusement ride, and the Spirit Island Snack Shop.
Northern Lights Arcade
Home to the Great Wolf Lodge arcade games, the Northern Lights Arcade has games for everyone and fun prizes too.
This laser game has you ducking and weaving to avoid the laser beams. It’s a maze with one goal – obtain the highest score without getting touched by the lasers.
Howly Wood XD Theater
Immerse yourself in the ultimate 4-D thrill ride because this is an adventure, not any old movie. Strap yourself in for a multi-sensory experience that the whole family will love. It’s best for children and teens, not toddlers or babies.
Refer to the Great Wolf Lodges COVID-19 Paw Pledge Program for more information on the resort’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and closings for the attractions.
Dining at the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts
You certainly won’t go hungry at the Great Wolf Lodge as there are plenty of options for dining for your wolf pack!
Bear Paw Sweets & Eats
Take a break from swimming and playing to indulge in some fresh-baked cupcakes and other pastries. And don’t forget the ice cream. There’s even a healthy element with chocolate-covered strawberries, caramel apples, and fresh fruit.
Buckets Incredible Craveables
If you’re looking for a poolside picnic or close places to eat, you’ll find sandwiches, burgers, salads, and vegetables here. Also, they have the signature Tipping Bucket which is a family-sized dessert layered with cookies, candy, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and brownies.
Hungry as a Wolf
When you’re hungry for something more, take the family to Hungry as a Wolf for pizza, Italian sandwiches, and salads.
Yes, the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts, has everything you need including a Dunkin’ Donuts. Get your favorite donut and a cup of coffee to start your day at the Lodge.
Lodge Wood Grill
Take your family on the new Great Wolf Lodge dining adventure at the Wood Grill. You’ll find juicy steaks, seafood, ribs, and other premium dinner options. Kids can eat their favorite foods like wings and dips or macaroni and cheese. Finish supper off with a fun dessert or tiki-inspired cocktail drink.
Wachusett Brew Barn
Like I mentioned earlier, the Great Wolf Lodge New England even has the perfect spot for adults to enjoy award-winning lagers and ales. You’ll even find games for the whole family as well as farm-to-table appetizers.
Hotel Rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts
The Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts has three types of suites for families to stay in – Standard, Premium, and Themed.
The Standard Suites come as a Deluxe Queen or Double Queen with plenty of room for the whole family. The Deluxe Queen Suite is one of the most popular and comes with two queen-sized beds. There’s also a twin-sized sofa bed.
There are two standard Themed Suites, one the Wolf Pup Den Suite and the other is the Junior Cabin Suite. The Junior Cabin Suite is log cabin-themed, and the Wolf Pup Den Suite is cave-themed.
If you’re looking for more luxurious accommodations, there are premium themed suites as well, including additional ones with private masters or more beds for larger families. These suites include:
- Family KidCabin Suite
- Grand KidCabin Suite
- Grand Royal KidCabin Suite
- KidCabin King Suite
- Wolf Den King Suite
- Royal Wolf Den Suite
- Grizzly Wolf Den Suite
- Bear Cub Suite
Getting to the Great Wolf Lodge Resort
Since the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts is located in the Northern part of the state, it’s easily accessible. Driving times to the Lodge are
- Boston, Massachusetts: 49.3 Miles via MA-2 W/1 hour 14 mins
- New Hampshire: 63.8 Miles via Everett Turnpike/1 hour 24 mins
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Great Wolf Lodge Closed?
The Great Wolf Lodge family of resorts all closed temporarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they are opening back up soon. The Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts is taking reservations starting May 25.
How do I book?
You can book on short or long-term notice. Everything is different with the pandemic, so federal and local guidelines may make booking more difficult. You can book online or call the location directly from the menu. They even have a chat option for questions and booking stays.
How many days do you need at Great Wolf Lodge?
If you have two days to spend, your kids will have a lot of fun and get to do many of the activities. You could stay longer if you want to do everything at the resort. You can certainly enjoy one night at the resort, as you have access to the waterpark as of 1 p.m. on the day of your check-in. But two days is ideal to get more out of the resort.
How much does it cost to stay one night at Great Wolf Lodge?
Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts varies depending on if you book a day pass and the type of room you book. The minimum room cost I found at the time of publishing was $399 a night. But this includes your room, waterpark access, and access to kids activities.
Does Great Wolf Lodge have deals and discounts?
Families can save money by taking advantage of a variety of discount options.
Sometimes, you can find a Great Wolf Lodge MA Groupon deal and save money that way.
Often, booking mid-week can save families 20%.
And right now, through December 31, 2021, Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts is offering a HEROES discount. To access this, check out Great Wolf Lodge and enter the code HEROESA for up to 30% off your stay for military (active, retired and veteran), fire, emergency medical service personnel, doctors, nurses, 911 dispatchers, police, and correctional officers.
Great Wolf Lodge offers additional deals for AAA members, booking your multi-day stay within a certain amount of time, AARP discounts, and more. Check out their complete Great Wolf Lodge deals page for more information on what discounts are currently available.
Is Great Wolf Lodge all-inclusive?
It depends. There are a variety of packages and add-ons you can choose from to enhance your Great Wolf Lodge experience. These range from adding waterpark access, towels, breakfast, arcade experiences, souvenirs, MagiQuest, and more. Great Wolf Lodge may also include breakfast, depending on the dining package you choose. It just depends on the package you wish to include.
What time is Check In at Great Wolf Lodge? What is Check Out Time at Great Wolf Lodge?
Check in time at Great Wolf Lodge is 4:00 p.m. But you have access to the waterparks beginning at 1:00 p.m. on your arrival day. So, you can check in early and use the waterpark while you wait for your room to be ready, which is sometimes sooner than 4:00 p.m.
On your departure day, check out time at Great Wolf Lodge is 11:00 a.m. But, you are permitted to use the waterparks until closing that day. So you really can have two extra days of waterpark to maximize your stay if you take advantage of the check in and check out days.
Is Great Wolf Lodge worth the cost?
In my opinion, yes! It is a great weekend getaway where the kids can really have so much fun. The thematic resort really adds more than just any waterpark, and it is really thoughtfully done with families and kids in mind. I especially love that it works for babies and toddlers up to teens, because not all resorts do. My kids always have an amazing time, and so I believe it is definitely a special place to visit before the kids get too old for it.
What to pack for Great Wolf Lodge?
Great Wolf Lodge is a casual family resort. You are usually given complimentary Great Wolf Lodge wolf ears, so no need to bring those. But typical, casual resort wear is completely fine. In fact, many little cubs wear their pajamas while around the resort.
On your packing list for Great Wolf Lodge, be sure to include swim gear, goggles, cover-ups, swim shoes, swim diapers, and anything else you need for the pool. While the resort does provide towels, it is a good idea to bring a couple of extras. The resort has available life jackets that can be used in the pool.
If you forget anything (like I did on our stay!), there is a swim shop and a main shop on the property that sells some baby items, cover ups, flip flops, goggles, swimsuits, etc.
Can you buy a Day Pass for Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts?
Normally, you can. However, right now during 2021, you have to stay at Great Wolf Lodge to use the waterpark. This may change, however. Check their Day Pass page for the most up-to-date information.
Final Thoughts on the Great Wolf Lodge Massachusetts
As you can see, there’s plenty of family fun at the Great Wolf Lodge. You can stay in a comfortable suite and spend hours playing games and enjoying the water attractions.
You never have to leave the Lodge if you don’t want to, there are plenty of activities here. But if you do want to do some sightseeing during your stay, here are some of the best activities for kids in nearby Boston.
There’s really something for everyone to do whether you want to relax or go on a quest. The Great Wolf Lodge is a great place for a short or extended vacation your whole family will love.