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The Best Guide for One Day at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

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We were recently invited by Great Wolf Lodge SoCal to celebrate Día de los Niños because, well, what better way to honor our babies than creating family memories! GWL is a place where parents can show up, slow down and soak in the beauty of childhood magic without a ton of fuss. But for those spending only one day at Great Wolf Lodge its best to get a plan in order. You might think GWL is just an indoor water park, but it really offers so much more!

Here I’ve listed out our best guide for one day at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal. It has everything we do to make the most of our time at GWL. The next best option is to just book more than one night, and if the great deals and incentives you can find on their special offers page (like 50% off!), you might reconsider your plan.

Guide for One Day at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Our Best Guide for One Day at Great Wolf Lodge

Arrive: Check-in is at 4pm, but you can arrive as early as 1pm on your arrival day, giving you a head start on your one day at Great Wolf Lodge! For Southern California locals, this is a fantastic perk. Instead of heading straight to the water park, we spent that time getting acquainted with the resort attractions. Did you think Great Wolf Lodge was just a water park? Oh, no! You can have a spa date at Scooops with your little girl, go mini-golfing, “make” a new friend at the Creation Station or spend hours in the arcade. Not to mention the fun you’ll have with MagiQuest. If you think your kids will enjoy all the extra activities, consider getting a Paw Pass!

Plan your day’s activities: At check-in, you’ll receive The Great Wolf Kids Daily Activities list. Review it! This list is a great tool in planning your day to include all the extra fun your kids will love, such as character appearances, face painting, crafts, balloon twisting and, of course, DIY ear decorating. Just because your visit is short, doesn’t mean you should miss a thing.

One Day at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Wake up with Wiley! Rise and shine has never been so easy. Join the friends of GWL for early morning activities before for the water park opens. Activities include Yoga Tails, a family yoga session along with stories, and a Wolf Walk. A perfect way to start your day!

Ready, set, splash: The water park opens 9am and you’ll want to soak up every minute of the day! Great Wolf Lodge takes water safety very seriously (and I’m so glad they do) and the slides a child is able to ride will depend on which wristband they’re given (depending on height, age, and swimming abilities). There are also life jackets available at every pool area and lifeguards, too. My youngest child wasn’t cleared to go on all the rides, but he was never without a fun place to explore. Research the full list of Great Wolf Lodge water park rides and slides so you can plan ahead, but don’t worry: there is plenty of fun to be had for kids of all ages.

Eat! Have lunch at Grizzly’s Jack Bar & Grill next to Raccoon Lagoon. Both are just outside the water park. The food is seriously delicious (try the elote!), they have refreshing IPAs on tap and you can kick your feet up for a bit while the kids keep play in the outdoor pool/play area.

Another midday option is to join the Lunch Time LineUp for Paws-on Projects. Check the events calendar for details.

One Day at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal Loose Mosse Family Kitchen: After a long day in the water park, gather the family around the table for a relaxed buffet at Loose Moose Family Kitchen. We love this tradition because, honestly, it’s easy! We clean the kids up, head down for dinner and EAT! No need to figure out what everyone wants off the menu. The buffet has so many choices and is super yummy, plus plenty of options to accommodate any picky eaters or allergies.

PJ Party + Story Time! Once the sun goes down, your little cubs will still be howling for fun. After a full day of adventure, come downstairs for kids’ activities at Great Wolf Lodge, including games and dance parties. My babies love ending their day at GWL with a Story Time.

Arcade the night away: Did you know the Northern Lights Arcade is open 24 hours? If your cubs are still restless for fun, play a few games!

Saying goodbye: Check out is at 11am, but you’re welcome to stay and play all day long. Just ask the front desk to hold onto your luggage!


So there it is, our best guide for one day at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal…. although I have a feeling that, after experiencing all the family fun, you’ll be booking a return visit real soon!

Be sure to keep an eye out on Great Wolf Lodge Special Offers page for deals!

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