Great Wolf Lodge Resort Review

What is the most family fun + allergy friendly hotel we have ever been to?

Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells.Β 

The Great Wolf LodgeΒ located in the Wisconsin Dells has been around since the mid-1990’s. As a kid, we visited the then named “Black Wolf Lodge” as a family over summer breaks. This amazing, family-friendly resort was developed by the Watermans, a well-known Wisconsin Dells family.Β  The Watermans have roots that date back into the late 1800’s of developing successful service industry related businesses.

This past Friday, Chloe had off of school, so she got to pick what to do for the day. She choose a water park. It was cloudy, cold and sleety, a perfect day to escape the Wisconsin elements in a warm water park.

It only took us 45 minutes to get to, which is a nice get-away, not to far, but far enough with kids asking, “Are we there yet?”

Upon arrival, the kids (yes, we pulled Carter from school early to come, too) were greeted with these adorable wolf ears (headbands) as we were checking into our room. Our wrist bands were also our rooms keys, so that was an added bonus of not having to constantly wonder where the keys were! The wrist bands also gave us access to the water park for our stay.


Our room wasn’t quite ready, but we had access to the water park + amenities. An email would be sent to my phone once it was ready.

We went to the car to get our swim gear. As soon as we did, I got the email that our room was ready! We could get settled in our room a bit and change in our own space. The kids found the room first, which was located on the first floor, close to the arcade, locker rooms and stairs to go up to the lobby. This was a PERFECT location for little legs. Not too much walking around, like some other water park resorts we have been to.

The kids opened the door to the room and were BLOWN AWAY!


To hear their little voices squeal with excitement over their hotel stay was heart-warming. They were excited so we were excited.

We had a wolf den suite that included this adorable bunk bed area. It’s semi-private so we could still watch TV while the kids slept. The kids also had their own TV in their wolf den πŸ™‚

The rest of the room was standard, not fancy, but well-kept and nice. Usually at water park hotels that see high volumes of guests, things can get run down easily, especially the bathroom area. I’m a picky when it comes to a nice bathroom. It has to have a decent shower and vanity/sink.

We very quickly changed and headed to the water park.


After some fun, we decided it was dinner time. The restaurant near the lobby, Lodge Wood Fired Grill, was completely nut-free, and I almost lost my mind. An entire layer of stress gone. So grateful. Chloe could order anything she wanted on the menu, a rare occurrence for us dining out! The kids menu was large, and the adult menu was wonderful, we had a hard time choosing!


Carter was fading fast…..


The water park really tired out both kids! We saw a cute little shop called Bear Paw Sweets and Treats. We fell in love instantly with their Enjoy Life stand of “safe” snacks for Chloe. Carter is a supportive brother, and also chose to have Enjoy Life cookies for dessert so Chloe would not feel left out. But I think they just genuinely like the way Enjoy Life brand desserts taste! I mean, I do!


On the Great Wolf website, they make this statement:

Allergy Awareness

Great Wolf Lodge dining facilities do not serve peanut or tree nut products, but some of our products may be manufactured in facilities that also process nuts.

Carter was exhausted and went to bed, but Chloe wanted to stay up and hear story time and play trivia and have her face painted like a wolf!


The young woman who led the child-based activities did a WONDERFUL job relating to the kids and keeping them engaged.


Trivia night was a success! The kids enjoyed guessing the correct answers while raising their flags. The winning teams won small prizes.Β  Trivia was right before story time and the lobby was PACKED. I highly recommend getting to story time about 15 minutes prior to it’s start time near the clock tower. You definitely want a good seat to see the pages!


Chloe and I snuggled during story time, then she got to meet the character! Too cute. She loved it so much and told me several times how much fun she was having. All of the extra activities added so much to our trip. Other hotels do not offer this. These personal experiences make Great Wolf feel like a boutique hotel, and not just some generic water park hotel.

The next day, we had breakfast again upstairs at the Lodge which was great. We even had the same waitress who remembered the kids, she was sweet. In fact, everyone we met was wonderful and helpful.

We are so grateful for the Great Wolf Lodge, and their allergy awareness. It takes a level of stress off that us allergy families really appreciate. When we were waiting for story time to start, I met several families with food allergies, one with our exact allergies, which was nice, in a way? We shared our stories, our struggles, our epi pen advice, etc. It’s a connection that happens instantly when you meet another allergy family, and you feel so much empathy for these people because you know exactly what they are going through and you relate to so much. We saw so many moms and dads with epi pens tucked in back pockets, purses, diaper bags. Epi pens were literally EVERYWHERE!

We will be back, Great Wolf! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Awesome memories made.


P.S. Buffalo Phil’s across the parking lot is also allergy friendly. They had an entire peanut and tree nut free menu, where Chloe FINALLY got to order an actual dessert at a restaurant!!! She had the fried ice cream and it was incredible! It was also as big as her head, and the four of us demolished TWO of them! Well, that’s what mini-vacations are for!




Omni Hotel Chicago Review


Two weeks ago we had the privilege of staying at the Omni Hotel Chicago for Chloe’s 7th Birthday celebration! It was wonderful and I wanted to share with you why we selected this property.

  1. It offered an American Girl Package: including an American Girl Doll travel bed, slippers, bath robe, PJ’s, welcome note, special treats and free breakfast.
  2. Since it’s winter and we were walking, we wanted something close to the actual store/cafe. This hotel was two blocks from the American Girl Doll store. Easy for the kids to walk.
  3. The price point was nice. Literally, the amount of American Girl Doll items probably added up to be at least $100. The hotel room itself was pretty inexpensive for Chicago standards on the weekend.
  4. All the rooms are suites, so everyone had a bed to sleep in comfortably and there was a separate TV area so the grownups didn’t have to go to bed at 8, too.
  5. Swimming Pool!
  6. Understood food allergies!
  7. Valet was included with American Girl package
  8. On-site dining
  9. Kid-friendly turn down service
  10. Easy on/off I-90

We love how 1-90 just plops you out on to Ohio Street in the middle of the city. It was just a few blocks to our hotel on Michigan + Huron.Β  When we pulled up to Omni, everyone was super helpful and great with the kids making sure they were safely tucked inside the hotel so we could unload the car.

We checked in, found our room, checked out the pool area + decided to shop a bit. Everything we needed was within about a 5 block radius of the hotel. After shopping + coffee we headed to the American Girl Cafe. The food was OK but the service and attention to allergies was incredible.


When we got back to the hotel later in the evening, the hotel staff greeted my daughter by her first name and remembered it was her Birthday. She was feeling extra, extra special!

Turn down service came and brought mini milks and cookies for the kids. The cookies weren’t safe, but we were prepared for that part. Chloe did enjoy the boxed milk, though. A TV in the kids room + in the living room, we all settled in and watched a movie before going to bed.


The next day we took advantage of their in-house restaurant 676. They had a great buffet and nut-free pancakes. It was a beautiful snowy morning and the huge restaurant windows made it fun to watch the city become blanketed in white fluffy snow.


We would stay here again. The location is wonderful and the renovations they have made are beautiful!

Thank you, Omni, for making our little girls birthday so special!