Thanks to Great Wolf Lodge Perryville, MD, for hosting our stay and experience.
My boys adore Great Wolf Lodge—the waterpark and resort with a woodsy lodge theme—and when we heard that the newest and largest resort opened in Perryville, Maryland, we were excited to check it out. My kids are big fans of the Pocono Great Wolf Lodge resort, and the Maryland location promised to be full of all the usual indoor waterpark fun but supersized thanks to its larger space. And when we found out they had the largest twister slide in the state, we were intrigued even more. Since it’s just two hours from our doorstep in New Jersey, it was a no-brainer to make a reservation and experience it ourselves. We (somehow) found a weekend without any commitments, booked our stay, and headed off to explore. (featured photo taken at Great Wolf Lodge)
Entering the lodge
When we arrived at the lodge, it had the familiar chalet style like the other Great Wolf locations we’ve visited but with a sleeker, modern look and design. After parking in the free and spacious lot, my husband packed the luggage cart with our things, and we went into the resort through the main entrance. Because we took advantage of mobile check-in before our arrival, our water park wristbands (which also doubled as our room key) and arrival package were waiting for us, making the process seamless and quick. Just past the reception area is the Grand Lobby—host to a roster of fun, family-friendly activities held daily and night. From morning family yoga to dance parties, character visits, and viewings of the immersive story “The Legend of Luna” (the lobby magically transforms using projection technology and special effects), this space was a hub of activity we knew we would be dropping into often. Beyond the lobby, my kids spotted the extensive gift shop stocked with lots of treats, made a beeline to get a pair of complimentary wolf ears, and eyed the make-your-own candy bar and exclusive build-a-bear characters. After the mini pit stop, we went to our room to change into our suits.
Settling into our room
With 700 family-friendly suites available in various styles and themes, we found plenty of room in our standard suite, including two queen beds and a full-size sofa sleeper. We were thrilled with how clean and modern the room looked and how spacious it was, even when the couch was pulled into a bed. The room is stocked with a mini-fridge, a coffee maker, and a set of tables and chairs so we could eat in the room comfortably. While the resort also offers multiple-bedroom suites that can sleep up to 13 people for large families or groups, the standard suite felt comfortable and large enough for our family of five.
Get ready to get wet at Great Wolf Lodge. Photo Credit: Great Wolf Lodge
Time To Play
After getting settled, we made our way to the waterpark, bypassing through a huge family entertainment center known as the Great Wolf Adventure Park. There were a few restaurants—we were happy to see we could caffeinate at a Dunkin’ Donuts, and the kids were all about the ice cream shop—and attractions we wanted to do during our stay. Entering the waterpark was impressive, with an inviting wave pool in front of us (kept at a warm 84 degrees year-round) and lots of comfortable seating around. We checked out five towels (make sure you return them when leaving the waterpark to avoid a fee) and claimed chairs just in front of the wave pool, putting us in the park’s center. To the right of the wave pool is a four-story water fort treehouse with slides and toys and a set of thrill slides my kids were so excited about, especially the racing slides that you record how fast you go down. Stretching at nearly 275 feet, the body slide accelerates riders through open flumes into back-to-back turns, 360 loops, and high-banking loops. This is the longest twister slide in the state, and after going through it, my husband thought it was well worth the hype.
Fun inside and out
Beyond the slides and wave pool, there’s a winding lazy river, a water play area for the littles, another set of thrill slides (including two family raft slides), an adventure area with basketball, an in-pool rock climbing wall, and obstacle courses. Beyond that, there are doors to the outside that lead to a massive walk-in pool, large hot tub, and beautifully manicured grassy area with corn hole. Since the weather was perfect during our stay, we were thankful to soak up the sun on the lounge chairs surrounding the pool and recharge in the hot tub. We found plenty of seating in the waterpark, but cabanas are available for more privacy. They offer families and groups the opportunity to rest and recharge with waitress services and comfortable amenities.
Hungry as a wolf
As you can imagine, we worked up quite an appetite by going up and down 22 different slides multiple times. We returned to the room to change, then went to The Barnwood, Great Wolf’s rustic elegant a la carte restaurant featuring local wineries within a comfortably warm setting. We were happy with the options (plenty of healthy dishes) on the adult and children’s menus and immediately decided on roasted Brussels sprouts, fresh burrata, and homemade Maryland crab soup as appetizers. They came out quickly, and we were excited by how fresh and beautifully presented our dishes were, and the portions were so generous. The service (from the host to the server) was friendly and helpful. There are plenty of fast-casual options, including Hungry As a Wolf for pizza and pasta and the permanently parked, kitschy food truck Timbers for a quick, casual lunch or dinner.
Time to play
After dinner, we headed to the adventure park. Our kids wanted to do everything, so we decided a Wolf Pass—a bundle and save pass for the top attractions and treats—would be our best bet. With a Wolf Pass, we got to play at the arcade, conquer the multi-level ropes course, compete with each other in bowling and at the miniature golf course, make it through the mirror maze, and play MagiQuest, an interactive game with wands. It also gave us a scoop of ice cream from the charming ice cream shop, Woods End Creamery, a cup of pick-your-own candy, and discounts at the Build-a-Bear experience. My kids were thrilled to experience everything in this part of the resort, and we thought it was a great deal for all that was included.
What To Know Before You Go
When you stay at Great Wolf Lodge, your water park passes are included for each registered guest and allow access to the water park through the day of your departure. The rate also includes parking and access to all events. Mobile check-in is available to guests who have guaranteed their reservation with a credit card and have a deposit on file. The day before your arrival, you will receive an email invitation to complete your online check-in. This will make the check-in process super smooth on the day of your arrival.
Cabanas with private seating, a 20″ flat-screen TV with satellite access, and other amenities are available daily. The Great Wolf Lodge mobile app offers contactless food ordering so you can plan ahead and have your food ready for pick-up exactly when you want it (order food from the comfort of your bed and avoid lines? Yes, please). And don’t forget to bring your MagiQuest wand back each visit to play again—my kids always look forward to bringing theirs to every location we visit.
Great Wolf Lodge
1240 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway
Perryville, MD 21903
Become an NJMOM Insider! For all the best things to do with your family around New Jersey, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox each week, and don’t forget to tag your photos #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured on our social media.