Indoor water parks in Ohio
Family Travel,  Packing List,  Travel

The Ultimate Packing List For Great Wolf Lodge That Every Family Needs

Spread the love

Rounding up your pack for a getaway to Great Wolf Lodge will warrant a vacation from your vacation. However, our ultimate Packing List For Great Wolf Lodge can help!

Whether it is your first visit or your thirtieth, having a packing list will help make your life a lot easier. Trust me; nothing is worse than getting into your room only to discover you forgot a swimsuit or sunscreen. Yes, sunscreen, more on that later.

Indoor water parks in Ohio
Great Wolf Lodge In Mason, Ohio

Before your family can start zipping down water slides, mastering the ropes course, and lounging by the wave pool, you must pack all the necessities.

Make life easy by signing up below to get our free printable Great Wolf Lodge packing list:

This page contains affiliate links, meaning if you happen to purchase anything, I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my page!

Great Wolf Lodge Packing Tips

Every family travels differently, but there are a few things that everyone will want to pack with them.


The first thing that should go in your suitcase is a swimsuit. I recommend at least two or three per person because nothing is worse than trying to shimmy into a wet, cold bathing suit. Having multiples will give swimsuits time to dry while you do other activities.

Great Wolf Swimsuit Rules:

  • Clothing with plastic or metal rivets, zippers, or ornamentation is not permitted on certain attractions.
  • Loose-fitting clothing and accessories that pose an entrapment risk are not permitted.
  • Clothing that is revealing or has vulgar content is not permitted.
What To Pack To Great Wolf Lodge
What to pack to Great Wolf Lodge

Determine What Attractions You Will Be Doing

Prevent an embarrassing moment by ensuring you have the correct swimwear on. For example, a bikini top can easily come up during the plunge on a waterslide. While a bikini might be your go-to swimsuit, consider a one-piece or two-piece without ties, especially if you plan to zip down water slides.

Do I Need To Bring Cash or A Credit Card To Great Wolf?

Upon checking in, guests can link a credit card to their wristband. This will keep you from having to bring cash or a credit card into the water park. If you are staying at a hotel, you can keep valuables in your room and use your wristband to pay for food and get into your hotel room.

Should I Pack Towels To Great Wolf Lodge?

As a topic of hot debate, I recommend bringing your own pool towels. While Great Wolf Lodge does offer towels, you must check them out and return them before leaving the waterpark area. While many Great Wolf Lodge locations may do things differently, I lean on the side of the stated rules.

Many families have stated they could take their towels to their rooms so long as they returned them at the end of the day. My personal experience is I was asked to return it at the door. Since I had forgotten to pack a cover-up, the reason for this article, I had to resort to running through the chilly hallways of Great Wolf with only a damp bathing suit.

You can get into the indoor water park as early as 1pm on your day of check-in!
You can get into the indoor water park as early as 1 pm on your day of check-in!

In my personal opinion, I think it all depends on who is working. While most employees may let you take the towels to your room, it is stated in their policy that it is not allowed. Ensure you return towels to avoid paying a hefty fee.

Per Great Wolf Lodge Website: “Towels are provided for your family in the water park as well as bathing towels in your suite. You may wish to bring a beach towel or cover up as we ask that the towels stay in the water park area. Towels in the water park are included but are subject to a fee if not returned.”

One final thought: You may choose to bring your own beach towels simply because they are larger.

Is The Outdoor Portion Of The Water Park Open?

The season you visit Great Wolf Lodge Resorts will play a role in what you pack. If the outdoor area is open, you will want to ensure you have sunscreen, sunglasses, and a refillable water bottle. Guests may even want to consider renting a cabana if planning on excessive outdoor time.

Water shoes are a good idea to pack if you are planning on spending time in the outdoor area of the park. The cement can get hot in the summer sun.

Pack A Swim Bag

A perk of staying overnight at Great Wolf Lodge is that guests are allowed to start using the waterpark at 1 pm even if their room is not ready. During the weekdays, our room is often ready upon arrival; if not, they will text you when it is.

After retrieving your wristbands, you are free to venture to the waterpark. Leave your suitcases in the car and bring in your pool bag to start the fun. Therefore, you should include your water park items in your Great Wolf Lodge Packing List.

Planning Tip: I recommend linking your credit card to your wristband so you don’t have to carry a wallet.

What to pack in your swim bag to Great Wolf Lodge!
Don’t forget to pack a swim bag!

Is There Locker Rooms?

There are changing rooms, lockers, and showers. You can always use the lockers to secure your personal belongings.

What To Pack In Your Swim Bag

  • Swimsuits / Swim diapers if needed
  • Towels (if not planning on using hotels)
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Cover Up
  • Sandals or Flip Flops
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses if using the outdoor pool and slides
  • ID if you are planning on purchasing alcoholic beverages
  • Life Jacket for kids (If you a not planning on using Great Wolf’s)
  • Hair twisties
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Plastic bags for wet bathing suits
  • Small first aid kit

Do I Need To Pack Life Jackets For Great Wolf Lodge?

The short answer is no. Great Wolf Lodge recommends that guests under 48 inches tall, weak swimmers, and non-swimmers should wear a lifejacket. Families are welcome to bring their own lifejackets; however, Great Wolf provides US Coast Guard-approved life jackets, but they must remain in the waterpark.

TIP: Inflatable devices are not allowed. This includes blow-up floaties or tubes.

Life Jackets are available.
Life Jackets are available.

Things To Keep Busy For Non-Riders

Not everyone going to a water park is there for the big slides and water rides. If you are a non-rider, be sure to pack things to keep yourself busy while others in your parties venture off. Often guests will be seen lounging with a favorite book, listening to music, or a podcast. Stick a portable charger in your beach bag as a backup in case your phone’s battery starts to run low.

What Is The Dining Situation? Should I Pack My Own Food?

There are many dining options at Great Wolf Lodge. With various locations throughout the United States, each lodge may offer slightly different dining experiences. Grab a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts, sit down for dinner at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, then top your evening off with Wood’s End Creamery ice cream.

As with any popular family tourist destination, food is expensive. Look at the dining deals to save money if you plan dining on-site. We have found it to be much for affordable, only to get ice cream at the lodge, then venture out for our other meals.

Bringing your own food to Great Wolf Lodge
Bringing your own food to Great Wolf Lodge

Each Great Wolf Lodge Room has a mini fridge and a microwave. Having a mini fridge perfect for storing sandwiches, drinks, breakfast foods, and snacks. Many families will even bring their Instapot to cook meals in their rooms or pack a meal that is easy to heat up in the microwave.

Tip: Many Great Wolf Lodges are in locations with plenty of fast food options and casual dining nearby. You can even order food delivery to the lodge!

Food Items To Pack For Your Room

  • Drinks such as soft drinks, bottled water, and juice.
  • Snacks; chips, pretzels, candy, etc
  • Muffins, bagels + cream cheese, or Instant Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Easy-to-heat meals that can be stored in a mini-fridge.
  • I am a big fan of packing peanut butter, jelly, and bread for a simple lunch or snack.

Extra Items To Consider Packing For Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf is a great place for kids of all age groups, but especially young children. The Lodge offers a variety of other activities such as a magiquest game, bowling, story time, craft time, and more. Here are a few other items you may want to toss into your suitcase if you have them.

Staying in the Wolf Den Suite at Great Wolf Lodge
Staying in the Wolf Den Suite at Great Wolf Lodge
  • A Magiquest wand. If you have already purchased one of the wands at another Magiquest, bring the wand with you so that you only have to pay for the game. Guests will have to buy the wand and the game if they do not have one.
  • Night light for the hotel room. Depending on the room you choose, there are separate spaces with bunk beds that can get dark for little ones.
  • A sound machine or sound machine app on your phone. I found this helpful when my daughter went to bed before the big kids. The sound machine helps drown out loud noise from the kids running up and down the hallways or in neighboring rooms.
  • If you are doing a day pass at an indoor water park during the winter months, you may want to use the hairdryer before venturing out to the cold car.
  • You will still need sunscreen. Many indoor water parks have retractable roofs, transparent roofs, and/or outdoor areas.
  • If going with small kids, you may want to bring water toys for them, like a Barbie or water toys.

More Tips For Visiting Great Wolf Lodge

It doesn’t take much to have a great time at Great Wolf Lodge; however, after staying a few times, here are a few extra tips to help make your experience even better.

Paw Pass

If you consider doing many on-site activities, consider purchasing a Paw Pass. It includes:

  • One MagiQuest game
  • Choice of a classic wand, standard topper, or Magi belt
  • One scoop of Bear Paw Ice Cream
  • One small souvenir cup filled with candy from GW Candy Company
  • One Paw Points game card for Northern Lights Arcade ($5)
  • One pair of Great Wolf goggles

Complimentary Wolf Ears

Don’t forget to pick up your complimentary wolf ears in the gift shop. We always wear them to the nightly dance party.


Even though you must check out of your hotel room at 11:00 am, you can stay and play at the indoor waterpark all day! Pack dry clothes in your swim bag for your way back home.

Don’t forget to grab your FREE Great Wolf Lodge Packing List below:

Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to check out these related articles.

A Local Mom’s Guide To Planet Snoopy at Kings Island

The Ultimate Water Park Packing List and What To Wear

Helpful Tips For Visiting Kalahari Resorts

Save this Great Wolf Lodge Packing List for planning purposes!

free printable packing list for Great Wolf Lodge