We impulsively booked an overnight trip to Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park in nearby Garden Grove, CA, on the day of, and got a room with two queen beds for two adults, and one toddler for around $390 for one night. It included a $50 voucher for food, souvenirs, bowling or other activities as part of the special promotion I found on their website. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the pools are well-maintained with attentive lifeguards. Only overnight guests have access to the park, in an effort to keep the pool cleaner, they said.
It was totally worth it to see dd’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree and play together in what one ginormous tub while letting her roam about on her own, within arm’s reach. The grown-ups had fun too. There’s nothing like the feeling of almost drowning in the wave pool and feeling your back spasm to give you a huge adrenaline rush and a much-needed break from reality. It was an unforgettable experience: a mini-vacation to decompress.
I packed rations: one cup ramen (Shin Black), ham and cheese sandwiches, breakfast, and healthy snacks for the trip. I saw a large Italian family with three or four kids, and the mom had packed a milk jug, cereal, baby carrots, Nutella, and a loaf of bread among other things in their large cooler. She was definitely an expert-level mom. The outdoor water park, Splash, in La Mirada, CA, doesn’t allow coolers or for guests to bring their own picnic, and the food lines can be as long as one hour. This was a huge plus that we were allowed to bring our own food with us to Great Wolf Lodge.
Great Wolf Lodge is a blast for the whole family; toddlers and parents alike. I felt like a kid again. The outdoor water park at Splash in La Mirada, CA is next on our bucket list, as soon as it starts getting nice and hot outside. Not having to wear sunscreen indoors or worry about sun damage is awesome, but we did wish it was a little bit warmer inside at Great Wolf Lodge. Although I craved the warmth of the sun when I was playing in the water indoors, we hope to go back soon.