We spent a night at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. It is a resort designed for kids– indoor water park, arcade, kid-friendly restaurants. They even have a spa for kids (but don’t tell Leah about that, please!). The entire place has a lodge motif, but there is nothing outdoorsy or natural about the place. They don’t encourage any kind of activity outside the building.
I don’t usually love such artificial places, but I have to admit this place was fun. As soon as we walked into the indoor water park, the kids were in heaven. There were kiddie slides, a wave pool, a huge structure with sprinklers and buckets coming out of it, and lots of full size water slides.
We had a great time in the water park, but we were anxious to try the scavenger hunt called MagiQuest. Kids seemed to be running all over the lobby with magic wands and looking for treasures. We needed to join the fun!
When we walked into the gift shop, I was in for sticker shock. Each wand was $17 and up. Once you added in the price of the game, it came to $34. The kids wanted their own wands and games, but I told them they needed to share. If they want to go to college one day, I can’t spend every dime I have on games and fun!
My decision was purely financial, but it turned out to be a good one for the sake of the game. The way the game works is the player reads a clue and has to find the treasure box, painting, or map that will lead them to the next clue. If we had two wands and I paid for two games, we would just have to listen to the same clue twice. The second person’s turn would be irrelevant.
In the beginning, we were all having a great time. My kids both love scavenger hunts, and I do, too. But, my patience was the first to wear down. We had been playing for about 45 minutes when I was no longer interested in continuing. The game itself was fun, but it was too crowded. We often had to wait for a turn at the treasure boxes. The resort is huge, but the game is condensed into a few short hallways. I suppose they did that to contain the crowds, but it often felt like we were walking in circles. Even Luke, who was really enjoying the game, said, “Mom, we just walked up and down that same staircase about 100 times!”
We played for about another 45 minutes when Leah’s patience also began to wear down. She started to complain that she was tired of walking up and down the same hallways over and over again. I agreed with her, but Luke wanted to keep going. I tried to be fair to both of them, so we took a break for hot cocoa. After we drank our cocoa, Leah was uninterested in starting up again. Luke couldn’t wait to get back into the game. I felt the same as Leah, but I didn’t want to disappoint Luke and I had just paid an arm and a leg for a game. I felt like we should get our money’s worth!
So, we continued to play. After a half hour, Leah was whining again, and my patience was worn thin. We ended the game. Luke cried because we did not finish the entire quest. I felt guilty because Luke was having so much fun, but I had to be fair to Leah, too. She had just played for over 2 hours and really didn’t enjoy the second half of it.
Overall, it was a fun new experience, but a little too long for two of us. I wish I would have realized that the game takes over 3 hours to play. Had I known that, we would have split it up over two days. Oh well… I am sure we’ll do that the next time we visit Great Wolf Lodge!