Great Wolf Lodge Illinois
Why We Love This Hotel
- Family-friendly indoor water park destination north of Chicago
- Features mini golf, an arcade, bowling and more entertainment options all under one roof
- Fully renovated in 2018
- Multiple dining options including pizza, tacos and Ben & Jerry's ice cream
This Great Wolf Lodge reopened in 2018 after a full renovation to every room at this all-suite resort destination north of Chicago. Every suite features 39-inch flat-screen TVs, coffee makers and minifridges; some rooms include bunk beds and themed sleeping areas (the kids can bunk down in cave- or log cabin-decorated sleeping areas).
All lodge guests receive water park wristbands (the park is restricted to guests only), and even though check-in is at 4 p.m., you can arrive as early as 1 p.m. to hit the pool. The indoor water park includes seven pools, 11 water slides, family raft rides, a wave pool, water games and activities. There are also organized kids activities before the park opens, at lunchtime, a daily storytime and a nightly Northwoods Friends show.
There are plenty of dining options on hand, featuring mostly casual cuisine ranging from sandwiches to pizza to tacos, but the Barnwood restaurant features elevated casual small plates including short rib poutine, beer brined barbecue chicken and jumbo lump crab cakes -- along with cocktails and craft beers. There's also a small bar for drinks and beers at the water park called (appropriately enough) The Watering Hole.
If the kids get tired of swimming, there's tons of entertainment on dry land -- the resort houses a mini golf course, a climbing wall, a mini-bowling alley, a ropes course and an arcade (additional fees required). The resort also has Wi-Fi, self parking, towel service and concierge service included in the nightly resort fee -- and kids ages 12 and under even get free wolf ears.