A Howling Fun Halloween

The tiny, trick-or-treating ghouls and goblins in the South Sound have lucked out in recent years in regard to the absence of trademark Pacific Northwest showers on Halloween, but will their luck hold out?

There’s really no way of knowing until the days leading up to Halloween, so why take the chance? What if there was a way to be certain your little ones could spend the morning splashing around and guarantee their trick-or-treat rounds remain raindrop free?

Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

There is at least one place that fits the bill: Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound during its annual Howl-O-Ween celebration from now until the end of October.

Approximately 50 minutes from Tacoma, Great Wolf is not only a viable alternative to traditional Halloween festivities, but — with its 56,000-square-foot, 84-degree indoor waterpark which includes a wave pool, seven waterslides, and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket — it also is a way to keep summer alive even as we descend into the months-long gray season.

When booking, guests can choose from among the lodge’s 398 guest rooms, of which there are 12 different suite types. These consist of family style suites for four to six guests; themed suites like the KidKamp, KidCabin or Wolf Den; and premium suites decked out with large kitchens and individual bedrooms.

Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Just stepping into Great Wolf Lodge’s massive lobby is enough to get the whole family in the Halloween spirit as you glance up and take in the larger-than-life balloon spider hanging from the rafters, ready to pounce.

“We really go all out with the decorating and our spider in the lobby is usually a big hit and a really great first impression for our guests,” General Manager Nadine Miracle said of the creation that took a team of engineers two weeks to assemble.

Upon check-in, guests will receive limited edition orange Halloween wolf ears — perfect for Spooktacular selfies. Halloween crafts and activities are held throughout the day leading up to Trick-or-Treat Trail, during which costumed children can follow the trail map to discover the location strategically placed trick-or-treat stations.

Later, families can gather around in the lodge’s cozy fireplace and listen to hair raising tales during the Spooktacular Story Time. Finally, kids are encouraged to get the last of their wiggles out during the late-night Monster Bash Dance Party which will have them ready to retire to their wolf den for the night.

As if these activities and the giant waterpark aren’t enough to keep little ones busy, the resort also features a four-story outdoor Howlers Peak Ropes Course, the Howl at the Moon Glow Golf course, the massive Northern Lights Arcade, a make-your-own stuffed animal Creation Station, and an interactive resort-wide magic wand-enabled role playing game known as MagiQuest.

Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Moreover, the Grand Mound location is the first lodge in the Great Wolf brand to open a new feature known as Oliver’s Mining Company. The adventure begins as guests enter the Moonstone Mine Mirror Maze and perform challenges to find the moonstone and make it out of the mine. Once out, guests can head over to the sluice (yes, a real sluice) where they’ll be given a literal bag of dirt to unearth gemstones and minerals.

“We are really excited about it,” Miracle said of Grand Mound’s status as the first in the brand to feature the mining attraction. “(So far) we’ve had a lot of really great and positive feedback from our guests.”

To book a stay, visit Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound online.

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is an assistant editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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