February 11, 2011

Frugal Friday - Bring Your Own Drinks

We spent this last weekend having an amazing time and escaping the cold weather at Great Wolf Lodge.  We were iced in the entire week before, so I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it was to have this time together - especially since it was out of the house... which we had been stuck in, minus one trip to the ER, the entire week before!

We received our stay at Great Wolf as a Christmas gift.  What an amazing blessing!  The Kid Cabin Suite was great - allowing us to be together, but still giving some separation.  I asked around on Facebook before we went and was urged to bring our own food... that the food there wasn't super AND it was extremely expensive.  That it was!  This simple act saved us a ton!

Each room had a fridge and microwave, so I took some pizzas to heat up, sandwich makers and some homemade Spaghetti O's.  We also brought our own drinks and TONS of snacks - trail mix anyone?

We did spend some extra cash and purchased MagiQuest wands for the boys.  Upon the advice of my friend Stacy, we just had the wands set to their free "demo mode."  This allowed the boys to turn things on, but the actual game didn't keep score.  They wouldn't have understood it anyway!  This alone saved us $45 ($15/wand), yet allowed the kids to have the exact same experience!

When playing the game, the kids had to use the stairs and not the elevators.  It was great... totally wore them out!

Again, eating in the room really saved us a ton!  We did eat several meals poolside and sprung for a huge breakfast together as a family, but the kids seemed to enjoy the downtime of eating together in the quiet of our room too.  If you do this, I do recommend you bring some plates and cutlery.  I didn't come prepared and we had to scrounge.

Of course, the main attraction at Great Wolf is the water park.  That's where we spent the majority of our time!  When we arrived, Cash looked out the big window overlooking the water park and announced, "I'm SO excited!  My legs are shaking!"

The kiddie area was perfect for all of the boys... they loved the slides!

And we also loved riding on the "motorcycle boats."  We went on lots of trips to the store and movie place using our imagination!

I also have to admit that the water park was our biggest area of blunder in the financial department.  Here's the deal... I loathe swim diapers.  When at all possible (like the lake house or in our back yard) I don't use them.  When they are required, I use them and then reuse them, and reuse, and reuse, and reuse.  The things don't soak anything up, so I don't see a problem with this unless there is poop.  Well, I got cocky and only brought one, that we were going to reuse.  Yep, it became unusable and we had to purchase more at the gift shop.  For $14.99.  Lesson learned!

For $14.99 I got five swim diapers.  I noticed someone else in need and passed one along.  I'm glad I was able to show a bit of kindness... considering the high price tag!

We went on Super Bowl weekend, unbeknownst to me because I know nothing about football.  Super Bowl this year was in North Texas, Great Wolf Lodge is right around the corner from the airport.  There were lots of football fans there and the Lodge was at full capacity.  Sounds like a bad weekend to go, but it was actually perfect... most of the people didn't have kids!  We had all of the kids' activities to ourselves!

Plus, the lines of buses to-and-from all of the events served at GREAT entertainment for the kids!

We spent two nights in the Kid Cabin Suite (and three full days in the water park). Our grand total spent was $1,025.  Our gift card was for $1,000, so we did great with budgeting!


Anna said...

Fun weekend for a whopping $25! I've never heard of it, but will have to check it out in a few years.

Paul and DeeDee said...

I guess I should of paid more attention to your facebook I would of let you borrow our wands! Although one is pink:) I liked Great Wolf but it seems a little overpriced for what they offer. Our deluxe hotel at disney world was the same amount!

Coupon Teacher said...

We have one of those about an hour from us! It sounds like you had a wonderful time!