Apple Picking in Oak Glen

Fall in Orange County means apple picking time. heading into apple country is one of the rare times us Orange County folks can get a slight glimpse on one of the four seasons. for our family, we have always gone apple picking in Oak Glen…and now we take our kids. it holds a lot of memories for me when i was a child, and i hope it will for my children as well.

(get ready for a super long post. i get asked so many questions about apple picking in Southern California that i wanted to include everything i know about Oak Glen.)

Oak Glen is a five mile loop of apple orchards and family owned restaurants and shops, nestled one-mile above the city of Yucaipa in Southern California. it hosts scenery like that of New England. it’s just over an hour drive from Orange County without traffic. the mile-high climate of Oak Glen provides a beautiful change of season, unsurpassed in Southern California – where its usually 10-15 degrees cooler than it is in the valleys. although Oak Glen is open all year round, the main Apple Harvest takes place Labor Day Weekend through Thanksgiving Weekend. the sooner in the season you go the better!

Oak Glen Apple Orchards

there are some main apple orchards that are family friendly and offer fun fall activities in Oak Glen. you can check out all the information for all of the apple orchards and businesses in Oak Glen here. people tend to find their favorites and go to the same ones year after year. there are unique things about all of them, but lots of similarities. i have found prices for apples, ciders and food are comparable at all of them. you can get apples, cider, baked goods, and food at all of them.

here is a list of some of the main apple orchards:

Snowline Orchard has a variety of fun & exciting activities, including raspberry picking, wine tasting and more. there’s a beautiful picnic area with historical buildings, the oldest Italian chestnut tree and mini apple cider donuts which a must when you visit Oak Glen. they don’t offer apple picking, but you can get plenty of fresh apples and cider. they also have a really neat farm store with artisan balsamics and oils, local honey, unique gifts, and farm made wine and hard cider.

Riley’s Los Rios Rancho is a favorite of our family’s. it offers cider pressing, live music, a country kitchen with fresh bbq and picnic foods including corn, cider floats and apple pie. in the market store you can taste apple cider, hard cider and apples. there are also beautiful nature trails, a petting zoo and miniature farm, wagon rides, tractor rides, and horse back rides.  on the North Side of the farm (closest to Wilshire’s peak) you’ll find…a corn maze, u-pick fruits, popcorn and vintage soda cart and tractor drawn hayrides.

Riley’s Apple Farm offers heirloom apple picking, blackberry picking, corn picking, pumpkin picking, cider pressing, and kids activities on the weekends. activities include archery, tomahawk and knife throwing. on weekends during apple season, Sharon’s Country Store has barbecued chicken apple sausage, hot dogssub sandwiches, cider floats, fresh raspberry shakes, ice cream, and high-top apple pie.  Also sub sandwiches, cider floats, fresh raspberry shakes, ice cream, and lots more!  and don’t forget to get a fresh hoecake (a tasty, historical treat – a cornmeal pancake with a topping) cooked fresh over the fire on the lawn!

Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard offers heirloom apple picking, cider pressing, gemstone panning and kids activities at their kid’s craft station on the weekends. activities may include rag dolls, candle dipping, and birdhouse decorating. the have a snack bar, farm stand and marketplace.

Rileys Colonial Farm is a living history farm and offers history education and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. you will find people dressed up in period clothing and sharing historical demonstrations. you can pick-your-own fruit including apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Ollalieberries, pumpkins and a small crop of peaches. make sure to check their website for availability. visit the dinner theatre, and enjoy a historically-themed overnight stay.

Law’s Cider Mill & Ranch is a smaller stand that offers fresh cider, apple butter & preserves, Oak Glen grown apples, ornamental corn, squash & gourds. they have a historical coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch daily. there you will find a year-round Christmas room, gift shop and collectables.

Moms Country Orchard offers pesticide-free apples and other produce in the area. they also offer a great selection of jams, jellies, honey, preserves, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Moms will ship items to you or for you, just go online!

Apple Picking in Oak Glen

there is something exciting about walking into and apple orchard and picking your own apple of the tree. for some reason, kids enjoy food that they harvest themselves better than if you give it to them. there are a few orchards left in Oak Glen that offer U-pick apples. the different orchards offer different varieties of apples, so if you are wanting a certain kind of apple, check out their websites first to see what they have available. the orchards in Oak Glen that offer apple picking are – Riley’s Apple Farm, Riley’s Los Rios RanchoRileys Colonial Farm and Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard.

when you get to the orchards, you check into the farm stand and get a bag for your apples. the apples are sold by the pound, so you need to purchase what you pick. prices vary according to market price. we ended up paying between $3.00 – $3.50 per pound. most orchards will have a guide run you through the process of how to pick apples without damaging the trees, and then let you into designated areasvto pick the apples.

Apple Cider Donuts at Snow-line Orchard

if you like hot, fresh apple cider donuts, you need to make a stop at Snow-line Orchard. you get 12 mini donuts per pack and they are so yummy! even if you go to the other orchards to pick apples and such, stop at Snow-line to get the donuts. they run just under $5 for 12 mini donuts.

Press Your Own Apple Cider

one of our favorite activities to do when we go apple picking is pressing our own apple cider. although it costs slightly more than the pre-made gallons of apple cider, the experience is really fun for the kids.

first, they get to fill up a 5 gallon bucket with apples and then wash them. once they are clean, the apples get fed into the apple cider press. once they are all crushed, it’s time to press the cider. the crank gets tightened and rotated until all the juice is pressed out of the apple chunks. then the juice is strained and poured into a gallon jug…READY TO DRINK! an boy is it good. the apple cider will last up to two weeks…but if your family is anything like mine, it will be gone much faster than that.

here are some pictures of our family pressing apple cider in Oak Glen.

U-Pick Berries in Oak Glen

if you want to pick berries, peaches, corn, or flowers in Oak Glen, i highly suggest going earlier in the season. in fact, the berry picking begins closer to July. check the websites of the different orchards to see what is still available and how the harvest is looking. Riley’s Apple Farm, Riley’s Los Rios Rancho and Rileys Colonial Farm’s offer berry picking.

this year we decided to pick raspberries and had a fun time. though, we were surprised at how much work it was to fill a little basket. it made us appreciate being able to have them already picked for us. it definitely was a great experience for the whole family and the berries were really yummy.

Food and Activities in Oak Glen

you go to Oak Glen for the apple food and apple picking, but there are also lots of fall activities happening from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. if you go to each of the websites listed above, you can decide which activities you would like to do, and find out which orchards offer them. also be sure to check out the special events happening on the different weekends.

hayrides, horseback riding, corn mazes, sunflower fields, kids crafts and more are offered at different orchards throughout Oak Glen.

and don’t forget about the food!

most of the orchards have farm stands and stores that have tons of baked goods and apple goodies, some have their big bbq’s going with tri-tip and pulled pork cooking. you can also taste jams and jellies and buy different varieties of apples.

Oak Tree Village

Oak Tree Village is a little village at the top of the Oak Glen loop that has shops, museums, restaurants, a petting zoo, carnival booths, and more.

we continue to make a stop here year after year because of the memories i have of going when i was a child. however, i feel the need to say that it is very over-priced nowadays. i don’t recommend buying your food here, as the prices are much better at the individual orchards. it’s fun to walk through, but we usually skip the attractions. i remember when the petting zoo was a $1.00, now it costs $6 per person. however…it is a fun little zoo. and i have to admit, the animal museum is pretty cheesy…but go if you like taxidermy. we passed.

i do recommend getting a pie or a bakery item at the village. they have some yummy mile-high pies and apple turnovers. i have found that the pies at all the orchards run around $16.00, so it almost doesn’t matter where to buy them. but i like the pies here the best. the candy store is also fun to check out. so many apple choices.

finally, if you are wondering about the cost involved with visiting Oak Glen, i am here to tell you that almost everything costs money. the activities, apple picking, and of course the food. if you are wanting to visit on a budget, i highly suggest bringing a picnic and just buying a few apple goodies to enjoy. bring plenty of water, as it tends to get hot. you can visit all the orchards for free and enjoy the beautiful scenery, you can also taste test apples and apple cider for no charge.

my must-dos for Oak Glen are: Pick a bag of apples, press a gallon of apple cider, get a bag of apple cider donuts, take a nature hike at Riley’s Los Rios Rancho and buy an apple pie. if i get to do that each year at Oak Glen i am happy. all else is just icing on the cake….and apple cake that is!

hopefully with these tips, you can enjoy your own stay at Oak Glen. what i love most about Oak Glen is that you will find so many different activities and varieties of food in the one 5-mile stretch that there is bound to be something that you enjoy. its family fun for the entire family with lots of memories to be had!

 

A Weekend Road trip to Los Angeles with Chevy

This is a sponsored post.

last month, Chevy invited our family to take a road trip anywhere we wanted in Southern California. i immediately knew that i wanted to head up to Los Angeles for a weekend of exploring and enjoying the LA sights and sounds. because, although it is only 30 miles north from Orange County…it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours+ to get there. it makes me sad that it isn’t easier to get to L.A. on a more regular basis. so spending a weekend in Los Angeles was the perfect solution for some bulk L.A. adventures. PLUS…Chevy outfitted our family with a brand new Chevy Traverse to enjoy during the weekend to make our road trip a lot more comfortable. it had all the latest gadgets and gizmos, plenty of room for our family of six AND all our luggage, a stroller and baby gear.

let me tell you…the road trip was so much, and i wanted to share some of the great spots we visited. next time you are in L.A….be sure to check some of these out.

Universal Studios

we started our road trip at Universal Studios Hollywood. it’s one of my favorite Southern California amusement parks. it’s very family-friendly if your kids are over 42″. a baby makes it hard, but you can still find it enjoyable if you have little ones.

since we went during December, Universal Studios was decorated for the holidays. Grinchmas is a favorite of ours, and visiting Who-ville, meeting the Grinch, and playing with the Whos is a tradition we have done every year. Universal does a great job of creating a real-life Whoville. there are shows, treats, photo opportunities, crafts and character meet-and-great happening all day long during Grinchmas.

then we headed over to the Studio Tour which takes you through the backlot where they make movies and television shows. this is the boys absolute favorite thing to do at Universal Studios Hollywood (besides the Jurassic Park ride). it’s very nostalgic and has some great attractions along the way such as King Kong, Earthquake, and the Fast and Furious. you even get to wear 3-D glasses.

and Dani got to meet Marilyn Monroe!

we spent time in the park checking out Simpson Land and some of the stage shows, then headed to our most anticipated land – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. if you are a Harry Potter fan, then you definitely need to make a visit. you feel like you have been transported into Hogsmeade. you can visit all the stores, taste some Butterbeer (we recommend the frozen Butterbeer), and use your wand around the village to cast some spells. during the holidays, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is decorated for Christmas.

check out Hogwarts castle during the day. pretty spectacular! but during the holidays, it gets even more spectacular at night with Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. the iconic Hogwarts castle is transformed into a dazzling light projection spectacular.as the sunsets, a light show is play on the Hogwarts castle with themed graphics and magical music. it plays multiple times every evening and lasts about 10-15 minutes. it was FANTASTIC!!!!!

after the show, everyone was tired after a full day of fun. we headed to our hotel. we stayed at the Boulevard Hotel which is conveniently located near Universal Studios.

apparently, there have been many stars who have stayed here!

The Griddle Cafe

the next morning, we wanted to have a breakfast experience, and check out a Hollywood breakfast hotspot. we decided on The Griddle Cafe on Sunset Boulevard. they are know for their giant pancakes and french toast….and boy are the BIG!

you know you’ve picked a popular breakfast spot when there is a long line at 8 am on a weekend morning.

check out this menu! wow…it was super hard to choose what to get.

so we ordered A LOT!!! we decided on Cap’n Crunch Pancakes, Banananana Pancakes, Cream cheese french toast, hot chocolate, cheesy omelet with avocado and pico de gallo. YUM YUM and while we waited for our food to arrive, the boys had so much fun watching the fancy cars race down Sunset. i think they saw about twenty Lamborghinis. i highly recommend sitting outside if it’s a nice day.

woahhhhhh!!!!! you think we ordered enough?

at the end of breakfast, we had only made a tiny dent in our food. our eyes were way bigger than our stomachs. we definitely ordered way too much, but still…it was so so good.

after breakfast, we hopped into our Chevy Traverse, and took a drive down Melrose. if you are looking for cool art our wall murals, you will find a bunch on Melrose Avenue. the “street art” is amazing in Los Angeles, and the boys love to get their pictures taken with it. as we drove down Melrose, if someone saw something they liked, we stopped to take a picture.

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Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco Chinatown

last summer we took a road trip up the coast of California and stopped in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in California. there are so many things to enjoy in San Francisco, from the Wharf, to the museums, to the food, to the architecture. there are also many streets or sections of San Fran that are influenced by different cultures – each one lined with stores, restaurants and architecture reflecting it. Chinatown happens to be one of our family’s favorite areas to explore. it is the largest China Town outside of Asia, and there are lots of unique things to see that are different from what we experience at home in our daily lives. we love all of China Town, but the boys most favorite part is visiting the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory – which you can probably guess…is a real life fortune cookie factory.

before i show you photos of the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, i wasted to share some of the other photos i took on our way to it. as you most likely know, most travel around San Francisco is done by walking or public transportation. i really love this way of traveling around this city. that way you can take everything in and enjoy its unique charm. we took the trolley to the main entrance of China Town – which is known as Dragon’s Gate because there are two dragon statues. it is located on Bush Street. you can easily take a bus or trolley there…it’s very well known.
once you are at Dragon’s Gate, you can walk north towards the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory which is a few blocks up. the street is strewn with red and gold lanterns and building decorated in gold and dragons.

we let the boys stop in some of the stores and buy a few souvenir. these kitty chopsticks were one of their favorite purchases.

there are also some beautiful colorful murals painted on buildings along the way. there is also lots of yummy Chinese food. you can find both nice sit down restaurants, and also takeout. since we were on the go, we opted for a quick and easy stop. the boys got all their favorites…of course, noodles too.

and we had to stop at the Golden Gate Bakery for a sweet treat.

the last stop and final destination in Chinatown was the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. it is located in Ross Alley. don’t be shocked if this area looks a bit run down and run down. it’s old…and it’s an alley, but you are in the right place. there will probably even be long lines of people waiting to enter the old original store. it’s been around since 1962. if you look closely, you will see popsicle dad waiting in line!

once you get inside the entrance, you will see fortune cookies being made right in front of you. the sweet smell of baking fortune cookies is incredible. and they give you lots of samples to taste.

you get to see the entire process, from batter to fortune to folded cookie. first, the thin circular cookie is pulled off a hot press. next, a fortune is placed on one side of the hot, flat dough. 

finally, each soft, hot cookie is shaped over a steel rod into the shape of a fortune cookie. all of this has to be done very quickly, otherwise the cookie will harden before it is created into a  fortune cookie shape.

another cool thing – you can have you own fortune cookies made with your own special message put inside.we let each boy make some to give to relatives and for themselves. they thought this was so awesome.

and here is the final product! warm, delicious and ready to enjoy.

it was such a fun experience for the boys…and us adults to see the entire process of making a fortune cookie. they also learned a lot because we ask the store owners to tell us a lot of the history behind the store. it was very interesting.  the eating part was pretty great too!


here is a short video of our time at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Spring Water Parkwhen we went on our famous road trip a couple of years ago, one of the places that we hadn’t expected to enjoy as much as we did was Lava Hot Springs. it’s a little town in southern Idaho about an hour north of the Utah/Idaho border. we only allotted for an overnight stay, but we wished that we had booked two nights. it’s a charming little city that is popular with tourists and locals, with lots of things to do including river rafting, tubing, swimming, hot pools, the sunken garden, shopping, dining and hiking. it’s known for its world famous hot pools, that are filled with natural geothermic spring water. the hot springs also heat the amazing Olympic Swimming Complex. this is the entrance to the city, it’s got to be the coolest entrance to a city that i’ve seen. just look at those waterslides!
Fun Places to Visit in Idahosince we were traveling with a travel trailer in tow, we chose to stay at the Lava Hot Springs KOA. you don’t have to have a trailer or RV to stay there though, they also have cabins and tent camping options available. the Lava Hot Spring KOA was pretty amazing. this is the first time we’ve gotten to camp on the banks of a river with our trailer. it was so beautiful and peaceful to sit outside our trailer and watch the river run by and also the beautiful nature landscapes.

Lava Hot Springs Idaho KOANatural Hot Springs Rafting RiverIdaho KOA Campgroundsthe Lava Hot Springs KOA has been one of our favorite KOA’s yet. mostly because we felt that we were at one with nature, and the Portneuf river was so beautiful. there were fire pits to cook on, and trails to explore. the KOA owners were so sweet and friendly and were  happy to show us the best places to buy things and explore. Travel in IdahoCamping in Idahoi think it would be so fun to stay at one of the cabins if we didn’t have a travel trailer. but i am not really a tent camper…but there was a nice area for tent camping.

Idaho KOA cabinsBest Idaho CampgroundsKOA Campgrounds in Lava Hot SpringsNatural Hot Springs in the United StatesLava Hot Springs KOA campsites in Idahothe next day was all about exploring Lava Hot Springs. early that morning, we headed over to the Lava Hot Springs World Famous Hot Pools. we were told that the earlier you go the better. this is because the pools get hotter as the day goes on due to the sunshine. the water from the hot pools comes bubbling out of natural underground springs, the hot water is laden with minerals, but has no sulfur so it doesn’t stink like most hot spring. over 2.5 million gallons of hot water per day runs through the hot springs and are diverted into the Portneuf River keeping the springs ever changing and clean. the spring’s temperatures range from approximately 102˚ to 112˚ degrees, so the water is almost too hot for little kids. it was almost to hot for the hubby and me, but we still had a great time checking them out. since the hot springs are open all year long, they told us that it is really fun to come when snow is on the ground. like a hot tub in winter.
Lava Hot Springs IdahoBest Places to Visit in Idahothere were 4 large hot pools that included a newer cool pool with a temperature of 102º. this is the pool the boys spent the most time in. it was a fun learning experience teaching the boys how that water was warmed naturally underground.Lava Hot Springs in IdahoLava Hot Springs Hot PoolsPlaying in the Hot PoolsNatural Hot Springs Public Pools Natural Hot SpringsLava Hot Springs Baths in IdahoHot Pools in Idahoafter checking out the hot pools, we headed over to the Olympic Swimming Complex. the Olympic Swimming Complex is the only facility of its kind in the Intermountain West. all the water is heated!!!!  have you ever been on a waterslide that has heated water?!!!  the  Olympic Swimming Complex has indoor and outdoor pools, diving boards and platforms, waterslides, a natural hot water spa, and the new Portneuf Kiddie Cove. the is something fun for kids of all ages.

Lava Hot Springs Swimming PoolsLava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming ComplexFun Places to Visit in Lava Hot Springsthe Olympic Swimming Complex’s free form Olympic-size pool holds nearly a million gallons of warm, crystal clear water. the outdoor shallow end offers toys for younger swimmers and little slides. it was a pretty popular place, there were lots of people at the complex, most had blankets, umbrellas and picnics set up on the lawn. i only wish they had something like this where i am in Orange County!Lava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming Complex in IdahoIdaho Olympic PoolFamily Travel in Idahothere are some exhilarating waterslides that are fun for the whole family, including small slides for the kiddies. the speed slides’ six-story body flumes send riders screaming into the refreshing runout below. but beware, the 60 foot drop is not for the faint of heart! two curly tube slides are great for children, splashing them around and leaving them laughing as they splash into the shallow runout at the bottom.

Idaho Heated Water SlidesIdaho Olympic Pools Water SlidesFun Waterslides in Idahothen there are the diving platforms. they don’t have these at waterparks in California! it’s a thrill for those brave enough to leap from its 5, 7, and 10 meter heights. four springboards flank the platform tower making this a diver’s paradise. no one in our family was brave enough to try any of the platforms out, but it was pretty amazing watching those who were, dive off of them. and in case you were wondering, you have to sign a waiver in order to be allowed to dive off them.
Lava Hot Springs Water SlidesIdaho Waterslidesthe Olympic Swimming Complex has two indoor areas to enjoy as well, a large lap pool, and the Portneuf Kiddie Cove. my boys enjoyed playing in the cove once they had gotten a little too much sun. there were fun thinks to play with such as water features, slides, fountains and smaller pools.Lava Hot Springs Olympic PoolIdaho Recreation SpotsIdaho Olypic Swimming Complex Children's PoolsIdaho Olympic Swimming Complex Children's Poolsanother thing we did was visit the Sunken Gardens. they were pretty and fun to explore. i did take some photos, but for some reason i can’t find them. however, one thing we didn’t get to do in Lava Hot Springs was go tubing on the river. all over town you can find rafting tubes for rent. you can take them into the slow moving Portneuf river rapid and ride them for about 5 blocks. there are designated entry points to enter and exit, and once you float down the entire way, you can do it again until you a tired. we would have loved to try this, but time was short and we thought Vann, our youngest was too young. but next time we are in the area, we are going for sure! Lava Hot Springs Inner TubingNatural Hot Springs RaftingNatural Hot Springs Rafting in the United StatesIdaho Hot Spring AttractionsLava Hot Springs Tourist AttractionsLava Hot Springs River Rafting

we had the best time in Lava Hot Springs and we were sad to say goodbye. but there was still a lot of traveling ahead and adventure to be had. so back on the road we went on our way to Yellowstone.

Lava Hot Springs City

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah

Our Family’s Visit to the Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California

Family Guide to Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove

from the moment i found out about the Great Wolf Lodge, i knew that i wanted to take my family on a vacation there. it was about four years ago when i read a post on another blog about the Great Wolf Lodge in Texas. it looked AMAZING…like a rustic lodge with amazing experiences for kids and a giant indoor water park. at that time, there were only seven Great Wolf Lodges in the United States, but the ones in Texas and  Seattle were the closest to us here in California. unfortunately, our family was never able to travel anywhere close to any Great Wolf Lodges. so imagine my excitement to find out that one would be opening in Southern California!!!!! Garden Grove in Orange County to be exact.

we anxiously watched the construction and even went on a hard hat tour while the work was in progress. atlas, it was finished and recently just opened this past February. my family finally got to take that vacation, or should i say “staycation”, to the Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California last month!

we had an absolutely fabulous time. all of us….parents and kids. it was more than i had thought it would be. and so that you can see what to expect when you stay at the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California…i’m going to share some….okay A LOT of photos from our visit.  click here for discounts and deals to stay at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California.

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California review

the Great Wolf Lodge is unlike any other hotel or resort in Southern California. its 100% geared towards families – everything you need is right there in the resort, from food, to entertainment to the hotel rooms. you can eat, sleep and play and not have to worry about leaving the resort until your stay is over. kids are allowed to do what they do best, just be kids. it’s okay to be loud, run and have FUN. and be prepared for lots of it.

when we walked in the lobby, we were greeted into a grand lodge…with vaulting ceilings, a gigantic stone fireplace that is used as a gathering place for bedtime story time and dance parties, and wilderness murals flanking the walls.

The Entrance to the Great Wolf LodgeGreat Wolf Lodge StaircaseGreat Wolf Lodge Staircase DetailGreat Wolf Lodge BenchGreat Wolf Lodge Fire PlaceGreat Wolf Lodge ChandalierGreat Wolf Lodge Lobby

i immediately felt my kids excitement as we entered. they wanted to start exploring right away! so we quickly checked in and headed up to our room to put away our luggage. everyone who is staying in the room is given a wristband that acts as your room key. it allows you access to the water park, and the coolest thing is not ever having to worry about losing a room key. this saved me so much time…you don’t even know!

the rooms are fun…decorated in rustic cabin style. there are many types to choose – from standard to deluxe. we happened to stay in a “Kid Cabin” which has a separate area for the kids with themed wallpaper and creatures on the wall that have special effects when you wave a MagiQuest wand at them.
Great Wolf Lodge Towel WolfPlaying in the Kids CabinGreat Wolf Lodge Bunk BedsKid Cabin at the Great Wolf Lodge

the rooms were cool…but not where we wanted to spend the day, as there were so many more things to explore at the GWL. we changed into our swim suits and headed out…..straight to the water park! because that’s the main reason why you stay at GWL. when you enter the water park, the kids get measured and given a color coded band that lets you and the lifeguards know which rides you are safe to ride on. you can also get pool towels.

Height Check for Slides at the Great Wolf LodgeTowels at the Great Wolf Lodge

check it out! how fun is this water park. there are slides for every age, Fort Mackenzie with lots of water features and a giant bucket that pours water every few minutes, a full-sized wave pool, places to splash, swim and climb…and sooooooo much more!!!! the water is heated to 84º and the air is also a nice 84º. you don’t ever have to worry about rain, or putting on sunscreen.

Lily Pad JumpingFort MackenzieKid Waterslide at the Great Wolf LodgeWave Pool at the Great Wolf LodgeSouthern California Water ParkSlide Tubes at the Great Wolf LodgeRainbow Slides at the Great Wolf LodgeSwimming in the wave poolLazy River at the Great Wolf LodgeWater Snake at the Great Wolf LodgeFamily Raft at the Great Wolf Lodge Southern CaliforniaRaft Slides at the Great Wolf LodgeFun Water Parks in Southern California

my boys’ favorite ride was the FlowRider. a wave simulator that you can surf on. and no, there is no extra cost to ride it.

Wave Machine at the Great Wolf Lodge

my hubby loved the Wolf Tail slide that basically drops the floor out from under you in a 20 foot drop into a water slide. yikes…i didn’t try it, but he sure loved it.

Expert Waterslides at Great Wolf Lodge

Vann and i spent a good part of the time in the kiddie area which had slides, pools and fun toys to play with that were just his size.  you didn’t have to worry about the big kids being too rough in this area.

baby water park area at Great Wolf Lodgebaby Slides at the Great Wolf LodgeSplashing at the Great Wolf LodgePool Decorations at the Great Wolf LodgeKiddie area at the Great Wolf Lodge

finally, not all of the water park is indoors. if you need some fresh air, head outside and enjoy the outdoor splash pool.

Outdoor Water Park area at the Great Wolf Lodge

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