It doesn’t take long to understand why kids absolutely love visiting Great Wolf Lodge Manteca. The immerive resort transports guests to a world just for kids from the moment they step into the Grand Lobby. This gigantic, lodge-style hotel and indoor water park truly is designed with kids in mind.
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary stay at the resort in exchange for a review. This post also contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here, thanks for your support!
It often feels like so much of our world caters to adults. Wherever you take your kids, whether it’s a grocery store, a restaurant, the airport, etc. there are always a lot of grown-up rules to enforce. It can be tough, as a parent, to relax and meet your kids at their developmental level. That’s why it’s so refreshing to find a place that 100% understands, and expects kids to be kids.
By offering a ton of activities and attractions children love, it’s like a little kid’s dream world inside.
Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
- Attractions at Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
- Tips for Visiting Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
- What it’s like to visit Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
Attractions at Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
The Adventure Park
Just past the lobby is the Adventure Park. Here, you can find a child-size bowling alley, a mini golf course, a ropes course, a gold panning sluice and an arcade. Designed to look like the great outdoors, it’s an exciting place for kids to explore.
Wiley’s Water Park
Perhaps the biggest attraction at Great Wolf Lodge is the indoor water park.
Here you’ll find a lazy river, a huge wave pool, big slides, little slides and a water play area for younger kids. Always heated to 84 degrees, it’s got something for the whole family to enjoy.
Outside, there is a huge swimming pool as well! With a slow sloped entrance and multiple built-in seats, it’s a great place to swim with young kids.
The Great Wolf Lodge provides life jackets for kids, so no need to bring your own from home.
Throughout the Lobby and Adventure Park you’ll find a live action magic adventure game called “MagiQuest.” After purchasing a magic wand, kids can complete quests and scavenger hunts as young Magi. The magic wands (which work like remote controls) will open treasure chests full of gems and gold and make animatronic features like butterflies light up and move. The magic wands keep track of the player’s progress as they play the game.
The game continues as long as your stay, and the magic wands are yours to keep.
Every day, different planned programs take place in the Lobby. Families can participate in morning yoga, story time and fabulous dance parties! There are also meet and greets with the lodge’s mascots, Wiley and Violet Wolf.
The resort also hosts arts and crafts activities in the lobby, all geared towards little kids. Great Wolf Lodge Manteca partners with a non-profit called The Confetti Foundation, which throws birthday parties for kids who are sick or who are in the hospital.
During arts and crafts time, kids have the opportunity to create a birthday card to donate to The Confetti Foundation. After completing their card, kids can create their own take-home button. This is a very sweet opportunity for children to contribute to another kid’s happiness.
There are multiple places to eat and drink at Great Wolf Lodge Manteca. While the Resort is mostly for kids, they do serve alcohol to adults and offer a full bar at their restaurants.
Barnwood serves the best restaurant food, with California inspired cuisine. Although this is a nice restaurant with a lot of tasty offerings, parents can rest easy knowing that children are expected to be kids here. There is a full children’s menu, and their drinks come with lids.
There is also many casual options. For breakfast, guests can enjoy a buffet style traditional American breakfast at Campfire Kitchen. There is a pizza restaurant called Hungry as a Wolf and a chicken and burger place called Buckets.
For treats, Great Wolf Lodge has an ice cream parlor, a candy shop and a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Within Wiley’s Water Park, adults can grab craft cocktails at The Watering Hole.
Tips for Visiting Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
When to Visit
In order to beat the crowds, it’s a good idea to visit during a weekday. We stayed on a Tuesday night, and the crowds were manageable.
The best time to enjoy the Water Park is earlier in the day. It’s gets more crowded as the day goes on. Wiley’s Water Park opens at 9am and stays open until 8pm.
When you book a trip to Great Wolf Lodge Manteca, you have access to the Water Park starting at 1pm, even though check-in isn’t until 4. The Water Park gets more crowded as the day goes on. Enjoying it earlier in the day will help beat the crowds.
Great Wolf Lodge Manteca has multiple suite options which serve family’s needs well. We booked the Wolf Den Suite, which features a den with child-size bunk beds inside.
The Suite was a good size. In addition to the bunk beds, it had a queen bed and a sofa bed. It also featured a small eating area and a sink outside of the bathroom.
What to Bring
Here a is short list of things to bring during your stay:
- Water Shoes. While the water in the park is chlorinated, most people are walking around barefoot. If you’re a germaphobe at all, it’s nice to have something on your kid’s feet. It’s also helpful to prevent slipping.
- Water Bottles. Water is expensive here, and the tap water does not taste good. Bring a case of water bottles and keep them refrigerated in your hotel room refrigerator.
- Healthy Snacks to keep in your room. The resort has lots of treats like donuts, ice cream and candy. If your kids are sensitive to sugar, round out their day with something nutritious. Rooms are equipped with mini refrigerators, so you can store snacks like string cheese and carrot sticks as well.
- Waterproof phone case. While their are lockers available in the water park, you might not want to lock your phone away. Plus, you’ll need your ID if you’d like to get a alcoholic beverage. Bring a waterproof case to keep your valuables dry.
- Goggles for kids. The chlorine is strong and could burn their eyes if they’re swimming underwater.
What it’s like to stay at Great Wolf Lodge Manteca
In a word, FUN. My kids really, really loved our time here. While it could feel a little overwhelming and chaotic at times with all of the exciting options, it was such a nice little break from reality and a really great place to spend time as a family.
My three year old chanted “don’t leave! don’t leave!” as we walked to the car at the end of our stay, and my six year old asked if we could just live at The Great Wolf Lodge forever. It’s safe to say we’ll be returning to the resort!
Great Wolf Lodge is best for elementary school aged kids, but offers something for toddlers – young teenagers. Find out more here: https://www.greatwolf.com/northern-california/waterpark-attractions/explore-by-age?filters=.
Two nights is the ideal amount of time to stay at Great Wolf Lodge.
MagiQuest is ideal for ages 6- 12.
Yes! Keep your wand and reuse it again during your next visit.