Nothing cures the "I'm bored" blues like announcing to the kids a surprise getaway to the indoor water park at the Great Wolf Lodge! With 11 locations in nine U.S. states plus Canada, hopefully there is one within a reasonable drive from your home. And since admission to the water park is included in the price of the hotel stay and entrance is limited only to hotel guests — you can feel confident that your plans won't be canceled due to poor weather or overcrowded conditions.

Need some additional motivation? Here are 5 reasons why you'll have a great time.

They're Incredibly Fun

The parks are carefully designed to accommodate families with children of all ages, with some attractions geared to the younger set (smaller slides, knee-deep zero-entry pools), some to the more dare-devil adventurers seeking thrill rides, and some attractions specifically geared to a broad audience (such as the wave pool and lazy river).

Most recently, our family visited the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos (PA) and had the sheer pleasure of trying out the hydro-plunge water coaster — a combination water slide and roller coaster that uses conveyor belts to move rafts quickly up the incline before releasing them down the next water-filled slide. It was awesome!

They're Very Safe

Taking six children of varying swimming abilities to a water park is a daunting task, but after observing how the life guards work at the Great Wolf Lodge, I felt very comfortable letting my older kids explore the water park on their own, allowing me to focus my watchful eye on the younger kids.

For one thing, the life guards never sit down on the job — there are no guard chairs like you see at your local beach or pool. They are constantly in motion, walking back and forth, searching every corner of the pool that they are guarding, checking that no one is engaged in any unsafe practices. In the areas where the large slides empty into a pool, life guards are carefully watching every raft, making sure that the occupants are exiting quickly and safely before the next rider emerges from the slide.

Bad Weather Won't Cancel Your Plans!

Not only is the water park kept at a constant cozy 84 degrees, they are designed to continue operating even if the weather is stormy outside. We've been to many indoor pools at hotels or at location for swimming lessons that close completely in the event of lightning in the area. It is great to know that you vacation won't be ruined in the event that Mother Nature decides to dole out her worst.

It's Clean and the Rooms are Beautifully Themed

The water park area is kept beautifully clean, and that strong commitment to detail carries through to the wolf and bear-den themed rooms, which the kids love. I'm telling you, Disney Imagineers themselves couldn't have dreamed up better theming.

They Have a Spa!

Why should the kids have all the thrills? Each Great Wolf Lodge has an Elements Spa with every service that a mom needs to return to her family feeling relaxed and pampered. And should you wish to show your tween or teen daughter the benefits of self-indulgence, Great Wolf also features a Scoops Kids Spa where she can receive a mani, pedi, or facial. Just think of how many cool-Mom points that you'll earn!

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