We're going on a 3 day vacation this weekend. We're headed to Great Wolf Lodge which is an indoor water park & theme hotel. They also have a great game called MagicQuest to suck up your time when you want a break from swimming. This will be our third visit in a year.
Havoc wanted to go there last year for his birthday, so we did. Then we went in March because they offered us a great deal and this time we are again going for Havoc's birthday (even though it is 10 days away, this was the cheaper of the weekends available). Having done this a couple of times now I am far better at knowing what to bring.
2 suits each, because nothing is worse than putting on a cold clammy suit you took off 2 hours ago when you came back to the room for lunch or a break.
Clothespins. They have a line in the bathroom but no pins.
Several pairs of sweats or other comfy pants to lounge around the room in because inevitably someone will drop a wet suit on them rendering them unwearable.
Pajamas. They do an interactive story time at 8pm for the kids & everyone shows up in their pajamas for it. Except our kids, who sleep in their underwear generally, or random t shirts. They do have pajamas & do wear them from time to time, but not often enough that I always remember to pack them if we are only gone a couple nights.
Extra towels, because no matter how many they give you in the room or in the park, you will never have enough if you leave the park more than once in the day. Especially if you have people like me along, who insist on having a DRY towel, not a damp towel, when they get out of the shower. We generally are in and out of the park 3 times a time taking breaks for lunch, snack, MagiQuest, etc.
Food & drink - MY GOD their food is expensive!!! We brought nothing but some juice for the kids the first time we went. I was floored by the amount we spent on food. The food is good but I'm never overjoyed to spend $8-9 on a sandwich. Buffets are wasted on my picky eaters and the cost of a soda & a bag of chips is ridiculous. Last time we brought cereal, drinks, stuff to make PB&Js, fruit and snacks. There is a fridge in the room. There is a Pizza Hut in the place so we had that one night rather than the buffet and the next night we went out to iHop. This time I remembered they sell Pepsi products & bought some bottles of it and Apple juice that we can refill in our rooms with our stuff because no outside food & beverages are allowed in the water park & who can tell if that is Coke & not Pepsi in that Pepsi bottle.
Comfy clothes & shoes for running around the place on MagiQuest. The boys can't read well enough yet & aren't really old enough to be let off on their own & the game takes you all over 2 wings and 2 floors of the hotel, many many times.
An assortment of excuses for why we are not going into the arcade, should the path from our room to the park take up past it. An arcade is money down the drain with a 4 & 5 year old. They want to play all the racing games but can't & only last 10 seconds on the ones they can manage. Last time we went we managed to avoid going near the arcade at all & the boys never asked about it.
Both laptops. DH is on his all evening long after the kids are in bed & I never got a turn without a lot of gumbling. They have free wifi in the rooms!
Portable DVD player & movies. Mostly for the drive up and back which is almost 3 hours, but usually there is a movie break in the afternoon of the second day.
We'll be gone 2 nights. My car will be just as crammed with stuff (due to the food mostly) as it is when we go for 10 days to visit my folks.