Water ParkHappy Halloween! Today is the last day in October, and also the last day of Great Wolf Lodge’s Howl-O-Ween, but there are plenty of reasons to visit Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg throughout this fall and winter season.

The best thing about going to Great Wolf Lodge in the off-season is that even when it’s cold outside (although let’s face it, that hasn’t been too much of an issue so far), the water park is the ideal temperature for wandering around in your swimsuit and enjoying all sorts of slides, rides, and attractions. We spent hours at the water park and even after taking a brief break for meals and seasonal activities, we returned to the water park. It’s the main reason to go, and we promise you won’t get bored, no matter what age the kids are. My kids were particularly fond of the Howlin’ Tornado and the Fort Mackenzie obstacle course, and my husband and I enjoyed the lazy river, the Slap Tail Pond wave pool, and the Hot Springs jacuzzis.

Great Wolf Lodge isn’t exactly inexpensive, but if you plan ahead, look for promotions (and there are lots of deals, available), and maximize your time by visiting the water before check-in time and staying past check-out time (which is completely  allowed), you can get the most for your money and enjoy a reasonably affordable mini-vacation there with your family. Make sure to check out the site’s Special Offers page for the latest deals or military or other active discounts.

There are loads of side attractions to try, including the ever-popular MagiQuest, which was just overhauled with a new experience. But since that attraction/virtual game takes several hours to fully complete, we recommend it to families spending at least two full days/nights at the resort. For our overnight trips, we’ve focused on other fun activities like Ten Paw Alley bowling, Howl-in-One mini golf, Howlers Peak ropes course, and the Northern Lights arcade. My kids are all different ages, so it can be hard to find common ground, but there was truly something for everyone — even the lovely Scoops Spa if you want to treat yourself to a mani-pedi or massage. One of the best new gift shops is The Name Shop, where we got the kids personalized leather bracelets.

Dining options include a sit-down buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner (The Loose Moose Bar and Grill), a grab and go Dunkin’ Donuts, a casual dining pizza joint (Hungry As A Wolf), a poolside bar and grill (Buckets Incredible Craveables), and an ice cream parlor, Bear Paw Sweets and Eats. As a best value, we recommend eating in at Hungry As A Wolf. We fed our family of 5 for less than $40 with pizza, salad, and a 2-liter of soda. Considering the dinner buffet would cost more than that for two people, it is definitely a good deal.

The seasonal activities and decorations at GWL Williamsburg are beautifully done to make everyone comfortable and happy from dawn to dusk.

Disclosure: My family was treated to a complimentary one-night stay, but we paid for certain amenities and meals ourselves.