Major water park hotel sale and themed hotel suites: This month in family travel news

Aug 1, 2022

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Hello and welcome to another month of travel news with me, your trusted advisor on all things family travel. As much as I love theme parks, there is so much more to family travel than roller coasters and Mickey-shaped foods.

This month, I’m sticking solely with hotel news. We’ve got a few timely deals that’ll help you save big bucks on summer and holiday travel, family-friendly hotel suites, limited-time activities for families and more — so let’s dive in.

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Great Wolf Lodge one-day sale

Water slides at indoor water park
(Photo from Great Wolf Lodge/Facebook)

My husband and I used to joke that once we had kids, Great Wolf Lodge was the only place we were allowed to vacation. Well, the joke’s on us because once we finally took our kids there, we all loved it. The rooms are spacious (some even have bunk beds), the water park has activities for all ages and the food was surprisingly good.

Related: Splish, splash then take a nap at these 15 US hotels with water parks

Because water park access and other activities are included in the cost of your stay, it does have a higher price tag than a traditional hotel, but they have a one-day sale on Aug. 4 that will make your stay even less expensive than a traditional hotel.

To celebrate the water park’s 84-degree, year-round temperature, Great Wolf Lodge is celebrating with rates starting as low as $84 per night (not including taxes and fees) for select dates Mondays to Thursdays between Aug. 4 and Dec. 15, 2022.

Book online using the code 84DEGREES or by mentioning the promo if booking by phone.

Big city and beach summertime fun

(Photo courtesy of Loews Regency New York Hotel)

Summer is winding down, but there’s still time to squeeze in just a little bit more family fun before the school year starts. What better way to end the season than at a hotel that has a full day of activities all planned out for you?

Loews Hotels is celebrating “Summerfest” with a range of grown-up and kid-friendly offerings between now and Labor Day. Loews Regency New York Hotel, for example, is hosting “Summerfest Cultural Safari.” Self-guided tours will help visitors discover the Upper East Side’s hidden gems like Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park and a car-free section of Park Avenue. Rates in August start from $414 per night.

(Photo by Jeff Herron for Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort Hotel & Spa)

If you’re more of a beach bum than a city slicker, consider an end-of-summer stay at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Their M Passport package includes a welcome kit for kids, pre-planned, interactive activities around the resort and surrounding area, complimentary breakfast for two adults and complimentary dinner for up to two children dining with a paying adult. Rates average $369 per night. The package must be booked by Aug. 20, 2022, and is available for stays through Sept. 6, 2022.

Related: Baby it’s cold outside: 6 family-friendly beach resorts you can still book with points for the holidays

Family-friendly suites at Graduate Hotels

My husband and I recently stayed at the Graduate Cincinnati and I fell head-over-heels in love with the theming. There were plenty of nods to the University of Cincinnati campus where the hotel was located, but also to other “Cincinnati-isms” like Skyline Chili, Cincinnati native and Grammy award winner Bootsy Collins and Fiona the hippo who resides at the Cincinnati Zoo.

(Photo courtesy of Graduate Hotels)

All of that was part of a standard room, but many Graduate locations have themed suites that take the experience to the next level. Graduate Roosevelt Island in New York City recently transformed its Loft Suite into a toy-filled suite themed to the 1988 movie “Big,” complete with a real, working Zoltar machine, a mini trampoline and a life-sized floor piano.

Hotel room themed to Stranger Things
(Photo courtesy of Graduate Hotels)

Graduate Bloomington, Indiana, is offering up a “Stranger Things” suite with two rooms — one designed after the Byers’s living room (yes, there’s a Christmas light alphabet with which to communicate with other realms) and the other themed to the kids’ hangout in Mike Wheeler’s basement. Rates start from $344 per night.

If your kids know and love the cinematographic masterpiece that is “Home Alone,” the Graduate Evanston in Illinois has a suite that transports guests to the McCallister home with an 80s-style television and decor, VHS tapes and all of the vintage toiletries you need to reenact Macaulay Culkin’s famous “Home Alone scream.” In August, rates start at $239 per night.

Fairmont Hotels partners with Make-A-Wish

(Photo courtesy of Fairmont Grand Del Mar)

Make-A-Wish is a charity that is near and dear to my heart, so I was excited to learn that it has teamed up with Fairmont Hotels on a partnership to grant wishes to children living with a critical illness.

As part of that partnership, The Ultimate Kids’ Playhouse is coming to Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego beginning July 31, 2022. The playhouse was designed, in part, by Make-A-Wish kids themselves, which means the playhouse is accessible for all kids and has all the magical elements kids dream of like a spiral slide and a room filled with teddy bears.

The playhouse will be at Fairmont Grand Del Mar until Sept. 22 and will then travel to other Fairmont Hotels locations. Admission is free with proof of a donation to Make-A-Wish.

Save big on a Hudson Valley holiday

Ready or not, the holiday season will be here before you know it. I feel as ill-prepared as you probably do to kick off the holidays, but the slow trickle of holiday travel specials is making me feel just a tad bit merry (despite the nearly triple-digit temperatures here in Indiana).

The Mohonk Mountain House in New York’s Hudson Valley (which has lovely views of the Mohonk Preserve, by the way) is ringing in the holidays with deep discounts for families who book early — as much as 40% off on midweek dates between Nov. 27 and Dec. 22, 2022. With the discount applied, expect to pay around $621 per night.

This just so happens to fall during the hotel’s annual holiday programming, which officially kicks off in December. Families who visit during this time can go ice skating, make crafts, see Christmas trees and gingerbread houses and so much more.

(Photo by James Leynse/Corbis/Getty Images)

Recent family travel news from TPG

Featured photo courtesy of Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

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