A Taste of Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

Let’s be honest…based on my years of exploring waterparks both with and without kids, I’ve come to expect waterpark cuisine to be overpriced and underwhelming. So when I was invited to preview the menu for the brand new Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, I was expecting standard waterpark fare that wouldn’t really be something to write about. Man oh man was I wrong! You see, this new Great Wolf Lodge not only fully transformed the rooms and amenities of a former waterpark, but also created a food destination. Here’s a preview of a taste of Great Wolf Lodge Illinois:

I was hosted to a complimentary Taste of Great Wolf experience. All opinions are my own.


The Great Wolf Lodge Illinois will feature eight unique eateries when it opens this July. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between (they even have a late night wine service for parents!), there is delicious option for every unique appetite and budget.

Campfire Kitchen

In the morning, diners will enjoy traditional breakfast specialties such as eggs, bacon, fruit…and of course Great Wolf Lodge’s signature wolf shaped waffles. In the evening, plates featuring salads, seafood, fish, and hand carved meat are offered. Their extensive kids’ menu ensures that even the pickiest eater will leave Campfire Kitchen satisfied.


Hungry as a Wolf Pizza

After a day at the waterpark, diners can enjoy a wide array of hot, hand tossed pizzas in addition to salads and sandwiches in a more casual setting.


Timbers Tacos

New to Great Wolf Lodge, this restaurant offers Tex-Mex fare including nachos, soups, salads, and a la carte street tacos. Even better? They have margaritas on tap!


Buckets Incredible Craveables

Refuel inside the waterpark at this fast-casual eatery. The extensive menu includes premium burgers, salads, sandwiches…and of course, sweets. Experience the ultimate indulgence by ordering the Tipping Bucket Sundae and enjoy ice cream, brownies, cookies, candy, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Yum!

The Watering Hole

It is impossible to go thirsty thanks to this poolside spot. Think blended drinks for the adults and flavored soda for the kids.


The Outpost

Nestled inside the Great Wolf Adventure Park, this is a great place to stop and refuel with a draft beer, handcrafted cocktail, or non alchoholic option.


Dunkin Donuts and Ben & Jerry’s

These two reliable staples are perfect for coffee, ice cream, and whenever that snack craving hits.


Freshwood Market

Kids ready to crash? Then pick up a ready to go meal from Freshwood Market. Frreshly prepared salads and sandwiches are ready and waiting whenever the mood strikes.


This farm to fork restaurant is the culinary crown jewel of the Great Wolf Lodge. All ingredients are locally sourced, which results in fresh and seasonal dishes that will please any and all palettes.


During my Tate of Great Wolf media preview, I was able to try a wide array of dishes, from crabcake appetizers to BBQ short ribs with creamed corn and crispy shallots (my favorite!). I even got the chance to make Great Wolf Lodge’s immensely popular pimento cheese spread, as well as a swoon worthy s’mores sundae.


Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed that a waterpark would serve such elevated and delicious food if I hadn’t tried it myself. And since Barnwood is so focused on incorporating seasonal ingredients from local farms such as Prairie Wind Family Farm in Grayslake and Tempel Farms in Wadsworth, the menu will always have fresh and new offerings.



Now, after reading about all of the unique eateries the Great Wolf Illinois offers, one could wonder how food allergies are handled throughout the resort. Well, I am pleased to say that all kitchen facilities at the Great Wolf Lodge are peanut and tree nut free. And if you have a different food allergy? Simply email the team before your arrival or mention your dietary restrictions during check in and you will be taken care of.


To have such a large business pay such close attention to food allergies truly says a lot about their customer service and how they want your family to focus on having fun and not having to worry about food allergies during your stay. For many families with food allergies, this sense of relief is truly priceless.



Finally, I’m excited to share a perk for all o the moms and dads who will be spending their entire day splashing around with their kids and then trying to wrangle those overtired kiddos into bed: The Great Wolf Wine Down Service. Yes, that’s right, there is a wine, cheese, and dessert pairing service that is helping parents end their day on a high note. Even better? The staff will text you when your “wine down” service is on its way instead of knocking on the door and waking up your little wolf pack.

Now that’s I’ve wet your palette, stay tuned for more about the vast amenities at the Great Wolf Lodge Illinois and of course, check out all of my travel tips and recommended destinations.


Bon Appetite!
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  1. Erin | The Epicurean Traveler says

    Wow, I also would not have had high expectations for the food at a waterpark, but those options sound really good. It sounds like they have thought about the different visitors and their varying dietary needs/restrictions.

    • Amanda says

      It’s easy to take great photos when your food is so swoon worthy! So excited to head to Barnwood when it opens next month!

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