Rockin Mama™ Motherhood, Giveaways and Product Reviews2016-04-28T05:54:03Z Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[DIY Desert Garden]]> 2016-04-28T05:54:03Z 2016-04-28T05:54:03Z {Sponsored}

I’ve never had a green thumb, and that’s likely due to my tendency to forget things like watering the plants or exposing them to their optimal climate.  So when my blackberry plant actually began yielding fruit, I felt like I had turned a gardening corner. Admittedly, I’ve had more success with forgiving plants that can go a day or two without water or don’t have to be moved from sun to shade during the hotter parts of the day.

Spring is always the season when I make a fresh attempt to grow a few plants to place in and outside of my home. Since succulents and cacti tend to be resilient and easy-to-grow, I decided to put together an easy DIY Desert Garden.

DIY Desert Garden Supplies

Here is what you’ll need for your DIY Desert Garden:

  • Planter in the color, size, and shape of your choice
  • Soil/Potting Mix
  • Pearl Stone Soil Cover
  • Trowel
  • Succulents and Cacti

DIY Desert Garden Instructions:


  • Place a layer of pearl stones inside the planter.


  • Alternatively, you can also punch several holes into the bottom of the planter to allow for water drainage

Plant Soil

  • Fill planter 2/3 of the way full with soil
  • Carefully transplant succulents and cacti
  • Pack soil around each plant
  • Water and place outdoors

DIY Desert Garden

Since succulents and cacti tend to require similar growing conditions, they make the ideal plants to pair together. Choose a pot that is large enough to house all of the plants. You can also experiment with other plants, as long as they are companion plants. If you have a question about whether or not two plants can grow together, be sure to ask your local Walmart employee in the Gardening Department.

For more information or to shop for your next DIY Home Project, visit

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[Say It Best With an Eggoji + Behind the Scenes at Eggo Waffles Factory]]> 2016-04-27T04:55:38Z 2016-04-27T04:53:28Z {This was sponsored by Eggo but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience}

It never fails…I’m texting a friend and the conversation evokes an emotion I can’t really put into words. Like that time I slipped and fell at a local restaurant in front of my kids and a group of locals eating hors d’oeuvres and sipping fancy drinks during happy hour. Or that moment when my daughter perfectly embodied the phrase “Kids say the darndest things,” at my local church, of course.

Even if we were on the phone, I probably couldn’t convey those emotions in a way that communicates exactly how I’m thinking or feeling in that moment. If we were speaking face-to-face, my facial expressions would say it all without a need for a single word. And then there are those times when I’ve been writing all. day. long and I really can’t formulate a coherent thought let alone an entire sentence. This is when I resort to emoji speak.

Eggoji Inspiration

Emojis date back to the 90’s and their roots lie deep within Japan. Inspired by weather forecasts that used symbols to depict weather and comics that used stock symbols to express emotions, the emoji is now used to express an idea or emotion digitally across electronic platforms.

The number of emojis continues to grow it seems, with every iOS update. And inevitably, I’ll be looking for a said emoji only to discover it doesn’t exist. If you peruse the library of food emojis, you’ll notice a glaring oversight…Where is the waffle emoji? If you’ve asked the question during breakfast (or brunch…or brinner), you’re not alone. In fact, today marks the launch of the very first set of Eggojis thanks to Eggo!


Now you can download a free app app, available on both the App store and the Google Play store here, that will give you the ability to express emotions and your waffle – ahem Eggo – personality in your own personal way.

L'eggo my Eggo

Are you fiercely protective of your Eggo waffles? Just flash the  #LeggoMyEggo Eggoji.


Someone getting too close to your waffles? Nope!

Eggo Headquarters

To celebrate the launch of Eggo’s new Eggojis, I spent a few days at their factory learning about how the family-owned company became a global breakfast staple in households across the country.  I felt honored to be privvy to the inner workings of this company. Every single day, this facility alone makes over 1 million waffles which are then shipped out to retailers across the country.

Eggo Wall

Our tour began with insight into the Eggo brand. Started by the Dorsa family in the 1930s, the company, which was acquired by Kellogg’s in 1970, began in a garage. The Dorsa family saw a need for delicious, fresh-tasting frozen waffles that families could enjoy for breakfast.

Eggo Wall Art

The process for making waffles is actually quite simple, despite the complexity of this factory. The batter is prepared and then baked in waffle irons that resemble those in your own kitchen. A visual inspection system compares each waffle to a perfect ideal sample, and if it passes the test, goes on to a freezer where it is frozen for approximately 20 minutes. Any imperfect waffle is not wasted though and is used for hog feed. Once frozen, these waffles are then stacked, packaged, sealed and coded so that they can be traced if necessary.  The precision, attention to detail and quality was impressive and I walked away with a greater appreciation for a brand that still recognizes and acknowledges their history as a family-owned company.

Eggo Bar


Fusing fun and creativity, we were inspired to create our very own Eggojis in the Eggo Studio during our time in San Jose.

Waffle Eggoji

I initially drew inspiration from the “face throwing a kiss” using kiwi and blueberries for the eyes and a strawberry for the kiss.

California Sun Emoji

We were then challenged to interpret the spirt of California as an Eggoji. Since our weather is idyllic, I decided to create a sun using lemon wedges.


Kids love playing with their food, and I see Eggojis being used to inspire fun and connection at the breakfast table. And during those in-between times, you can express your waffle personality with your friends using the free app, available now on the App store and Google Play!

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[4 Color Trends We’re Following in 2016]]> 2016-04-26T11:38:26Z 2016-04-23T06:37:46Z {No compensation was received for this post. I attended a media event which facilitated the writing of this post}

About a year ago, I stood inside the living room of the first home I purchased, reflecting on the personal touches added to make it my own. Beyond the picture frames that lined the walls and the ultra-modern triangular dining room table, I painted accent walls before they were a “thing.” I mixed primary colors with secondary and tertiary colors in ways formerly deemed as untraditional. Not everyone is so adventurous when it comes to home design, particularly paint, and since the walls and floors of a home are the most viewed, it was time to temporarily end my stint with color.

Norah Restaurant

Fast forward to 2016 and I have new blank canvas waiting to be colored with inspiration. Since HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams just debuted their new INFINITY Line, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the latest Complete One-Coat Paint & Primer. Available exclusively at Lowe’s, INFINITY is Sherwin-Williams’ most durable, scrubbable, easy-to-apply, complete one-coat paint and primer. With excellent coverage and an ultra-smooth application, the finished look will satisfy even the most avid DIYers.

Christina and Tarek El Moussa

During an intimate lunch with Tarek and Christina El Moussa from HGTV’s Flip or Flop and the team at HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams, shared insights on the important role paint plays in a home and 4 color trends we’re following in 2016.


Catalyst: Inspired by social change, the regal, modern tones highlight art and redefines interior beauty. Color include Intricate Ivory, Smokey Topaz, Minimalist Gray, Magnificent Red and Aquamarined and merge classic beauty with modern chic.


Heirloom: Inspired by the modern day artisan, this trend merges beauty with usefulness. The earthy tones include Battersea Bronze, Perpetual Gray, Earthwise Blue, and Fire Roasted.


Odyssey: Inspired by what we don’t know, this trend features colors from nature’s most surreal phenomena…the sky and the ocean. These boundary-pushing colors include Frolic, Naval, Coral Odyssey, Lipstick Pink and Adriatic Azure.

Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle: Inspired by color in global cultures, this trend celebrates the beauty of life with it’s bold, vibrant colors. This palette includes Mangrove, Cadence, Scarlet Maple and Cotswold Green.


For additional inspiration on your next paint project, visit HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams on Pinterest.


Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[7 Family Travel Essentials For Every Vacation]]> 2016-04-23T04:24:19Z 2016-04-23T04:23:28Z {This post was sponsored by @GBChildUsa as part of a Blog Blast Activation for Influence Central.}

I remember the decision to make the 700+ mile road trip from Nashville, Tennessee to Hershey, Pennsylvania via Washington DC. Even if we drove straight, a thought we didn’t even consider with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, the trip would take nearly 11 hours. The reality is it probably took double that amount of time with all of the stops for meals, breaks and other necessities. Did I mention it was the middle of winter?

The thought of taking any trip with kids can be daunting for many families. Add in weather, cost, and the presumed difficulties associated with traveling with kids, and the result is a nation of families who often prolong vacations, resulting in missed opportunities to connect, bond, learn and dream together.

gb Pockit

When I sat down and really thought about what intimidated me about traveling with my kids, I realized that it came down to situations that in theory are out of my control. Some of those include missed or delayed flights, illness, inclement weather and road trip mishaps like getting lost or incurring a flat tire. I’ve found that preparation is the best antidote to travel-related anxiety, so today I’m sharing 7 Family Travel Essentials For Every Vacation.

  1. A few of their favorite things. Books, coloring essentials, toys, and my kids’ favorite stuffed animals always helped alleviate wait times at the airport or long car rides. I also recommend having a few new toys and activities on-hand to surprise them with.
  2. Wipes. Clean everything from faces and hands to airline seat trays and restaurant tables with. Try The Honest Company’s Travel Wipes which are durable and free from all of the chemicals you can never decipher in conventional wipes.
  3. First aid essentials. Put together a small bag filled with essentials such as band-aids, children’s Tylenol, sunscreen, Pedialyte, and other essential medications. Be sure this bag contains 4 ounce containers (or less) so that you can carry it with you on a plane.
  4. Plastic bags. Simple, yet often overlooked, you’ll be thankful you packed these when your child’s clothes, shoes or other belongings get wet, dirty or otherwise messy.
  5. Snacks. I’ve staved off many a meltdown by having my kids’ favorite snacks on-hand. Be sure to pack non-perishable items and a sippy cup/bottle for drinks.
  6. A portable stroller. I still use a stroller with my youngest daughter when we travel anywhere that requires a sufficient amount of walking. I also appreciate the convenience of having a place to put their items. If you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to travel with, the gb Pockit is the world’s smallest folding stroller. And at just under 10 pounds, it is the ideal stroller to travel with.
  7. Clothes for all climates. I know…it’s going to be 80 degrees in Hawaii with zero chance of rain. Bring a sweater and some warm clothes anyway. Weather is one of life’s most unpredictable phenomena so do yourself a favor and pack an umbrella for desert climates (those Arizona thunderstorms in August are intense…and beautiful) and a jacket for summer in San Francisco (remember Mark Twain’s quote?).

Want to glean additional trips on family travel? Join us this Thursday, April 28th, 2016 for a Twitter Party with gb Pockit. we’ll be talking about family adventures and how the world’s smallest folding stroller can help make your weekend getaway or cross-country vacation just a little bit more manageable.

#gbPockit Twitter Party 

When: Thursday, April 28, 2016, 1 – 2 PM ET
Who to Follow: @MomCentral, @GBChildUSA
Hashtag: #gbPockit
Prizes: 2 pre-party winners and 6 party winners will receive $50 Amex gift cards and 1 grand prize winner will receive the gb Pockit Stroller

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[How Your Refrigerator Can Save You Money]]> 2016-04-22T19:25:22Z 2016-04-22T19:23:31Z {The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free}

I quick survey of my heating, water, and electricity bills shows me exactly what the previous month was like in our household. I know if it was a particularly cold or warm month, if I spent way too long in the shower trying to alleviate the stress and busyness of my life, and whether or not my kids have forgotten to “be green” by turning off lights.

LG Refrigerator

The Cost of Aging Appliances

It’s Earth Month, and while I do believe our family does a good job of conserving the resources we’ve been given, we can always do more. One often overlooked way to maximize your energy and dollar savings is with your refrigerator. Did you know that ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators are approximately 10 percent more energy efficient than current models that meet the federally-mandated energy efficiency standard? With the average age of a family’s refrigerator approximately 10 years old, the energy cost of these aging appliances in the US exceeds $4.7 billion.

Save Money While Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Just in time for Earth Month, Best Buy and LG have introduced a new line of ENERGY STAR rated appliances, inspired by Nate Berkus.  The LG Studio Collection is characterized by pro-style features such as hefty metal knobs and flat doors. The refrigerator, in particular, features a horizontally brushed stainless steel finish, a flat-door design and an all-metal tall ice and water dispenser. By properly recycling and replacing your refrigerator, you’ll save money while helping to protect the environment. Over the lifetime of your new ENGERY STAR certified refrigerator, you’ll save $35-300 on energy costs. Plus, if all refrigerators sold in the US were ENERGY STAR certified, the savings would grow to over $400 million each year and $8 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented (equivalent to emissions from 750,000 vehicles)

LG Classic Kitchen

The LG Studio Collection

In honor of Earth Month, Best Buy and LG are offering 18 months financing on major appliances or 10% rewards and 10% back in grocery purchases PLUS free delivery on purchases $399 and over.  Here is a brief overview of the collection:

Range: LG ranges combine precision, performance and versatility with a streamlined, built-in aesthetic. Features include a flat-design, tilted control panels, metal knobs, sleek wave handles and SmoothTouch glass controls.

Dishwasher: Featuring ultraquiet 42 dB performance and TrueSteam technology, your dishes will come out sparkling without the need for pre or re-washing.

Over-the-Range Microwave: Utilizing convection technology, bake, roast and cook foods easily in less time. Plus LG’s TrueCookPlus technology ensures your food is cooked to perfection every single time.

To view Best Buy’s Earth Day offers, visit their dedicated website.


Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[10 Activities To Engage Your Kids at Imaginology]]> 2016-04-17T18:22:23Z 2016-04-17T05:32:15Z For the past several weeks, my son has been studying the human body from the perspective of a character, and every day after school he excitedly recaps the system he’s mastered. Even as a baby, I could see his intrigue as to how things work and my hope is that his love for science and technology will only grow.

Vintage Technology

The study of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math has become an increasingly prevalent approach in schools across the country. And while it may feel like a new approach, the concept of weaving these disciplines into learning dates back nearly 20 years.


Now in its 31st year, Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education present Imagination Celebration, which includes 50 family-friendly arts events, most of which are free. Running through May 29th, 2016, this celebration brings together 40-59 organizations, schools, cities and libraries in a county-wide festival that includes everything from live shows and art exhibits to hands-on workshops and the OC Fair’s Imaginology, now in its 36th year. During this 3-day education and entertainment fair, families can explore an expansive selection of workshops, scavenger hunts, hands-on activities and more, all designed to fuel a child’s imagination.

Playing Xylophone

Held at the OC Fair & Event Center April 15-17, 2016, families can discover, learn, and imagine through S.T.E.A.M. and agricultural activities.


Spanning much of the OC fairgrounds, here are 10 Activities To Engage Your Kids at Imaginology:

  1. Build and Race a Pinewood Derby Car
  2. Learn how to Code
  3. Sew a mini pillow
  4. Watch a live aerial performance
  5. Plant a terrarium
  6. Make a clay pot
  7. Place yourself inside of a giant bubble
  8. Test out your musical abilities on a xylophone
  9. Watch a live goat-milking demonstration
  10. Learn how to paint with tempura


This is just a snapshot of all there is to see and do at Imaginology this year. Entrance to the event is free to the public and parking is $8 at the OC Fair & Event Center. For additional information visit

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[8 Date Night Beauty Essentials You’ll Love]]> 2016-04-18T17:01:43Z 2016-04-16T02:48:28Z {I’ve partnered with Dove and DiMe Media to bring you today’s #EssentialUpgrade post sharing my Date Night Beauty Essentials}

It’s Friday night, and after a long week, I’m looking forward to an evening out where I don’t have to cook and the entertainment comes from a source other than my subscription streaming service.  As a parent, date nights aren’t always easy to coordinate and yet that opportunity to spend a bit of time focusing on something you and your significant other enjoy can be *revitalizing* for your relationship together. This much-needed time away can also help re-energize you since the role of being a parent can often be taxing. And I personally love opportunities to dress up, put on a little makeup, and celebrate my beauty as a woman.

Because my work/life schedule can be variable and seemingly tireless, I find it helpful to place regular date nights and girls’ nights out on the calendar, just as I would any other activity. I also find that having a mental checklist of date night essentials makes it more difficult to create an excuse not to go out.

Date Night Beauty Essentials

If I asked you to choose a handful of beauty and personal care products that you can’t live without, I imagine they might include lipstick, mascara and deodorant. For date nights and girls’ nights out, these essentials help enhance our external and internal beauty and help us feel confident about ourselves. To help inspire you to make regular time for date nights and girls’ nights out, I’m sharing my Date Night Beauty Essentials!

Powder: My go-to for smooth, flawless skin is a mineral foundation with an SPF. The lightweight coverage lasts for hours and the minerals help diminish the appearance of imperfections. Plus the container is compact enough to stash in my purse for touch-ups throughout the night.

Lipstick: A bold lip is my make-up staple, particularly because my lips are a feature I like to enhance. Red is the perfect choice for making a statement and creating a more dramatic, evening look.

Eye Shadow: I personally love a little color on my eye and how I can use shadows to create a shimmery, sultry or smoky look depending on my mood.

Mascara: For many people, a person’s eyes are the first feature that grabs their attention. Draw attention to your eyes with a waterproof mascara that conditions and lengthens your lashes.

Date Night Essentials

Deodorant: Whether it’s your first date, or your fiftieth, there is always a bit of angst before an evening out, even if it stems from the stress of trying to coordinate all of the logistics to make date night happen. Don’t settle for a deodorant that simply gets you by. I personally love Dove’s Advanced Care Antiperspirant, which offers 48 hours of odor and wetness protection and includes a NutriumMoisture formula that leaves my underarms feeling soft and smooth. Summer is right around the corner and my attire, particularly for date nights, often includes a sleeveless dress or top. Dove’s Advanced Care Antiperspirant can help restore the skin’s natural tone under the arms, so you can sport your favorite date night outfit with confidence.

Perfume: I love to look good and smell good, so a subtle perfume is a must for evenings out. If you’re sensitive to scents, try a body spray which you can apply before date night and then refresh throughout the night.

Jewelry: I love to use accessories to dress up an outfit, but they don’t have to cost a lot of money to make a difference. Embrace your own sense of style and experiment with colors, beads, pendants, chains, and metals.

Clutch: When it comes to date night, I prefer to keep it simple when it comes to a purse. Choose something that will fit your date night essentials and compliments the color and style of your outfit.

Dove Advanced Care Deodorant

What are your date night essentials?  I’d love to hear your must-have beauty essentials for feeling beautiful and confident.

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[5 Ways To Teach Children About Hunger In America]]> 2016-04-15T13:05:58Z 2016-04-15T05:35:11Z {Sponsored}

Every year in the Spring, my son’s Cub Scout Pack spends one month focusing their efforts on compassion. The activities during this particular month are focused on helping the Scouts develop an awareness for others and their needs. Each year, our pack puts together Love Lunches which we as a family give out to those individuals in our community that we identify as having a need. Typically, these individuals live on the street and are without a home.

Love Lunches

What’s interesting about the individuals who we provide Love Lunches to is that we don’t have to go far to find someone in need. We live in Orange County, California, often deemed an affluent community. Yet homelessness and hunger do not discriminate. Despite its reputation and appearance depicted in media, Orange County is listed among the top 10 counties and metropolitan areas where food insecurity is highly prevalent.

Even if you don’t live in Southern California, there is likely someone in your community without consistent access to food, because, according to the USDA, 1 in 7 Americans (48 million people) are currently struggling with hunger, 15 million of which are children.

For years, my kids and I have sought out ways to make a difference in our community, particularly as it relates to hunger, so I’ve put together 5 Ways To Teach Children About Hunger.

  • Show Kids The Proximity of the Need: When we see a mother holding her child in the middle of a parking lot, asking for assistance, or a homeless man asleep on a park bench, I dialogue with my kids about how we can help. Generous children who are sensitive to the needs of others often grow up to be compassionate adults.

Packing Love Lunches

  • Put Together Love Lunches: In our family, it isn’t enough to simply be aware of a need. Understanding how pervasive the issue of hunger is compels us to act. Putting together brown bags filled with shelf-stable food items and travel-size toiletries is a simple way to show kindness, help alleviate a person’s hunger, and provide dignity, even for just a day.
  • Sponsor a Child: Beyond a simple donation, sponsoring a child helps families form a personal connection with those in need. Some organizations allow your family the opportunity to communicate with the child and receive updates on how your sponsorship is helping to improve their quality of life.

OC Food Bank

  • Volunteer at a Food Bank: The first time I volunteered at a local food bank, I walked away with a greater understanding of our community’s local need and how vital and impactful organizations like Feeding America are. Second Harvest Food Bank, in partnership with local charity organizations, feeds more than 200,000 people struggling with hunger every single month. An afternoon here will change your perspective on hunger in America.

Fight Hunger Spark Change Logo

  • Shop and Donate: If you’ve visited your local Walmart of late, you likely noticed the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” signs throughout the store. This Spring, Walmart is committed to the fight against hunger, and through this campaign, will provide 4 billion meals to individuals across the country in need by 2020. As a family, you can join the fight against hunger by purchasing food products from your favorite brands including Campbell Soup, General Mills, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo and the Kraft/Heinz. For every product purchased by April 25th, 2016, Walmart will donate 9 cents to Feeding America which will secure one meal on behalf of local food banks. Simply donate those food products to your local food bank, if desired. You can also donate during checkout or online by visiting

As part of Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, you can also use your social media channels to show your support. Simply use the hashtag #FightHunger on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or use the designated Snapchat filters in select stores, and Walmart will donate enough to help Feeding America secure 10 meals ($.90) up to $1.5 million. Combined with Walmart’s initial donation of $1.5 million, the hope is that with your help, they will reach a total of $3 million in donations to help alleviate our nation’s hunger epidemic.

For more information or to find out how you can be involved, visit

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[6 Recipes Inspired By The Jungle Book]]> 2016-04-14T06:34:04Z 2016-04-14T05:21:17Z {No compensation was received for this post. I attended a press event which facilitated the writing of this post}

A few months ago, I found myself sitting inside the El Capitan Theatre knowing just a few things. The film we were getting a sneak peek of was The Jungle Book and Jon Favreau (can you say Iron Man?) was directing. Fueled by the magic of Disney, I knew I was going to love it. Nearly 3 years in the making, this live-action/CGI film was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories and Walt Disney’s 1967 animated film.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book follows the story of Mowgli, a man-cub being raised by a family of wolves. When Shere Khan, a tiger who bears the scars of man’s “red flower” sets out to expel him from the jungle, Mowgli embarks on a riveting journey of self-discovery. Fusing live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, The Jungle Book immerses audiences in Kipling’s beloved story in an unparalleled cinematic experience.

The Jungle Book Recipes

To celebrate the release of the film, Disney partnered with The National Honey Board and cookbook author/media personality Laura Fuentes to create 6 recipes inspired by The Jungle Book. Their Golden Family Time campaign seeks to unite families in the kitchen with simple, kid-friendly recipes featuring one of life’s bare necessities, honey. These recipes include movie snacks and meals ideal for bonding families during a family movie night.

Hungry Monkey Honey Oats

Safari Honey Butter Cinnamon Popcorn

Honey Bear Lunchbox

Honey Baked Chicken

Jungle Honey Lettuce Cups

Honey Forest Bowl

Despite the fact that my kids tend to be adventurous when it comes to food, I still find that they can be picky which is why their opinion on The Jungle Book Recipes was a deciding factor as to whether or not I would re-create these dishes. Both of my kids said the Honey Forest Bowl was their favorite dish along with the Safari Honey Butter Popcorn. As a parent, I appreciate the simplicity of the dishes as well as the use of natural ingredients I have at home.

Later this week, I’ll share my full review of The Jungle Book and some fun free printables you can download for your kids after you’ve seen the film.

See The Jungle Book in 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15th, 2016.

Caryn Bailey <![CDATA[5 Reasons You’ll Want to Go Back to Great Wolf Lodge]]> 2016-04-12T18:51:44Z 2016-04-12T17:25:58Z {I was invited as a guest of the resort and provided accommodations, meals and activities}

Saying goodbye is never easy, and on that Winter day in Southern California, I could not have predicted the tears that would ensue as we loaded up our MagiQuest Wands, Great Wolf Plush Pals, and swimsuits, still dripping from that “one last slide.” Fortunately, we’re just 30 minutes from Great Wolf Lodge, Southern California’s first indoor water park, and after a splashtastic weekend, I can assure you that we will be back. 

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

For years, friends across the country would post photos of their kids swimming and splashing at Great Wolf Lodge in the middle of freezing temperatures, and there was something very compelling about a destination that offered aquatic thrills throughout the year, irrespective of weather. The 105,000 square foot water park is the largest in the chain and includes 14 thrilling water slides and 4 splash and play pools, all contained within a cozy 84 degree space.

Wiley Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is known for offering families an immersive, water-filled experience. But what you may not know is that nearly every part of the resort is dedicated to immersing children in exciting, imaginative moments of joy and discovery. For many families, a weekend of sliding and splashing in the midst of El Niño or relaxing poolside with a creative mocktail is idyllic. But when you arrive and your see your kids squeal with delight as they drop into Howlin’ Tornado’s six-story funnel, forget about their iPads or video games for an entire weekend, or blissfully fall asleep cuddled up with their new Clubhouse Crew plush friend, you’ll be compelled, as I have been, to plan your next visit to Great Wolf Lodge.

5 Reasons You’ll Want to Go Back to Great Wolf Lodge

Ten Paw Alley

  • You want to unplug and create lasting memories with your kids. As a parent of a child living in a digital world, it takes creativity and intention to keep children engaged in activities that don’t involve a device. We spent the entire weekend device-free, because Great Wolf Lodge has a way of connecting families over unique experiences such as Howl at the Moon Glow Golf and Ten Paw Alley.


  • You need a vacation from your vacation. One of the things you’ll love about Great Wolf Lodge is the flexibility to own your vacation and personalize it in a way that suits your family. Do you prefer to lounge by the pool while your kids test out their surfing/bodyboarding skills? Are you on a mommy/daughter staycation and prefer to spend your time bonding over sherbet scrubs and mani/pedis? Or maybe you’re the parents of tweens who prefer to spend their evenings defying gravity on Wolf Tail or getting their game on at the Northern Lights Arcade. However you like to vacation, Great Wolf Lodge really offers something for the whole family. So while you may be happily exhausted from all their is to do at the resort, you’ll want to come back to do the things you missed…or simply catch up on some R&R in a private cabana while your kids splash at Raccoon Lagoon.


  • You didn’t finish your MagiQuest Adventure. This was perhaps the most surprisingly engaging experience of our visit to Great Wolf Lodge. This resort-wide, live-action role playing game takes kids (and adults) on an adventure to complete quests and solve mysteries using real magic wands. The magic wand, which can be used on future visits to Great Wolf Lodge properties across the country, is used to open chests and activate objects necessary to proceed in the game. At present, their are 4 different iterations of the game that can be played at Great Wolf Lodge locations across the country. At Great Wolf Lodge Southern California, kids will travel to the future to save the enchanted realm of Vellara from the Shadow Lords in The Rise of the Totem Masters.

Dunkin' Donuts

  • You need a Dunkin’ Donuts fix. Last year, America’s Favorite Donut Shop finally re-established a presence here in Southern California. And while 45 new stores are slated to open in the Southland, at present, there are only 4 in Orange County, including the new location inside Great Wolf Lodge. Bonus! You don’t have to be a guest of the resort to grab one of their speciality donuts, like this OREO Cheesecake Square Donut. Be sure to catch my article highlighting all of the dining options available at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California.

Club Paw Pool

  • You didn’t get enough splash time in. Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, Great Wolf Lodge’s indoor water park is likely your inspiration for booking a family vacation at the resort. What you’ll find though is that the resort is so much more than a water park and you may find yourself conflicted as to how to spend your time.

Creation Station

Before Your Visit: 

  1. Entrance to the water park and all slides/pools is included with your stay.
  2. You must be a guest of the resort in order to visit the water park.
  3. Kid-friendly activities including nightly Yoga Tails, The Forest Friends Show, Wolf Walk, Paws-On Projects, Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Story Time, Hustle and Howl, Jammie Jamboree, and Great Games are all included with your visit to the resort.
  4. Activities that require an additional fee include MagiQuest, Northern Lights Arcade, Howly Wood XD Theater, Creation Station, Howl at the Moon Glow Golf, Ten Paw Alley, Lazer Frenzy and Scooops Kids Spa.
  5. Great Wolf Lodge prioritizes safety. Each day your child will be measured and banded with a color which designates which rides he/she can enjoy. You’ll also find a team of lifeguards on duty at all times, rotating throughout throughout the water park.
  6. There are a variety of ways to save on your stay at Great Wolf Lodge, including up to 50% when you book at least 60 days in advance.
  7. Paw, Pup, and Wolf Passes offer savings of up to 41% on experiences such as MagiQuest and Creation Station.
  8. Themed rooms offer the best value and include a separate, kids-only sleeping area complete with animations (MagiQuest), bunk beds and a TV.
  9. There are 7 on-site dining venues offering everything from take-out pizza to fresh-caught seafood.
  10. In addition to the 3 on-site gift shops, the resort has a Bear Essentials Swim Shop to pick up anything you may have forgotten including swimsuits, flip-flops, towels, and more.

Great Wolf Kids

For more information or to plan your next vacation at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California, visit