When Kate was trying to decide what kind of birthday party she wanted, I started pricing various places to host parties, checking into character appearances because she wanted Elsa and Anna at her party at one point, and realized that for the same money as throwing a party with a bunch of kids and people and clean up and stuff, we could take her for the night to Great Wolf Lodge and have a mini vacation. I gave Kate the option: regular party with all her friends, or Great Wolf Lodge. She chose the latter, so I booked our room and Nick even took two days off work so we could have some fun.
We spent Thursday night because it was cheaper than a weekend night. That place is expensive, let me just say that right away. I found a Groupon the day I was going to book our room, so we saved about $40 on the room. I don't really see how families afford to stay out there 2 or 3 nights. Honestly, one night was pretty much enough for us and we didn't feel cheated out of any experiences because the only thing we did was the water park. All of the extra stuff, the arcade, Magic Quest, laser tag, etc - yeah, that costs extra.