Fall in the Poconos: Woodloch Pines Family Resort review

Making the most of activities at Woodloch:

Families return to Woodloch Pines year after year for a reason: there are tons of things to do, and most of them are included in the nightly rate. If you’re like me, you might look at the website and feel a little overwhelmed. Don’t sweat it! Poke around the activities pages to get a general idea of what the resort offers, but give yourself permission to hold off making a game plan until you’re on site; it will all make more sense once you get there. The resort publishes a daily activities sheet, left on the table every morning at breakfast, which breaks everything down. You can’t do everything, but you can do more than you might think. With so many options, the crowds are diffused and wait times aren’t long. How much more family friendly can you get?

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Basically, Woodloch’s offerings break down into four categories: water activities, amusement park attractions, unstructured recreation, and staff-led specials.

Water Activities:

Swimming: Woodloch has a large, sloping lawn adjacent to the lake (sunbathing chairs provided) and a white sand beach with an area set off for swimming—including a waterslide into the lake. There’s also an outdoor pool and splash pad. When we visited in October, however, all swimming was at the indoor facility. The heated pool is big enough for short laps. There’s a hot tub safe for kids seven and up, plus two toddler areas—a wading pool and an adorable water playground—and a waterslide play area in a separate room. I particularly liked that the water in the splash pads was bathwater warm. And with lifeguards in every area, you can grab a margarita from the bar and relax poolside without having to feel guilty about it. (Did I mention family-friendly?)

Boating: Down at the beach you’ll find several kayaks, tons of paddleboats, and a handful of rowboats, paddleboards, and sailboats. The lake isn’t terribly large, and you can easily navigate the whole thing in an hour or two.

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Amusement park-type activities:

Spread around the Woodloch Pines complex you’ll find bumper cars and boats, go-karts—including kiddie go-karts—and more. Some are indoors, some are outdoors. They’re not all open all day, but the times are laid out on the daily activity sheet.

Unstructured recreation:

Shuffleboard, horseshoes, miniature golf, tennis, and basketball are available pretty much any time. There are three playgrounds—two outside plus an indoor playplace, the Woodloch Forest, which includes a toddler area. There are ping pong tables and video game rooms (token-operated) in several locations around the complex.

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Other Activities:

In addition to these permanent options, the staff leads daily games, contests, and crafts. Being an introvert, I was intimidated by the prospect of an activity called ‘Halloween Olympics’. But my son and I went out to the fields and found ourselves folded into one of several large teams competing for all-around medals by participating in frisbee throwing, rock climbing, hay bale hurdles, and more. It was a ton of fun. Definitely make time to partake in those unique offerings, because they’re likely to be some of the most memorable moments of your stay.

There’s also nightly entertainment. One night there were haunted hayrides and ‘horse racing’ (impossible to describe in one sentence, but if it’s offered, go!); the next, musical theater and a family comedian. Entertainment starts late and goes very late. We’re an early-bird kind of family, but the entertainment was worth staying up for, and since most resort activities don’t open until 10 am, we embraced the night owl lifestyle for the weekend. However, if parents want a night to themselves, or a round of golf or a spa treatment, call the front desk to arrange for a staff babysitter.

This brings up add-on activities. Woodloch boasts a zip line, Segway tours, and ‘Loched In’, an escape room. Plus, as a guest of the resort you can access the attractions available at the neighboring Woodloch Springs golf resort and the Woodloch spa. These more teen/adult-friendly activities are not included in your nightly rate, but fees are easy to find on the website and, in in some cases, on the daily activity sheet.

In every season, the staff and colorful owners of Woodloch have maximized the potential of their property to provide families a place to relax and have fun together. This is definitely a place that lives up to its hype!

We enjoyed our Poconos stay as guests of Woodloch Pines, in exchange for an honest review.

Photo credit: Woodloch Pines and Kathleen Basi

About the author

Kathleen Basi Freelance writer Kathleen Basi has lived her entire life in "flyover country," but she's an old pro at road trips, having taken the first of many extended driving vacations at the tender age of five. She's a huge proponent of letting kids see and experience the space between "here" and "there." Find her at http://kathleenbasi.com/blog/.

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