Woodloch Resort is a family hideaway tucked in the Pocono Mountains in the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania. In fact, it’s tucked away so well that I had never heard of it before recommending them as a Mother’s Day getaway.
When they offered me a complimentary two night stay for my own little getaway, I thought it was a no brainer to plan a family trip to Woodloch Resort. But life happens and I find myself making every excuse in the book. Let’s face it – it’s sometimes easier to stay home.
By the time I could find some available dates that worked for me and for the resort, we were well into November. I’ll admit that a lovely outdoor resort in northern Pennsylvania in the middle of November didn’t have me jumping for joy. But we were all pretty giddy (even if we were a bit cold) by the time our stay ended.
If you’re looking for everything you might find with a cruise, EXCEPT FOR THE SHIP (and the tropical islands, natch), you can find it all a lot closer to home at Woodloch Resort.
Here’s a quick overview of the main things you need to know for your visit to Woodloch Resort.
What is there to do at Woodloch Resort?
Woodloch is a four season resort and most activities are available year-round. But as you might imagine, it does change a little with the seasons. We visited in November at the end of fall. It happened to be a cold snap so it felt like winter without the snow. To take full advantage of everything, we simply came prepared to bundle up and enjoyed plenty of activities both inside and out.
If you have kids, you have to know that swimming is almost always their number one activity. Even when we’ve visited Walt Disney World, I think my son would be thrilled just using the hotel pool. At Woodloch, he was no different. He was ready to try all the water activities!
In the Springbrook building, where we stayed, we had access to a large indoor pool, two water play areas (designed for kids but adults can join in too!), two hot tubs, and a sauna. And we tried it all! The only thing we didn’t experience was the small kiddie pool simply because, well, we like more than a few inches of water.
When we visited Capon Springs in West Virginia, we found that we love ping pong! I don’t know if it’s that it’s fun or that we’re just that competitive. Either way, every time we passed a ping pong table, there was a match to be had.
We also spent a little time and money* in several of the video arcades and playing air hockey. You’ll also find bowling, billiards, and more ping pong!
Although everything we did was an activity, Woodloch hosts family friendly physical activities throughout the property. Just across from our resort building, we crammed in a day full of go carts, “ice” skating, and archery. If we had had more time, we could have also gone to the shooting range!
On the day we left, they actually had a petting zoo in the front of the resort. We got to meet a very disinterested mule and a few other cute and furry animals. While we were there, we discovered that shuffleboard and bocce ball is also onsite.
* Some activities are cash based (like the arcade games) and others do require equipment rental (like the synthetic ice rink) which you can charge to your room.
Isn’t it too cold for some of these activities?
That all depends on you! We prepared for the weather so we were okay even with the wind whipping through our hair on the go carts. And there were campfires set up throughout the outdoor activities. It was only when the sun started going down that we really felt the chill in the air.
The great thing about Woodloch is that they plan weather-appropriate activities. In the summer, there are obviously more warm weather activities. In the winter, you’ll get your fill of snow. In the fall, it can be warmer or colder depending on the weather patterns but one thing is sure – it’s light on crowds which made it great for my family to try everything with little to no waiting!
How’s the food? Will I get enough to eat?
When you go on a cruise, are you going for the ship? Let’s be honest. You’re probably going for the food and maybe a few tropical destinations. You’ll get all of that minus the tropics at Woodloch.
When you arrive, you’ll check in with the hostess who will tell you your table assignment. And that will be your table for the rest of your stay. Much like on a cruise, we had a “deer in the headlights” look about us when we first arrived. By the time we left, we felt like we were old timers.
We also loved that our server, Carol, immediately made us feel like family. She learned our preferences immediately and made sure everything was ready for us (including little touches like making sure I had whole milk on the table to go with my tea).
Each meal had several courses – even breakfast! We wanted to sample everything we could but quickly realized that our stomachs couldn’t handle it all. Although my husband and son got dessert at breakfast, I had to limit myself by the second day. The food is amazing and if you can’t decide between the prime rib or the salmon, just get both!
We were also there for their Sunday buffet which, much like a cruise ship’s grand finale, gave us more choices of quality food than we could swallow. But we did our best!
The meal plan is optional and you can opt for two or three meals per day. If you like to eat, you won’t regret the meal plan. But if your eyes are often bigger than your stomach, you’ll probably be fine with two meals a day (and there is a fab looking coffee house on site).
Will my kids get bored? Will I get bored?
Bored is a state of mind. Honestly, my family is often satisfied to relax in the hotel room away from the daily stressors of our life. But I like to experience as much as I possibly can. And I forced them to do the same.
We played indoors and outdoors. We walked around outside. We went swimming. We sat in the sauna. We almost did the onsite Escape Room but ran out of time. We even went out for entertainment in the evening. And when we weren’t “officially” doing anything, we walked down the hall for another game of ping pong.
That might sound like a typical vacation to you but to get my family to bounce from one activity to another without a need to “take a break” or “check their phone” is a rare occurrence. Maybe it was the promise of a filling meal every few hours. Or maybe they were just genuinely having fun.
After we finished the go carts, we stood outside having a friendly competition of ring toss. It’s a simple game with a wooden post, a hook, and a ring on a string. With gentle swinging, you have to get the ring on the hook. It was simple fun like this that made my family smile and laugh more than I’ve seen in quite a while.
Is the entertainment cheesy like on a cruise ship?
Yes. Yes it is. But sometimes cheesy is fun.
Our first night there, they had a 70s cover band playing in the theater. We walked past, walked in, and felt like it just wasn’t our jam. We were pretty exhausted that first night anyway.
The second night was theme night which was “Welcome to the 90s!” Now I consider myself more of an 80s girl than a 90s girl so I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the show. My husband called it an early evening and I dragged my 12 year old son to the “club” with me (yes, it’s family friendly!).
Apparently I am a 90s girls because I knew every single song and dance move. And I might have embarrassed my son just a wee bit. But you know what? He had fun too.
* Side note: Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase during all meals and at the club.
Where should I stay at Woodloch Resort?
If you look up Woodloch, you’re likely to get confused about where to stay (I know I did). So this should spell it all out for you.
Woodloch Resort describes all of the Woodloch properties – Woodloch Pines (family), Woodloch Springs (golf community), and The Lodge at Woodloch (destination spa).
For this family vacation, we stayed at Woodloch Pines which is where all of the family activities take place!.
Woodloch Pines has several buildings housing different room types for different budgets. You can stay in what they call “motel-style units” close to the main building or spend time in one of the family suites, like we did in the Springbrook building.
We loved staying at Springbrook because we had plenty of room to stretch out (two bathrooms, a master suite, and a pull out couch for my son), a beautiful view of the lake, and access to the indoor pools just down the hall.
If you’re looking for a larger place to stay you can check out their vacation rental properties onsite as well as Woodloch Springs, their golf course community, a few miles down the road.
And finally, if you’re looking for a luxury escape, The Lodge at Woodloch is nearby spa resort that might have made its way onto my bucket list. I’d probably bring my best girls for a trip there though.
Have more questions about Woodloch Resort?
There’s a lot to cover with Woodloch and this is just a starting point for me. I’d love to return with my family and experience warmer weather activities but I’d feel confident returning now that I know what to expect. It’s a fascinating resort that’s still owned by the original family and it’s clear that they want you to feel like family as well.
P.S. There’s always a family member to greet you at your meals. Trust me – you can’t miss them!
Let me know if you have any additional questions and take a look at my video tour of Woodloch Resort.