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Family Weekend FAQ’s


Registration and Accommodations

What is Family Weekend?

Family Weekend is a signature program of LuMind IDSC, a national nonprofit organization focused on Down syndrome research. The weekend brings 1,000+ families together at Great Wolf Lodge waterpark sites across North America each year. Family Weekend is the only international, recreation-focused Down syndrome party, and everyone is invited to attend!

When will Family Weekend take place in 2024?

September 13-15, 2024 at a Great Wolf Lodge location near you.

Are there discounts or special rates for families attending Family Weekend?

Exclusive rates for both U.S. and Canada locations:

U.S. Locations:

Friday: $189 per room, per night

Saturday: $229 per room, per night

Canada Location:

Friday $309.99 per room, per night

Saturday: $339.99

Can siblings and other family members participate in all activities during the Family Weekend?

Yes siblings can and are encouraged to participate. Extended family members and friends can register on June 1st. This will ensure families with children and/or adults with Down syndrome will be able to secure a reservation in the room block.

What ages can attend?

The Family Weekend is open to individuals with Down syndrome of all ages! We have had infants to adults attend the Family Weekend.

Do we have to stay for both nights to take advantage of the discounted room rates?

You do not have to stay both nights to take advantage of the discounted rates. You are welcome to stay, Friday night, Saturday night or both nights.

My family exceeds the occupancy for standard rooms. Are larger suites available?

Larger Suites are also available at a discounted rate. Larger suites are based on lodge availability. If you are interested in a Themed or Premium Suite, we encourage you to make a reservation early.

Do I have to stay at Great Wolf Lodge to participate in the Family Weekend?

You do not have to be a guest at Great Wolf Lodge to enjoy some of the activities. Some Great Wolf Lodge locations offer waterpark Day Passes. Please check your local Great Wolf Lodge’s website for more information. The price of Day Passes varies by location. Note that sometimes, the price of Day Passes is greater than that of one night’s stay. We have contracted for highly discounted rates for rooms for 2024 and the rates begin at $189 for a night.

Will their be a dance party this year?

Yes, every location except Mason/Cincinnati will have a dance party. The Mason/Cincinnati does not have meeting space and has offered an additional cabana to be used by families on Saturday.

Meals and Events

Can you bring your own food into Great Wolf Lodge?

You may bring your own food, drinks, and snacks into your private room or in the water park. Outside food can not be brought into any meeting or event areas.

Can we attend the dance if we haven’t purchased meal tickets?

Yes, the dance party will be open to registered guests and day pass users.

Why are meal tickets so expensive?

The pricing of meal tickets is determined by Great Wolf Lodge. Despite this limitation, we have introduced certain incentives for your family to utilize, aiming to reduce or offset the expenses associated with meals during your stay. Additionally, if we successfully secure a national sponsorship, we plan to leverage that support to decrease the overall cost of meal tickets for each participant.

Can I bring my kids into the taco/pizza/etc bar dinner if they don’t eat the meal and will I have to pay for them?

If you would like to participate in any meals then you will have to a ticket for each member of your party.


What is a peer -to-peer fundraiser?

A peer-to-peer fundraiser is a campaign where volunteers, or peers, raise funds on behalf of our organization. It empowers supporters like you to become advocates for our cause and leverage their networks to make a collective impact.

How do I sign-up to participate?

Signing up is easy! Just clink on this link and follow the simple step to create your fundraising page and join the campaign.

Is there a registration fee?

No, there is no registration fee to participate. It’s completely free to join the campaign and start fundraising for LuMind IDSC and start earning incentives.

Where does the money go?

All funds raised go directly to LuMind IDSC and will be used to accelerate much-needed scientific research, disseminate crucial resources, connect families and communities, advocate for medical equity, and raise awareness of the Down syndrome community.   Your contributions make an immediate and meaningful impact on our mission.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes, your donation is tax-deductible. After making a donation, you’ll receive a confirmation email that can be used for tax purposes.

Can I fundraise offline as well?

Absolutely! You can collect cash or check donations offline, and the Development team will add them to your online fundraising page. All money collected can be sent to:
LuMind IDSC Foundation
ATTN: Development
110 Winn St. STE 105
Woburn, MA 01801

Can I host my own fundraising event as part of this campaign?

Absolutely! We encourage participants to host their events. Whether it’s a virtual gathering, a themed party, or a community event, your creativity can make a significant impact. All we ask is that you use our prepared materials (logos, etc.) to advertise your event.

Can I participate if I am not tech-savvy?

Absolutely! The platform is designed to be user-friendly. If you encounter any challenges, our support team is here to assist you every step of the way.

I know from my own experience why LuMind IDSC is important, but how do I explain it to other people in a way that will convince them to donate?

You aren’t expected to be an instant expert fundraiser! We want you to feel comfortable talking about the organization and feel confident in asking people to donate to a cause you champion. That’s why we offer easy-to-navigate information about LuMind IDSC’s impact, and easy-to-use templates for fundraising asks.

What resources are available to help me succeed?

When it comes to fundraising, we offer a resource kit with promotional materials, tips, and guides.
Our team is also available to provide support and answer any questions you may have.
For an overview of LuMind IDSC’s programs and initiatives, feel free to use:

Our most recent impact report
Information about our free resource library, myDSC
Recent press about access inequities in Down syndrome

How long does the campaign last?

To be eligible for incentives funds must be raised by 5/1/24 Make sure to check our website for any specific event dates or deadlines.

Will I earn incentives if I reach my goal?

Absolutely! You will find the incentives for creating a campaign and fundraising for our mission in this document. The more you raise by 5/1/24 the more you earn!

How do I thank my donors?

Expressing gratitude is essential! Your donor will receive a receipt and a thank you acknowledgement from LuMind IDSC. We encourage you to thank your donors directly through social media platforms, emails, and handwritten personalized thank-you notes.

How can I track my progress?

Your fundraising dashboard on the platform will show your progress, including the total amount raised and the number of donors. We will also be sending weekly updates on your progress through email.

If I choose to take part in the incentive and rewards program will the donations I collect still be eligible for the World Down Syndrome Day Triple the Donation program?

No, if you choose to participate in the Peer-to-Peer Educate, Illuminate, and Celebrate campaign with incentive options, the donations collected will not be matched.

If I am fundraising to earn free nights through the rewards and incentive program do I reserve a room now or do I wait until after the reward is earned?

When planning your stay at Great Wolf Lodge resort, keep in mind that a one-night deposit is required to secure your reservation. If you’re participating in a fundraiser and earning a free night(s) through our incentive and reward program, you have several options:

  1. Wait to Reserve: You can choose to wait until you’ve earned the FREE room reward before making your reservation.
  2. Pay Deposit and Use Gift Card at check-in: Alternatively, if you are too excited and can’t wait, you can make the reservation, pay the required one night’s deposit to GWL, and then use your gift card you earned from the rewards program when you check in. Great Wolf Lodge will then refund you for the deposit paid.


Remember, if you need to cancel your reservation, Great Wolf Lodge will refund 100% of the deposit if done within 72 hours of your reservation date.