Are you wanting to get away for a weekend but don’t have time to go too far away? Try a staycation! Here’s a list of the top staycation places in DFW.
Great Wolf Lodge (Grapevine) Why it’s a good choice: This is a great family getaway. It’s fun and entertainment for the whole family with an indoor and outdoor water park, game center, restaurants, and tons of inside entertainment. This is a great family getaway that will make great memories for kids. If you only stay one night you still get access to the water park for 2 days. Grapevine is close to the airport and has lots of fun things to do in town. Groupon has lots of deals throughout the year for savings on rooms!
Choctaw Casino and Resort (Durant, Ok) Located just 60 miles or less from Plano this casino makes a great staycation place for the whole family. The resort as an awesome Oasis Pool that features slides, adult areas, and cabanas for rent. The casino has several towers to stay in and also a less expensive option that is closer to the pool. They opened a fun game center including bowling, games, and a movie theater that kids would enjoy. Choctaw also puts on a great show with really neat concerts on site. This would make a great staycation for the family or an even better weekend away with just your hubby or some close friends.
Hilton Anatole: This is a very large hotel located near downtown Dallas with a spa and many activities for children. The pool area was recently renovated and just reopened a few months ago. Has anyone stayed here with kids yet? It looks so nice!
Gaylord Texan: The hotel overlooks beautiful Lake Grapevine and includes 4.5 acres of garden and water park! They have seasonal activities going on inside the hotel it makes it fun for the whole family. This would be a fabulous place for a family reunion or just a family get away! Look for deals on Groupon for discounts!
As a Work-from-home Mom, I am balancing my workload with entertaining the kids too. I also have visitors from out-of-town so I’m using the time to be a tourist in the city.
What if I told you that for every Dollar I spend on day trips, passes and admission into local places that I could get automatic cash-back on every purchase, without redeeming any coupons and all from my Smartphone?
Sounds good, right?
I recently downloaded a new app, called Dosh. It’s simple.
You connect your payment cards (don’t worry about security, your data is safe!) and you can filter through Hotels & Activities and book right within the app. The pricing is among the best I have seen. For everything I book through the App, I get automatic cash back on my App which I can redeem whenever I like!
Not only that, but every time I take my family to eat out, we get a % cashback on every meal.
Think local places like Dugg Burger or Hash House a Go Go!
And when I need to cool off and let the kids blow off some steam, I can take them to Chuck E Cheese and get a win-win out of it. Let the kids play and eat and I get cash back.
Over the Summer, I will get 5% cash back on purchases over $30!
You have to try it.
When you download it and connect your cards you start earning Dosh straight away. And if you refer your friends you’ll get $5 when they get their first Dosh too.
Are you ready? Get Dosh NOW!
Just in time for Summer, check out this HOT deal!
Pogo Pass is a year long, family based entertainment pass, that gets pass holders into some of the best venues in Plano, Frisco, Dallas and all around DFW.
They are always adding new ones, but right now there are 20 listed! If you’re staying in town and looking for fun stuff to do, get a Pogo Pass.
Access your PogoPass on any mobile device or print at home.
Show your PogoPass at each area venue and you’re in.
Head over here and use code PLANOMOMS and get 68% off (you’ll pay $39.98 instead of $124.95).
What does the pass include? Check this out!
Just Hawaiian Falls and the Fort Worth Zoo are over $40 by themselves!
This is truly one of the best deals in family entertainment out there.
You’ll enjoy a FULL YEAR of admissions to places all over town (each place has their own details about how many times you get in with the pass).
It pays for itself within 1-2 visits!
Some things to know:
Well, the countdown is on, summer holidays are rapidly approaching. If you’re anything like me, I love to have a list of things up my sleeve for those days when the dreaded “I’m bored” words ring in my ears. I try and balance out some at home days with some adventures out of the house. And if it’s a free or cheap adventure, everyone is happy! My kids are 12, 9 and 6 so finding something that everyone enjoys can be a challenge to say the least.
Now, some of these we haven’t tried before and some are my family’s favorites. I’ve limited my list to within Dallas but focusing on Plano, Frisco, Little Elm area.
Both Cinemark and Studio Movie Grill are offering selected films at $1 over the summer. See their website for details. We also love the Coyote Drive In at Lewisville.
3. Hawaiian Falls
I love Hawaiian Falls but with 3 kids, I usually save this for a weekend when I can get my husband or another adult to come with me so we keep our eyes on everyone at once. We always take our own cooler in with lunch and drinks and might treat the kids to an ice-cream or snow cone on our way out.
Our favorite is the Frisco Athletic Center. We love that you can take a cooler in (no glass or alcohol) and enjoy a free day out if you are a member or pay the small entry fee if you’re not. There are two great little kid’s areas, a big slide for the bigger kids and an awesome lazy river. We haven’t yet been but will definitely be checking out the Jack Carter pool this summer, it has a diving board, a lazy river and a flow rider! There is also the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center close by which has splash pad, diving board and a slide.
5. Video Game Museum
If you haven’t been, you should check it out. My kids loved it and at the end of the museum is an 80’s style arcade (not to mention the 80’s tunes!!) and your entry gets you 4 tokens which gets you 4 games. You can buy extra tokens – 4 for $1. We only went a few weeks ago and my kids are already asking to go back.
6. Dallas Museum of Art and Klyde Warren Park
My kids love being downtown and eating at the food trucks and playing in the park at Klyde Warren. It’s right across the road from the Dallas Museum of Art so makes for a great day out. DMA offers free entry every day and has a great summer family fun program from June 13 to August 11.
Most offer cheap deals over the summer like Strike and Pinstack, usually if you get there before 10am but if you register at www.kidsbowlfree.com – you can bowl for free, you just pay for your shoes. Registered kids get two free games of bowling every day of the summer for free! There is a one time payment of $5 per child to register and the closest is probably Plano Super Bowl.
A similar program to the bowling, it’s at www.kidsskatefree.com and the closest to us is Interskate at Lewisville. Ice-skating at Galleria is also lots of fun
We love both the Dallas Zoo (especially feeding the giraffes) and the Fort Worth Zoo (love the walk in bird exhibit). We’ll try and pick a cooler day and go early to avoid the heat, the animals aren’t overly active when it’s so hot
10. Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
I have been meaning to take the kids here for ages, there’s always a groupon! It’s about 45 minutes away and is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only from 10-5.
Usually as summer approaches, I ask my kids to write down some things they’d really like to do on a piece of paper and we try and schedule all these things in too. Try it out, you’ll be surprised what they ask to do – a trip to the library, or going out for ice-cream always make it on to our lists.
We are blessed to live in an amazing part of the world with so many kid friendly things to do and amazing weather to enjoy it in. Don’t forget all the wonderful aquariums, museums, LEGOLAND (it has a small splash pad too!), splash pads, the list is endless…
It’s worth checking out the great deal with Plano Moms and Pogo Pass – for $39.98. You get access to quite a lot of these activities mentioned above and a whole lot more. And the best part is that you have a year to use it. Get yours now: https://dallastx.pogopass.com/
Enjoy your summer vacation!
What’s your favorite thing to do with kids over the long hot summer? I would love to hear of any I may not know about.
Melissa, Guest Blogger for Plano Moms
Summer gets really hot here in Texas so we need to stay wet! There’s nothing like fun in the sun at a local splash pad. As a Mom, you can enjoy it too and not worry about any of the kids falling in a pool! Here are some great splash pad parks in North Dallas that are not far from the Plano area.
Plano Aquatic Center: This is an indoor pool in Plano but they also have a splash pad on the side. It is $3 per person for ages 3 and up but they have tables and locker rooms to change in. You could bring snacks and make an afternoon of it. Please call before to check on hours. They have odd hours in the summer due to morning time being mostly swim lessons only. (972) 769-4232
Hope Park (Frisco) This is a splash pad that is close to the all abilities playground in Frisco. It’s a great area with lots to do. You can certainly make it a day trip and take a picnic and bring bikes as well. The website says all Frisco Splash pads open on May 15th.
Fairview Fountain (Fairview outside of Gloria’s Mexican food) This is a great place to grab some food (or eat at Gloria’s!) and let the kids splash and play. At night they will put on a light show to music with the water.
Celebration Station (Allen) This is a fabulous park and great location for a family picnic. There are tons of tables and restrooms close by. It does get crowded in the summer time so come early! (Open as of May 1st!)
Murphy Central Park Playground area and splash park, restrooms and picnic tables.
Campbell Green Splash Park: (Dallas off Hillcrest) Restrooms, playground, and splash pad.
W.J. Thomas Splash Park (Carrollton) Open 9am–8pm daily May 1st through early October.
Klyde Warren Park: This is just an extra fountain area nd park that is so fun for kids. They have fountains and a place in the kid play area that kids will LOVE getting wet in!
Have we left off your favorite local splash pad? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list!
As Moms, aren’t we always looking for family friendly events happening around us? Well, this is a great one and it’s taking place next month in Dallas.
Uptown Dallas, Inc. and West Village present their 2nd Annual Uptown Family Fest! (all ages of kids are welcome)
West Village (3699 McKinney Ave Dallas) from 10:00 AM – 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 3, 2017
Uptown Dallas, Inc. (UDI) is a nonprofit management company focused on the public improvement of the Uptown district (PID). A recent demographic showed that the fastest growing population in Uptown belongs to ages 0-4 years old. Knowing this, UDI will focus on family initiatives as part of their strategic plan. This includes hosting multiple family-friendly events such as Uptown Family Fest, Back to School Kiddo’s Karnival on August 12 in Griggs Park, and Movies in the Park every Thursday in September at Griggs Park. For more information, visit Uptown Dallas and follow them social media.
Now that the weather is warmer the pools across Plano will be opening soon. If you don’t have a pool in your backyard then you need to start looking ahead at some of our local pools in the area. There are a few spread across town and several more in surrounding areas. Here’s a look at the public pools in Plano.
Indoor pool and outdoor splash pad for kids. Admission is $3 for ages 3 and up. Hours are M-F 11am-3pm, Sat/Sun 1-6pm. Call before to check on summer hours. (972) 769-4232 This is a great place to take swimming lessons and also a nice place to rent out for a birthday party!
They offer a lot of pool areas including an adult leisure pool, lazy river, indoor pool, and outdoor pool. $3 for ages 3-15 and $6 for adults 16 and over.
They have several hours of operation because of lessons so call first to make sure they are open to the public (972) 769-4404 M-F 5am-10 pm (closed some during the morning for lessons) and Sat-Sun 10am-6 pm.
Kids will love the slides, splash area, and pools here! The inside is great too!
Jack Carter Pool has a dual rider tube slide, body slide, lazy river, deep water pool with platform diving and a climbing wall, Flow Rider surf simulator, tot pool, leisure pool with some lap lanes, wet deck areas, spray features, rentable party areas, and concessions. Daily admission is $5 for children (ages 3-15) and $9 for adults. Mon – Sun Noon-8 pm
This will open for weekends on May 27. The pool will be open from Daily June 5 – Aug. 18.
Rowlinson Natatorium is an indoor 25-yard facility with deep and shallow water training areas and a zero depth entry ramp in the shallow area. It is open weekends during the summer season and for scheduled classes only during fall, winter, and spring. It’s free and the hours are Summer hours begin Weekends May 27 – Sept. 3
Summer hours: Sat/Sun 1pm-5pm
The Texas Pool is a historic salt water pool shaped like Texas! It’s a membership-based community pool with slides and diving boards. It’s a great place for parties or just a day of fun in the sun. It opens Memorial Day Weekend!
With all these great pools around town, the hardest part will be deciding which one to try first!
No, me neither, I am not sure if it’s the mountain of stuff that you need to take with you, the bugs, sleeping in a tent, did I mention the bugs??????? But if you can get past those things, as I have learned to do, there’s a whole world of adventure out there! Just remember to pack the insect repellent!
Over Easter, we discovered a hidden gem, just an hour’s drive from Dallas – Eisenhower State Park in Denison Texas.
Now before I start, a little about my family. There’s my husband and I and our three kids – they are 6, 9 and 12. We love a road trip, we love an adventure, we love exploring new places and having been in Texas for only 3 years after a big move from Australia, everything is exciting, new and interesting to us. I am just obsessed with those tiny Texas towns but I digress…
This is what their website has to say – “Rentals and marina services are provided by a privately operated marina located in the park. Park visitors can hike and bike on scenic trails that border the lake shore. An ATV trail offers enthusiasts a place to ride along the wooded hills of the park’s backcountry (OHV permit required), Shaded campsites accommodate RVs and tents as well as screened shelters, group facilities, and a limited service cabin.”
At Eisenhower State Park, we enjoyed two nights of swimming, boating, hiking and family time. There are a couple of things I really love about camping and I guess that’s what keeps me coming back for more – I love seeing my kids play outside all day and go to bed when the sun goes down, exhausted and a little dirty, without any electronics in sight, without electricity even. It’s back to the simple things in life. The other thing I love is the campfire at night – sitting around the campfire, cooking dinner, chatting, enjoying my favorite beverage, and admiring the stars. “The stars at night, are big and bright…..”, you know how the song goes, well that’s what it’s like when you’re camping.
The cost of campsites varies between $12 and $20 (as at April 2017) depending on peak season and whether you have electricity or not. The great place about this campsite is that it is right on the shores of Lake Texoma, a huge man-made dam. There is a “beach” which the kids loved and a marina where you can rent canoes, pontoon boats, kayaks and paddle boards. We took a pontoon boat out one morning and the kids loved jumping over the side to swim.
Now, I get it, if you’ve never been camping before, it can seem a little intimidating. But if you want to give it a try, here’s what you need – a tent (borrow one from a friend if you can to see if you like it), bedding – if you don’t have sleeping bags, no need to go out and buy, pillows, sheets, blankets from home are fine too, they just don’t roll up as small, we have a couple of air mattresses but a yoga mat would be good too!
In terms of cooking, you can make this as simple or as gourmet as you choose. We typically plan before we go and shop accordingly when camping. We usually camp with at least one other family and do our own breakfasts and lunches but take turns to prepare the evening meal. This time we ate out for breakfast one morning at this cute diner called the Gourmet Waffle Shop and it was delicious. For breakfast, we typically cook bacon and eggs wrapped up in a tortilla, the kids sometimes have cereal. Lunch we usually prepare at breakfast time so we can head out for the day on a hike or to the beach. Dinner can be as simple as hot dogs or we cooked chicken fajitas this time and our friends cooked a yummy chili on their night. You can cook in an old skillet over the fire or on a gas burner. You will need firewood but can usually buy that from the state park or from a local gas station (we got some from the local Walmart about 10 minutes from the state park). And don’t forget the smores – the best part of camping food!
On your way home, check out the Eisenhower Birthplace Historic Site and downtown Denison is really cute too!
Now, what are you waiting for?? Clear the calendar, pack the car (dogs welcome!) and set off on your adventure. The kids will love it, real memory making stuff here, and I think you will love it too. Just don’t take my favorite campsite, ok?
And if I still haven’t convinced you, this place would make a great day trip too!
This is a Guest Post written by Melissa Beaumont.
Planning an event can sometimes be quite overwhelming. Sometimes, we find ourselves with so many options that it becomes overwhelming, we’re too busy to fit time in to plan ourselves, or we don’t have any expertise in the planning area and we could use a little help. When searching for an event planner, it’s important to find one who treats every client as an individual, and who thoroughly enjoys what they do. It is equally important to find an event planner who is able to work within your budget.
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If you are going to be around downtown Plano with kids then visiting Haggard Park is a must see! Haggard Park is a great playground and walking area with pretty trees and lots to offer people nestled in the heart of downtown Plano, east of Central Expressway. Come check out Haggard Park!
Playground, Interurban Railway Museum, Restrooms, grass area to play, pond, gazebo, walking path, access to DART train, restaurants across the street in downtown Plano.
Haggard Park would be a great place to host a party but do note there are no covered areas or pavilions. They do offer lots of tables scattered throughout the grounds. Many outdoor events take place at Haggard Park including Summer movies at the Park and even outdoor weddings. It’s also a great place to take family photos!
Check out this video all about Haggard Park.
The Interurban Railway Museum is located on site of Haggard Park and is free. Hours are 10am-2pm Mon-Fri and Sat 1pm-5pm closed on Sundays. This is free and they also have a story time that children would enjoy every Friday at 10:30 am.
If you are going to be near downtown, Haggard Park is a must stop! The Farmer’s Market is across the street and all of downtown Plano restaurants are within distance. Visiting the park and enjoying some lunch or dinner would make Haggard Park a nice family fun day out in Plano.