Your Ultimate Guide to DFW Staycations

DFW staycations are kind of my husband’s and my specialty. We love getting away for a night, just us, when we can, but we especially love exploring tourist spots and local hotels with our son, who is five. Having a vacation without the hassle of traveling, especially amidst flight cancellations and traffic, makes staycations an easy decision. Here are a bunch of fun ideas for family DFW staycations:

Fun Hotels in Dallas

Gaylord Texan

woman posing on balcony at Gaylord Texan, DFW staycations
Gaylord Texan, Atrium View Room

In my opinion, staying here with kids is best done in the summer months when Paradise Springs, the guests-only waterpark, is open. It’s the best pool area in DFW. But even outside of the summer months, the hotel has so much to offer. Shops, bars, restaurants, and most important to our family, an indoor pool! Tip: Always spring for the atrium views. They are the best!


Great Wolf Lodge

The indoor water park speaks for itself here, but there’s so much more. They have a ropes course, arcade, Build-A-Bear workshop, and activities for kids of all ages. When it comes to food, they have all the bases covered—drinks, desserts, coffee, and several restaurants!

Hilton Anatole

This hotel has our favorite…a waterpark with a lazy river! When JadeWaters is open, this hotel is a great choice and in a perfect area. It’s right next door to Medieval Times, which is such a fun experience for kids of all ages! The Anatole also has several restaurants, including a steakhouse which is set to open soon!

Need a Budget Option?

When my family is on a budget, but we still want to “get away,” we look for a hotel with an indoor pool—especially during the winter months. By far our favorite is the Hampton Inn & Suites in Downtown Ft. Worth. It has a great indoor pool with kid-friendly features like a whale and a bucket that dumps water on you, which you can enjoy without spending the big bucks.

Fun Airbnbs in Dallas

If staying in a hotel is not your cup of tea, and you want all the amenities that a house or condo has to offer (like a kitchen and laundry), then Airbnb is right up your alley. DFW has thousands of Airbnbs ready for you to rent! Perhaps you don’t have a pool at home; well, you’re in luck. There are so many great homes with a pool for rent. Maybe you want a stunning view of downtown Dallas or Ft. Worth…you are SURE to find your dream staycation. Here are some cool Airbnbs in DFW to get you started:

Be a Dallas Tourist

Dallas has so much to offer to those of all ages. Here are a few DFW bucket list favorites that allow you to stay local, and see parts of the metroplex you might not have seen yet:

mother and toddler feeding giraffes at the Dallas Zoo, DFW staycations
Feeding giraffes at the Dallas Zoo | 2019
  • Reunion Tower
  • Perot Museum
  • Fort Worth Stockyards
  • Klyde Warren Park
  • Dallas Aquarium
  • Dallas Zoo
  • Fort Worth Zoo
  • Sixth Floor Museum
  • Dallas Arboretum
  • Dallas Museum of Arts
woman sitting on a longhorn at the Ft. Worth Stockyards, DFW Staycations
Fort Worth Stockyards | 2014
two woman at the site of JFK assassination, DFW Staycations
Outside the Sixth Floor Museum where JFK was assassinated

Go to a Dallas Sporting Event

man and woman at Rangers game
Texas Rangers game, 2018

When in doubt, check out a sporting event. The DFW area boasts teams that play all seasons.

  • Texas Rangers: April through November
  • Dallas Cowboys: September through January
  • Dallas Stars: October through April
  • Dallas Mavericks: October through April

DFW BBQ Bucket List

  • Hutchins BBQ, McKinney
  • Cattleack BBQ, Dallas
  • Pecan Lodge, Dallas
  • Angelo’s BBQ, Ft. Worth
  • Lockhart Smokehouse, Dallas
  • Ten 50 BBQ, Richardson
  • Heim BBQ, Ft. Worth
  • Hurtado BBQ, Arlington
  • Lockhart Smokehouse, Dallas
women outside of Pecan Lodge in Dallas
Pecan Lodge, 2018

Glamping in DFW

Want a unique stay in DFW that’s nothing like your average hotel or Airbnb? Check out this unique glamping experience. It’s touted as a hobbit tree house. And the pictures do not disappoint!

hobbit tree house exterior Dallas

What are your fave spots for a DFW staycation?

Kara was born in Florida, lived in Washington State and California as a Navy brat, and then settled in Jacksonville, Florida. That was until work moved her to Texas. Her (then) boyfriend followed her out, and there they got engaged, married, and welcomed their son, Mark, in 2016. Then Kara was a surrogate and welcomed her first surro-baby in September 2019 and second in April 2021. Her favorite hobbies including finding adventures (aka free things to do) on weekends with her family around town, spending time at her parents in Oklahoma, fitness and working towards paying off their debt. You can read more about her family, fitness and financial freedom journey on her website - Taking KARA Myself.