It’s taken me about three months to face the reality that the family vacations we were looking forward to planning will probably not happen anytime soon. For my family, flying is out of the picture. We just don’t feel safe boarding an airplane right now (even though the rates are definitely tempting). That means if we want to plan a family vacation, it has to be a destination that I am willing to pile my four children (ages 2-9) into a car for.
To make it even more interesting, whatever destination we choose, we need to make sure our accommodations are included in the excitement as there’s a really good chance many of the “normal” tourist stops either won’t be open or won’t be fully operational in the town of our choosing. In addition, traveling across state lines or into rural areas has health risks of its own (for you and for the community).
This year, after evaluating all our options, we decided 2020 would be the year for staying local and enjoying a good ol’ fashioned staycation!
Here’s a list of a few local favorite DFW staycation destinations (courtesy of Apparent Insurance) within an hour driving distance of Collin County. Your family will be in the car long enough for your kids to feel like they’re going somewhere exciting, but short enough that you won’t have to start hearing every parent’s favorite phrase: “Are we there yet?”
Located in the Design District of Downtown Dallas, the Hilton Anatole isn’t just an iconic hotel, but also a family-friendly resort! Most museums and attractions in Downtown Dallas are closed due to the pandemic; however, when you stay at the Anatole, you won’t need much reason to leave the resort.
JadeWaters, the Anatole’s waterpark area, features a splash and play area for kids, lazy river, two 180-ft. water slides, and various family-friendly activities and games on the weekends. They’re currently operating at 50% capacity (as of June 22, 2020) which makes the pool area all that much more enjoyable!
If you stay at the Hilton Anatole, a majority of their restaurants are currently closed — with the exception of their JadeWaters Bar & Grill, Counter Offer, and room service — so have a little fun with your family and dine out at a local favorite patio like Rodeo Goat OR the newly reopened Medieval Times. If you don’t want to leave the hotel, use Door Dash to dine in the room!
There are lots of Jellystone Parks around Texas, but Collin County has three within driving distance of McKinney, but the North Texas Jellystone Park in Burleson is only about an hour away! You can tent camp, RV camp, or rent a cabin. OR their newest feature is the Pirate Ship “Suite” Vacation Cabins which look amazing! They always have lots of fun activities planned outdoors for adults and kids that keep everyone at a safe distance from others.
Each park is different, but you’ll usually find fun activities like paintball, playgrounds, splash pads, fishing, and more! In addition, North Texas Jellystone Park is located near Pirate’s Cove Fun Zone (which is currently opened at 50% capacity as of May 29, 2020).
Check out their event schedule for lots of fun things coming up.
Gaylord Texan – Grapevine
The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is definitely a summertime MUST if you haven’t already experienced it with your family! Normally, I’d suggest a list of activities for you to do in Grapevine with your family, but during the pandemic, I’m going to suggest you stay within the resort — but you won’t regret it!
The Gaylord has an incredible water park, Paradise Springs, located just off the hotel featuring a 600-square-foot lazy river, 6,000-square-foot family lagoon, 27-foot-tall waterslide and zip line, and two horseshoe-shaped hot pools. Plus, a Texas-themed, multi-level water play structure with interactive water features, 3 winding waterslides, and toddler pool! Bonus: The kids will love the Kona Ice truck, but the parents will love the poolside drinks.
They are also operating at limited capacity with most restaurants and have specific rules for their waterpark during this time (like weekend reservations are required), so be sure and read up before you go!
Just a jump and skip away, your family can find all kinds of fun at Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma/Texas border. If you prefer hotel-style accommodations and restaurants, Tangleglen Resort or Lake Texoma Lodge & Resort may be what you’re looking for. Or choose from a variety of resort cabin rentals like Lighthouse Resort & Marina sprawling all across the lake.
And while you’re trying new things in 2020, connect with Apparent Insurance and learn more about their insurance created by families, for families! When you sign on with Apparent, you’ll receive access to Smart Roadside Assistance. Apparent has partnered with Urgent.ly, the best in the U.S., to provide the best roadside assistance to you and your family.
And if you have any issues while on the road, you can have peace of mind that when you return home, you also have access to At-Home Mechanic Services with YourMechanic. They make life easier by offering mobile car repairs at home.
Apparent Insurance is offering lower insurance premiums for new customers and renewals. Get a quote today!