Summer Staycation at the Gaylord Texan

Summer is in full swing, and I know we’re all feeling that itch to vacation! Planning a vacation can be intimidating—the travel, time off work, not to mention…the budget. Add in little ones like my one-year-old and five-year-old, and hopping on a plane isn’t always appealing. That’s why we decided to kickstart summer with a staycation at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine.

We’d only ever visited around Christmas for their ICE show, but we found the Gaylord to be just as magical in the summer! Here’s what we LOVED at the Gaylord Texan:

Waterpark; Gaylord Texan

Paradise Springs

This Texas water park is 10 acres full of water slides, a lazy river, a huge water play structure, resort pools, a zip line, and a poolside cafe and bar. Best of all, it’s exclusive to resort guests! The hotel shuttle runs there every 10 minutes. This made it easy to return for my baby’s nap while my husband and daughter stayed longer to swim. Once my son woke up, we rejoined them in a matter of minutes. No driving, standing in a long line to enter, or getting lost in a huge water park! We found them under a giant umbrella scarfing down chicken nuggets and fruit from the cafe. After playing in the water to our heart’s content, we dried off, hopped back on the shuttle, and were back to our room in no time. With a baby in tow, it doesn’t get more convenient than that!

Relache Spa

With the money saved from no flights or rental car, we were able to splurge on relaxing massages at the Relache Spa. My husband and I carved out time so that we could each go while the other hung out with the kids. It was definitely a highlight of our trip! They offer a full menu of luxurious spa services so plan to be pampered. Melt your stress away while wearing a plush robe and sipping on coconut water or a rejuvenating hot tea in the relaxation area. Take advantage of their steam and sauna rooms, too.

Gaylord Texan Scavenger Hunt

Summer Resort Activities

The 2022 summer theme is Princesses and Pirates, and the Gaylord Texan executes it perfectly. My daughter had a blast doing their scavenger hunt, following the clues to various treasure chests hidden around the resort. Each showcased a letter that she un-scrambled at the end to solve a riddle. A little treasure reward added to the excitement! They also had animal encounters throughout the day where we met a cute, wild ferret. In the evenings, my husband or I would put our baby to sleep while the other took our five-year-old to explore the atrium. She loved taking her picture with pirate and princess characters and getting a balloon animal (or sword!). Check the resort schedule for more fun, like family bingo and dance parties. There are also unique events, including themed escape rooms, Junior Chef Camp, and the Lone Star Circus Summer of Cirque show, so be sure to look and book online before you go!

Great Dining

We took advantage of room service for breakfast but with two coffeehouses onsite, I couldn’t resist starting my mornings with a caramel latte. Walking by the waterfalls and enjoying the quiet of the hotel before most guests were out and about was the perfect start to the day. For lunch and dinner, there were several tasty restaurants to choose from: The Riverwalk Cantina is a favorite for Tex-Mex and reminiscent of the San Antonio Riverwalk. We enjoyed Zeppole for delicious upscale Italian on their beautiful indoor garden patio. Highly recommend, but be sure to make a reservation! Texan Station is perfect for sports fans and bar food. If you manage a date night, try the Old Hickory Steakhouse. And end the day with a sweet treat from the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM located near the convention center!

Kiddie Corral

In true vacation spirit, we topped off our stay with a trip to the Kiddie Corral toy store. From toy cars and STEM kits to dress-up costumes, there are hundreds of great toys for learning and play. Whether you want something for the kids to remember the trip by or to occupy them during downtime, be sure to check out their fun goodies! Who can pass up a sparkly purple cowboy hat? Well, my daughter did. We left with a unicorn plush backpack and a beaming little girl.

We didn’t have time to leave the premises, but Grapevine offers even more great family entertainment. Add on a trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Rainforest Cafe, or SEA LIFE Grapevine, just to name a few! And enjoy the luxuries of vacation without the headache of planning with a summer staycation at the Gaylord Texan Resort.

Bridget Scarbrough
Bridget grew up in the DFW area and is a proud TCU Horned Frog alum. After moving from Fort Worth to Dallas, she and her husband settled in Plano in 2013. She is an oncology registered nurse but has temporarily hung up her stethoscope for the glamorous life of being a personal chauffeur, chef, and maid to her two tiny bosses, Elizabeth (5) and Henry (1). In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and exploring new places. Her happy place is a cozy coffee shop with her journal in one hand and a latte in the other.