Being centrally located in the big state of Texas, Waco is the perfect place to call home! If you want to see the city lights in Dallas or slow it down in the hill country around Austin, Waco provides many opportunities within a few hours’ drive to getaway for the weekend.
Here is a list of family friendly destinations that you will want to put on your bucket list:
- Great Wolf Lodge – Located just 125 miles away in Grapevine, Great Wolf Lodge has plenty of activities for young kids to stay busy all weekend! Everyone will enjoy the large indoor waterpark and arcade, but elementary age kids love the magic quests, rope course, kids’ spa and 4D theatre! Story time, character visits, and creating their own stuffed animals are especially fun for toddlers, too. Book 2 months in advance for some great discounts!
- Lost Pines Resort and Spa – Located in the hill country between Austin and Bastrop, Lost Pines provides a fun, relaxing weekend outdoors! After Dad plays a round at the Wolfdancer golf course, send mom to the spa while the family hits the mini waterpark to float the lazy river! A large fire pit for s’mores under the big Texas stars is a perfect ending to your day. The resort is surrounded by beautiful trees, which makes hiking and biking cool (complimentary bikes available)! Horseback riding, fly fishing, zip lining and archery are available too.
- Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort – For families that love waterparks, Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels offers something for everyone and is just two and half hours away! From splash pads for little ones to high speed waterslides for the thrill seekers, this is the ultimate waterpark get away. Rent a cabana for a great place to meet up, cool down and enjoy a picnic lunch. Cabins located along the park make it easy for little ones to still get a nap in. Rates vary during summer months and holiday weekends so book ahead.
- JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa – A luxurious spa, golfing and a waterpark for the kids! See the theme here! A lazy river, tube slides for the family and a water park with spray features designed for the littlest swimmers, make this a great place to be poolside. There are art, physical exercise and poolside activities scheduled for the kids throughout the day. Downtown San Antonio, the Riverwalk and Alamo are about a half hour away!
- Rough Creek Lodge–Within an hour and a half drive of Waco, near Hico, you can enjoy a taste of the country life in a rustic ranch style retreat! The restaurant offers three course meals and magnificent views over a small lake. This is a great place for older kids to enjoy hunting, shooting sports, paintball, archery, and even tomahawk throwing. Younger kids will love the family style pool, trampolines, climbing wall, and petting corral. Horseback riding, fishing, and taking a tour in a Kawasaki Mule are fun outdoor activities available as well.
- Gaylord Texan Resort – Another Grapevine area option, I have heard that the Gaylord Texas is spectacular at Christmas with ice sculptures and holiday lights. This huge hotel boasts state of the art fitness facilities, a spa, and beautiful gardens, but the kids will love the western themed waterpark with a kids lagoon, multilevel water playground and a zip line during the summer months. Round off your weekend with a trip to Legoland Discovery Center, Six Flags Arlington or nearby shopping at Grapevine Mills Mall.
- Horseshoe Bay Resort – If you love the lake life, this resort is centered around Lake LBJ in Marble Falls! Be sure to stop by the BlueBonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, because pie is always good. The resort has two pools for families to enjoy including a sandy ‘beach’ adjoining the lake. Kayaks, paddle boards, and wave runners are available to rent and perfect for teens who love adventure! With several top-notch tennis courts and golf courses, a landscaped 18-hole miniature golf course is fun for the whole family. End the night with a movie by the pool!
- Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa – Located just 10 minutes outside Austin, this is a great place to experience the culture, cuisine, and music in Austin. With top ranking golf courses, tennis courts, a spa and pool, this is a place that parents will love. The kids will not be left out as they are served milk and cookies on their first night’s stay and enjoy mini golf, nature trails, and pool time. Kids camp is available if you need to sneak off for a pedicure.
- Kemah Boardwalk – Any three-day weekends planned? This is almost a four-hour drive, but lots of activities in one central location, make it worth it! There is an awesome rainforest exhibit and stingray reef, where kids can touch the stingrays. Lots of great restaurants, but I highly recommend the Aquarium restaurant, because the floor to ceiling aquariums filled with tropical fish are amazing to watch. The Boardwalk is filled with lots of carnival style games, food and a mini amusement park with rides for all ages. For older kids, a wooden roller coaster and a high speed boat ride in Galveston Bay called the Boardwalk Beast is a must.
- Lake Whitney – No matter if you like roughing it in a tent or glamping in an air-conditioned cabin, Lake Whitney is a great place to camp within an hour of Waco. Camping is a great way to unplug from technology, enjoy the great outdoors and reconnect as a family. Hiking, fishing, boating, swimming and campfires make the best memories. Bosque Resort offers inflatables on the lake and a nature inspired river tube ride. Go to TexasGetawayVacation.com for a list of accommodations from condos at White Bluff Resort to lakeside cabins at Arrowhead Resort.
- Lakeway Resort– Features a full-service spa, three large swimming pools, a whirlpool, a swim-up bar and a slide area that’s terrific for kids. Enjoy cocktails with a view at our rustic lower lobby bar and savor creative Southern cuisine at our restaurant with outside seating featuring panoramic lake views. Get energized in our state of the art fitness center, set sail for a day on the lake from the marina or tee off from a championship golf course. For families, Lakeway Resort and Spa offers a fantastic Kid Zone complete with arts & crafts, movies, games and much more.
- The Woodlands Resort– Nestled in 28,000 acres of forest north of Houston, the newly renovated Woodlands Resort is a destination of fun and relaxation. Just steps from 406 deluxe guest rooms are two championship golf courses and the Forest Oasis Waterscape™ with 1,000 foot lazy river. Guests enjoy seasonal poolside dining, dive-in movies and family-friendly entertainment. Other resort amenities include a full-service spa and fitness facility, 190 miles of trails, and tennis courts. Explore the property’s three restaurants or lounge, plus nearby shopping and entertainment.
- Choctaw Casino & Resort– This resort isn’t technically in Texas, but it is located just an hour north of Dallas. Featuring a seasonal outdoor pool with cabanas, swim-up bars, fire pits and 6 hot tubs, it has everything a family could need.