Entertaining & Celebrating Family Travel

Family Staycations Post Pandemic The Gaylord Texan Resort & Waterpark

With warmer weather approaching and things opening up a bit, we decided it was time to venture out with the boys. We have two big trips planned for later in the summer but wanted to test the waters with something nearby, sort of post-pandemic, to see how things went with the boys. 

We were blessed with the opportunity to visit the Gaylord Texan Resort and their Paradise Springs Water Park. Did I mention that the Gaylord is Deuce’s favorite place in the world? We stayed there during Christmas season last year, and he and RG had the time of their lives. He still mentions it today and always asks when we are going back. Here was the look on his face when we received the call in the car on speakerphone about the opportunity to visit in the summertime and experience Paradise Springs Water Park:

The trip did not disappoint. The boys had a blast, and Demetrius and I were super appreciative of a weekend getaway. It was still conveniently close to our home and kept our boys busy and occupied the entire time. 

Here is what we loved about the trip:

They have accommodations fit for a family.

We stayed in a suite in the Hill Country tower. This room was so very perfect for our family! Sometimes when traveling, I feel like we’re scrunched up in a tiny room. Since my boys bring a few toys to play with, plus I bring our stroller wagon, my husband and I end up tripping over everything. The Hill Country rooms were perfect, and I would definitely stay there again. The suite included two separate sleeping spaces, a dining table, and a comfortable sitting area in the bedroom. Having two rooms with different sleeping spaces was perfect! It allowed us to put our boys down for a nap without having to keep the entire area dark and quiet. We were able to place them in the front room and had our privacy in the back room. 

There was also a balcony that the boys loved to look out and see the atrium from up high. The room also had two TVs, one in each room, and we were able to log into our Netflix account so that the boys could watch some of their favorite shows while we got dressed for dinner. The extra space made the stay so much more comfortable. Here’s a short video tour of our room.

Paradise Springs Waterpark has something for young kids to adults. 

Since my boys are 2 and 4, I was a little concerned about whether or not Paradise Springs would have enough water activities that they could participate in for their age. I envisioned lots of water slides that would be too short to ride. While they did have tons of water slides, thankfully, my assumption couldn’t have been more further from the truth!

They have a colossal kid area that you could stay and play at all day. There are lounge chairs surrounding it and servers to help with ordering drinks for adults and plenty of snacks and food. We spent most of the day in this part of the park. The boys loved splashing around and waiting for the big water bucket to drop down on their heads. There was so much to explore they couldn’t get enough of it. This is an excellent area if you have young children or even babies because they can splash around low water levels. 

The resort also offers complimentary life vests for children to use while at the water park, which I also thought was a great touch. 

In addition to the kids area, we enjoyed the Lazy River as a family. We were able to all fit in a double tube and spent time going down the Lazy River. The boys loved getting us stuck amongst the waterfalls. They wore their goggles so they could see through the waterfalls every time we got stuck within one. 

We spent some time in the Lagoon area as well. The Lagoon has adjacent hot tubs and water basketball hoops, and in-water zip lines that are great for tweens and teens. 

In addition to the water activities, we were impressed with the quality of both drinks and food. It made for an enjoyable day for all of us. We were delighted that the boys were worn out and ready to crash when we returned to our room. 

Here are some of the other things I love about the Gaylord and why it’s great for families with little kids:

The resort is expansive, and there are so many different places to explore. 

  • Something is going on at every turn. My boys love simply walking around the atrium, looking at trains, fountains, and rivers. 
  • There is always something new going on in the atrium with every season. We went in late spring, and to our delight, they still had their “Spring-A-Long” scavenger hunt and butterfly characters on stilts that we discovered while walking around.
  • Additionally, they had a wonderful arcade where the boys were able to play all sorts of games. We discovered the arcade on our way to dinner one night near one of the on-site restaurants. It was the perfect after-dinner activity before winding down for the evening. 

Safety Protocols

When we visited (early May), guests were required to wear masks when walking around throughout the hotel, and the hotel staff wore masks. Masks were not needed for the water park, but social distancing was practiced, and there was plenty of room to move around freely. 

We felt very safe throughout our stay and thought this was a significant first step to get back into some level of regular travel. If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids this summer, I highly recommend visiting as a family activity. Or, if you are local in the DFW area, this is a perfect first step of travel if you’ve been hunkered down for the past year and a half.

We look forward to going back again at Christmas time!

If you have any questions or need some suggestions on child-friendly travel, please drop them in the comments below or send me a message! Be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see more family travel ideas this summer! 

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