Drop off your sister's brood between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and scoop them up at 4:30 p.m. after you've taken in a full day of kid-free bonding. At camp, young ones aged 4–13 will learn enjoyable skills through a diverse assortment of fun-fillers such as kayaking, archery, fishing, swimming, treasure hunts, target shooting, conservation, conversation, conversation about conservation, nature study, and more. Snacks are provided at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Originally leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1988, Meadowmere Park welcomes its guests to 250 acres of parklands and lakefront ripe for outdoor activities. As kayaks and paddleboats launch into Lake Grapevine and float across 8,000 acres of water, miles of trails surrounding the lake allow visitors to run, bike, and set world somersault records. As the evening sets in, tents sit beneath twinkling stars at campsites along sandy beaches, and special events unfold at a waterfront pavilion.
Fun floats by air or by sea with watercraft rentals and aerial rides from Flying and Floating Toys. Zip around Lake Lewisville on the 20-foot Malibu Sportster, a competition boat ideal for water skiing, wake boarding, and lakeside high-fives for groups of up to seven people ($100/hour for first two hours with a two hour minimum, $85/each additional hour). Captained by the boat's owner, the Sportster has a tower that pulls boarders and skiers out of the water at a higher angle and 310 horsepower gets them up faster than an alarm clock made of three roosters. Float leisurely in the 22-foot 12-person pontoon boat ($75/hour for first two hours with a two hour minimum, $60/each additional hour, $10 extra/hour for a driver) or grab two friends for a ride on a Yamaha VX110 WaveRunner jet ski ($75/hour for first two hours, $60/each additional hour). Cloudcuddlers can soar up to 1,000 feet with a powered parachute ride ($150+) or lay a lower 100 feet over the water for a 15-minute parasail ($70/person, two person minimum). Fly solo or copilot a one- or two-person kayak around Lake Lewisville or tow kayaks to another lake or comically oversized hottub ($50/half day, $75/day, $225/week). Rental fees include gas, tax, and life jackets, and all boats feature a CD/MP3 player.
As waves churn in the mid-Atlantic, Captain Matt Meadows is hard at work. He has to deliver a sail boat to an eagerly awaiting customer at his destination port in Italy. Though the United States Coast Guard Master occasionally delivers boats domestic and abroad, his main passion is teaching. From his home base on Lake Lewisville, Captain Meadows and his team of skippers lead lessons ranging from intro to sailing classes all the way through advanced sailing certifications, during which they teach students essential sailing lingo, such as starboard and Pirates of the Caribbean. They also instruct on specialty concentrations such as celestial navigation and offshore sailing. They lead beginning and advanced racing lessons for students interested in performance sailing, and they also rent out their schooners for all sorts of occasions.
An autumn harvest fair. A Memorial Day celebration, punctuated by a 21-gun salute. A kids' summer camp complete with archery, swimming, and a meet-and-greet with a friendly raccoon mascot. These are just a few of the events hosted by Grand Prairie Parks & Rec, a department that has garnered a Gold Medal from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Its recreational facilities––including a pool with an aquatic climbing wall––and frequent social events bring the city together year round. Under the bright sun or starry skies, visitors can dance at a concert in the park, rather than just dancing to the rhythmic creak of a swing set. For longer excursions, the 791 lakeside acres of Loyd Park feature 221 campsites replete with cabins, picnic areas, and trails. There, visitors can paddle out on the water in a rented kayak, play a game of volleyball, or sleep overnight under the stars.