Family Suites with Massive Indoor Water Park
High above Fort Mackenzie, a four-story waterlogged treehouse that feels like it could be a part of The Swiss Family Robinson or Pirates of the Caribbean, a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Suddenly, the big bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. Heated to a balmy 84 degrees, Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine’s indoor water park and its more than 10 splash-filled attractions draw visitors looking for an aquatic getaway no matter the season. In addition to braving Fort Mackenzie, you can crash into 3-foot waves at Slap Tail Pond, careen down a six-story funnel slide at Howlin’ Tornado, scale the Howlers Peak Ropes Course, and unwind on a raft in the Crooked Creek lazy river.
The 80,000-square-foot water park is merely one of the many activities at the hotel’s multi-entertainment campus. At the MagiQuest live-action adventure, kids wield magic wands and journey through a kingdom to meet mythical creatures, including a pixie and a dragon. Scooops Kid Spa gives manicures and pedicures to pintsize patrons sitting atop ice-cream-cone stools and banana-split thrones—free ice cream completes each visit.
Up to seven people can comfortably slumber in KidCabin suites. KidKamp suites offer children a tent sleeping area, and Wolf Den suites have a cave-themed sleeping area; both come with bunk beds for kids and a separate bed for parents. All suites have living areas with couches, plus microwaves and refrigerators.
Dallas: Historical Parks and Rejuvenated Urban Districts in North Texas
Though some know Dallas only for the massive AT&T Stadium (which is actually in Arlington), the city is also an enclave of arts and nature, overflowing with botanical gardens, art galleries, and live theater. Historic Main Street connects many of the city’s recently rejuvenated urban districts, as well as the popular Main Street Garden, a block-long public park surrounded by architecturally significant buildings. Locals come here to picnic on the expansive lawn or watch a movie under the moonlight in the summer and fall.
A short walk from downtown Dallas, you’ll find horse-drawn carriages clopping along brick streets in the city’s historic West End district, which dates back to the 19th century. This part of the city also contains Dealey Plaza, where President Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. At The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, housed in the former Texas School Book Depository, you can visit the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have shot at Kennedy’s presidential motorcade.
Joggers and bikers can zip through the fashionable Turtle Creek neighborhood, located about 4 miles west of downtown, via the Katy Trail, which follows an old interstate railroad. Back near downtown Dallas, the 277-acre Fair Park is the location of North America’s largest Ferris wheel and seven museums and four performing-arts centers, many of which are inside art-deco buildings built for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.