🔒 Looking for a weekend escape? Here are 8 Texas destinations that go all out for families

For families that want a quick break, these Lone Star stays offer laid-back luxury and kid-friendly activities

Kalahari Resorts Round Rock (Kalahari Resorts and Conventions)

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You and your family are burnt out, sick of your surroundings and overdue for a break -- Good news, there are plenty of family-oriented destinations where you can steal away for a weekend.

We chose to highlight the eight below because they’re self-encompassing retreats with plenty of diversion to keep you and your children occupied. They feature extravagant pools and splash parks, provide an assortment of restaurants that accommodate picky eaters, and offer fun family activities like fishing, kayaking and horseback riding.


Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine

A general view of the Great Wolf Lodge in Fort Mackenzie. (Great Wolf Resorts)

The basics: The centerpiece of Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is its 80,000-square-foot indoor water park featuring water slides, raft rides, wave pools and splash areas. Guests get unlimited access to the water park. In addition, the property offers ropes courses, minigolf and arcade games.

Fun factor: During dance parties held daily, the young and young at heart let loose, and each night children gather around a fireplace for a bedtime story. Families can book themed suites, including one with a log cabin inside a room that has bunk beds for kids.

The cost: Nightly rates start at $299. Book online at greatwolf.com.

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Kalahari Resorts, Round Rock

Kalahari Resorts Round Rock (Kalahari Resorts and Conventions)

The basics: At the massive Kalahari Waterpark in Round Rock, Texas there are several attractions geared toward young guests including a 223,000-square-foot waterpark with 30 waterslides, 20 pools, a lazy river, a wave simulator and multiple splash areas and an 80,000-square-foot adventure park offering ropes courses, arcade games, escape rooms, climbing walls, miniature golf, bowling and laser tag. Adults will appreciate the swim-up bar, spacious spa, fitness center and array of dining choices.

Fun factor: Spa Kalahari offers special spa services for its young clients. A 90-minute $155 package includes a facial, manicure and pedicure.

The cost: Nightly rates start at $569. Book your stay 30 days in advance and save up to 25 percent. Book online at kalahariresorts.com.

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Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campgrounds, 7 Texas locations

Splashground at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground (Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campgrounds)

The basics: Jellystone campgrounds offer a host of attractions beyond the campsite, picnic table and grill. Most of the campgrounds feature fishing, miniature golf, swimming pools, splash pads, hay rides, arcades and laser tag. Accommodations include cabins and RV and tent sites.

Fun factor: Yogi himself is often on hand to greet guests who participate in the myriad activities and events hosted daily, including pizza parties, foam parties, candy bar bingo, gem mining, sand art, tie dye and movie nights.

The cost: Accommodations and rates vary by campground. Book online at campjellystone.com.

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Moody Gardens, Galveston

Moody Gardens (Pixabay)

The basics: The Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center has 428 rooms, which reflect the hotel’s tropical theme. There is a large outdoor swimming pool, 18-hole seaside golf course, spa, ropes course, paddlewheel boat, museum, 10-story glass rain-forest pyramid and an aquarium with sharks, penguins and thousands of species of fish.

The cost: Nightly rates start at $349. Average nightly rates from $535 to $603 for The Moody Gardens Family Package, which includes four-two day passes to the Colonel Paddlewheel boat, Aquarium, Discovery, and Rainforest Pyramids, 3D, 4D theaters and 20,000 League’s Interactive Theater. Book online at moodygardens.com.

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JW Marriott Hill Country Resort, San Antonio

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort (Travelzoo)

The basics: Traveling to San Antonio and have kids in tow? Consider the 1,000-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort, with its championship golf courses, walking trails, nine-acre water park featuring numerous slides and a 1,100-foot lazy river, and other family-friendly attractions on 600 acres in the Texas Hill Country. The resort is near SeaWorld San Antonio, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and Natural Bridge Caverns.

Fun factor: The resorts hosts numerous family-friendly activities and experiences, among them arts and crafts projects, animal interactions, family bingo, rubber ducky races and supervised play. S’mores kits are distributed beside the fire pits each night.

The cost: Nightly rates starting at $389. Winter, spring break and summer offer attractive prices. Check the JW’s website for special offers throughout the year. Book online at marriott.com.

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Margaritaville Resort, Lake Conroe

Lifestyle and architectural photography for Margaritaville Resort at Lake Conroe Texas (Stewart Cohen Pictures, Margaritaville Resort)

The basics: Margaritaville Lake Resort is situated on the shores of Lake Conroe. The resort boasts 335 guest suites, including 32 lakefront cottages.

Fun factor: At Margaritaville Lake Resort there are a variety of activities to try every day of the week. Experiences hosted by Margaritaville include scavenger hunts, sandcastle construction, corn hole competitions, fitness classes and more. Among the attractions geared toward families is the Jolly Mon Water Park, which includes a themed splash zone and dump bucket, two waterslides, and a kiddie pool. Margaritaville also has its own miniature golf course, and regulation-size pickleball tennis and racquetball courts.

The cost: Nightly rates starting at $479. Texas and Louisiana residents receive an additional 15% off the best available rate. Book online at margaritavilleresorts.com.

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Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay

Putting course at Horseshoe Bay Resort (Horseshoe Bay Resort)

The basics: Located on the shores of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, the 400-suite Horseshoe Bay Resort offers three pools, a spa, tennis and pickleball courts and access to three golf courses.

Fun factor: The resort offers numerous family-friendly attractions, including miniature golf, an exotic bird show, a tortoise connection and nightly S’mores. At the Kid’s Club, there’s a two-story jungle gym, rock wall and arts and crafts activities. For lake fun, rent kayaks, paddle boards, boats and jet skis at the marina or schedule a fishing excursion or sunset cruise.

The cost: Rates starting at $329. Book online at hsbresort.com.

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Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Cedar Creek

The basics: Situated on 405 acres along the Lower Colorado River 23 miles outside Austin, the 490-guesroom Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa offers four pools, a splash pad, waterslides, a spa, numerous dining experiences, access to an award-winning golf course and more.

Fun factor: Recreation amenities include meet-and-greet opportunities with longhorns, alpacas and goats, a game room, a playground, a seasonal kid’s camp, horseback trail rides, pony rides, archery, trap shooting and fishing. On site, there’s a tennis court, three pickle ball courts, cornhole, horseshoes, and a basketball hoop. Complimentary bicycles are available for those who want to explore the resort’s hiking, biking and jogging paths. Nightly S’mores are available for all.

The cost: Rates starting at $419. Book online at hyatt.com.

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Parents, what would you add to this list? Where do you go for a quick getaway with kids? Share your recommendations in the comment section.


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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.