The Value of a Family Getaway

Our kids enjoying a game of Shadow Quest which took us all over the entire hotel.
Our kids enjoying a game of Shadow Quest which took us all over the entire hotel.

Our family just got back from a great in-town getaway at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. Our 3 children {ages 8, 10, and 12} had never been and had been dying to go and see this place that “ALL” of their friends had already gotten to visit. We were able to keep it a surprise until the morning of the day we left(highly recommend this). It never gets old watching their faces when they are surprised and excited. It had been an extremely stressful couple of weeks, so we were all in need of a little down time as a family.

A definite advantage of going somewhere close was that the drive was quick and easy. There was no “Are we there yet?” or the infamous “STOP TOUCHING ME!” coming from the back seat. (That alone is a good enough reason for a local vacation.) After checking in, which was done with very little fuss, we dropped our belongings off in our room scoped things out. Great Wolf Lodge is a kids paradise– the whole bottom level is full of everything from arcade games to interactive scavenger hunts, and that doesn’t even include the huge indoor water park. We soaked it all in and enjoyed playing with our kids like we rarely get to do when we are at home.

Family time without all of the distractions of home seems to become more and more important as our kids get older and our schedules are so hectic. At home we have so many things competing for our attention. When we are able to pull away and spend this time together, I am able to watch walls fall down between each of us, relationships strengthen, and memories be made. These are some of the moments they will always remember, and we often have to be intentional for that to happen. Honestly, I found that to be a lot easier when my kids were younger. It is through our family that our children begin to develop a sense of security and unity, and these moments together make that happen. We are blessed with this family of ours and we only get one chance at it. I hope my kids will one day share and recreate these family memories with their own children.

Enjoying a family meal at one of the great restaurants inside the hotel.
Enjoying a family meal at one of the great restaurants inside the hotel.

Looking for a great staycation with your family this holiday season? Great Wolf Lodge is a great place to wear the kids out and have some much-needed time together! There are several fun holiday events going on, including visits with Santa, dining in their life-size gingerbread house {a $10 reservation that will go to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters), and Snowball, Great Wolf Lodge’s New Years Eve party for the whole family! Head on over to their December events page for more details.

We have had many seasons when getting away was not financially possible. There are many ways you can get away together or have intentional experiences with your children and not blow the bank. Have a camp out in your backyard or local state park (no phones allowed). Local campgrounds often they have cabins you can rent.  Not the outdoorsy type? Take a day trip to a nearby city, or try your hand at one of the many give the discount hotel sites or home away opportunities.

What have you done to get away with your family to create special memories?  Any local “stay-cations” you would recommend?

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Amy is a Georgia peach, married to Bryan (who she met in Alabama) and mom to three great kiddos - Micah, Caleb, and Alli Beth. Amy spends much of her time juggling sports schedules, PTA meetings, helping with full homework loads, and an occasional exercise class or walk around the neighborhood. She is in her happy place when sitting in the stands watching her kids play sports and has loved exploring Fort Worth over the past year and looks forward to discovering more and more of what this great city has to offer.


  1. We are so lucky to have LOTS of fun places to “travel” to on the weekends. I definitely agree that even when I say “this is a family weekend” i end up hustling around the house doing laundry and cleaning. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. We keep talking about taking the train over to Dallas for a day trip and going to the aquarium or one of the museums. I think the train ride alone would be enough to blow my little guy’s mind at this current time in his life. He loves trains!

    GWL is so fun! We’ve only been for the day for a company event, but I can’t wait to take the kids there for an overnight!

    Great post, Amy!


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