Grand Family Vacation

Grand Family Vacation
Grand Prairie, TX

Grand Family Vacation

By Caitlin McCormack

When my family was looking for a long weekend getaway last spring, I wanted to find a place that offered tons of food and entertainment options for my two kids, husband, and myself. Grand Prairie checked all the boxes, and their Main Street Fest, which looked intriguing, timed perfectly with our April vacation days. It also didn’t hurt that it was less than 30 minutes from our Dallas home!

Instead of a traditional hotel, we opted for a family stay in a Loyd Park Cabin rental. We went with a larger double cabin, which had enough room to sleep six people. They also have single cabins, as well as one that is ADA accessible and sleeps four. The cabin came with all the necessary amenities, including a full kitchen, in case we wanted to make meals at home. The only thing we needed to bring was ourselves! Though, for our next trip back to Grand Prairie, we’re going to leave the kids at home and enjoy some special couple time in their new yurts.

When we planned this trip we thought we’d be spending a lot of time at our cabin after visiting Main Street Fest, and Epic Waters. But we’d soon discover just how much else there is to do around Grand Prairie!

BBQ, Burgers & Believe it or Not!

Photo by Zavala's Barbeque via Facebook

Once we got our things unpacked at the cabin, we were feeling peckish and went in search of something to eat. Zavala’s Barbeque was an easy decision, as it made the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ places in 2021, and was recently featured in Meat Church’s show, Pitt Stops. The kids opted for the pulled pork, while my husband and I shared the brisket, and a couple of jalapeno cheese sausages. Spicy coleslaw and Pop’s beans rounded out our meal. The portions were generous and everything was incredibly flavorful. 

With our bellies full, we made our way to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! The kids loved all the weird and wonderful unique oddities, and wax figures of some of their favorite celebrities. We finished our visit with a stop at the 7D Moving Theater experience, where you move along with every twist and turn in the motion simulator for an immersive film-viewing experience.

After our visit through Ripley's, we took our time wandering around Main Street for a bit, popping in and out of the various shops. When our feet became tired and our bellies once again hungry, we went in search of something for dinner.

Firehouse Gastro Park was calling our name. Their sprawling space features indoor and outdoor dining, a full service bar, family-friendly green-space, a coffee shop, and a smokehouse. They offer a range of yummy treats including Nashville hot chicken, artisan burgers, and LA’s own Mama's Medicine cocktails. The kids went with burgers, which were massive and grilled to perfection, while my husband and I enjoyed their chicken offerings – wings for him and the Nashville bird for me. As good as the entrees were, the sides were amazing—cajun fries, onion rings, and fried zucchini! We washed everything down with a round of root beer floats. Back at the cabin, it didn’t take long for the kids to fall asleep. My husband and I sat on the porch, and just talked; not about work, or who was doing what errand or pick-up…we just talked. It’s easy to forget to do that back at home, which really gives these small getaways a big impact.

An Epic Last Day

In the morning, our first stop was the Farmers Market on Main St., where we sampled assorted fresh fruits, baked goods, and grabbed freshly brewed coffee. I even managed to snag some handmade soaps and candles to take back home!

Caffeinated and ready to roll, we made our way to Epic Waters—an expansive, glass-enclosed waterpark with playful slides and pools—crowned the largest indoor water park in North Texas! There’s also an arcade, gift shop, and eatery on site. The kids spent hours riding the lazy river, lounging in the wavepool, and conquering the many slides. For families that aren’t into water activities, there’s also PlayGrand Adventures and Main Event nearby that are part of the expanding Epic Central area.  

Once the kids were thoroughly tuckered out by their time in the water, we popped over to Lone Star Park to take in a race. We fueled up at their tasty concessions, but there’s also a dining room and a bar for more formal eating. 

For our final stop of the day, we made our way over to Chicken N Pickle. This chef-driven restaurant and sports bar boasts an indoor/outdoor entertainment complex that includes a pickleball court complex and a variety of yard games. We’d never played pickleball before, but decided to make a go of the fastest-growing sport in America. Whether you call it miniature tennis, or life sized ping-pong…we called it our family’s new obsession. 

Sufficiently tuckered out and winded, we decided to keep things light with salads. The kids had the Salmon Caesar, while my husband and I went with the SW Salmon Powerbowl. Portions were more than enough for an entree, and the produce was super fresh, and much needed after going all out for our previous meals.

A Return Trip Awaits

On our way back to the cabin we stopped to catch a few songs from the live bands playing at Main Street Fest, and let the kids go on a few rides. Sure we had a long day, and it was getting late for the kids, but it was worth it for the memories we made. We hadn’t even checked out of our cabins the next morning before the kids started planning our return. There’s so many exciting additions coming to Epic Central, and there are tons of restaurants and activities we just didn’t have time for in just one weekend. Our next trip back to Grand Prairie will be sooner rather than later.