Grab your face masks and get ready to read about some awesome socially distanced traveling options for your family this year! Book quick, because I have a feeling these spots will meet their capacity faster than previous years, especially with COVID restrictions still set in place. Enjoy the read and have fun this year!
1. Craters of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas
Get ready to get a little dirty on this trip, bring your digging supplies so you can hunt for real diamonds, (Yes, I said DIAMONDS!) in their original volcanic source. Since this park opened in 1972 more than 33,100 diamonds have been found in all three diamond colors; white, brown, and yellow. This volcanic crater does not only provide a space to dig for diamonds, visitors have also found all sorts of gems; amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz. This is an ideal trip for COVID times because you can safely distance outdoors and it’s only a four hour drive from Carrollton, TX. Really, it’s an ideal trip in general, my family and I would go on this trip in the summer when I was a child and it was simply put, a blast. Due to COVID, it is highly recommended to pre – purchase your ticket here.
2. Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Just three hours from Carrollton, TX, is a nature lovers dream and perfect weekend getaway. Book yourself a cabin and kayak or canoe down the river. Enjoy the beautiful hikes and the stunning colors of nature. While you’re there travel just a few miles North to Hochatown also known as the “Home of Bigfoot” & the best pizza place ever – Grateful Head Pizza Oven & Taproom.
Fun Fact! Broken Bow is only an hour and a half from Crater of Diamonds. Rent yourself an RV for the family & enjoy a week of exploration in the outdoors.
3. Glen Rose, Texas
This cozy town tucked just two hours away from Carrollton, TX, has tons of family fun for all ages! The kiddos will LOVE the Dinosaur Valley State Park and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Dinosaur Valley is an awesome hiking area where you can spot dinosaur tracks, because this area of Texas once upon a time ago actually sat at the edge of an ancient ocean. Summertime is really the best time to go because the river is lower and you can spot the tracks better, but you’re sure to have fun in the spring, too. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a great way to spend an afternoon, cruising your own vehicle through a wildlife safari unlike any other in Texas. Due to COVID, I highly recommend that you visit their website and pre – purchase your tickets in advance. Beyond these, there is also a watering hole at Big Rocks Park, a 25-foot replica of Noah’s Ark, and a downtown area full of Lone Star state history just waiting for your family to explore it.
4. Jefferson, Texas
This may be my favorite place in Texas! As a kid and as an adult, I have traveled here often. It makes a great weekend trip being just three hours from Carrollton, TX. The photo below is actually one I took while taking photos of the room we were staying in while on our “baby moon” before the birth of my eldest. The Excelsior Hotel is the place to stay while in town, there is actually a short little tale about this hotel. The story goes that Spielberg was staying at this hotel as he was passing by, had gone to bed, but was later awakened by a little boy in old-fashioned clothes asking if he was ready for breakfast—hence the director’s early checkout and the movie “The Shining”. Is it true? Perhaps. I know I have had my fair share of ‘interesting occurrences’ in this town. Beyond the ghostly nature of the town there is also a drive – thru movie theatre in the area and a lot of Civil War historical sites, if you or the kiddos are history buffs at all. This is a great weekend getaway.
5. Palo Duro Canyon, Texas
Who knew just five hours away from Carrollton, TX, is the second largest naturally occurring Canyon in the United States. Palo Duro Canyon is an official bucket list for us, I mean, just look at the photo below, my goodness. Grab your tents, sleeping bags, and campfire stories because this Spring Break this could be your home!
6. Fort Stockton
In Texas, but about seven hours from Carrollton, TX, is a town that takes you back, that is, all the way to the Wild West. The history in this town is worth the drive. There sits the fort that was built in the 1800’s, along with the county courthouse, 1884 Historic Old Jail, the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum, and the Grey Mule Saloon. Go back in history this Spring Break and don’t forget your boots.
There you have it folks, six easy, but fun trips close to home – though if you are feeling extra spontaneous you should check out Pack Up & Go where they send you on a surprise trip. Or you could always check out our travel Pinterest board that has tons of super amazing ideas! We can’t wait to see everyone’s trips this year whether you venture out or staycation in your backyard.
“When you travel with children you are giving something that can never be taken away … experience, exposure, & a way of life.”
-Pamela T. Chandler
About the Author
Lauren is a mom of two kids, Wyatt (4) & Audrey (1) … & the fur baby, also known as the OG, Luna Bella. (Oh & Mustard the fish). She is married to one heck of a guy, Troy, who she met in college. She has a Bachelors in Behavioral Analysis and a Masters in Social Work, currently she is navigating the life of a full time working mom as a hospice social worker for Centric, but has also juggled the jobs of stay at home mom & work at night mom. She is the red playgroup coordinator and a member of the yellow playgroup. She loves cold brew, crafting, reading, and margarita nights with the hubs.