When you’re a tad too late on planning a trip to Disney World or Hawaii for Spring Break—or just want to stay local for a change—there are many options for staycations near Tyler and Longview where you can still feel like you’re getting away from it all. Because Hospitality Health ER believes every family deserves a break to decompress, whether near or far, we’ve done a little research for you to help you plan.
Want to camp, treat yourself to a nice hotel, enjoy some water time, or keep your kids learning during their week off? Here are three family-friendly staycations within three hours driving distance of Tyler and Longview.
Staycations Near Tyler and Longview Your Kids Will Love
#1 Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines
Don’t want to drive too far? Well, you don’t have to. If your family likes to rough it outdoors, book a campsite at Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines in Tyler, Texas. And don’t forget to bring your fishing rods, because there’s a huge fishing pond onsite.
This is as staycation-y as it gets since you’ll be camping just a hop, skip, and a jump away from your own backyard. It’s just 18 miles away from our emergency room in Tyler.
If you’d rather not rough it this time around, the park offers spacious, air conditioned cabins with modern amenities. You can even bring your dog for a small fee! The park is designed to be kid-friendly, so you’ll find many activities to wear your kids out.
Bounce wildly on an enormous jumping pillow, get wet and dirty while gem mining, or start up a game of miniature golf, ping-pong, beach volleyball, shuffleboard, pickleball, horse shoes, or basketball. What’s pickleball? Go and you’ll find out!
Once you’ve worked up a sweat, take a jump in the family pool. In the evening, catch a movie with other families in the outdoor theater.
The park hosts different themes for different weeks. There’s even a special weeklong schedule of activities planned just for Spring Breakers which may include things like laser tag or tie-dye. On Saturdays, they offer additional activities, like ceramic painting, for a fee.
Wondering what type of weather you’ll have to deal with during Spring Break? By taking a staycation at Great Wolf Lodge, you don’t have to worry at all because all of the fun is inside. Located just an hour and a half from Tyler and Longview, you’ll be welcomed into an indoor theme park complete with water park and tons of kids activities. Just the waterpark alone offers sixteen stations including the Coyote Cannon water slides, tubing on Alberta Falls, and a hot tub for adults.
There are also lots of activities that don’t require getting wet, like an arcade, crafts and games at the Cub Club, story time at the Great Clock Tower Show, and so much more. To make it extra memorable, book a KidKamp or Wolf Den Suite. And for the hard-working parents, make sure to take the time to pamper yourself too—try a massage at the Elements Spa also inside Great Wolf Lodge. There’s something fun for everyone.
#3 Dinosaur Immersion and Excursion Staycation in Glen Rose
If you’re looking for a fun but mind-stimulating staycation for your kids, there are plenty of educational activities right in Tyler and Longview. But if you’re willing to venture out a bit, you can immerse your family in a paleo-themed staycation just under three hours away in the Dinosaur Capital of Texas, Glen Rose, TX. There are many different lodging options to suit you and your budget, from campgrounds and Holiday Inns, to a higher-end splurge at the Hideaway Ranch and Retreat.
Dinosaur World. First, let your family wander the mile-long path of life-sized dinosaurs at Dinosaur World. Your kids will be shocked to learn that there are far more dinosaurs than those they learned about in history class. Then stop by the interactive exhibits including a 15-minute fossil dig where your kids will be challenged to dig up fossils like shark teeth and Mosasaur teeth to take home with them. Next, your kids will be junior excavators looking for treasures, bones, and minerals at the Boneyard and Dino Gem Excavation. Who knew learning could be so much fun?
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. If you like animals, you can check out the wildlife preserve at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, also in Glen Rose. Take a guided tour along the Scenic Wildlife Drive to get a glimpse of a giraffe, ostrich, kudu, cheetah, addax, and other exotic animals. Then stop the Children’s Animal Center to get close to goats, pigs, and birds.
Dinosaur Valley State Park. Now for the real deal dinosaur stuff, pay a visit to Dinosaur Valley State Park, known for its three-toed dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy River. But keep in mind they are not always visible and trails may be closed due to inclement weather, so it’s best to call the park before you head out. The park offers 20 miles of trails and different areas to camp, picnic, hike, mountain bike, swim and fish in the river, watch for wildlife, or even ride your horse. There is even a guide on the park’s website to locate different dinosaur tracks. Before you leave, stop by the visitor center to view dinosaur replicas, murals, and skeletons.
With lots of outdoor time and fun in the sun, make sure that you gear up with lots of water and sunscreen. And whichever staycation or vacation you choose, Hospitality Health ER wishes you and your family a fun and safe Spring Break.