Summer Fun Idea: A Staycation or Day Trip to the Gaylord Texan for SummerFest ~ Trendy Mom Reviews
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Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Fun Idea: A Staycation or Day Trip to the Gaylord Texan for SummerFest


We hope that you have enjoyed our series of posts that feature ways to have fun with your family while also escaping the Texas heat.  In today's post, I'll share a few photos from our recent visit to the Gaylord Texan and tell you about several fun activities that are part of SummerFest. We'll even point you to special offers for SummerFest packages.

We visited for the Gaylord Texan for the 4th of July holiday.  We arrived to the beautifully decorated hotel and were warmly welcomed by several employees as we entered the door, checked in, and made our way to our room.  I really appreciate their attention to detail on every aspect from the trendy decorations to the employees that made us feel like they were invested in providing guests with a wonderful experience.

The Gaylord Texan is perfect for all ages.  My husband and I enjoy our visits as much as our children. Our children have a several year age gap between them, yet both had a fantastic time. We tailored our schedule to a short visit since we wanted to enjoy the 4th of July festivities, but my husband had to work the following morning.  It was nice that we could pack in a memorable staycation without my husband using vacation time.  Of course, if you have extra time, I am envious because there are so many exciting things to do at this trendy resort!  The hotel caters to all types of schedules.  Personally, this was our schedule:

July 4th

  • 4pm: Checked into hotel
  • 5pm: Visited the Paradise Springs water park (included with our stay)
  • 9pm: Fireworks party on the rooftop of the parking garage
  • 10pm: Bedtime for my exhausted little guys
July 5th
  • 8am: Enjoyed breakfast
  • 9am: Walked around the atrium
  • 10am: Checked out (and my husband went to work)

Of course, there is a lot more to do when you visit for SummerFest, so we'll share those details later in this post.

Let's start with our visit to Paradise Springs water park.  This is a really nice amenity that is included with the $20 resort fee.  There is a free shuttle that runs between the hotel and Paradise Springs.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a several year age gap between my children.  My husband took my older son to this splash area, water slides, and lazy river while I spent time in the lazy river with our baby.  We all had an amazing time!  My older son is 7 years old and reported that his favorite part of Paradise Springs is a tie between the water slides and the lazy river.



I think that the thing that made the lazy river so special was that our baby loved it!  We weren't sure what to expect, but it turned out that the lazy river completely rocked his world.  My older son said that the lazy river was one of his favorite memories from our trip because he loved the "baby giggles!" Our baby doesn't talk yet, but he knows sign language for "more." Every time we got out, he would smile and use his baby sign language to say "more."  This is a happy memory that we will always treasure.



After our fun experience at Paradise Springs, we got a quick shower and headed to the firework party that was located on the top floor of the Gaylord Texan's parking garage.  The evening was filled with music, dancing, glow sticks, and fireworks.  I chose to wear my baby in a baby carrier rather than taking a stroller. I saw other parents with strollers and happy babies. There was actually plenty of room for strollers and it was a nice crowd.  While we visited for the 4th of July fireworks, the Gaylord Texan also offers fireworks on Fridays throughout SummerFest.  We highly recommend them because the the view over the lake is amazing!



We all slept well after our busy evening.  I appreciated that our hotel room was very quiet!  Everyone woke up in a good mood and we visited the Riverwalk Cantina for breakfast before we left.  We enjoyed the breakfast buffet which was amazing!  What really stood out was that they catered to all of our different food preferences with high quality options.  Let me share a few photos.

I'm on a vegan diet, so I was thrilled to find delicious breakfast items that exceeded my expectations for a breakfast buffet.  The Soy Muesli was my favorite item at the buffet. It's worth sharing two photos because I loved it so much!



Here is a closer view.  They generously packed this recipe with almonds and topped it with fresh fruit.



I also enjoyed delicious fresh fruit. 


The rest of my family is not vegan and they were similarly happy with their meals.   My son was excited about the waffle bar.  The setup was very nice, including warm syrup, powered sugar, whipped cream, and several toppings.



Of course, you would probably guess that a 7 year old would fall in love with these toppings, especially the mini M&Ms.


My husband enjoyed a frittata, French toast, chicken sausage, smoked duck breast, and berries. He was very happy with his breakfast.



After breakfast, we checked out and my husband went to work. It was a short and sweet trip that was packed with precious memories that will always stay close to my heart.  We enjoyed the special time together at this Texan resort.


As I mentioned early, we only scratched the surface on our recent visit. There are many fun activities for SummerFest that you will want to check out.  Let me share the list, including recommended ages, prices, and locations:


Texan Canvas Corral
Families can choose their favorite Texas-themed canvas and let their inner artists come to life, or choose a blank canvas and create their own western-themed masterpiece.
  • Price: $19.99 for (1) canvas | $35.99 for (2) canvases plus tax and service fee
  • Location: Retail Corridor, next to Mission Plaza Marketplace
  • Recommended ages: All Ages
Hank's Outlaw Scavenger Hunt
Hank the Longhorn doesn’t take too kindly to outlaws wandering through the Texan! Join Hank in this interactive scavenger hunt to help him wrangle up the bandit before he escapes. Complete the hunt and receive a special souvenir to take home.
  • Price: $10.00 plus tax
  • Location: Throughout the resort atriums
  • Recommended ages: All Ages
Prizes and map are available for pick up at the Concierge Desk between 10:00am- 9:00pm.

Escape the Wild West: Escape Room
You have 40 minutes to solve the clues, find the missing gold, return it to the Sheriff and make your grand escape before he locks you up and throws away the key. Do you have what it takes to solve the crime?
  • Price: $25 (ages 10 & up) | $15 (ages 3-9) plus tax and service charge per person | Children (3 & under) are FREE with a paid ticket
  • Location: Lower Level Texan Station
  • Recommended ages: 10 and older
Max party of eight per room. For parties over eight, email texanticketing@gaylordhotels.com for availability. You could possibly be paired with another group, if your group doesn’t book all of the available spots in an escape room.

Crazy Pete's Panning Adventure
Grab your binoculars and explore Gaylord Texan with Prospector ‘Crazy Pete’ who will lead you to a sparkling mineral cave and black gold oil well, tell you about an old mystery at the Alamo and invite you to Fools Town to pan for gold and hidden gems!
  • Price: $19.99 plus tax and service charge per person
  • Location: Mission Plaza Marketplace Patio
  • Recommended ages: 4 - 13
Junior Chefs Camp
A great way to inspire the chefs of the future! This fun and interactive day camp teaches junior chefs how to cook, plate, and serve their menu for two parents/family members to enjoy at the end of each session. Bon appetite!
Dates: Saturday 6/10, 7/8, 8/5
Price: $90 per child (ages 8-16)
Class includes instruction for one junior chef, personal chef hat and lunch prepared by junior chefs for their two parents/family members.  Additional guests can be added for $25 per person. (Dining time: Noon-1pm. 12 kids per class max.)
Times: 10am-1pm
Location: Zeppole Coastal Italian
  • Pizza (June 10): Make your own pizza with handmade dough, delicious sauce, and salad with balsamic dressing with Executive Chef Marchesi!
  • Asian (July 8): Learn the art of Asian cuisine and create scrumptious, hand-made dumplings and tasty noodles with Executive Chef Davidson!
  • Pastries & Cookies (August 5): Bake a delicious variety of sweet pastries and warm cookies with Executive Chef Art! Then enjoy a special lunch from our all-star banquet team.
Friday Night Fireworks and All-American Garage Party
Join us for great food as our DJ hosts fun and games while we countdown to Friday Night Fireworks over Lake Grapevine at 9:30pm.
  • Price: FREE (Additional items will be available, including food and beverage offerings)
  • Times:  Garage Party starts at 7pm | Fireworks start at 9:30pm, plus Tuesday, July 4th
  • Location: 5th floor of the Resort parking garage
Legends of the Lone Star Wild West Show
Enjoy a 20 minute live-action comedy show featuring ten amazing performers including four Gunfighters, four Saloon Girls, one Trick Roper, and our hero, Cactus Charlie!
  • Price: FREE
  • Times: Every Saturday at 8pm
  • Location: Lone Star Atrium
Party in the USA - Glow Party
Rock out in Lone Star Atrium as we kick off the night with strolling characters, music and more! Fun light-up items will be available for purchase as we pump up the music, light up the atrium and get ready to experience our live-action Wild West Show at 8pm!
  • Price:  FREE (Glow items for sale)
  • Times:  Every Saturday at 7pm
  • Location: Lone Star Atrium
Cowboy Checkers
Grab your friends to play on our super-sized checker board and enjoy some BIG fun!
  • Price: FREE
  • Times: Daily, 10am-10pm
  • Location: Oil Derrick Patio
Deep in the Heart of Texas Art Tour
Journey through our four-and-a-half acres of lush indoor gardens while enjoying Texas-themed sculptures, paintings, blown glass and more from local artists!
  • Price: FREE
  • Times: Anytime
  • Location: Throughout the property. Maps can be picked up at the Concierge Desk.
Wild West Photo Ops
Find the fun Texas-inspired photo opportunities located throughout the resort atrium
  • Price: FREE
  • Times: Anytime
  • Location: Throughout the property
Strolling Entertainment
Be on the lookout for our strolling entertainers throughout the resort atriums… You just may run into our tall cowboy, a gun-slinging balloon artist, or a saloon girl!
  • Price: FREE
  • Times:  Every Friday and Saturday night
  • Location: Throughout the resort atriums

Special SummerFest Packages
Finally, as I promised earlier, let me share a link to special SummerFest packages. Room rates for Memorial Day weekend start at $159/night and SummerFest packages start at $219 per night. Visit here for a complete list of SummerFest events, local area attractions, and to book your family friendly weekend getaway!

We hope that you have the opportunity to create good childhood memories with your children like we did at the Gaylord Texan.  Whether you plan a day trip or an extended overnight trip, the Gaylord Texan will keep your family busy.

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