As a family traveler it’s exciting planning visits to places you’ve always wanted to see. But with kids in tow you’ll need to plan some kid-friendly excursions to keep the boredom woes at bay.
This list is a comprehensive guide to the best spots to take your kiddos while traveling in Denver that’ll surely make lasting memories, they’ll beg you to bring them back!
1. Denver Zoo – This zoo is stocked full of amazing exhibits, great restaurants and thrilling events. The built in aquarium is designed to feel like you’re walking into a muggy rainforest and the animals are so close the kids feel like they’re really in the wild!
2. Denver Aquarium – Experience interactive fun like never before. With tanks that have cut outs for kids to stick their heads into so it feels like they’re swimming with the sharks, “real” mermaids that put on beautiful shows while swimming with the fish, and a sting ray cove where they can feed and touch the sting rays the Denver Aquarium is a thrilling experience for children of all ages! *Did I mention they also have tigers?!
3. Colorado Railroad Museum – Have a train lover? I know I do! This museum has real trains built into the side of a mountain kids can experience the history and beauty of old stream engines (and even ride them!) Thomas the Train comes every September for a fun train ride around the train yard! As well as the Polar Express with reenactments of the entire movie – It’s serious fun for the entire family!
4. Butterfly Pavilion – Ever wondered what it would be like to have thousands of butterflies surrounding you while you take in the smell of tropical flowers? It’s s a constant reality when you’re at the Butterfly Pavilion! They have so many interactive and educational stations for children of all ages it’s an amazing way to kill a few hours while letting your kids get their wiggles out and their minds growing!
5. Denver Museum of Nature and Science – This is a favorite of my family’s. Three stories of incredible history, interactive exhibits, an IMAX theatre and a planetarium. If you’re looking for a way to spend an entire day with the kids this is the spot. With a built in cafe and restaurant, a rotating travel exhibit area, and a kid’s indoor playground this is the placetobring the kids. Seriously one of our favorites!
6. Children’s Museum of Denver – Newly revamped and reimagined this eclectic museum has the coolest places for kids to play, learn and imagine. Another place to spend all day and wear them out (win-win!)
7. Elitch Gardens – Like amusement parks? You’ll LOVE this place. Stocked full of rides for people of all ages, you’ll easily spend an entire day drinking beers, riding crazy rollercoaster and eating some of the best comfort foods you can find!
8. Water World – One of my favorites since I was a kid. An amazing water park filled with some of the best rides and best funnel cakes Ive ever had. This is a MUST do on a warm summer day! Easy to spend an entire day here but definitely an unforgettable memory locale!
9. Denver Art Museum – Have an artsy kiddo? They’ll love the beautiful design of this building and even more beautiful sights inside (ha!). There is some gorgeous and unique art along with interactive STEM fun to keep kids engaged and happy 😉
10. KidSpace – STEM based play space for kiddos. An amazing spot for them to climb, play, learn and experience science with hands on exhibits. Also, it has a built in coffee shop, how cool is that?! It’s a spot we frequent for sure!
11. Little Monkey Bizness Westminster – Another absolute favorite of ours for sure. We come here about once a week, because it also has a coffee shop, an art room, and huge inflatables for kids to get ALL of that crazy energy out. they even have a spot for infants so they don’t get trampled on 😉 You can save 10% off with code SIMPLYKARALIZ_fff.
Obviously, outside of the Denver metro area, there are a million other amazing spots to hit but these are some of our Denver favorites that we go to often!
Looking for great recommendations on places outside of the city? Then check out this amazing post on fun things to do in Breckenridge, CO over at Champagne on Deck!
I love Red Robin and Chili’s more than the next gal, but when you’re traveling and looking for a unique spot, you want something authentic and memorable. I’ve lived in Denver long enough to find the most amazing spots hidden in plain sight – And been desperate enough to try anywhere if that means making my babysitter time worthwhile, ha!
5. 740 Front– 740 Front St, Louisville, CO 80027 – $$
Built in 1904 this Louisville saloon restaurant has a lot of history with many stories to tell. But their greatest story is their phenomenal food. Known for their incredible seafood and steak, there are many amazing items to choose from so even the pickiest of eaters will find something they’ll adore. Their drinks are artfully handcrafted and their staff exudes sophistication. This is the perfect spot for a fancy night out for an anniversary, birthday, etc.
One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten was eaten here. Their food is incredible, their drinks are unique and dreamy, but their location is gorgeous. Right in downtown Denver you get an amazing view of Larimer Square that’s always lit up and always lively. This place is amazing if you’re looking for a classy dinner to impress and celebrate with a loved one. Try their lobster mac n’ cheese, seriously drool worthy.
Love this place. It is tucked into a cute little strip mall but packs a big punch. Amazing food, along with gluten-free options, patio seating while sipping on a cold, refreshing cocktail, and pleasing conversations are only a few of the amazing qualities this place has to offer. The owner creates unique and thoughtful menu items that make it a place to try and remember!
Owned by a former Olympic skier, Jack and his wife, Athan, own this incredible restaurant and created a training kitchen in order to support and employ people with developmental disabilities. Their kindness is not the only amazing thing they offer – Their unique and delicious menu keeps locals and travelers coming back time after time.
Literally, my number one favorite place to eat in Colorado. We’ve been coming for 6 years now and it’s become a tradition to take family and friends every-time they’re in town. Owned by Turkish native, Mesut, his restaurant is like a scene out of a Christmas lodge, but in the background, there is always Iron Maiden playing. An eclectic restaurant with American/Turkish foods will leave you full and happy. You’ll never experience anything quite like it anywhere else – When you come make sure to order his Mesut Burger (a traditional burger with a Turkish twist!) and his award winning Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich! Best place in Denver!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Traveling with children is amazing. They get to see and experience life in a whole different way when it’s right in front of them, rather than seeing it on a screen watching other people travel. But packing for them is quite a feat – Which is why I am not covering it in this post – ha! I will in another one, soon, though, promise!
This post is all about Mom/Dad. These are my top 7 travel must haves when it comes to packing. Everyone is different but I know this list will definitely resonate with a few!
1. Eco-Friendly Pill Organizer– I take a few different vitamins and medications so worrying about my basic pill organizer popping open in my checked bag is a real anxiety. This food-grade plastic, cereal shell fiber case is eco-friendly and incredibly safe with it’s double locking feature. The large capacity is amazing for travel and even for having at home.
2. Fitbit Versa 3 – I don’t go anywhere without my Fitbit. It helps me ensure I’m getting the correct amount of steps in, lets me know if I’m getting an important call whilst driving and keeps me up to date with my sleeping / stress habits. The new versa 3 is pretty amazing with all of it’s new software and capabilities!
3. Larq Self Cleaning Water Bottle – This is my favorite water bottle ever. I have a little bit of a water bottle obsession and it has ended with this one. It uses UV-C light to neutralize bacteria in water. That means you could even gather stream water and it’ll disinfect it to make it safe for drinking. That’s survivalist gear at its best! I love this bottle, seriously, and take it with me everywhere. It even has a little carrying sleeve for convenience.
4. American Tourister Luggage – I loveee hardshell luggage bags. I get so anxious that it’ll be crushed or damaged when it’s in the plane’s cargo hold but having a hard-shelled bag makes me feel so much better knowing my souvenirs aren’t getting crushed ;P This bag is cute, has amazing wheels that don’t get caught when you’re trying to wrangle the kids and again, it’s hard-shelled!
5. Samsung Galaxy Pro Buds– Chances are whether you’re taking a flight or going on a road trip, your kids will be watching their tablets in order for you to gain a little bit of your sanity back. If that’s the case pop in some of these amazing ear buds and treat yourself to some self-love with a favorite song, an audio book or that podcast everyone has been talking about.
6. Selfie Stick Tripod– OKAY. Before you start virtually throwing things at me, hear me out… You’re on a trip by yourself with your three kids and you want to take a photo of all of you (cuz you never get photos of yourself with them) but there’s no one around. This tripod holds all types of phones, cameras, and video devices using different heights and angles! It comes equipped with a remote so there’s no running back and forth and then there’s the selfie stick aspect which you don’t have to use if you don’t want to. 😉
7. Hanging Travel Toiletries Bag – I used this on my last trip for the first. time. ever. I have no clue how I made it this long without using one of these. Having your toiletries, medicine, makeup and jewelry in ONE place where your kids cannot reach is a literal GAME CHANGER. If you don’t have one already I highly recommend investing in one. These’ll last you years and you’ll never go back to separate toiletries bags!
What other must haves have you found? I’ll be doing a Kid’s Travel Must Haves soon because that one is a doozy.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Galveston is by far one of my favorite places in the world. With its Texan vibes and island carefree spirit it’s the most comfortable vacation destination for my family and I. It feels like home! This last month, I took my 5 year old, Hudson, on a Mommy and Son vacay to stay on the island because he’s never seen the beach before. By the end of it, he was begging me not to take him back to Colorado.
We only stayed for 4 days but it was enough to leave a lasting impression. Although we weren’t able to do everything, I made sure we still got a good chunk of touristy stuff in along with just beach chillin’ but I wanted to share a few things we did and didn’t do that I know would make for a memorable experience for your littles!
Where to stay:
Casa Del Mar – We had the cutest little condo right on the beach with incredible views and ocean winds that blew across your lanai in the mornings while you’re enjoying your first, or second, cup of coffee. The rooms were decorated super beachy and colorful so when you settled in for the evening you still feel as if you are soaking in the island vibes.
It comes equipped with 1 bedroom and 1 full bath that is fully stocked with everything you need. The 1 bedroom has a queen sized bed and a twin bunk bed is located in the main hallway, perfect for kiddos (and some peace and quiet at night).
Interested? Call or text Reed at 412-337-9963 and he’ll hook you up with an amazing rate and the housekeeper Traci will make sure your every request is promptly taken care of, day or night! An amazing place with an even more amazing staff!
Where to eat:
Rainforest Cafe – Obviously, the rainforest cafe is a HUGE hit with the kids. The deep forest ambiance and animatronic animals excite the kids while they dig into their rainforest themed foods and mega sized souvenir cups.
Fish Tales – Amazing food across from the Pleasure Pier. The balcony gave for amazing views of people buzzing about on the beach and making memories in the amusement park. Seriously.. The best clam chowder I’ve ever had.
Downtown Aquarium at Kemah – A little pricey but worth it being right on the water and inside an actual aquarium where you can see live fish and shark swimming about your meal. Also, another mega sized souvenir cup to take home, yippeeee…. But still, delicious.
Where to be touristy:
The Strand – A fun and classy shopping strip filled with eclectic and fun stops placed in older buildings. It’s a relaxing, fun place to grab a drink, some Galveston Island souvenirs and a dipped apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!
The Beach – Of course you’ll have to stop at the beach. We went everyday for hours. Sitting on the shore, eating McDonalds while watching the waves crash, scavenging for seashells and crabs, building sand castles and swimming in the water. It’s an incredible place to relax, unwind and watch the pure elation in your kid’s face. I’ll never forget his face when he built his first sand castle.
Where to visit:
Kemah Boardwalk – An amusement park on the beach. It’s an amazing way to take in the views and get some funnel cake while riding a carousel. There’s face-painting, carnival games and a train that takes you around the boardwalk. It’s an amazing place to spend some money, have some laughs and tire them kiddos out 😉
Moody Gardens – We didn’t get a change to stop here, sadly. But we heard nothing but amazing reviews. Placed inside three pyramids are three different exhibits. Rainforest, Aquarium and Discovery. Each of which hold unique experiences and attractions!
Galveston Ferry – In order to make it from Galveston Island to Port Bolivar you’ll need to take a ferry. An experience I’ve never had but loved it – You drive your car onto the boat and head up to the deck where you can watch the waves beneath the boat and the seagulls flying nearby. We even saw dolphins!
Schlitterbahn Water Park – Sadly this place was closed because Hudson has been wanting to go here for ages and it was even a little cold outside when we were there, so probably for the best! But check it out, it’s a huge water park known for it’s amazing rides!
If you choose Reed’s place at Casa Del Mar you’ll be equipped with beach chairs, beach towels, squirt guns, and more so no need to bring beach stuff! (Besides sunscreen 😉 )
Seashell bag. We got one from jane.com and it was the hit of our beach ventures. He was able to use his own little bag to hunt for shells and he felt so cool wrapping his bag around him and venturing out.
Flip-flops AND normal shoes. Cuz, walking and beach combing.
Wind-breaker. Sometimes that ocean wind is CRAZY cold. You never know 😉
We LOVE thisSand Castle pack. Wasn’t cheap and made amazing castles!
This was such an amazing trip, so much so my son has already been asking to go back asap. I know I missed a ton of other amazing activities but with only a few days we didn’t have a ton of time to do everything. Add your favorites below so we can help spread the word!
Have you ever taken a trip and loved it so much you have to go again in the same year? Well that’s how I feel about South Dakota.. If y’all recall I went back in May with Hudson and my little sister, Eulalia. We had so much fun we had to go back but this time I was taking Hudson, my Husband Brent, my Father in Law Charles and my step-daughter Marret. None of them had ever been to South Dakota and always thought it was desert-y.. Man were they in for a surprise..
I planned the whole trip and booked the same Roosevelt Inn we stayed in earlier in the year because it was so amazing! We made the 5 1/2 hour drive from Colorado to Keystone, SD (The BEST city to stay in because it’s 3 miles from Mount Rushmore and about 25 miles from Rapid City but it still so quiet and gorgeous!) We arrived at our incredible hotel, Roosevelt Inn and were as usual greeted by the amazing staff there (They even recognized me!) and made it up to our amazing loft bedroom! Two queen beds downstairs and two twin beds upstairs.. The kids were SO excited to have their own space… And TV 😉
We didn’t want to waste anytime at all so we headed straight out from the hotel to see the sights.. We headed through the gorgeous black hills to the famous Reptile Gardens, it holds the world record for most reptile species on their grounds.. The gardens are gorgeous and so well taken care of.. Even in the beginning of the cold season their flowers were blooming and beautiful.
They’ve got incredibly large tortoises for the kids the pet and pythons to feel.. Inside their monster dome they’ve got the most beautiful exhibits holding scary yet amazing snakes, crocodiles, alligators and more! It was SO cool for the kids to see up close!
After exploring for an hour and a half we decided to head out to Rapid City for a look at their Dinosaur Park (Y’all know how obsessed Hudson is with dinosaurs 😉 ) They were HUGE statues made in 1936 for the incoming tourism and the kids are able to climb, learn and slide down their tails! It’s at the top of a large hill smack in the middle of Rapid City so you can see the city in all directions. It was awe-inspiring!
We decided to head back to the hotel after a long day of driving and exploring – When you drive into Keystone you feel like you’re in a quiet, nestled mountain town with cute shops and amazing food.. But the best part is driving up to our gorgeous light house looking hotel.. The Roosevelt Inn is exactly how it sounds.. A hotel inspired by Theodore Roosevelt.. With quotes on the walls, decoration inspired by his interests and even a “Selfie with Teddy” spot 😉
We settled in and headed down to their wonderful heated pool and spent an hour splashing and playing without anyone else! It was a wonderful way to unwind after a long fun day..
The next morning we were greeted by amazing smells coming from the lobby. They’ve got a complimentary breakfast every morning and it’s amazing!! Always stocked, always delicious and always something different!
After filling our bellies with a hearty breakfast we began our next day adventures! Our first stop was right down the road at Mount Rushmore.. It was a little chilly outside so it was actually really quiet! We parked and walked up to the monuments and took in their grand and glorious faces.. It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen and won’t know until you see it!!
We shopped at their decently priced gift shop then headed to our next fun-stination (See what I did there? 😉 )
I’d ALWAYS wanted to visit the Cosmos Mystery Area.. I’d seen it in a text book when I was younger and always found it’s story so fascinating!
Their history states: “In 1952, two college boys searched the Black Hills looking for the perfect spot to build a summer cabin. Upon their search, they stumbled into the mysterious world of the Cosmos.
The old cabin areas especially piqued their interest as the laws of logic and physics seemed to be turned upside-down. They continued to experiment and develop the demonstrations until they eventually opened their discovery to the public in 1953.
Come experience for yourself what continues to amaze and baffle visitors for over 65 years.”
It is just as mysterious as it sounds.. Balls rolled upwards, water drained up, people were taller standing on different but same levels and it was so disorienting your head would spin! It’s like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else..
It was my step-daughter’s favorite part of the trip because it was just so different!! They had friendly staff and a cute dog named Albert to meet you once you were finished too 😉 We’ll absolutely be back next time we visit!
Once we left we had some delicious lunch at The Front Porch and it was some of the best food we had the entire trip!! <3
After a quick nap at the hotel we walked around Keystone’s cute little shops for a few hours then ate some delicious dinner at the Ruby House for my birthday dinner! It’s a gorgeous old fashioned parlor themed restaurant with old paintings and guns hung all over the wall.
We were exhausted from the day so went back to our hotel and snuggled into our comfortable warm beds eager for the next days adventures..
We woke up to another morning of amazing breakfast which kickstarted our last day of fun!
I’d never seen so much fog than we had that morning! It was dense and really hard to see but we weren’t going to let that ruin our fun.. We drove into Rapid City for some sight seeing then on our way back decided to stop at the Dinosaur Museum.. They had over 50 life size dinosaur replicas.. Hudson was in HEAVEN! There was also a spooky mirror maze the kids wanted to go through and it was crazy cool! We were all so disoriented haha!!
After our dinosaur adventure we headed to my favorite part of our trip… Bear Country USA! It’s a drive thru park where animals roam free.. We had bears in the road, wolves ran right passed the car, elks were grazing and so much more… The fog had lightened up just a little but it actually made the experience a little more creepy and COOL! It was $55 for our vehicle but it was SO worth it.. Never will we ever get a chance to see a bear up THAT close again.. (Hopefully :p ) *I’ll add the bear photo as soon as I get it from my Husband’s phone :P*
We wrapped up our trip and headed back to the hotel for naps, swimming and their game room!
We were sad it was our last day.. So we went to do one last fun activity with the kids.. Some cosmic putt-putt at Putz n Glo.
After a fantastic night’s sleep we had one last breakfast, said our goodbyes to our amazing Roosevelt Inn staff and headed home.. This is a trip we’ll always remember.. It was the perfect weather and it was the end of their season so everything was quiet and slow.. Now that we’re back to fast paced Colorado living I’m already missing the sights and lifestyle South Dakota brings but we’ve decided to make a trip up every year as a new tradition.. And another tradition will be for us to always stay at the Roosevelt Inn because it was by far the most beautiful hotel we saw the whole time and added to the experience with it being president themed..
We highly recommend these adventures to anyone.. For only 5 1/2 hours away from Denver it makes for a perfect quick weekend getaway for families, couples or anyone wanting to slow down a little!
Thank you South Dakota for the best family vacation we’ve ever taken… We’ll be back!
I love Spring! The trees are blooming, green grass is beginning to show, I get to TAN, and my family and I spend so much time outside together! It’s amazing and I’m so excited it’s finally here!
Now that warmer weather is here I decided it’s time to plan a fun family mini-cation – I think we all could use it! So I went online to Great Wolf Lodge and booked us a room in May which includes full access to their amazing water park! We haven’t told the kids but we’re SO excited to have time for all of us and not have any other worries in the world!
I bought everyone new swimsuits (Got an adorable Mom appropriate swimsuit here, LOVE it.) and now we play waiting game.. But, my Husband and I have something super exciting to look forward to everyday and it’s really fun for us!
You deserve a mini-cation too! Book something for your family or for yourself! Something you can look forward to that excites you for Spring and new experiences!
For my birthday we took an amazing 5 day road trip to Texas to visit my family and have some us time 🙂 It was incredible and I already miss it so very, very much!
As stated in my previous post I had packed way early to avoid any stress and it made it soo much easier the morning we left (Husband finally admitted it was a good idea ;)) We packed everything up and were on the road by 6AM! Brent and I do so wonderful on road trips, it’s a wonderful time for us to crack jokes, play car games and just bond. ♥
It’s around a 13 hour drive so it was really nice to have some new special things for Hudson! Before we took our trip I bought some brand new snacks he hadn’t had before and toys he’d never played with from the Dollar Store and it kept him busy for many hours of the trip! (Thank goodness!) We also had just gotten a new backseat organizerand carseat tray by DMoose for him! He loved the tray for playing cars on and was able to watch his favorite new movie Rock Dog on his tablet with the backseat organizer’s tablet slot! Made it so much easier on us :).
After a long drive we finally made it to our incredible cottage we were staying in! We used Airbnb which we love for their customer service – I found a little cottage in Crowley, TX that was only $85 a night! And it had two rooms so we didn’t have to worry about sharing a hotel room with Hudson and having to be super duper quiet so it made it SO much easier having a whole house to ourselves!
The owners were lovely people.. I miss them already.. We got all settled in, put Hudson down to sleep and enjoyed the owner’s famous chocolate chip banana bread before turning in for the night in the most comfortable bed we’ve ever slept in ♥
In the morning we already had plans to spend the whole day with my Dad ♥ He came over and was so impressed with the gorgeous land we were staying on! (Sure made us feel good!) After some good breakfast we made the drive over to Dallas to visit the Dallas Zoo I used to LOVE as a child and was so excited to share with my son!!
It’s more beautiful than I remember! There was so much to see, so much to do and there was almost no one there because it was a Thursday morning! (Didn’t get many photos there because I just wanted to enjoy the time with all my guys :))
After a few hours at the zoo Hudson started getting super sleepy (SO many kids activities there, helps to wear them out ;)) so we drove around while he napped in the car then hit a delicious Cuban restaurant (I cannot go to Texas without getting cuban food. It’s not the same in Colorado. I LOVE Cubano Sandwiches ♥)
Afterward we headed to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium!! GO COWBOYS! It was SO much fun! Brent wanted to bring a Football so he could throw it around on the field and we’re so glad he did cause it was a hit with Hudson too!
Think the stadium made a fan out of my Husband whose usually a Saints fan but it’s such a gorgeous stadium and him getting to throw some pretty impressive passes into the end zone made him gitty!! ♥
Hudson was POOPED. So after a long tour of the rest of the stadium we headed back to our gorgeous cottage and took it easy.
Once Hudson went down for bed my Dad watched him as Brent and I set out for my FAVORITE childhood memory in Dallas! Medieval Times!! I’d been telling him about it for years and we finally had a chance to check it out!
I forgot how beautiful it was! The Spanish style castle was so impressive and Brent got more and more excited as we walked up! Once inside the staff was so friendly and really got into character! We got our photo taken in our red and yellow knight crowns and grabbed some delicious drinks before heading to our seats!
Once the show began, Brent started to get what it was all about. You really get into it and root for your knight! We screamed and cheered every time he came out! Our server Noah was amazing and was SO cheerful and really played the part, especially with our food saying our potatoes were “dragon hooves”, etc. It was a blast. **And it came with a HUGE meal!
The show was glorious, the food and service was fantastic and the experience was incredibly special. It’s something my Husband wouldn’t usually do but he really enjoyed it and got into it and it’s still a conversation of how much fun we had together! It’s wonderful for kids, birthdays, date nights, whatever! SO happy we went and I know we’ll be back again! They have a ton of locations so check it out if going on vacation or if you have one in your town! Check Here!
The next day my Dad had to work so we had just us 3 time. We started with some coffee and breakfast in our comfy cottage then headed to surprise my Grandparents with a visit! They were so happy to see us and especially their Great Grandson! (Wish I’d gotten a photo :'() Then went to see longtime friend of mine with her new adorable baby boy!
My Husband seemed drained and wanted to head back but I didn’t want to waste a minute of our trip! He perked up really quick when I showed him another favorite memory of mine, the Fort Worth Water Gardens!!
It was so beautiful and Hudson LOVED to watch all of the trickling water!
I decided I wanted to walk to Sundance Square in Fort Worth for their other water feature but we found ourselves at Riscky’s BBQ for some drinks!
We ended up being RIGHT next to a parade that included the TCU band! Hudson was in AWE, especially with all of the ladies that were in the parade 😉
After our drinks and parade fun we headed to the Sundance Square water fountains! Hudson had a total blast playing in them!
We were all exhausted so headed home (Felt like home ♥) and took it easy the rest of the night (Brent thanked me for taking us around instead of heading home early)
The next morning we woke up and met Dad for some breakfast! Shortly after we began to get ready for a special vow renewal I had planned for my Hubby and I. It was our 2 year vow renewal and although I know 2 years isn’t usual I wanted to do something special for him to show him how much I truly love him still.
The couple who owned the land we were staying on were so excited for the idea to have our very, very small ceremony on their gorgeous land and they offered to officiate it for us!!
His words were wise, sweet and something we’ll never forget. He personalized it for us and had some gorgeous things to add from experience from his loving 55 year marriage. This bonded us to the owners forever. We feel a little empty now that we’re away from them as this was such a special and intimate experience.
Brent and I feel closer than ever now and we have Joe and Joyce to thank for that. My Dad wasn’t able to make it to our small wedding in February 2016 so it was so special for him to be a part of this as our only guest ♥
Hudson enjoyed chasing the ducks around the pond during our ceremony hahaha!
After settling down after our gorgeous ceremony we decided to change and head to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. It was as beautiful as I had remembered!! Hudson loved to run around and look at all the koi in the ponds 🙂 I loved experiencing this with him.
We ventured back to the cottage to relax before our long drive the next day back to Colorado.
The next morning was a very sad one. We felt so at home at the cottage and didn’t want to leave. We love Texas, we love Joe and Joyce and loved the together time we were able to spend (We rarely looked at screens the whole trip!)
Hudson loves planes so I found a nearby restaurant at an airport and it was DELICIOUS! The Beacon Cafe had a breakfast buffet that was to die for and Hudson loved being SO close to all of the planes they had on the runway!
This was an amazing trip that I still think about, constantly. I miss the Southern hospitality, food and family. It’s a whole other world down there and if I had a chance would move there in an instant. Miss you, Texas.. Thank you for all of the adventures, experiences, new friendships and family time you gave.
Hey y’all! It’s only 2 days away from our Texas road trip! So very excited! Get to spend time with family, friends AND I get to have some alone time with my Husband (Make time for Y’ALL time).
My Husband thinks I am CRAZY for packing 5 days early (Which is LATE for me..) but I’ve told him time and time again how useful I find it! SO I’ve put together some how and why’s I believe getting ready for a trip early IS useful!
When you’ve already got you and your toddler’s bags packed and left on the couch it makes it very easy to throw additional items in as the days get closer (To ensure you don’t forget anything!)
Begin packing non-perishable food in bins! One for your little and one for y’all up front! *We don’t usually let Hudson have many sweets so we brought new treats he hasn’t really had much of so it’s new, exciting and a special treat!**
Pack a bin of BRAND new toys your child has never seen or played with *I just went to the Dollar Store and got a few awesome things I believe he’d enjoy!
Get a list together of what you still need to do/pack/make! *We’re still wanting to eat relatively paleo while our there so we’re going to be making snacks and meals for on the road!*
Packing early gives you the time to CLEAN your house which is so important before a trip because it’s so much less stressful to come home to a welcoming, clean and fresh house!
Plan some stuff ahead of time! You don’t want to find yourself really wanting to try something in town only to find it’s all booked or you missed on the chance for a coupon to get it at a better price!
We’re SO excited – For my 26th birthday we’ll be going to Texas to visit some of my family. We’ll only be out there for 4 days but we’re going to make the absolute best of it! One of my plans so far is to see Reunion Tower. I have ALWAYS wanted to go since I was a little kid living in Fort Worth, driving into Dallas at night seeing it completely lit up.. I finally want to make it happen – With my little one.
From 470 feet up you’ll experience breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views, high-definition zoom cameras, interactive touch screens, telescopes, photo ops and an indoor/outdoor observation deck that lets you see for miles in any direction.
The journey begins with their PIX photo experience at the bottom of the tower. Guests are able to take their photo in front of a green screen and change their backgrounds to one of six images of the Dallas skyline. Next, guests board the elevators that are ready to usher them 470 feet in the air in 68 seconds to the GeO-Deck.
This indoor/outdoor observation deck lets guests explore the city unlike anywhere else. Step up to the interactive touch screen Halo and with just one swipe discover local hidden gems, historic landmarks, museums, parks and much more. I don’t care how scared of heights I am – I couldn’t miss this opportunity! Hudson is going to LOVE it!
Ready for a different view? Head outside for a lap around the exterior deck and feel the wind in your hair as you stand 470 feet on the outside deck! Day or night, make the iconic Reunion Tower your first stop to explore interesting things to see and do in Dallas.
We cannot wait to go and post photos of our time there!
Y’all – I know, it’s been QUITE awhile since I last posted. I apologize! But we’ve been having an amazing time in Louisiana with some family and friends! Sooo happy to be home but also a little sad because there’s nothing quite like the South.. Southern hospitality, tons of history, antiques shops everywhere and sometimes the sweetest people!
It can be pretty nerve-wracking taking a 1 year old toddler on vacation whether you’re flying, driving or BOTH. It’s pretty scary imagining how your little one will deal with not being able to be independent and active so I tried my hardest to ensure I had everything planned and covered!
I started with cleaning the entire house. SPOTLESS. So when we came home there was absolutely nothing left to stress about but getting into bed and passing out after a long 17 hour drive! Then began a ton of packing, Hudson and I were flying but my Husband was driving so we were able to leave all of the bags with him except Hudson’s diaper bag. We got the CUTEST little bag from our neighbor that I used for a diaper bag and it fit all of the goodies he would need and could fit my tablet, phone and wallet as well. It made it SO much easier only carrying a backpack so my hands were completely free for my busy bee!
We were flying into Dallas since it was cheaper than flying all the way to Louisiana so we planned for us to fly in right as Brent would be driving by so he could swing by and grab us! It worked out perfect and Hudson was so great on the plane ride there – I kept him busy with tons of treats he usually wouldn’t get, toys he hasn’t played with before, movies on my tablet for him to watch and tons more! (We flew Spirit and although it went smoothly, I’ve NEVER met a ruder flight crew in my life.. Not to me specifically but you could very clearly tell they did NOT want to be there)
After we made it and got in the car we started our 5 hour trip East towards Louisiana. Hudson was exhausted so he very quickly passed out! (It can be so incredibly difficult to eat healthy while traveling AND why would you when in cajun country?!) We stopped and got some Whataburger since we didn’t have any in Colorado (Wasn’t impressed, unfortunately) then made our way to our friend’s house who was holding us up for a week! (Bless their hearts 😉 )
We were EXHAUSTED but quickly passed out and were ready for the next day. My Husband was going to be working at this Dad’s house all week helping him renovate so I had a week full of fun stuff for Hudson and I to do!
We started with a trip to our good friend’s adorable little store found in Ruston that has a ton of vendors that sell awesome rustic/unique goodies for the home, for the kids, for yourself (Got myself a pair of shoes for $20 that look EXACTLY like Yeezy Boosts Which are $3,000!!) It’s the cutest little shop and I could spend WAY too much money in here, everyday..
After our stop here we made the trip down to see Hudson’s half-brother (His Father’s oldest) and his family. They’re such great people and we had a full day of fun down in New Orleans planned for the next day! But first.. Food! Hudson had his FIRST alligator and LOVED it at Walk Ons. Tasted just like chicken except a little chewier and he digged that 😉
The next day we made the short drive down to New Orleans and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was a whole new world it seemed. It was full of culture, music, performers, amazing food smells I couldn’t even identify and more! There was also a lot people watching ;).
I was so wrapped up in the beauty of the old French architecture and the Hurricane Drinks 😉 I didn’t get a chance to take many photos but made sure to get some shots of the gorgeous Jackson Square!
We headed back after a VERY long day in New Orleans to Baton Rouge to see Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!) and get some beignets. The campus was sooo gorgeous but unfortunately there was a torrential downpour the entire time we were there so I couldn’t get out to check it all out but it was amazing to see regardless and the beignets were DELICIOUS.
After heading back we said our goodbyes and left back to our friend’s house and took it easy and Hudson had a blast hanging out with their little ones! They were all best buds.. 😉 Their land was gorgeous and made me SO wanna be out there for good.
We made sure not to eat completely healthy on this trip because we couldn’t miss out on all the unique and authentic food! Hudson enjoyed it too.. We found an ADORABLE little diner RIGHT on D’Arbonne Lake.. He had shrimp bites, his new favorite thanks to Louisiana!
He also LOVE my Zyloware sunglasses! I LOVE these too. They’re my first high end pair of sunglasses and they’re so worth it, they’re durable and classy! ❥
Before heading back to our friend’s house for some more relaxing we headed to his Papaw’s house for some lovings and to get some sillies out before naptime. He LOVED the big open space.. AGAIN.. I wanna move to the country as I believe he’s a country boy at heart 😉
Of course we had to leave and stop for some BBQ before nap time.. We went to Podnuhs and Hudson LOVED it and their sweet tea.. We had a lot of that there..
Some of the meat was a little large for Hudson so I had to use his awesome new Tiny Bites shears to cut some up for him, they worked great! ❥
We headed back to their house for the rest of the day to rest up for our very busy day the next day. We were going to Shreveport to see my Dad who lives in Texas! We don’t get to see him very often so it’s SUCH a treat to get to see him!
We woke up bright and early the next morning for our hour and a half drive West to Shreveport and once we got there were welcomed by the GORGEOUS Boardwalk on the Red River. Then by DAD! It was so so nice to see him. Hudson loves him so much and remembers him every time he seems him.. Even if it’s been awhile.
We started by walking around the Boardwalk, getting a HUGE sucker (Lucky little man), doing some shopping and riding some kiddie rides! He had a blast (Despite the stickiest of sticky humidity and heat :p)
We HAD to get out of the heat so stopped at a delicious little cajun restaurant called the Blind Tiger and it was delicious. Of COURSE Hudson had some shrimp bites ;). I swear, they make the BEST drinks down there. Everything was so sweet with a side of rum or whisky. YUM.
After lunch we wanted to continue being INDOORS. It was just too muggy.. So we found an awesome little kids museum that had the most AWESOME area for toddlers his age. There were water parks, (He splashed all the little girls and old ladies.. What a flirt.. Hahaha!) a fire-station, a construction zone, a store, and so much more! We spent FOREVER in there. It was SO awesome. I really wish we had a place that cool here.. (Maybe we do?! I should look that up! You should too!)
Hudson very quickly got grumpy (I’m sure the heat wore him out) so we just started driving around Shreveport and looked at all of the history. The gorgeous mansions and very, VERY old cemeteries.. We went through the cemetery twice, we loved it so much.
As sad as it was it was getting late and I had to get back home to get Hudson to bed as we had a long drive back to Colorado the next day. So we said our sad goodbyes (Even though we were gonna swing by and have lunch with him on our way out of state!) and headed back East to the house.
It was so, so sad to leave Louisiana as it’s a completely different feel out there than anywhere else I’ve ever been. But we had to get back home. So the next morning we headed out on our long 17 hour drive back to Colorado. I was not exactly excited to start the long journey as I wasn’t sure how Hudson would do but he was fantastic on our way to lunch with GrandDad. He had a ton of snacks and lots of toys (Again, I brought a ton of toys he hadn’t played with before to entice him)
We stopped in Denton, TX for lunch at Chilis with my Dad and he was so happy to see him again. We had great food, great conversation and Hudson flirted with our blonde waitress the whole time.. hahaha! But all of his flirting sure did tire him out because after lunch we started our drive again and he was OUT for hours! Thanks blondie 😉
Although it was sad to leave my Dad, again, we were so ready to be home so we kept trucking along and Hudson was good the WHOLE time. We played games, sang songs and just enjoyed the agonizing butt pain that came from sitting for SO long.
We finally made it home around 1:30am and couldn’t have been happier. I put Hudson down and PASSED out. It was such an absolutely amazing trip and now I’m officially obsessed with Louisiana. It’s a whole other world down there ❥
It IS doable to both fly AND drive with a 1 year old toddler – As long as you’re prepared!