This post is sponsored by Arlington CVB; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As you know by now, we are huge fans of vacationing within our own state, especially since we have young kids! There are so many amazing cities within a 5 hr drive of Houston in EVERY direction -- seriously, the possibilities of where we can go are almost endless. Last weekend, we went to Arlington and it did not disappoint! Arlington is located about 20 minutes west of Dallas and is typically know for being the home of the Texas Rangers, AT&T stadium and Six Flags Over Texas, although there are a TON more attractions and hidden gems than just those 3 things! It's only around a 4 hr and 15 min from Houston, but ended up being around a 5.5 hrs for us since we had to take some restroom and snack breaks with the kids haha!
We stayed at the La Quinta Inn and Suites that's located on the same street as Six Flags for our trip and it turned out to be the perfect location -- pretty much everything we wanted to do was only 10-15 minutes from the hotel! We also sprung for a suite, which is the only way we'll travel from now on. Silas is pretty good about just falling asleep wherever and staying in the room next to our bed but Verity is a SUPER light sleeper and needs her own space or she keeps everyone up. So the suite with a separate living room was definitely the way to go -- and honestly, we LOVED how big it was and that the kids could run around and burn some energy off when we came back to the hotel in between our adventures. I also believe the hotel was recently renovated because it was gorgeous! The staff was very friendly and although they weren't able to secure us a crib for the stay, they went above and beyond in every other way! Also, the breakfast they provided was ridiculously delicious -- just let the record state that. Haha!
We arrived in town late on Saturday evening and crashed at the hotel. The next morning, we got up, ate breakfast and headed out to the nearby Aquarium. Silas LOVES fish/sharks/manta rays, the whole shebang and Sissy is old enough now to recognize and enjoy them, too, so it was a no-brainer! We loved getting to walk through and see all of the exhibits and displays!
After the aquarium, we stopped in at Rio Mambo for lunch -- y'all, it was probably the BEST TexMex we've both ever eaten. The menu had so many choices and the staff was SO amazing -- even when Silas accidentally tipped a giant glass of water over and it spilled everywhere, three staff members immediately came over with towels and cleaned it up with a smile on their faces! Just a super family-friendly place and huge portions, we highly recommend it!!
From there, we headed to the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) for a show at the Planetarium! I've never been to a Planetarium before and HOLY COW, you guys!! The experience was seriously magical! Even the kids were absolutely speechless. I wish we could've caught more than one show while we were there -- but I'm glad that we DID end up getting to sit in and see their Spacepark 360: Infinity show, which was a simulation of some super intense roller coasters! It felt so real, I actually had to close my eyes a few times because I felt nauseous, haha! If you're ever in Arlington over a weekend, I cannot suggest enough that you pop by UTA and visit the Planetarium.
For dinner on Sunday night, we headed to Downtown Arlington and ate at the Mellow Mushroom, a local pizza joint! And a delicious pizza joint, I might add. Seriously y'all -- they make their own crust (from just 3 ingredients!) and have a ton of specialty pizzas that were just UNREAL, so dang flavorful. The staff was super friendly and helpful in giving us suggestions -- our faves were the Mighty Meaty pizza and the Holy Shiitake Pie! Can't go wrong with either of those two. Also, side note: downtown Arlington is SO cute and we had so much fun walking around and exploring before dinner. Their little theater was one of my favorite hidden gems of the city!
Monday morning, we woke up and headed to River Legacy Park to feed the ducks! We grabbed some extra bread from the hotel's breakfast and set out -- unfortunately, we didn't find any ducks where we were haha. BUT we had so much fun exploring the park with the kids! The playgrounds are super safe and the landscape was just so beautiful! Lots of grassy areas for the kiddos to run around and burn off some energy before loading up and driving to the next place! Next time we will bring a picnic lunch!
After the park, we decided to pop into Bishop Arts District in Dallas before heading home and I'm so glad we did! It's the cutest little area with tons of boutiques, coffee shops and local restaurants. We grabbed some lattes and just wandered around, taking it all in. The weather was breezy and cool and the whole area was quiet and serene -- it was honestly like a dream!
We had the BEST time on our little getaway to Arlington, y'all! I never would've thought there would be so many amazing places to visit and explore in Arlington, but there were! In fact, we could've used an extra 2 days to fit everything in the we wanted to do haha! If you're headed up that way, make sure to check out the Arlington Visitor's Guide -- there are so many ideas and great suggestions for you to try! We had such a great time, made so many memories as a family and I'm just falling deeper in love with our weekend trips together! I can't wait to see where we go next!