Plan a Vacay or Covid Getaway at a Local Summer Paradise

Gaylord Texan's Paradise Springs

What if we told you that there was a place just down the road where you could actually relax, enjoy summer, and forget about the craziness this pandemic has brought into your daily life? That sounds great, right? The fact of the matter is that for most, if not all of us, the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our daily plans and slowly invade what little sanity we have been able to maintain since it began. This past week we were able to rediscover a local, temporary remedy for the Covid-19 blues, the Gaylord Texan Resort.

Balcony View Of The Atrium

You are probably thinking, why would someone go to a hotel during a global pandemic? A valid question, but hear us out. My family and I were considering the same question as we mulled over what we could do with the remnants of summer that the virus had left us. Communities around the metroplex have barred many community pools, annual activities, and even libraries. We scoured the internet for ideas to no avail until my wife and I remembered a past discussion about wanting to see what the Gaylord Texan was like during the summer. We were obviously a bit leery given the current virus situation since we have two small children and I am also considered to be at “high risk”. However, after doing a bit of research we decided to venture out and give it a try.

Room Amenities

In today’s America we generally have to sacrifice fun for safety as we have seen time and time again. The biggest surprise we discovered at the Gaylord Texan was that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. We never had a single concern about the sanitary standards during our two-day stay. It was evident from the moment I stood in the socially distanced line to check in and watched as the staff worked behind a glass divider at the counter, wiping down the open portion after each guest exited the area. The staff wore masks the entire time and the maids seemed to spend quite a bit longer than usual cleaning each room. Not only that, but the main restaurant literally spread out the tables over six feet apart instead of just sectioning off the back portion of the building like many others are doing. There were even complimentary hand sanitizer and wipes waiting in our room for us!

Lazy River

Even with the enhanced safety procedures, there were still plenty of family activities to keep us entertained throughout our stay. As soon as we got to the room, my girls insisted that we begin by visiting Paradise Springs Aquatic Park. A trolley shuttled us to the location where a huge children’s play area, lazy river, cabanas, pool, and water slides awaited. A live DJ took requests and was playing a ton of 90s hit songs in addition to (any parent’s personal favorite) “Baby Shark”. I really don’t know which portion of the water park we stayed in the most. Toward the end of our time there my oldest daughter and I managed to become adventuresome enough to try out the zip line. No, the display was not graceful or acrobatic by any standards. Yes, it was awesome! The bar was disinfected after each use as were the tubes in the river. When we finally got our fill of floating around and being doused by a giant bucket in the kid’s area, we grabbed a snow cone and went back to the hotel for a bit of painting.

Our Painting Masterpiece

The canvases were easily large enough for a small family to share, but we decided to each attempt our own. Participants can choose from one of the predesigned canvases with a butterfly or Summerfest outline. For those a bit more artistically inclined, there is the option of a blank one as well. We went with the predesigned canvases and headed to an isolated table fitted with easels and everything needed to create our amateur masterpieces. My young children wholly devoted themselves to their artwork and spent upwards of an hour perfecting it. I was a little worried that one of the kids would finish early and get antsy, but when they did finish, they joyfully occupied themselves watching the fish swim by in the river next to us. It was one of the most needed and relaxing times during our visit.

Bingo!

A Texas themed trivia played downstairs while we ate at Texan Station. We were only able to catch the tail end of the game, so we stuck around to play Bingo instead. We played three variations of the game (four corners, classic, and blackout). My wife managed to win a tote bag as I lost each game by one number. Bingo was followed by a family movie night in one of the banquet rooms where they showed Disney’s Onward. It was a bit late, so we decided to settle in for the night and read books out on our room balcony instead. The waterfall and scenery in the atrium made it the perfect place to unwind.

Tracking Down The Outlaw

My girls insisted on doing the summer scavenger hunt before we checked out the next morning. The front desk gave a list of clues and information about the hunt. The instructions laid out the mission, to help Hank track down and catch a cattle thief. The clues reveal letters that are scattered throughout the hotel which can be deciphered to give the outlaw's location. It took my girls a good forty minutes of running around the atrium and hallways to finally corner the thief. They enjoyed competing with each other to see who could find the clues first, sometimes a little too much.

Summerfest Activities

We did not get an opportunity to try out the morning yoga or some of the other activities the hotel has to offer like the escape room, duck races, or animal encounters. Due to the Covid situation, several of the shops and events are only available between Friday and Monday. But, as you can see from our visit, there is still plenty to look forward to any day of the week. Traveling numbers have been down across the country this summer, so now is the perfect opportunity for locals (or anyone) to enjoy the Gaylord Texan with some good deals and less foot traffic. Click here to book today!