Itching to get out of dodge and see what’s outside Dallas now that school is out? We get it. We gathered up a few of our favorite spots that are four hours or less from DFW and have loads of fun things for kids to do like swimming holes and junk artwork and museums. Check out our list and get planning your next family road trip!

photo: Gabby Cullen

Georgetown, TX

Settled along the San Gabriel River in central Texas lies a town with enough funky charm and history to make you forget about that other funky college town that lies a mere 25 miles south (ahem, Austin). Welcome to Georgetown, a city offering its own food scene, refreshing swimming holes and plenty of family-friendly entertainment. There's a rad women-owned bookstore, splashpad for the kiddos, a scenic lagoon for when the temps are super hot and tons of restaurants you'll love. Read more

Fort Worth, TX

Yes, this one's more of a staycation than a big trip but sometimes that's just enough to get everyone out of their funk. When it comes to thinking about what DFW means, Fort Worth stands tall, and for good reason. From family-friendly parks and bike paths to walkable city squares and first-rate museums, there’s more to this thriving city than just cattle drives. Read more

Waco, TX

If you are fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines like we are, you'll definitely want to add this town to your road trip list. A visit there should include a stop at Magnolia Market where you can shop, dine and enjoy some family time. Other fun stops in Waco include the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat, Cameron Park Zoo and the Dr. Pepper Museum. Read more

Broken Bow, OK

Hiking, boating and lake days are all on the agenda for your next trip to Broken Bow. Wineries and tasting rooms are plentiful. Kids will love ziplining at Rugaru Adventures and visiting the Beavers Bend Mining Company to try their luck at panning for gold. Read more

Austin, TX

We love Austin, Texas, for the sheer volume of kid-friendly places to visit. From water parks to museums to the state capitol, Austin has it all. If STEM is your game, be sure to put Thinkery on your list as the kids will love all the hands-on exhibits and programs. The Inner Space Cavern is not to be missed as it is fourth largest cavern in Texas. Great for kids of all ages, there’s are a variety of cave tour options to please everyone. The Austin Zoo will give you all the animal time you've been craving and the Cathedral of Junk is just the weird Austin experience you are looking for. Read more

Lake Granbury, TX

Lake Granbury is located in northern Texas, and it is one of the three lakes that was formed by damming the Brazos River. Grab your pole and go fishing at one of the many public fishing piers, or pitch a tent at one of the many camping areas. Lake Granbury is all about the water sports! Read more

photo: iStock

Tyler, TX

Families looking for a getaway from the big city will love visiting Tyler. Located in the piney woods of East Texas, you can explore 14 acres of blooming roses, savor some of the best barbecue in the state and walk along brick streets as you shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques. Breathe in fresh air and hike and bike in the shade of 100-foot-tall pine trees as you explore 13 miles of picturesque trails at the beautiful Tyler State Park. Museums are plentiful in Tyler and kids will especially love the Discovery Science Place and the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum. Read more

Oklahoma City, OK

For a city that offers plenty of culture without losing that Southern charm, look no further than Oklahoma City. While in Oklahoma City consider visiting the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the National Cowboy & Wester Heritage Museum, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial to give your family a good taste of the region. Read more

Shreveport, LA

Load up the car and head to Shreveport-Bossier for some quality family time. Kids of all ages will enjoy playing at Shreveport-Bossier’s many family-friendly attractions. Discover creatures of the deep at Shreveport Aquarium. Hold a baby alligator and zip-line over a swamp full of them at Gators and Friends Adventure Park. Explore space, do science experiments, and catch a movie on the only IMAX Dome Theater in Louisiana at Sci-Port Discovery Center. Read more

Chicasaw Country, OK

In central Oklahoma, you'll find 7,648 square miles that comprise the Chickasaw Nation. This diverse landscape is the perfect destination for a family looking for an educational and interesting vacation. Visit the Chickasaw Cultural Center to learn and connect with First American history. Watch the story of the Chickasaw people unfold before your eyes through powerful performances, reenactments, demonstrations, collections and exhibits at one of the largest and most extensive tribal cultural centers in the United States. The quaint town of Tishomingo is a beautiful, historic gem rich in old western character, history, natural beauty and southern hospitality. The town, named in honor of the heroic Chickasaw Chief, Tishomingo, preserves and cherishes its native roots. Here you can visit the Chickasaw National Capitol and other historic sites. Read more

—Kate Loweth

Featured photo: istock

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