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Home > Blog > How to Have a Summer Family Trip to Remember in Mesquite

How to Have a Summer Family Trip to Remember in Mesquite

From pool play to the rough and ready fun of the rodeo, Mesquite has family-friendly activities for days. Here’s your itinerary for a weekend family trip to Mesquite.

Friday Night

When you arrive in town, check in to your hotel. Mesquite has more than 20 options, with five premier hotels topping most travelers’ lists. Hampton Inn & Suites, which is attached to the Mesquite Convention Center & Exhibit Hall, and TownePlace Suites and Holiday Inn Express, which are convention center adjacent, offer easy access to this event epicenter. Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites are both within walking distance of Celebration Station and Mesquite’s Restaurant Row, two places that feature prominently in any family-fun trip.

Spend the evening exploring the Town East Mall. Anchored by big-name department stores, the shopping center has nearly 200 stores, making it one of the largest regional malls. But the kids will want to head straight to the East Children’s Play Area, a carpeted area with plastic slides and outdoor-inspired play equipment. Comfortable bench seating lines the play area, giving parents a place to park while their kids climb. While you’re there, hop a ride on the Town East Mall Express, a children’s train ride. Just down the road from the mall is the AMC Dine-In Theater, 30-screen complex that’s one of the biggest movie theaters in the world. With so many choices, you’ll have no problem picking a movie, and you can enjoy dinner at your seats during the film.

Saturday

This hearty breakfast will fuel the fam for a walk or bike ride along Mesquite Heritage Trail, a 4.25-mile path that leads to city parks, sports fields, and other destinations. The trail starts at Towne Centre Drive and Franklin Drive and ends just west of the Greenbelt Parkway; three trailheads also access the route. For a relatively small town, Mesquite has an outsized number of parks. It counts 60 athletic fields, leash-free dog parks, fishing lakes, disc golf courses, and water-play areas.

Lunch calls for a trip to the family-owned Joe’s Pizza and Pasta, which has been a local favorite for more than a decade. The homemade pizza is cooked in an authentic brick oven, and you can order large for the family or let everyone order their own 12-inch pizza and customize the toppings. For those who like Chicago-style, Joe’s also offers a stuffed pizza that’s sure to fill any appetite.

In the afternoon, choose your adventure among the places kids love. Celebration Station lives up to its name as a one-stop fun shop. It has bumper boats, arcade games, batting cages, mini-golf, go-karts, laser tag, paintball, and more. At Kids Empire children climb a multi-story play structure with slides and ball pits. The birthday party bounce house gets a serious upgrade at Aim High, with a full-scale inflatable world for kids to explore.

Everyone in the family will find something to enjoy on the menu at Porch Swing, a southern-style restaurant that serves “slow food for a fast life.” Think of the ultimate down-home Sunday dinner, with slow-cooked classics and sides that everyone looks forward to all week long.

“This concept revealed itself over time and in the end gelled together like no other,” according to restaurant founder Antonio Swad. “It’s a blend of contemporary and classic Southern touches with a real social, comfortable, fun atmosphere. And it’s all about the soul foods we love and crave.”

On the menu you’ll find standards like chicken fried steak, slow-smoked brisket, and fried catfish. The restaurant features a large outdoor patio (with actual porch swings!) and has live music on Friday and Saturday night. Enjoy a full bar (Lemon Hooch, anyone?), and if you don’t have room for one of its seven signature pies, you can buy a whole one to take home for later. You won’t be disappointed.

In the evening, visit the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, home of professional rodeo events since 1957. The action-packed summer rodeo season (Saturday nights June to August) features saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, team, roping, and other exciting events. Kids can try their hands at rodeo stardom with Mutton Bustin’. Outside of the action-packed summer rodeo season, the arena also hosts Cowboys of Color Finals Rodeo in October and Hip-Hop Rodeo every March. For more thrilling action, the dirt track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway hosts a weekly championship car racing series from March to October

Sunday

After a night at the rodeo, you’ll be ready for breakfast at Donna’s Kitchen, a homey place known for its classic breakfast food. Try the French toast, one of the favorites, or maybe the stuffed breakfast tacos. If you like breakfast, you’ll find something to love here.

Spend the afternoon splashing around at one of Mesquite’s three swimming pools. City Lake Aquatic Center and Vanston Pool both have shallow pools with kids’ loop-the-loop slides and play structures. Town East Pool’s lap pool gives budding Olympians plenty of room to freestyle. Or you can head to Opal Lawrence Historical Park and see a Texas homestead that dates back to 1875. You’ll get a real sense of the region’s history here and learn about life on the farm through the late 19th and early 20th century. If you want to take the family out on the water, Lake Ray Hubbard is just a short drive away, and you can spend a day boating and fishing.

You may also opt to explore the Mesquite Arts Center, where exhibitions rotate monthly and feature local artists working in mediums from photography to painting. If your schedule allows, check out the center’s full calendar of events, which includes classical music from the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra and performances from the Mesquite Arts Theatre.

Before you head out of town, don’t miss a chance for a finger-lickin’ plate of barbecue. There are seven stops along the city’s BBQ Trail, but Mesquite BBQ is a fitting first stop. Founded in 1959, it’s the oldest joint in town, and owner Dustin Palmer’s grandfather was one of the inventors of the Oyler Barbecue Pit, which is now used all over the world. The restaurant still smokes meat just like grandpa did and serves made-from-scratch items like fresh-cut fries every day. The food is so good, it will have you planning another family trip to Mesquite very soon.

Written by Ashley M. Biggers for Matcha in partnership with Mesquite CVB.

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