I have learned family getaways are not always the easiest task to plan with a toddler in tote! Where can you go with a toddler anyway? We quickly threw out flying, as our highly animated Atlas Gray cannot sit still for even the sweetest of stewardess. Amusement Parks are out of question, as he doesn't meet the 40" height requirement, and a river rafting trip would be fun if it wasn't considered a toddler safety hazard. As our official first family getaway we wanted to plan an adventure filled vacation enjoyable enough for our little Titan. So what options were left?
We researched Texas travel destinations with a 3 hour minimum car ride, and landed on a family getaway to New Braunfels, TX. Typically known as a water activity summer spot, we were impressed with the activities available during the early Fall season. We found our New Braunfels adventure to be the perfect first family vacation, and we wanted to share our adventure for anyone traveling with a little Titan of their own.
We started our trip with a two day stay at Geronimo Creek Retreat in Sequin, TX just 15 miles from the heart of downtown New Braunfels. You can stay in either a modern day tipi or hand crafted tree-house.
We choose to stay in the Tipi's for an Atlas sized adventure and greatly enjoyed our experience. Our tipi encompassed the joys of camping while keeping all the comforts of home complete with a stove top, heating, and bath time! When making a decision to stay in the tipi, consider the private restroom being separate from the tipi as this could be difficult for a toddler during potty training. The tipi's can hold up to 6 people, so they are also great for larger families. We purchased firewood and classic camping foods at the local HEB for a relaxing stay.
In regards to safety, a camping spot with fire pits, ponds and concrete stone steps is not an ideal spot for a toddler. So please be careful and keep an eye on your ever exploring Titan. For a more relaxed space, I recommend requesting to stay in tipi number 4, as this tipi does not have stone steps up to the entrance and is further away from the pond.
During our first day we visited The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch African Safari which is by far one of the best activities a titan traveling family can enjoy in New Braunfels. This adventure allows you to keep your titan secure in your car while enjoying the outdoors, scenic views and safari animals all at once. During pit stops we were even able to sneak our little one up front for a more cozy family environment. I recommend purchasing at least one additional bag of feed prior to entering the ranch as the animals are waiting for you in herds for their snack! Be sure to follow the safety rules of the ranch and keep inside your vehicle at all times. Watch out for the zebras as one of them grabbed an entire bag of feed straight from our hands.
There is also a lovely petting zoo at the end of the park, filled with baby goats and medium sized barn animals. This was probably the highlight of our little Titan's adventure. He basically had the whole petting zoo to himself as we were the only family during that time. If you are capable of taking a couple days off during mid week I strongly recommend it, as this can be helpful in alleviating the stress of crowds when traveling with a toddler.
Our second day was spent at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment on a glass bottom boat tour at Texas State University. This was a last minute choice and was very enjoyable for all of us. The boat tour lasts about 30 minutes which is the perfect amount of time to entertain your little one with fish, turtles and crystal clear water.
After the boat tour we walked the trails to the wet lands and enjoyed the lilly pads, ducks, and more turtles! I strongly recommend visiting The Meadows Center as it is an inexpensive way to get outside, enjoy nature and learn about environmental efforts happening in Texas.
The next day we checked out of Geronimo Creek Retreat to spend the day in downtown New Braunfels at The Faust Hotel & Brewing Co. We love visiting brewery's and find that most often they are very family friendly, so don't let the idea of a having a toddler scare you out of visiting a brewery. What's cool about the Faust Hotel & Brewery is that its full of history, German culture, great beer, and architectural beauty around every corner. Our room was quaint and quiet with an enchanting metal bed post frame, crisp sheets and the smallest but most adorable bathroom I have ever enjoyed! After checking in we grabbed a bite of German food and a Faust beer at the brewery. The menu is full of traditional German classics for your liking. I had the German dumplings stuffed with potatoes and covered in a spicy cream sauce. I am craving them right now they were so delicious.
After lunch we walked down the street to Naegelin's Bakery the oldest bakery in Texas for desert! The aroma of freshly baked strudels, pastries, and breads is overwhelming delightful and the charm of the bakery will have you visiting for hours. The downtown New Braunfels Scene is full of great shops, history, and culture that is sure to take up an afternoon. There is tons to see just minutes from The Faust Hotel, and if your little titan gets cranky like ours did, enjoy an afternoon nap in your quaint Faust hotel room.
That evening we had dinner at a local Italian spot called 188 South and although the food was delicious I don't know if I would go back with a toddler. It is definitely geared more towards adults and on a Friday night we waited outside for about 25 minutes which is not fun when you have a toddler impatiently waiting and saying 'eat, eat' every few seconds. I think next time we will try the Blue Moose Pizza restaurant next store which seemed to have a more family friendly environment. The rest of the evening was spent exploring the creaks and crevices of the Faust Hotel, including this mid century phone booth complete with doors to entertain your little one.
After a lovely nights rest we woke up for a small but delightfully charming complimentary breakfast in the hotel's grand lobby. Before leaving town we walked over to the New Braunfels Farmers Market to check out the local vendors and food scene. We were greeted by 2 tarts bakery with a sample of their signature bread pudding along with a warm hug and welcome to the area. The market was full of friendly vendors and delicious food, making me wish we could visit the New Braunfels farmers market every Saturday.
That completes our Fall family trip to New Braunfels, TX. We enjoyed the variety of activities available for families with toddlers and will definitely plan a summer trip to New Braunfels on the list of future Titan Adventures to take. If you are planning a trip to New Braunfels, TX and have questions regarding safe and fun travel options with a toddler feel free to contact me at any time. I hope you enjoyed our New Braunfels adventure as much as week did!
Until our next adventure,
A Titan's Mother
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