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Mansfield Magazine

60 Minute or Less Daycations from Mansfield: Denton

Jun 11, 2015 11:02PM ● By Michelle Ames
"Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light.."   The light that The Eagles were referring to in their song, Hotel California probably wasn't their hometown of Denton, but it could have been, because a daycation in Denton is certainly a shimmering light in a hot, summer highway!  

But our daycation to Denton doesn't actually start in Denton, but rather far North Fort Worth at the Texas Motor Speedway for one of the Speedway Tours!  The tours are a fun way to see the huge monster of a racetrack and stadium, from the luxury suites at the top to a thrilling but not Nascar fast ride on the racetrack!  Prices are great, too, at $10/adults and $8/kids.  Call ahead for information, and try to grab one of the first tours of the day!

Next, we pile back in the car and head to one of my favorite stops in Denton.  The Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center is 2900 acres in the bottomlands of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River  There are several terrific hiking trails through diverse ecosystems.  During summer, I prefer the shaded ecosystems myself.  Call to check on trail conditions before going. 

Now that we're a sweaty summer mess, we need to cool off and Water Works Park in Denton is a fun place to do just that!  It's a smaller waterpark, but there are some really cool things that make it very unique!  Free parking, coolers are welcome so pack a picnic lunch, slides, lazy river with 
toddler tubes, and when the sun just gets too hot, you can go inside the adjacent natatorium to swim, slide, jump off the diving boards, or just swim in there as well!  

Hours later we are resembling prunes, but our day in Denton isn't over yet!  We clean up and head out to the Historic Denton County Courthouse Square and Recycled Books, a huge used book and record store filled with amazing finds!  We keep track of our summer reading minutes and the kids fill out a reading log to earn a $5 coupon to spend in the store!

After browsing in the store windows as we walk around the courtyard square, we stroll over to an authentic ice cream shop and soda fountain, Beth Marie's!  We love their homemade ice cream, and I won't feel a bit guilty about Blue Bell this summer when I sit down to my favorite flavor at Beth Marie's, Old South Fudge!    
We love our daycations to Denton, and I hope you'll take the time this summer to discover these little secrets for yourself!  

For more local and Texas family friendly destinations, please check out my blog at  Thanks!    

Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth
Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, 3310 Collins Rd, Denton
Water Works Park, 2400 Long Road, Denton
Recycled Books, 200 N. Locust, Denton
Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, 117 W. Hickory St, Denton


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