Summer is here and that means it’s time to start making travel plans. With Little Rock in a central location to many bigger cities and cool destinations, it’s easy to find a spot that’s perfect for your family.

These three destinations are great for a long weekend away — with the furthest one only five hours from central Arkansas.

1. Hilton Anatole in Dallas

Jadewaters at Hilton Anatole in Dallas

The Hilton Anatole recently launched the Sweet Dreams Package, an American Girl Slumber Party perfect for a mother-daughter getaway.

Guests start their weekend at the American Girl store in Dallas where girls can create a doll that looks just like them. Upon arriving at the Hilton Anatole, guests are greeted with a welcome letter and sweet treats. The hotel lays out an American Girl robe, slippers and doll bed for an American Girl slumber party.

Then, if you’re looking for more activities, visit Jadewaters, a massive leisure pool with two waterslides, a lazy river and more just for guests at the Anatole. For more information on the hotel and booking the Sweet Dreams Package, visit

2. Big Cypress Lodge in the Memphis Pyramid

While most people are familiar with the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, you may be surprised to discover that there is more than a store inside those walls.

Moms and daughters can indulge in manicures and pedicures at The Spa at Big Cypress and the whole family can try archery at the indoor range. Visitors can also stop by the massive ponds and aquariums to see live alligators and fish.

The Pyramid also houses a bowling alley and the country’s tallest freestanding elevator. At the top, view the city from a glass observation deck and dine at the The Lookout restaurant.

When booking, ask about the Family Fun Package, which includes a room accommodation of choice, a $40 food and beverage voucher, one hour of bowling and a family welcome gift. There’s also the Adventures with Winston package, which includes passes to the Memphis Zoo, use of a polaroid camera and other perks. Visit for more information.

Uncle Buck's Fishbowl bowling alley at Bass Pro Shops in Memphis

3. Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and Big Cedar Lodge

Wildlife at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, near Branson, Missouri

Immerse in nature at this wilderness resort 40 miles south of Springfield, Missouri. Big Cedar Lodge offers opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking and more. Guests can choose from log cabins, cottages and hotel-style rooms in one of multiple lodges. Enjoy your stay at Big Cedar with amenities like paddle boats, kayaks, mini golf and swimming pools.

Once you’ve enjoyed all the fun at Big Cedar Lodge, take a short drive to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park for hours of family fun. Dogwood Canyon is a 10,000-acre “wilderness paradise” that houses wildlife including bison, elk and Texas longhorn cattle. Some of the features at the massive park are an incredible treehouse, horseback riding, tram tours, biking trails with bikes available for rental and walking and hiking trails.

Visit for more information on the lodge and for details on the nature park.