Updated: Jun 21
As a family of four with two teenagers, it can be quite challenging to find a vacation that pleases everyone. Gone are the days when we could easily hop on a cruise ship, go to an all-inclusive resort, or visit the Magic Kingdom, and have everyone happy at the SAME TIME. 😜 As a mom, I often feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated when trying to plan a trip that caters to everyone's preferences. That's why I absolutely love our quick getaways to Broken Bow / Hochatown. This time, it was even easier because it was a special trip for just my daughter and me. I decided to give her a "Yes" Trip, allowing her to choose our plans, and to my surprise, it turned out to be just as much fun for me. We did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and created precious memories that will stay with us forever. Niah had just finished a gruelling 9th-grade year and was looking forward to some well-deserved rest and relaxation, and I was more than happy to join in!
So, what did we do? We managed to do everything on both of our wish lists + some!
Niah's Must Do's:
Indulge in a different dessert every day.
Visit the new drive-through safari park.
Explore some cute gift shops, including the brand-new Cabin Daddy
Go on a hike.
Read a book on the balcony.
My Must Do's:
Play in the river or lake.
Sit on the balcony and listen to the rain.
With these loose plans and no strict schedule, we embarked on our adventure, and it was pure BLISS.
On the first night, I had some work to do, inspecting cabins to ensure they were in top shape (terrible job, I know, haha!). However, we still managed to have a lovely dinner out and brought dessert back to our cabin for a cozy movie night. The Italian Creme Rum Cake from Mountain Fork Brewery was the perfect "icing on the cake," so to speak. Trust me, you must add it to your list of must-try desserts!
The following morning at the cabin, I allowed Niah to sleep in while I savored a cup of coffee on the swing, listening to the soothing sound of the wind rustling through the pines. It was incredibly peaceful. Once she woke up, I told her she could choose our activities for the day, and she opted for animals. So, we headed out to the new safari park. As luck would have it, there was no one behind us during our drive through the park, allowing us to enjoy the experience at our own pace. Currently, the park boasts around 28 species of animals, but our favorites were the kangaroos, miniature horses, zebras, and cassowaries.
After our dinner at Mountain Fork Brewery the previous night, Niah discovered that there were more items on the menu she wanted to try. So, we made a quick stop for lunch and added two new favorites to her list: cheese curds and the turkey and basil sandwich. She was one happy camper and is still talking about those cheese curds two weeks later! 😋
(By the way, does anyone else plan their vacations around food, or is it just us?)
We decided to do a bit of shopping after lunch and visited Cabin Daddy, where we found the most adorable t-shirts and cabin-themed merch. Niah ended up choosing a pretty little scarf that wasn't exactly cabin-esque, but who am I to dictate her souvenir choices?
After checking in on our newest cabin addition, Blueberry Bliss, we felt the need for more animal encounters and headed over to the Hochatown Rescue Center. Oh boy, was that an incredible experience! Every visit to the rescue center is unique, depending on the animals they have, but this particular visit was my favorite of all. We had the chance to pet a kangaroo, feed deer, got hilariously "bullied" by a hungry goat named Maggie, and were rolling in laughter feeding carrot slices to the adorable Coatis. We also chatted and danced with macaws, I got a kiss from a camel, and Niah bottle-fed baby raccoons. It was truly awesome.
For dinner that night, we chose the casual but always on-point Beavers Bend Brewery & Weinery Food Truck (who have great quesadillas by the way), where live music was playing on the deck. Niah was overjoyed when the musician sang a couple of Christian tunes as his final send-off.
We headed to our next stop on the dessert crawl for a slice of pie (it was our only loser on the journey, so sadly, it didn't make our list!) and headed back to the cabin to freshen up. We spent the evening in our robes enjoying our desserts while watching movies—a perfect end to a laid-back day.
After a restful sleep, we decided to be a bit more active on our second day. Niah wanted to go on a moderately challenging hike that wasn't too long but had a great view, so we opted for the Cedar Bluff Trail, a quick 1 mile loop with a moderately steep up & back down. Half way around the loop we were rewarded with breathtaking birds-eye views of the Mountain Fork River. We took a brief rest, captured a few selfies, and then breezed through the downhill loop. It was perfect.
We had lunch at the newly opened The Lookout Kitchen, the only restaurant within the state park. Situated on the riverbank, the outdoor dining area provided stunning views and a refreshing breeze, perfectly complementing our nature-filled day. Although I can't speak much about the menu since we simply had a salad and some fruit, it hit the spot and fueled us for more adventures.
Next on the agenda was one of my must-do's—we headed to the lake for some stand-up paddleboarding. The water was absolutely perfect, and even though the paddleboards were wide and stable enough to prevent falling, I couldn't resist taking a plunge. We paddled out to the buoys, did a little yoga on our boards, lay down under the sun, sang show tunes (no one was close enough to hear us, anyway), and watched as zip-liners crossing over the lake. It felt food like for the soul.
Later, we caught up up with some friends and decided to grab another dessert. Feeling a bit guilty for having so much fun without the boys, we stopped by Loblolly Chocolates to buy them a gift before Niah got her ice cream: a must have on every cabin trip. It was my first time visiting Loblolly Chocolates, and it was simply adorable. The confections were delicious (they even offered samples!), and we selected Bourbon-infused dark chocolates for my husband and chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels for my son. I've already set my sights on a caramel apple for my next visit!
Next, we headed to Oakie Girls for the aforementioned must-have strawberry cone. On a sugar-high, we sang some karaoke in the car and serendipitously, it started raining shortly after we made it back, so I got my time on the balcony listening to the rain after all.
We were feeling so relaxed and happy that we decided to extend our stay for one more night and treat ourselves to in-cabin massages in the morning before heading home. The massages were set up on the balcony, and it was absolute heaven—an idyllic way to conclude our trip.
And there you have it—a three-night mother-daughter getaway in Broken Bow. Located just a three-hour drive from DFW, it's the perfect destination for a rejuvenating retreat, whether with a loved one, friends, or the entire family.