There aren’t many communities in Texas that boast close proximity to a lake, a full-service marina, hiking and biking trails, fishing ponds, a golf course, pickleball and tennis courts, beach volleyball, pools, and more. But just over an hour’s drive from Dallas is a homeowner community with architecturally stunning homes and endless activities for kids and adults. Spanning 1,200 acres with 7.5 miles of shoreline on Cedar Creek Lake, Long Cove is a luxury lakefront community inspired by places like Seaside, Florida, and Sea Island, Georgia. And for Dallas residents with kids looking to escape the city on weekends—but stay close enough to race back for a football game—it’s the ideal place to unplug, ditch the electronics, and reconnect with nature and adventure. With these five fun activities at Long Cove, kids will feel like they’re at summer camp—and parents will, too.
1. Treehouse Adventure Park
A playground like no other, Treehouse Adventure Park was built into a canopy of large, beautiful trees—complete with tree houses, ziplines, catwalks, climbing nets, and obstacle courses. Located alongside Bluegill Pond in Long Cove’s Eastport neighborhood, the park offers kids both physical and mental challenges that come with navigating obstacles. According to Ashleigh Carlton, Long Cove Director of Marketing and Events, the park also provides swings and hammocks among the trees for adults, who can have a cocktail happy hour while enjoying live music. Long Cove homeowner Rob Crain agrees: “The great thing about this place is the electronics get put away. And the kids go immediately to the Play Field or the Treehouse Adventure Park.”
2. Kids’ Camp
Run by Long Cove interns, Kids’ Camp is the ultimate summer pastime for kids. They can participate in sports like soccer, beach volleyball, and kickball as well as many other classic camp activities. “We also do a fun partnership with Mr. Donovan,” Carlton says. “He’s an agility coach who is involved with many of the Highland Park schools, and he comes out and runs the kids around the field playing sports and pickup games.” Instructors for fishing, pickleball, and golf also make appearances at Kids’ Camp.
What’s better than the sheer joy on a kid’s face who just caught a big fish? At Long Cove, there are five stocked and well-maintained fishing ponds—and many chances to reel in a largemouth bass, catfish, or hybrid striped bass. There are fishing poles available at the ponds, too, so families can simply walk up and start fishing. “It’s a great way to do what I call accidental memory making,” says Kiki Pennington, President of Long Cove Realty. “When you have kids you’re always trying to plan fun things and make special memories, and a lot of times, when you place big expectations on making the memory, it falls apart because kids are unpredictable. So having activities that are already laid out—like if you’re out on a walk and you decide to stop and drop a line in and catch your first fish—is a really special way to make memories with kids.”
4. Hiking and Biking
As of last summer, there are now 4 miles of expansive hiking and biking trails that connect the Long Cove neighborhoods and amenities along the shoreline and wooded areas, filled with native birds and plant species. “We hear all the time from families that this is such a safe space for their kids to just start roaming,” Pennington says. While hiking or biking, kids can also view and learn about sculptures by Texas artists along the way. So kids and parents can grab a community bike from the bike barn, head out on a trail, and discover noteworthy art too. Recently, Long Cove even installed a piece of the Berlin Wall trailside—making for a great teachable moment.
5. Boating and Lake Sports
Of course, being right on Cedar Creek Lake, kids have direct access to their favorite water sports including tubing, water skiing, wake surfing, and wakeboarding. “The Long Cove Marina offers boat valet and boat club membership. Both options make boat ownership a breeze. Just book a reservation through the app and your boat will be delivered and waiting for you on the floating dock all gassed up and clean,” Carlton says. “You can focus on just getting out there and enjoying life on the water.” For kids, being on the water as much as possible in the summer is the goal, and it’s best enjoyed with friends. “Wherever you are, you just make friends,” says Long Cove homeowner Kate Cutshall. “People here are friendly and outgoing and genuinely interested in getting to know you, how you got here, and where you’re from.”
“The great thing about this place is the electronics get put away.” —Long Cove homeowner Rob Crain
“We hear all the time from families that this is such a safe space for their kids to just start roaming.” —Kiki Pennington, president of Long Cove Realty