Alicia Makaye and her husband George are raising their kids— Zack, 12, and Sania, 5—in the Star Creek neighborhood of Allen. It’s a booming area, with the city’s population topping 107,000. The dynamic community is a great place for the Makaye kids as well as Dad and Mom (president and vice president, respectively, of IT support company GXA) to be plugged in.
Favorite family restaurant Our favorite family restaurant is Cowboy Chicken because of their fire-roasted chicken. Our next favorite is Bonefish Grill. You can get a family meal with healthy options and then top it off with cookies to go.
Best park Celebration Park in Allen. They have a basketball court, huge playground sprayground and an open field. You can also rent space for activities.
Celebration Park // 701 Angel Parkway, Allen
Favorite family outing My family loves our community pool and spray pad in Star Creek. We also enjoy visiting the State Fair of Texas in Dallas during the fall.
For a night out Our favorite date night location is the dine-in IPIC theater in Fairview.
IPIC // 321 Town Place, Fairview
Self-care spot Craig Ranch Fitness and Spa in McKinney is the best hideaway for moms. They have a sleep room and offer child care. My favorite gym is 24 Hour Fitness in Fairview because they have amazing classes. For a last–minute massage, try Sole Hao Reflexology in Allen. They welcome walk-ins, and I can put my kids in the bed and go get a late–night massage. My favorite church, in Plano, helps to keep my entire life in perspective. It’s One Community Church, where no one walks alone.
Craig Ranch Fitness & Spa // 7910 Collin McKinney Parkway, McKinney
24 Hour Fitness // 361 Southwind Lane, Fairview (more DFW locations)
Sole Hao Reflexology // 945 W. Stacy Road, Suite 160, Allen
One Community Church // 2400 SH 121, Plano (more DFW campuses)
Go-to for getting active Our favorite way to get active is to hit the Cottonwood Creek Loop via walk, bike or skate. It’s a 7-mile trail segment and a great part of our community amenities.
Cottonwood Creek Loop // 1120 N. Cedar Drive, Allen
For cooling off We cool off in the summer at Braum’s.
Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Store // 805 E. Main St., Allen (more DFW locations)
How they give back Every year, our family looks for organizations to partner with to allow us to give back. We have volunteered through Our Helping Hearts, Feeding Children Everywhere and Minnie’s Food Pantry. Last year, we took our children to Kenya to volunteer in an orphanage called Joy Divine.
How she found her mom squad I found many local mom friends in my Star Creek neighborhood. I also belong to Jack and Jill of America’s North Suburban Dallas Chapter. This is an organization of mothers with children ages 2–19, dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.
Why Allen is great for families Allen is a very diverse and kid-friendly community. There are plenty of activities—such as bowling or jazz music on Friday nights in Watters Creek—shopping for the whole family and restaurants. Allen is a unique community. Swim lessons, hockey lessons, the dog park and concerts with major artists can all be found in a less–than–10-mile radius.
Photo courtesy of Dreylin Harvey.