Pediatric occupational therapist Courtney Houghton enjoys living in Highland Village with her husband John, and kids Myka, 9, Sage, 7, and Cardon, 5. She shares with us her family’s favorite park, date night spots and more in a neighborhood she says is “so friendly” and has the nice perks of being close to Grapevine Lake and being surrounded by beautiful trees.
Favorite family restaurant: For full service, GiroPizza. Our kids love that they have coloring sheets to work on while they wait for their pizza—that is a must-have when we go out. It is a great atmosphere with a nice outdoor patio. Our kids enjoy being grown up by choosing their pizza slices, but there are so many delicious options to please all of us. We also enjoy going to Torchy’s in the Shops of Highland Village when we want a quick bite to eat. You can take it to-go and sit by the splash park fountains on a hot summer day. GiroPizza, 3711 Justin Road, Suite 100, Flower Mound; 214/513-1777; Torchy’s Tacos, 1601 Village Pkwy., Suite K110, Highland Village; 469/771-1050
Favorite local park: Unity Park in Highland Village. They recently finished renovating Kids Kastle playground with a zip line which is a hit for the kids! There are also tennis courts where we can try to hit some balls around or play a little game of pickleball. Plus, there is a dog park nearby so our kids and puppy can all run out their energy. 2200 Briarhill Blvd., Highland Village; 972/317-7430
Favorite family outing: Highland Village has a fantastic bike trail that runs through the city and ends near Lake Lewisville. When the weather is nice, we enjoy riding bikes and scooters together and discovering new ponds or playgrounds along the way. Our city also has events throughout the year that are fun to attend with our family and others within our community.
Go-to date night spots: Some of our favorite date nights during the pandemic were trying all the delicious restaurants with outdoor patio options. Many of them have live music on the weekends as well; 1845, Rustico, Mi Dia, Marty B’s and Mio Nonno are a few favorites. Buff City Soap has the option for girls’ nights or parties making bath bombs, truffles or soaps. I have not had one yet, but as one of my favorite shops it is on the list for next “girls’ night.” Who wouldn’t want to create great smelling spa items with friends? 1845 Taste Texas, 2401 Lakeside Pkwy., Flower Mound; 214/285-0069; Rustico Wood Fired Grill and Wine Bar, 3701 Justin Road, Suite 150, Flower Mound; 214/513-1112; Mi Dia, 2601 W. Windsor Drive, Flower Mound; 972/874-4747; Marty B’s, 2664 FM 407 E., Bartonville; 940/241-3500; Mio Nonno Trattoria, 2450 Lakeside Pkwy., Suite 100, Flower Mound; 469/804-7472; Buff City Soap, 1100 Cottonwood Creek, Suite 140, Highland Village; 214/263-0185
For self-care: Life Time Fitness. I can utilize the kids club while I get a pedicure, massage, sit in the café reading or spend time in the sauna. 3100 Churchill Drive, Flower Mound; 972/355-5000
Get active: Life Time Fitness. My morning routine usually includes heading to the gym with my kids to take a yoga, spin or cardio class which makes me a better mother after taking time for myself. While I am working out, my kids are engaged in activities such as crafts, yoga, warrior kids or even rock climbing! During the summer we often head to the pool right afterwards. They even offer Parent Nights Out every month! I cannot say enough good things about it. 3100 Churchill Drive, Flower Mound; 972/355-5000
Cool off: We enjoy indulging in some Handel’s ice cream after swimming at the gym. During the week we also utilize splash pads such as the one at Doubletree Ranch Park to meet up with friends and have a picnic lunch. Handel’s Ice Cream, 2717 Cross Timbers Road, Suite 500B, Flower Mound; 469/763-3094; Doubletree Ranch Park, 310 Highland Village Road, Highland Village; 972/317-7430
Give back: My children engage in small acts of service throughout the year, whether it is raking leaves for a neighbor or donating some of their new presents to a children’s hospital after holidays. As a family, we enjoy participating in our school district angel tree and Operation Christmas Child around November and December. I am also an active member on our PTA school board to support the kids and teachers in our school.
Why Highland Village is a great place to raise a family: Our city is so friendly and offers many fun community events throughout the year! We were drawn to the beautiful trees, hills, people and proximity to the lake. It is nice to have a Target, Walmart and any other store you might need within five minutes as well.
Find your tribe: I am lucky to have some of the most amazing mom friends! I have met most of my friends at the gym, in church, from our local elementary school/PTA, and via my kids’ extracurricular activities such as sports teams. It takes a tribe to raise kids, and good mom friends become an important tool to carry through the journey.
Featured photo courtesy of Aubrey Stock Photography.