The first settlers came to the Prosper area in 1846. Then, 173 years later, Laurel Caras and her family arrived. Prosper quickly felt like home to Caras (implementation strategy senior consultant at Wells Fargo, an instructor at Hot Body Yoga and the owner of Fin Photography), husband Ryan (a recruiter) and their daughter Finlee, who turns 5 next month. They’ve found everything they need in their neighborhood and the surrounding community. And that’s no surprise: The area is booming, with the population up 158 percent in less than a decade.
Favorite Family Restaurant: Papa Gallo’s Mexican Grill in Old Town Celina. It has a hometown feel with the best—in my opinion!—Mexican food around. 241 W. Pecan St., Celina; 972/382-8899
Best Park: Our favorite parks are those within the Star Trail neighborhood. They are close, and we can walk or ride our bikes. Another great park, just a short drive away for us, is Frontier Park. It’s filled with fun activities and opportunities for creativity. Star Trail community, Prosper; 972/943-2870; Frontier Park, 1551 Frontier Parkway, Prosper; 972/569-1160
Favorite Family Outing: Hands down, our favorite place to go as a family is Silo Park. From the variety of food trucks to the live music and outdoor space for the kids to play, it’s the place we tell everyone about. And you almost always see someone you know there. 380 W. Broadway St., Prosper; 214/725-1104
Go-To for Going Out: We enjoy trying the many beers on tap at the Brass Tap. We love sports, and they always have all the games, plus great food and even fun entertainment in the evenings. Another great spot is The Gin. On weekends they have live music on their back patio, which has tons of seating. The Brass Tap, 790 N. Preston Road, Suite 80, Prosper; 214/305-4002; The Gin, 204 W. Broadway St., Prosper; 972/347-3202
Self-Care Spot: I teach and practice yoga at Hot Body Yoga studio in north Frisco. It gives me the opportunity to find not only a physical practice but more importantly a mental one. It’s a space where I can be on my mat for an hour all to myself. I also see so much value and importance in taking time for pampering. A mani-pedi date with my daughter at Venezia Nail Spa is great girl time, and by the time I leave, all my stress has been washed away. Hot Body Yoga, 12021 Dallas Parkway, Suite 300, Frisco; firstname.lastname@example.org; Venezia Nail Spa, 861 S. Preston Road, Prosper; 469/481-6602
Where They Get Active: As a family, we enjoy all the walking space that Star Trail has to offer. Finlee loves to ride her scooter and bike, so any given night or day we’ll grab our dog and head out to enjoy the fresh air and sounds of nature. 972/943-2870
For Cooling Off Our summers are spent in the pool! Even though we have a pool of our own, we find that the Star Trail community pool is a great place to meet neighbors and get out of the house. We also enjoy spontaneous visits to Peachwave for frozen yogurt. Star Trail community, Prosper; 972/943-2870; Peachwave Frozen Yogurt & Gelato, 1170 N. Preston Road, Suite 150, Prosper; 972/346-4508
How They Give Back: In our home, we continue to encourage our daughter to donate toys and clothing that she no longer uses so another little girl can enjoy them. Start them young!
I’m the vice president and secretary for Caring Hearts Charity, a local 501c3. Our organization focuses its charitable fundraising activities on local community organizations to assist individuals and families who are in need, and where our organizational support will make a significant difference in Collin County.
I also have actively volunteered with the American Heart Association in Collin County with a goal of increasing heart health education and awareness in our community. Caring Hearts Charity, 7405 Kingsbarns, The Colony; 214/762-4133; American Heart Association, The Heart of Collin County
Why Her Neighborhood is Great for Families: We moved to Prosper at the end of 2019, with the goal of living in a neighborhood that had more young families and a community that was inviting and inclusive. Although the pandemic paused social events, we found the Star Trail neighborhood to be so friendly and filled with families who are always happy to lend a helping hand.
How She Met Her Mom Friends: I have met many local mom friends through the preschool my daughter attends and our local parks in Star Trail. The best way to meet more people who have kids the same age is to always say hello, be courteous and ask questions. This opens doors to so many ways you can grow your support circle and create social opportunities for your kids.
Featured photo courtesy of Cydnee Jex, CLJ Photography.