Glenda Rodriguez calls Allen the “perfect fit” for her family, which includes husband Robert, a T-Mobile store manager, and their children, 5-year-old Karlee and 10-month-old Manolo. Rodriguez, a process improvement specialist with Texas Workforce Solutions, says the community was significantly smaller when she moved to Allen in 2006; today the city’s population tops 105,000. “The people are wonderful,” Rodriguez says. “We love the life we can provide our kids here.”
Favorite Family Restaurant: This is not easy to choose, but our favorite is Hedary’s Mediterranean Restaurant. They are very friendly; their service is superb, and the food is exquisite. 103 W. Belmont Drive, Allen; 214/383-9588
Best Park: Celebration Park, hands down. This park is so beautiful and big that the city of Allen hosts its annual Fourth of July celebrations there. It has sports areas—tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, soccer fields—a playground for all ages and abilities, with tables and shaded areas; a big splash pad; a running and bike trail; plus a couple of duck ponds in case all you want to do is sit and fish. It also has pavilions you can use to celebrate a birthday or cookout. With all the green space you never run out of things to do. We purposely bought our home within walking distance of Celebration Park, and we are there every day. 701 Angel Parkway, Allen; 214/509-4700
For Cooling Off: We love hitting all the ice cream shops around town. Our favorites are La Sirena Paleteria and Abejita. Anytime you go, they’re going to be packed—but they have all your cravings. La Sirena Paleteria, 204 N. Greenville Ave., Suite 220, Allen; 972/332-8339 . Abejita Ice Cream, 711 18th St., Plano; 972/841-9735, search Abejita Ice Cream on facebook.com
How They Give Back: We know that giving back is an important part of life and one thing we want to instill in our children. We donate our time and resources to our local All Community Outreach – Food Pantry. We love this organization and what it does for the community. 801 E. Main St., Allen; 972/727-9131
Why Allen is Great for Families: Allen is known as one of the best places to live because it still feels like a small town and not a growing city. Our neighbors still know and care about each other. The schools are great, and the city as a whole is very active—we have wakeboarding, skateboard parks and lots of other spaces that are perfect for any family with young children. We also have arts, pretty landscapes and places for family outings.
Featured photo courtesy of Glenda Rodriguez.