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jamese cherry with her family

Jamese Cherry’s Grand Prairie Favorites

from family outings to the best places to cool off in the summer

Jamese Cherry and her husband Benny love calling Grand Prairie home. The couple and their two kiddos (Tyson, 9, and Taylor, 7) enjoy getting out and about in their neighborhood, from indoor waterparks to pizza Fridays.

Favorite family restaurant: Blaze Pizza! It is a must for our pizza Fridays. The crust is amazing, and we can easily customize our toppings. We are a family of snackers, so no meal is complete without grabbing a couple of bags of the Texas 2-Step (caramel and cheese mix) from Mama Moore’s Gourmet Popcorn. Blaze Pizza, 3148 State Hwy. 161, Suite 400, Grand Prairie; 972/992-1368; Mama Moore’s Gourmet Popcorn, 5244 S. Hwy. 360, Suite 310, Grand Prairie; 817/823-1560

Courtesy PlayGrand Adventures

Favorite local park: We love PlayGrand Adventures in Grand Prairie. We discovered this park by accident after the kid’s basketball game at the Epic rec center. More importantly, I appreciate their mission of designing a space for inclusive play. 2100 Epic Place, Grand Prairie; 972/237-8100

Favorite family outing: Pre-COVID, the kids and I would regularly attend the craft events at Michaels in Mansfield. Also, on Saturdays, we would visit the free workshops for kids at the Home Depot in Grand Prairie. Those places were a fun and creative outlet for the kids. We cannot wait until these activities come back! Michaels, 3166 S. State Hwy. 161, Suite 140, Grand Prairie; 972/639-5830; Home Depot, 3850 S. Carrier Pkwy., Grand Prairie; 972/237-0025

Go-to date night spot: For years, our go-to date night spot has always been Crazee Crab. We’re all about the ambience, the people and the music! Plus, you can never go wrong with Cajun-style crab legs, potatoes and corn. If you go, be sure to get the “get crazee” flavor in the bag. You won’t regret it! 5244 TX-360, Suite 430, Grand Prairie; 972/641-8866

For self-care: My version of self-care is getting a silk blowout at Pressed Roots in the Trinity Groves area in Dallas. To me, it’s worth the 20-mile drive. There’s nothing like someone washing and styling your hair, all while engaging in great conversation, listening to good music and drinking champagne (or green juice, if you prefer). Afterwards, I usually walk across the street and treat myself to a slice of Italian crème cake from the Cake Bar. Best day ever. Pressed Roots, 320 Singleton Blvd., Suite 160, Dallas; 978/707-9545; Cake Bar, 3011 Gulden Lane, Suite 117, Dallas; 972/684-5801

Get active: During the pandemic, our family took up tennis to try something new together while being active outside. We took family tennis lessons with Mansfield Area Tennis Association (MATA) and thoroughly enjoyed it!  We even continue to play at the middle school across from our house. The Cherrys are coming for you, Serena!

Courtesy Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark

Cool off: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Epic Waters, an indoor water park located in Grand Prairie. My kids call this place paradise and Benny and I love it because it’s indoors – which gives us a nice break from the Texas sun. If we feel like having something cold, we drive up to Hillside Village in Cedar Hill and get frozen yogurt at Menchie’s. The kid’s only complaint: I put a limit on amount of toppings they can get! Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark, 2970 Epic Place, Grand Prairie; 972/337-3131; Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, 305 W. FM 1382, Suite 612, Cedar Hill; 469/454-6797

Give back: Benny and I work to instill a motto of community service within our kids. We take them with us when we donate items and show them the process of selecting and purchasing gifts for children we adopt or sponsor. Additionally, Benny and I speak at career days at local schools, read to elementary school classes, and currently mentor high school and college-aged students.

Why Grand Prairie is a great place to raise a family: We live in Grand Prairie and are in the Mansfield Independent School District. We believe our area is a fantastic place to raise a family because of the diversity, the highly rated school system, the location (we’re situated between Dallas and Fort Worth), along with the family-friendly activities the area provides. We also appreciate the sense of community that comes with this place.

Find your tribe: I’m involved in a taskforce and other groups that service our school district. Through serving our students and being a part of a few mom-specific Facebook groups, I have been able to form relationships with other local moms. Additionally, I’ve found mom friends through the kids my children hang out with!

Featured photo courtesy of Jessica Rockwell Photography.