Co-owner of Allie + Bess jewelry Allie Wardlaw thinks Richardson is a great place to live because “it’s a small town in a big city” where you know everyone and are able to do life together. Allie lives here with husband Cody and three kiddos: Peyton, 6, Millicent, 5, and Francis, 3.
Favorite family restaurant: As a family we normally go to Hat Creek Burgers because the playground and running space is great for three kids. We also frequent Mesero; the outdoor patio at the location in Addison is great for my kids to get up and move around. Hat Creek Burger Company, 2311 N. Central Expy., Richardson; 469/729-0771; Mesero Prestonwood, 5505 Belt Line Road, Dallas; 972/788-8180
Favorite local park: Cottonwood Park was recently renovated to be an inclusive playground. There is a swing for everyone, family restrooms and it is gated! Praise be you don’t have to worry about your child running away when you turn around for a sip of water. 1301 W. Belt Line Road, Richardson; 972/744-4100
Favorite family outing: Hillcrest Village is in the middle of a huge renovation and it includes an outdoor park—think smaller scale Klyde Warren Park. We have been going up there and having lunch or dinner and letting our kids play while we frequent any of the restaurants. It is less than half a mile from my house and such a nice addition to the neighborhood. 6959 Arapaho Road, Dallas
Go-to date night spots: Neighborhood Services and Hudson House are always a go-to. Neighborhood Services, 5100 Belt Line Road, Addison; 972/789-9639; Hudson House, 4933 Belt Line Road, Addison; 214/702-5002
For self-care: I’m an introvert and anyone who knows me knows that I will always choose home or something low-key to recharge myself. My guilty pleasure is manicures and I love Nail Times. I like to think of it as a hidden gem in Richardson. 101 S. Coit Road, Richardson; 972/437-1996
Get active: Crossfit Richardson, Barre3 and 24 Hour fitness are all places I get active. I also love to be outside and will run or walk the neighborhoods or the Meandering Way Trail [also known as the Preston Ridge Trail] by my house. CrossFit Richardson, 970 N. Coat Road, Richardson; 972/234-1376; Barre3, 1387 W. Campbell Road, Richardson; 214/484-1653; 24 Hour Fitness, 1375 E. Campbell Road, Richardson; 972/644-4888; Meandering Way Trail/Preston Ridge Trail, located off of Meandering Way, north of McCallum Blvd.
Cool off: The best splash pad is Campbell Green, and there is also a park adjacent for spending a summer morning. Greenwood Hills pool is also a community pool that is great for families during the summer. 16600 Hillcrest Road, Dallas; 214/670-6314
Give back: We are members of a neighborhood church, Dallas Bible, and there are so many ways and opportunities for us to give back. I want my children to see me volunteering, as well as providing opportunities for them and us as a family to give back. There are so many valuable lessons that can be learned from doing things that aren’t about one’s self. 15765 Hillcrest Road, Dallas; 972/770-3500
Why Richardson is a great place to raise a family: Richardson is a small town in a big city. You know everyone and all frequent the same spots and same stores. You do life together whether it be at church, the gym, through kids sports or simply your neighbors. The schools are why most people move to Richardson but once you are here you realize just how great it is.
Find your tribe: Church, other friends, my neighborhood has a great, active social media page that connects you and makes you feel welcome. I have wonderful neighbors and I did a bible study called BSF for five years at First Baptist Richardson. It is an international program and I encourage everyone to look it up for a location close to you. It was a wonderful resource for making lasting and intentional friendships. 1001 N. Central Expy., Richardson; 972/235-5296
Featured photo courtesy of Amy Parks.