Choctaw Casino and Resort rises above the Oklahoma landscape as you cross the Red River just an hour North of Dallas, with flashing lights to guide you. We literally turned off our GPS, because there was no way we could miss the behemoth casino sitting just off Hwy 69/75, which in no way resembles the bustling Central Expressway as it rushes through Downtown Dallas. The Casino and huge shows draws people to cross the border regularly, and you’ll no doubt find more Texas license plates than anything else in the parking lot, but the resort offers amazing amenities making it a fun family getaway, as well! We were there for a long, 3-day weekend, and surprised by how much we did and were able to leave on our list of things to do the next time we visit!
Choctaw Casino and Resort is owned by the Choctaw Nation, but I was surprised to read that there are over 100 casinos in Oklahoma, owned by 30 different tribes, since made legal in 2004! All casinos are located on either Native American reservations or tribal land.
To learn more about the Choctaw Nation, who was a farming community in the SE United States until they were removed to Oklahoma during the Trail of Tears in the 1830’s, click HERE to visit their website.
Choctaw is a casino, but it’s also a resort and there were a ton of kids! I really was surprised how many kids were there during the winter!
You have 3 options on where to stay at Choctaw; the Inn, the Grand Tower and the Spa Tower. It’s nice that all 3 are all connected, by hallways to the casinos and amenities, so you never need to go outside!
We stayed at the Inn during this visit. The oldest of the 3, it’s a 2 story hotel. While there isn’t valet parking at the Inn, you can valet at the Towers and walk to your room. We found easy parking at the Inn but did have to carry our bags up to our room.
My favorite things about the Inn were it’s close proximity to the outdoor pools (in truth all 3 have easy access). Another little think I loved was that our window opened, and I was able to leave it cracked to allow a little cold, fresh air in while we slept. Being from Houston, I usually bring a travel humidifier, but forgot mine on this trip.
The Spa Tower is the newest, and offers the best accommodations.
Mommy Tip: The hotel frequently books up, so make reservations early. I followed the prices for about 2 weeks, and like most hotels, they get a little more expensive each day. While at the desk on Sunday afternoon, a man was trying to book a walk up, and told the hotel, all 776 rooms, were booked!
There is also the off-site Choctaw Lodge, which offers quieter accommodations with kitchenettes, and is pet-friendly. A Free shuttle can take you back and forth to the casino.
There is even an RV park!
The Casino is huge, and all the restaurants, shops, etc. are situated around the casino. As a family, we were able to walk through the casino, but the kids couldn’t approach the games or they were quickly reminded to return to the walkways. My kids tested this several times, always with the same results.
The gambling age in Oklahoma is 18.
We’re not really gamblers, but I did want to try my luck with a couple of bucks at a slot machine. It was cool that the kids could stand just feet away and watch as I lost their college savings in a matter of minutes. I literally spent $2. They need jobs.
Most of the restaurants are in the main gaming area, and I tried enough of them to tell you the food was good! We did the Sunday Night Surf and Turf at Butterfield’s Buffet, grabbed some nachos and a drink at La Cantina and had breakfast at midnight at the 24 hour Grand Cafe, then turned around and had spaghetti for lunch at 8am. These strange dining times might have been brought on by the kid’s LOVE and frequent visit to the FREE beverage stations, located all over the casino!
And while there is no free alcohol, you can purchase drinks at the numerous bars and restaurants.
We spent 99.5% of our time in The District, which offers smoke-free gaming, as well as bowling, a cinema, a food court and a huge arcade!
We had a great time bowling, one of our favorite family indoor activities!
They have 10 lanes, and we waited about 20 minutes to get a lane. They don’t take reservations, so I’d recommend arriving early. There was a child’s birthday party going on 2 lanes down from us, and they do offer party reservations. The mom and I spoke while we were waiting, and she told me she and her husband had brought 5 10-year-old boys up from Dallas for her son’s party!
The arcade is huge, and my son loved it!
The whole family went, I have no idea why I only have pictures of my daughter!
We tried to schedule time to go see a movie at the cinema, but we were just too busy with everything else.
One of the nice things they offers is their own entrance to the District, which means people come to see a movie or bowl who aren’t necessarily staying at the casino or gambling.
It also means you don’t have to cut through the smoking section of the casino.
In mid-January, we weren’t spending a lot of time outside, but I did brave the cold to walk around and take some pictures of the huge pool, which only made me wish summer would hurry up! There was still snow in many places, so it was pretty cool.
The swim up bar. There is an adult section and a family area. If you look you can see the slide in the background.
A few things to know about the pool:
Only hotel guest are allowed in the pool area.
Wristbands must be worn at the pool area. A double bed room gets 4 wristbands, with no options for additional wristbands. A king-bed room gets 2, but an additional wristband can be purchased for $20.
No outside food or drinks are allowed in the pool area.
Cabanas can be reserved for either the adult or family area for an additional fee.
There is also a beautiful indoor pool!
For $15/person, ages 18 and up can also enjoy the amenities in the spa, such as the co-ed mineral bath pictured above. There are also separate men and women’s hot tubs and steam rooms. The spa also offers a variety of other services, including massages.
Things To Do in Durant, Oklahoma
Fort Washita Historic Site offers a realistic look at life on the plains for the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. Click HERE for more information.
Three Rivers Pecans, Fudge Factory and Amish Store is worth the short drive! Click HERE for more information.
Choctaw Casino and Resort
4216 S. Hwy 69, Durant
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
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