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Budget winter getaway w/ kids, ≤12hr driving distance from Dallas?

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I posted this on the trip idea forum then read that it gets little activity so I'm re-posting here. I would like to plan a winter vacation for the family (us, toddler, 9yr old) to de-stress and focus on reconnecting amid all the holiday commotion, and I'd like help with some place suggestions. We're really flexible on dates (Nov through Jan) and location. I'd like to keep it under $1000 and ideally under $500 for travel and lodging. I'm thinking within 12 hours driving distance from Dallas, TX and 5-6 nights. We have an economical car.

I'm totally open to other suggestions, but I'm thinking some sort of cabin with a fireplace in a scenic location and access to sleigh rides in the snow, some neat cultural sight seeing... something that provides enough activities if we want to be active, but no pressure that we're missing some big opportunities if we aren't. The activities hopefully won't be overly expensive in the way vacation activities go--the less we spend on lodging, the more we can spend on fun.

We have several diet restrictions (vegetarian and allergies), so we'd either need access to places that can accommodate special diets or we'd need the ability to make our own foods.

We tend to like sightseeing, educational opportunities (especially history and science), hiking, national/state parks, music and theater, museums, natural wonders, unique oddities, photography opportunities, and my husband really likes trying local/new restaurants.

We don't like to pack a lot in with go-go-go between activities in one day, don't like to get up early, aren't the pool-lounger type, and don't like to split up into different activities or put the kids in daycare.

Any suggestions for us? I'd really appreciate the help!

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