You may think of Plano as a shopping paradise and a foodie and live music destination, but there are also some fun and free family-friendly activities around the city. Here’s your guide to what’s family-friendly and free in Plano.
Two major parks in Plano offer great opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is 800 acres and has 3.5 miles of concrete trails and five miles of soft trails along Rowlett Creek. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park with hike and bike trails, a two-mile walking trail and stunning views of the prairie and forest. And now, due to a partnership between the City of Plano, Toyota, American Park Network and Time Warner Cable, free Wi-Fi is available at City parks and recreation centers! Man’s best friend needs to get out and about as well, so bring your furry companion and check out the Jack Carter dog park. You can view a complete list of City of Plano parks here.
Plano also has more than 82 miles of recreational trails open to the public. Chances are there’s a trail near you. Get trail information here including downloadable trail maps. Biking is also a great way to see Plano. You can even find the routes on Google!
The lake at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve is open for kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding from dawn to dusk. Bring your own watercraft (canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board) and see Plano’s largest park from a new perspective, for free! Click here for more information.
Plano has a new skate park! Carpenter Park Skate Park combines popular street-style skating and bowl skating features. This new skate park features some of the most extensive and unique skate features in all of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Skaters will enjoy one of the largest bowls in the area as well as various sized ramps, rails, stair sets, and ledges. It’s free to use and open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
There are plenty of walkable areas around Plano to bring the kids for a family afternoon. The Downtown Plano Arts District holds something for everyone….shopping, dining, and history. Unique and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants line the brick street. McCall Plaza frequently hosts live music events. Also in downtown is Haggard Park with a beautiful gazebo and pond. Legacy West and The Shops at Legacy are also great places to spend a few hours. Window shop by walking the urban developments that feature a wide variety of upscale shopping from clothing and jewelry to home furnishings and specialty items. Baccus Plaza at the Shops at Legacy also includes the popular Trails in Legacy sculptures, which depict a cattle drive along the Shawnee Trail, a route on which Texas longhorns were driven before and just after the Civil War. Across from the luxurious patio of the Hilton Granite Park sits a new 30,000 square foot restaurant park in Granite Park called The Boardwalk. Each restaurant has a patio, and there are beachy deck chairs to enjoy the view of the water feature. Grab your friends and play some lawn games too!
Plano transportation history is brought back to life with an interesting and free exhibit at the Interurban Railway Museum. Once a vital part of the Texas Electric Railway which stretched from Denison to Waco, the Interurban is one of the original electric cars that ran on the tracks through Plano. Also on site is Car 360 which carried mail, as well as passengers.
Photo credit: Visit Plano