Written by: Tiffany Vaughn. Originally published on Trekaroo.
Want to experience historic charm and modern luxury? Then visit Plano, TX! Try some outdoor activities like the Go Ape Plano Adventure Course. Head to Crayola Experience Plano, TX for artistic family fun. Splurge at one of the unique shopping areas. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find plenty of enjoyable and fun things to do in Plano, TX.
1. The Crayola Experience Plano, TX
The Crayola Experience, located in the Shops at Willow Bend, is a little artist’s dream come true. Start with the factory show to learn how crayons are made. Thenmake your own creations such as melted crayon art and personalized Crayola crayons. Tables full of art supplies allow the imaginations of your little ones to come alive.
Computer stations actually bring their coloring pages to life on a big screen. Plan to stay for 3-4 hours, plus time to browse the Crayola store. If your “colorful” family just can’t get enough, consider buying an annual pass. They cost only slightly more than your regular admission and include a year full of fun at all Crayola Experience locations.
2. Oak Point Park & Go Ape Plano
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve offers 800 acres for hiking, biking, or paddleboarding. Kayak rentals are available on summer weekends (must be at least 10 years old to paddle independently). After exploring the ground, head to the treetops. Kids as young as 10 can try the Go Ape Plano Treetop Adventure Course. The course includes 40 different crossings and obstacles. Before participating, an instructor makes sure everyone is safely outfitted and aware of the safe rules. Then you are free to tackle the course and ziplines while enjoying the view from 27 feet in the air.
3. Fun at PINSTACK
For some indoor fun, check out PINSTACK entertainment complex. This place has something for everyone. Challenge your family to a game of bowling complete with snacks (the Mac and Cheese Pops are amazing!). Head to the game room where you’ll enjoy everything from giant Pac-Man to the virtual reality hit, Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride. In addition to the best video games, you’ll find attractions for the whole family: a high ropes course, climbing wall, laser tag, and bumper cars.
4. Historic Downtown Plano Arts District
Downtown Plano was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Wander the streets looking for murals or listening to live music. Then stop by some of the unique shops and restaurants. When the kids need a break, Haggard Park entertains families with a cool playground and Interurban Railway Museum. At this free museum, visitors can explore the historic train car and learn some Plano history.
5. Experience Plano History
Step back in time to North Texas’ booming agricultural days at Heritage Farmstead Museum. This late-Victorian farm house is now a living history museum where you can experience life on the Blackland Prairie. Another place to discover some Plano history is Southfork Ranch. This ranch, formerly the set on the hit TV show, Dallas, offers tours and trail rides around the property. Want to see what Plano looked like before people moved in? Head to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve for some natural hiking trails and interconnecting playgrounds the kids will love.
Where to Eat
There are so many delicious and unique places to eat in Plano, Texas. Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one. Legacy Hall at Legacy West is not your typical food court. Local chefs create food masterpieces at 24 food stalls. Choose anything from Mediterranean street food at The Shawarma Bar, to gourmet waffles at Press Waffle Co.
Another great foodie location is the Boardwalk at Granite Park. Restaurants offer seating outdoors with an amazing waterfront view. One great option is Chips Old Fashioned Hamburgers, an area favorite for over 30 years. Or try Union Bear Brewing Company which offers American classics with a unique chef-driven flair.
If you’re looking for a meal after visiting Crayola Experience Plano, TX, head to Mexican Bar Company located in The Shops at Willow Bend. Their ceviche and street tacos can’t be beat. And kids love feeling grown up while drinking their “mocktails.” Or if taste buds vary among family members, The Shops at Willow Bend also has a food court featuring a Chick-Fil-A, Phil’s Philly Grill, and Made in N.Y. Pizza.
You can’t leave Plano without a visit to Wow Donuts and Drips. These gourmet donuts not only look pretty; they taste divine! I recommend the Berry Medley.
Where to Stay
Get that classy-meets-cowboy vibe at Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel. The decor hints at the rough ranching life, but the beds radiate comfort. The third floor pool boasts an outstanding view as well as plenty of room to play and lounge. And you can’t beat the location for some high end shopping.
Located just under a mile from Crayola Experience Plano, TX is the North Plano Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Outstanding family amenities include free continental breakfast, free shuttle service to local attractions, and an outdoor pool. The low prices at this hotel also make it a great value for the area.
The Hampton Inn and Suites Dallas/Plano is a great place to stay to be close to Oak Point Park and Go Ape Plano. The full American breakfast and 24-hour pool and jacuzzi make it one of the highest rated places to stay with kids in the area. The Fairfield Inn and Suites also provides close access to Oak Point Park and has similar amenities.
Another great option is Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park. This full-service hotel features a resort-style outdoor pool and is pet-friendly. And the location is right next the the delectable eateries at The Boardwalk at Granite Park.