Summer vacation is the perfect time to spend time with your kids and make some memories. Plano offers plenty of fun activities that the whole family will enjoy. If you’re short on inspiration, try these family-friendly local activities that you and your children will love.
Explore a Nature Preserve
Local nature preserves help your family reconnect with nature and each other. Plano is home to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve and Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, which both have hundreds of acres and miles of walking and cycling tracks. Pack a picnic lunch and binoculars for birding. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has separate playgrounds for older and younger kids and a cool observatory tower. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is a better option for water lovers. Bring your own fishing gear, paddleboard, kayak, or canoe to explore Oak Point Pond. You can also rent kayaks seasonally.
If you love fishing, there are plenty of other excellent places around Plano to drop a line. Close to home you can fish for channel catfish at Big Lake Park, Stoney Hollow Park, Shawnee Community Park, and Russell Creek Park. Drive to Lake Ray Hubbard, roughly 20 minutes from Plano, to fish for great white and hybrid striped bass. Kids can fish unlicensed, but most locals and visitors need a fishing license once they turn 17, except on Free Fishing Day in June. You can get yours online or from local tackle shops, gun shops, hardware stores, and grocery stores.
Take the Whole Family to a Park
When you want to have fun with the whole family, a local dog-friendly park is the perfect choice. Windhaven Meadows Park and Bob Woodruff Park both have fenced dog parks with separate areas for large and small dogs. With water stations and picnic tables, they’re great spaces for playing with your pooch. Leashed dogs are also welcome outside the dog parks, so you can check out other park facilities, such as the playgrounds and trails.
Hit Up a Water Park
The summer heat in Texas can be oppressive, but visiting a water park is a great way to beat it. Water parks bring out the inner child in all of us, with their water slides, swimming pools, lazy rivers, and other watery attractions. While Plano doesn’t have its own water parks, there are several awesome options within easy driving distance. Frisco Water Park is famous for the Preston Plunge, a 45-foot-high water slide with four entry tubes. Hawaiian Waters, at The Colony, is a tropical-themed park with fun attractions, such as the Bonsai Pipeline, Oahu Bay wave pool, and Pineapple Plunge.
See a Movie
With the rise of streaming services, families are visiting the movies less and less. However, there’s something magical about watching a film come to life on the big screen. You can rediscover that thrill at theaters around Plano. Along with large movie chains, Plano has Angelika Film Center Plano, which screens blockbusters alongside classics, indie films, and international movies. While Haggard Park no longer hosts summer movies, you can regularly enjoy a film under the stars during Carrollton’s Saturdays on the Square events.
Visit a Museum
While rain isn’t common over summer in Plano, the city does have some wet days. When the heaven’s open up, you need some indoor activities to keep your tribe entertained. A trip to the museum is an excellent choice because Plano has so many child-friendly options. Train lovers adore the Interurban Railway Museum, which celebrates Plano’s rail history including its rail post office system and the rise of electric rail travel. Visit on Friday mornings for children’s story time. You could also visit the Play Street Museum, which features interactive exhibits designed to engage children 8 years old and younger.
Meet Some Farm Animals
Most children love barnyard animals, so any day that involves getting up close and personal with these creatures is a winner. Traditional petting zoos can be a bit boring for parents, but the Plano area has several attractions with farm animals that appeal to the whole family. In Plano, check out the Heritage Farmstead, a living history site with beautiful Victorian buildings and friendly farm animals like donkeys, pigs, and free-roaming chickens. Its Little Farmer Fridays immerse preschoolers into farm life. You can also meet animals at Huddin Homestead Fun Farm in Rockwall and Cathy’s Critters in Princeton.
Test Your Brain in an Escape Room
Escape rooms encourage families to work together to solve puzzles, find clues, and escape. They’re also another excellent option when the weather keeps you indoors. Some escape rooms have scary themes that may upset young kids, so do your research before you book in. Red Door Escape Room recommends its challenges for children aged at least 14, while North Texas Escape Rooms has kid-friendly games for children as young as 9 years old. Ask the staff if you’re unsure which challenge will suit your family’s ages and abilities.
Head to the Theater
You’re never too young to discover the joy of live theater. Theaters around Plano have several shows designed to delight patrons of all ages. Plano is home to the Art Centre Theatre, which stages musicals and plays. Each performance uses the standard Motion Picture Association rating system so you can make an informed choice about what’s suitable for your children. The Repertory Company Theatre, in nearby Richardson, specializes in classic musicals suitable for all ages. Upcoming productions include Brigadoon, The Drowsy Chaperone, and White Christmas.
Make the Most of Family Time This Summer
When you’ve got a big day of family fun planned, you don’t want your vehicle slowing you down. If you’re ready for a new family car, visit the team at Huffines Hyundai Plano. We have the latest vehicles from Hyundai and a quality selection of used cars, so we’re confident you’ll find a car to suit your taste and budget. Test-driving a few vehicles and choosing your favorite as a family is also great fun. We’re open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day but Sunday, so you can easily schedule your visit around your family adventures.