Plano, Texas is a large, upscale suburban area where the quality of life is good, the schools are well ranked, and it is considered one of the best places to live in Texas. This city provides visitors with a plethora of fun activities and attractions that will keep the whole family happy. It offers a diverse food scene, plenty of shopping, and family entertainment around every corner. From bowling, escape rooms, trampoline parks, museums, and pencil fun, you’re sure to find plenty to do your family will love. Being just a few minutes north of Dallas and less than a 30-minute drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Plano is a great destination for families to visit for year-round fun.
Here are the top things to do during your family trip to the city. Visit Plano organized our tour.
1. The Crayola experience is for everyone
Where can the whole family have fun together in Plano? At the Crayola Experience – it’s over there! I was a little nervous, thinking that my almost 12 year old grandson wouldn’t enjoy this experience due to his age, but to my surprise he wasn’t the only one who had a great time. I, too, appreciated being able to use my creative side. We participated in all the hands-on activities we could and I was able to act like a child by his side. We colored spongy objects, made a mask, took our picture in a cartoon style, colored, and watched a short live presentation on pencil making. After all that, I paid a little extra to have a wax impression of my grandson’s hand. It was a sight to see, and everyone in the line marveled at the process of turning their hand into hard wax by dipping it in wax and then ice water (3 times). Now that’s a memory!
It’s the perfect place to stimulate your child’s creativity with over 22 hands-on activities. We were even able to take the things we had made at home with us. Dining options are available as well as a retail store once you leave the Experiences. Oh, yes, parents, it’s a whole store full of gifts and treasures. The store is located inside The Shops at Willow Bend. Follow the signs to the covered parking lot, and it’s right inside the gates.
Pro tip: Allow at least 3 hours to enjoy all the fun. But it will depend on your group. We were there for a good three hours, and it was just the two of us.
2. Enjoy a day at Southfork Ranch
The picturesque setting the Ewings made their home in the original TV series Dallas from 1978 to 1991 is still so magnificent after all these years. I remember being glued to the television, watching the show every week with my family. The series no longer exists, but Southfork Ranch is alive and well. It offers home tours of the main house, treks and horse riding lessons. There is also a museum that depicts the TV show with recreated scenes, photos of all the actors, and lots of memorabilia. You will enter through the visitor center before heading to the museum and the hikes, but let me warn you, the gift shop is not your ordinary visitor center gift shop – it’s almost as big as it is. ‘a department store – offering clothing, souvenirs, gifts, monogrammed merchandise, etc. If you are a huge Dallas fan, a souvenir awaits you!
My grandson and I enjoyed a great hike with a few other people. But what made our hike even better was that our trail manager had to deal with several newbies and let my grandson and I lead the way. We have certainly been on horseback once or twice.
Pro tip: After the hike, you are free to roam the grounds and see the long horned cattle.
3. Take a nature walk at Arbor Hills Nature Reserve
The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, with 3 miles of paved hiking trails and 3 miles of unpaved hiking trails, makes for a lovely walk along the creek as you explore the open meadow and forest, while viewing wildlife. . If you can, bring your bike for the 2.8 mile off-road bike trail. Plus, enjoy a family picnic while you are there under the covered pavilion and let the kids play on the playground. Pets are welcome on a leash and toilets are also available.
4. Hike in Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
Plano’s largest park, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, has been virtually undisturbed by humans and is the perfect place for visitors to enjoy nature, wildlife and plant viewing. native. The park offers 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of gentle trails along Rowlett Creek. I suggest an early morning hike to watch the sunrise. You are welcome to bring your own kayak, canoe or paddle board to enjoy the pond.
Pro tip: The park is close to the Go Ape zip line (see below). It’s just that there is a full day of outdoor fun!
5. Go Ape zipline and adventure park
Ziplines have been all the rage lately, and Plano is offering a good one. Adults and kids 10 and over will enjoy climbing treetops, moving to the next row, then repeating. I did this when it first opened, and although it was exhausting going up all those stairs to get to the next zipline, I really enjoyed it. Go Ape Adventures is located inside Oak Point Park, so when you’re done, move on to another adventure!
6. Museum of the heritage farm
Heritage Farmstead Museum is a 4.5 acre living history piece depicting Victorian life from 1890 to 1920 on the Blackland Prairie. Bring a picnic, stay for a visit or special event. Activities such as ground tours, house tours, wagon rides, and chicken feeding are available. It is a great place to take the little ones.
7. Buy until you drop into Plano
There is no shortage of retail spaces at Plano. It’s a shopper’s paradise, and the serious shopper will come from far and wide to spend the whole day, if not the weekend, finding the perfect shoes and handbag! You could spend a whole weekend shopping without seeing everything. Two of the best shopping districts are The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West. With a wide variety of stores, each has something to keep you busy for a good part of the day. And don’t forget The Shops at Willow Bend, home of the Crayola Experience. If that’s not all, there’s Preston Park Village, Preston Towne Crossing, and Preston Village Shopping Center.
8. Discover Legacy Food Hall
Meet me at the table! Legacy Food Hall is a 3 story food court with 20 restaurants open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What a great place to have a meal if you have picky eaters in your party. One place, twenty restaurants to choose from – wow! From beef brisket to tacos to sushi and more, you’re sure to find your favorite dish. Then everyone meets at a picnic-style table in the backyard to get together with family. After your meal, enjoy yourself… in the same space! Look for live music on the weekends.
9. Enjoy dinner by the water at Boardwalk Granite Park
For a very laid-back “row of restaurants” with air-conditioned indoor seating, indoor-outdoor seating with fans, and outdoor seating with beautiful waterfront views, head to Boardwalk Granite Park. And of course there is plenty of kid-friendly food and games for the whole family, like the cornhole. The Boardwalk is a row of restaurants to suit all tastes. We enjoyed two sit down dinners there. I told my grandson that he could have the first choice where he wanted to eat. He chose Fork & Fire, where he enjoyed an “adult” meal of shrimp and scallops. The next evening we ate at Union Bear. He ordered a huge serving of homemade mac and cheese and I devoured what was left over the next day. The food at both places was so good that we would definitely go back to eat.
10. Stay at the Hilton Granite Park
If you’re coming to Plano for more than a day, you’re just steps from everything when you stay at the Hilton Plano Granite Park. This is especially true if you come to town for shopping and to have a meal or two with a view of the water. The boardwalk is a short walk from the hotel and the Legacy West Mall is minutes away. This is where we spent the weekend and enjoyed swimming in the pool and lounging in the beautiful hotel lobby during downtime. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the Carso Restaurant inside the hotel, but made our way to The Boardwalk when the evening rolled around. And, best of all, after a long day of fun in Plano, you don’t have to venture far for dinner – you have plenty of choices just steps away.
Pro tip: Plano, Texas has a business savvy and is a great place to raise a family. Whether you come to live or on vacation, there is something for everyone.
Texas is a large, sprawling state with many cities worth a visit. Consider these: