Kids enjoy learning in a playful manner, and nothing beats taking the family to cool educational destinations. Whether you’re interested in Texas history, learning about the flora and fauna of the area, or want to explore local bookstores, you’ll find just what you’re looking for at these five destinations around the Plano, Texas, area.
Heritage Farmstead Museum
Kids of all ages enjoy visiting the Heritage Farmstead Museum for its historical significance, adorable farm animals, and fun seasonal events. This living history site preserves and interprets the Texas Blackland Prairie region and what life was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the Plano area. As you wander through the Heritage Farmstead Museum, you’ll pass by authentically restored houses such as the Wilson House and Young House. Step inside the Farrell-Wilson house to see Victorian-era furnishings, kitchenware, and an old Victrola record player.
After touring the property, stop by the poultry and livestock exhibit to see what types of farm animals settlers raised. If you come to the Farmstead Heritage Museum for an educational or special event, you can experience up-close encounters with the farm animals. Be sure to stop at the gift shop on your way out to pick up unique pieces of jewelry, toys, and books.
Location: 1900 W. 15th St. in Plano.
City of Plano Environmental Education Center
For those interested in sustainable building, take a tour of The Environmental Education Center, Plano’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum-certified building. When you visit this unique building, you’ll learn about sustainable building practices, including environmental stewardship. Stewardship is achieved through the use of recycling, composting, water and energy conservation, and the use of sustainable materials.
Outside the center, you and your family can visit the Nature Explore Certified Classroom, which allows you to interact with nature. Kids can have fun in the play areas designed to strengthen their skills in math, science, art, movement, language, and literacy. After playtime, wander through the center’s landscaped gardens featuring a Texas SmartScape Demonstration Garden that showcases plants adapted to the North Texas area. This educational center helps inspire local Plano residents to use heat and drought-tolerant plants in their low-maintenance gardens and to incorporate water and energy conservation into their lifestyles.
Location: 4116 W. Plano Parkway in Plano.
Interabang Books is an independent bookstore, and its owner’s mission is to encourage people of all ages to search for knowledge and discovery through books. Kids have their own sections categorized by fiction and non-fiction. Each section has sub-sections with beginner books, chapter books, and intermediate books.
This bookstore also has a young adult fiction and non-fiction section, along with an extensive collection of books ranging from cooking to travel. Interabang Books hosts author chats and book signings, book clubs, and exciting collective reads with online discussions and interactions with a moderator. Interabang Books has several experienced booksellers available to help you find specific books or recommend books or genres related to your interests.
Location: 5600 W Lovers Lane #142 in Dallas.
Play Street Museum
Play Street Museum is fairly new to Plano, and kids will enjoy spending quality time at this cool educational destination. The founder’s vision of the Play Street Museum is to inspire children through play and their mission statement is to provide quality educational experiences in a playful manner. Inside the indoor play area, children will use their imaginations to help build cognitive skills, and play with their peers to develop essential social skills through playful interactions.
Play Street Museum offers special events such as Paint and Play, Clay Events for Kids, and Pottery for Kids. These workshops help children use their imagination and creativity while developing fine and gross motor skills. Play Street Museum is also a wonderful place to hold a party. Kids can have fun while honing their art skills in a joyful way. After a day at Play Street Museum, take the family out to eat at any of these family-friendly restaurants in the Plano, Texas, area.
Location: 5964 W Parker Road, Suite 120 in Plano.
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve
If you’re looking for free educational destinations in Plano, spend the day Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. This 800-acre park, Plano’s largest, has nearly 8 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft surface trails to hike and bike along. As you and your family stroll along the trails that run along Rowlett Creek, look for animals such as bobcats, coyotes, and raccoons.
Bring your binoculars along to search the skies for local birds, including lightning-fast kestrels diving through the sky in search of a meal. Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve has a pond that you can fish on as well as paddleboard, kayak, or canoe. Getting out on the water is a great way to see riparian wildlife like raccoons and osprey birds. You can also learn about the fish that live in the pond.
Head over to the native prairie restoration zone to see native grasses and plants of the Blackland Prairie Region. After a day of hiking, stop and rest in the meadows under a shady tree to enjoy your picnic and relax for a while.
Before coming to Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, stop by the Plano Public Library to pick up some books that describe the local plants and animals. As you rest in the meadow, you can go through the books with your kids and note how many of the plants and animals you saw during your time at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve.
Location: 5901 Los Rios Blvd. in Plano.
There you have Crème de la Crème of Plano’s list of cool educational destinations the whole family will enjoy. Which location is your favorite and why? Where are your kids excited to go again? Did we miss an educational destination that you can recommend? If you have an idea, let us know. Our team always enjoys knowing about great places to take the family.