Looking for a fun way to spend a day as a family? You can’t go wrong with any of these five easy day trips from Plano. Let Crème de la Crème of Plano take the guesswork out of planning an amazing outing, without traveling far from home.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

A cheetah lounging in the shade of a tree at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center near Plano, TX

Image via Flickr by runarut

Located in Glen Rose, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center offers a day trip possibility sure to provide fun for the whole family. You can drive to the non-profit wildlife conservation facility in less then two hours. Kids and adults alike will love seeing more than 1,000 animals from nearly 50 different species.

You can take the 7.2-mile scenic drive in your car or book a guided tour. However you choose to explore this area, you’ll get the chance to check out exotic and endangered animals in a free-range setting. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is also home to the world’s largest cheetah breeding facility, and the organization seeks to support the health and future of this amazing species both in human care and in the wild.

You must book tickets in advance online before you arrive at the facility. When booking, you get to pick the day you want to go to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and a one-hour arrival window. Keep in mind that tickets are valid only for the day and arrival window you book. You can get to the park at any time during the scheduled arrival window and then take as long as you want within the facility.

Fossil Rim opens every day at 8:30 a.m. The latest you can enter is 3:30 p.m., and all vehicles must leave by 5:30 p.m. A typical drive takes about two hours. Admission for Gosdin Scenic Drive costs $24.95 for guests ages 12 and older and $19.95 for guests between the ages of 3 and 11. Kids under 3 years old do not need to pay admission.

Lake Texoma

Whether you want to get your heart pumping with activity or find a way to unwind, Lake Texoma offers the ideal opportunity for a day trip from Plano. You can get there in just over an hour. The lake sits between Texas and Oklahoma, featuring a range of ways to enjoy a day out for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.

Eisenhower State Park offers the perfect gateway to the lake from the Texas side. Entry costs $5 for adults (anyone over the age of 13). Kids 12 and under can enter for free. Once you arrive, look forward to a day complete with fishing, hiking, or horseback riding, not to mention just about any water sport you can imagine.

Tyler, Texas

You can get to the city known as the Rose Capital of America in about 2 hours from Plano, making Tyler yet another great option when you’re looking to plan a day trip. Tyler is home to the Annual Rose Festival thanks to its rose garden, the largest public collection of roses in the country.

The Tyler Rose Garden is a must-see stop when you’re in Tyler. There, you’ll find over 32,000 bushes and 600 cultivars. The park is open every day from sunrise until sunset. The best part? Admission is free!

You’ll also want to visit Tyler State Park when you make this day trip. The beautiful park boasts a range of activities, including boating, swimming, and hiking. Admission to the park costs $6 for adults (13 years and older) and is free for kiddos 12 and under.

Jacksonville, Texas

You’ll find Jacksonville just over two hours away from Plano. This Texas town once called itself the Tomato Capital of the World, and it still hosts a fun Tomato Fest every June. Make the trip over to enjoy tons of contests and an overall fun atmosphere.

You can also build Cherokee Trace Wild Animal Park into your Jacksonville day trip. This drive-through safari experience lets you check out exotic wildlife from the comfort of your car. Hours vary a bit depending on the season, and the park recommends you give them a call to confirm since hours may be affected factors like weather. Admission costs $17.95 for adults, $15.95 for seniors, and $12.95 for kids between the ages of 3 and 12.

Don’t forget to stop by Loves Lookout off Highway 69 on your way into Jacksonville. There, you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of East Texas. The area boasts an elevation of 713 feet, making it the perfect spot for a family walk or picnic.

Turner Falls Park

If your idea of relaxation involves a whole lot of nature, you’ll want to add Turner Falls Park to your list of places to explore. You can drive to this Oklahoma state park from Plano in just under two hours. From swimming holes to hiking trails to picnic spots, this outdoor oasis has something for everyone.

Spend a day strolling along the walking trails throughout the park. As you go, you can investigate the caves and relax alongside picturesque streams. You’ll also have a chance to spot some wildlife as you go. Time to just sit back and relax? You’ll find plenty of sandy beaches in this park that make relaxation a breeze.

Make sure you leave some time to check out the beautiful waterfall that gives Turner Falls Park its name. After all, this park boasts the biggest waterfall in all of Oklahoma. The 77-foot falls tumble into the water below, offering a serene place to indulge in nature — or capture a great Instagram shot for your grid!

The family-friendly park is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., making it easy to plan a day here. Admission costs $16 for adults and $9 for seniors, active duty military, and kids between the ages of 6 and 12. Kids under 5 can enter for free. Book your tickets online in advance to ensure you can get in on your chosen day, as the park does limit capacity and may sell out.

That’s Crème de la Crème of Plano’s list of great day trips from our hometown! Does you family have a favorite day trip we didn’t include? Let us know so we can add it to our list!