Exploring the many activities that Allen, Texas, has to offer doesn’t have to break the bank. When you’re raising a family, you’ll often want to watch your budget while still having the kids get outside to enjoy things. That’s why we compiled this list of eight free things to do in Allen, Texas.

Fish at Bethany Lakes Park

A panoramic view of Bethany Lake outside Allen, TX.

Image via Flickr by gurdonark

Grab your fishing pole and gear and take the family to Bethany Lakes Park. The 40-acre community park offers numerous recreational opportunities besides fishing. Play disc golf, baseball, or let the little kids play in the playground. Hike and bike the trails that surround the lake, and when lunchtime comes, enjoy a picnic in the open-air pavilion. Fish for bass, bluegill, and catfish from the fishing pier or shore of the four fishing ponds. Please note that all fishing is catch-and-release.

Cool Off at kidMania Sprayground

On a warm summer afternoon, take the family over to Celebration Park and kidMania Sprayground. The kids will have a blast splashing and cooling off in the water jets, tumble buckets, and water sprayers designed for kids ages 2 to 12. When the kids are done playing, cook up lunch on the barbecue grills, and eat under the shaded pavilion. Older kids can play ball on the various sports fields, and the entire family can enjoy the hiking and biking trails located around Celebration Park.

Explore Cabela’s

While you might think about going to Cabela’s outdoor store to stock up on hunting, fishing, and camping gear, you can also spend an afternoon there enjoying plenty of free activities. Walking into the 100,000 square-foot showroom feels like an exciting outdoor adventure with eye-catching decor, a 13,170-gallon aquarium filled with local and exotic sports fish, numerous lifelike taxidermy displays, and the two-story conservation mountain.

After a fun-filled day looking at dioramas of wildlife, learning about the fish species that live in the local rivers and lakes, and shopping for outdoor gear, stop by the Express Cafe for a piece of fudge, nuts, chips, or a cup of coffee. Bring your dog and let them hang out in the cool outdoor dog kennel while you spend the day exploring Cabela’s.

Step Back in time at Allen Heritage Village

When you stop by the Allen Heritage Village, you’ll get to see how people from Allen lived in the 1920s and 1930s. Visit re-created buildings, the restored St. Mary Church, and the Allen Christian Church. Both of the churches and the grounds of Allen Heritage Village provide a perfect backdrop for weddings and special events, such as family reunions or birthday parties. Stop by the Allen Depot museum to view photos, documents, and permanent and rotating exhibits about the history of Allen.

Make sure to stop by the serene stone dam built in 1912 as a water station for the Houston and Texas Central Railway. For guided tours of the property and the houses and churches, check with the Allen Heritage Guild.

Skateboard at The Edge Skatepark and Visitor Center

Feel the thrill of skateboarding at Texas’s largest skate park, The Edge, located at the Edge Visitor Center. Allen residents ages 10 through 17 can use the park for free year-round. Any skaters in your family can hone their skills with over 37,915 square feet of street fixtures, bowls, and transitions. The park also features two full-size inline hockey rinks and 900 feet of BMX track for a fun and adventure-filled afternoon. Picnic tables surround the skate park so it’s easy to take a break, or the kids can grab a bite to eat at the snack bar inside the Edge Visitor Center.

Hike and Bike at Erwin Park

Head about seven miles to McKinney to enjoy the beauty of the 212-acre Erwin Park. Hike or bike along the 10 miles of trails that wander through woodlands, around the lake, and the open spaces that make up Erwin Park. Have the kids play at the playground, and then take a break to enjoy a picnic at one of the three pavilions. You can even spend the night camping at one of the 10 designated campsites complete with a picnic table and fire ring.

Stroll Through Wildflowers at Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve

Enjoy peace and quiet while visiting the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve. Throughout the 72-acre preserve, you’ll find wetlands, grasslands, riparian zones, and wooded islands. Each habitat offers a refuge for native fauna and a place for native flora to thrive. Walk the well-marked trails and read the displays to learn about each of the unique environments. Once a month, volunteers offer a free guided walk where you gain in-depth knowledge of the history of the preserve.

As you stroll about the preserve, keep an eye out for amphibians, waterfowl, migrating birds, deer, bobcat, and beaver. Learn about the stars and night-sky with a guided Astronomy in the Meadow presentation.

See Live Music at The Green at Watters Creek

Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm offers visitors numerous activities. The 52-acre shopping and entertainment district features lush landscaping, upscale and boutique stores, dining, loft apartments, and plenty of open space for the family to enjoy. The kids love playing near the creek and interacting with the sculptures placed strategically throughout the Watters Creek area.

You’ll find plenty of free activities held on the greens, including yoga classes, pet-adoption events, and live music. The little ones will enjoy the Lucky Duck Kids Club To-Go activities. Activities include playing the online Haunted House Game and coloring in the special Halloween book. Check the schedule often for other seasonal kids’ activities. The kids club is free, and you can pick up the monthly Kids’ Club activity box from the concierge.

We believe that getting kids outside, exploring nature reserves, and having them play with friends at local playgrounds is vital to developing their academic and social skills as well as learning about the nature that surrounds them. All of us at Crème de la Crème in Allen, Texas, hope you enjoy our recommendations for fun things to do in our lovely town. Let us know if you have other ideas for free things to do in Allen.