You don’t have to travel far from home to find family attractions that treat the whole group to tons of fun. In fact, you’ll find a wide variety of family-friendly activities right here in McKinney, Texas. Whether you’re looking for a way to spend a day out in nature or you want to learn more about history or art, there’s something for everyone in our city.
Of course, it can feel like a challenge to plan a day you know both kids and adults will enjoy. That’s why Crème de la Crème of McKinney put together this list of amazing attractions to explore. We hope this list helps inspire you the next time you’re searching for a way to enjoy family time. With so much to discover right here in McKinney, there’s truly something for everyone.
Historic Downtown McKinney
Image via Flickr by Get McKinney
It’s easy to make a day of exploring the historic downtown area of our hometown. Kiddos and adults alike will love strolling around the shopping areas and enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants here. As one of the oldest historic downtown areas in all of Texas, the entire family will find downtown McKinney very interesting.
Make sure you reserve some time for a tour of the historic buildings when you’re here. Not sure where to start? McKinney makes it easy with a high-tech journey led by QR codes. You can learn more about landmarks throughout the Historic Commercial District, making for an interactive excursion that’s fun for all family members. It’s a great way to learn the history of our thriving city, which was once the center of all social and commercial activity in Collin County.
After taking the tour, check out some of the unique shops in the area. You can also keep kids entertained while you visit the stores by searching for Historic Downtown McKinney’s friendly frogs. That’s right; we said frogs … well, small statues of frogs, that is! These quirky creatures add another layer of interactive fun to a family stroll in the downtown area and are sure to delight the youngest members of your brood.
After your tour, grab a meal at one of the many restaurants in our downtown. You’ll find everything from upscale dining created by award-winning chefs to sandwich shops and more, so no matter the type of meal you’re all in the mood for, you’re sure to find the perfect spot.
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
You don’t have to go far from Downtown McKinney to find another amazing family adventure. The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary offers a great excursion for families interested in science and nature. Founded back in 1967, the Heard includes a natural science museum dedicated to educating kids about nature and a wildlife sanctuary that spans 289 acres. The center emphasizes educational programs specifically for kids, making it the ideal place to explore as a family. The adults in your group are sure to enjoy the time you spend here as well!
So, what can you expect when you visit this McKinney gem? Explore exhibits about butterflies, snakes, and plants native to Texas, check out a tortoise fossil, or learn about the Earth and beyond at the Magic Planet interactive globe in the exhibit hall. Go on a guided bird walk, or stroll along the 6.5 miles of nature trails winding through the nature sanctuary’s diverse habitats. You’ll find all that and more with a visit to the Heard, so make a family day of it and start to spark a lifelong love of nature for your kids.
Chestnut Square Historic Village
Whether you’re looking to explore McKinney’s history further or you’re seeking out a seasonal activity to enjoy as a family, you’ll want to add Chestnut Square Heritage Village to your list of local attractions to visit. Programs like Pocket Pioneers and the Selfie Hunt demonstrate the Heritage Village’s dedication to family fun. These two activities create interactive fun, sure to take any family adventure to the next level. The village also offers a variety of tours and events throughout the year, including a holiday home tour.
You won’t want to miss the McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square, either. Open on Saturday, the farmers market connects local families to vendors offering a wide range of local, farm-fresh produce, meats and poultry, and more. Adults will love the easy opportunity to stock up on wholesome groceries for the week, while kids can get their face painted or go on a pony ride. All in all, family members of all ages will find something to enjoy.
Never heard of geocaching? Well, it’s an outdoor recreational activity that lets participants use a GPS or mobile device to discover containers (known as geocaches) at specific locations marked by coordinates. Think hide-and-seek, only high-tech and with plenty of outdoor adventure.
McKinney’s Stormwater Management Program has its very own “Finding Geo” geocaching program offering up fun (and free) ways to explore the city. Kids will love hunting for free stuff while learning along the way. Just download one of a few free GPS locator apps to find a given cache’s location, and get to searching.
Heard-Craig Center for the Arts
Built in 1900, the Heard-Craig house is a beautifully preserved historic home — some might say the best in all of North Texas! It’s a great spot for families interested in learning more about history and art. You’ll find a home that still contains original furnishings and art collections, not to mention gorgeous Victorian gardens.
There you have it, five of McKinney’s top family attractions. We hope this list from Crème de la Crème of McKinney gets you excited to get out and discover all our amazing city has to offer for kids and kids at heart. Did we miss your family’s favorite place to visit in McKinney? Drop us a line so we can check out your go-to park, museum, or activity to enjoy with your family so we can add it to our list!