Going for a picnic can be a great change of pace for a family meal or a unique option for a special occasion. Luckily, there are many amazing parks in and around McKinney, Texas, for you to treat yourself, friends, and family to a wonderful outdoor adventure with good food and fun. That’s why Crème de la Crème of McKinney has put together this list of the best places to have a picnic around our hometown.
Bonnie Wenk Park
Bonnie Wenk Park is right in the heart of McKinney, making it easy to get to no matter where in town you live. This park is home to a small amphitheater, an all-abilities playground, a 5-acre fishing pond, 1.5 miles of trails, and two multi-use fields. That means you’ll have plenty to fill your time before and after enjoying your picnic at the first-come, first-served pavilion. You can also bring a blanket and a basket of snacks to set up your picnic on the grass near the fishing pond, that way you have a scenic view during your meal.
Towne Lake Recreation Area
Over by McKinney High School is Towne Lake Recreation Area. There are plenty of places to have a picnic here, including a dining alfresco area by the recreation center and the brick pavilion which houses a few tables. You can set up at the tables that surround the pavilion, too, especially in the case that the pavilion has been reserved by others. Lastly, you can also grab a blanket and head down to the grassy waterfront of Towne Lake; there are many trees around the area to keep you shaded from the hot Texas sun.
If you want to do more than just have a picnic, you can fish at Towne Lake, hit the playground, play a round of disc golf or horseshoes, or practice your spike at the sand volleyball courts.
Just down the road from Historic Downtown McKinney is Cottonwood Park, a community park packed with fun activities and wonderful picnic spots. There are multiple pavilions on-site where you can host a big or small picnic. If you’re looking for a place to snack and then cool off, there are splash pads near one of the pavilions. This is a great picnicking park for families because it also has a covered playground, a small playground for toddlers, and a covered basketball court.
Central Park is a small “pocket” park located on the far north side of Historic Downtown McKinney. While it doesn’t have playgrounds and courts like other parks in town, it does offer a quiet place to have a picnic with the kids, your partner, or on your own. The park itself is just half an acre, but there’s plenty of open grass to find a spot for a picnic. There’s also a small pavilion, which is first-come, first served.
In North McKinney, you’ll find Erwin Park. This park has campsites, so you can stay overnight for an extra-long picnic adventure, complete with grilled foods and s’mores. Or, you can find a spot around the park with a great view for a rustic picnic near the woods. There are also three pavilions in the park, including Pecan Grove Shelter, which has electricity. This park is a great picnic area for families who love mountain biking because it’s the town’s premier destination for rugged biking terrain thanks to 10 miles of well-maintained trails.
Finch Park is south of historic downtown and is home to multiple pavilions, perfect for hosting small- and medium-sized gatherings. The small pavilions don’t need reservations, so you can have your picnic at any of those that are available. But if you want to grill up some goodies, you may need to reserve a specific medium pavilion. There are also grassy areas that make quaint spots for more intimate picnics, too.
This park is great for when you want a full day of activities in addition to a good picnic. There’s a playground, a storybook loop trail, a splash pad, a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, tennis courts, and pickleball courts.
Limestone Quarry Park
Head to nearby Frisco for a visit to Limestone Quarry Park. This 17-acre park features a few pavilions with picnic tables, including some with barbecue grills, and plenty of open lawn to set up a picnic. There’s a walking trail around the park that features beautiful mosaics, a playground, and a basketball court. In addition to the walking trail, this park also houses a portion of the Taychas Trail, just in case you wanted to take a long hike before or after your picnic.
Frisco Commons Park
Another great picnicking park is Frisco Commons Park in nearby Frisco. Here you’ll find multiple picnic shelters, known as Picnic Alley, so you can eat and relax in the shade. There are also picnic tables throughout the park for dining in the sun. Or, have an old-school picnic on the grass near the pond for a scenic view while you snack. You can also set up your picnic by the playground so that you can watch the kids while they play.
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve is located in nearby Plano, and it’s a massive park full of many fun activities, including kayaking and canoeing, horseback riding, and nature trails where you can spot wildlife and native vegetation. You can also go fishing for channel catfish at Oak Point Pond. Here, you can reserve a pavilion if you need a covered spot to eat or to host a gathering with friends and family.
The city of Plano has plans to improve the park even more and add a natural elements playground, a recreational trail, and an activity lawn. That means there will be even more reasons to host your picnic at Oak Point Park than there are now.
So there you have it, nine parks in and around McKinney where you can have a great picnic. There are many other parks in McKinney that have pavilions and open areas that are perfect for picnics. Did we miss any of your favorite picnic spots in and around McKinney? If so, contact us to let us know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!