Taking the kids out in nature is a great way for the family to bond, create lasting memories, and learn about the flora and fauna around them. All of us at Crème de la Crème Plano feel that getting out and having nature-filled experiences is one of the best activities a family can do. With that in mind, our team has put together a list of five places you can take your family around Plano, Texas, for nature-filled adventures.
Learn History at Heritage Farmstead Museum
Kids of all ages will enjoy visiting the Heritage Farmstead Museum. Entrepreneur Hunter Farrell built The Heritage Farmstead and the adjacent in 1891 as a working ranch and wheat farm. Today, the 4.5-acre Heritage Farmstead and Museum receives thousands of visitors daily.
When you plan your visit, take time to pet the farm animals, feed the chickens, and stroll the grounds peeking into the many historic buildings. Inside the museum, you can learn about the history of the farming and ranching lifestyle around Plano in the late 1800s and early 1900s. After exploring the farmstead, sit under a shady tree and enjoy a picnic at one of the pavilions.
Location: 1900 W. 15th St. in Plano
Time and Days: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Take a Walk at White Rock Trail Park
When you want to take an easy walk around a pond under shady trees, head over to White Rock Trail Park. This sweet urban park has a 1.5-mile paved trail that circles the pond, and the path is wide enough for strollers. As you meander along the trail, keep an eye out for birds that nest in the reeds around the pond. Your little ones will have a blast looking for pollywogs and water bugs by the shoreline.
There are lots of old oak trees that create shade where you can rest and relax while looking at the water. After your walk, enjoy a picnic in one of the shaded picnic areas, and then let the youngsters burn off excess energy at the playground or running around the open spaces.
Location: 550 Channel Isle Drive, Plano
Time and Days: Open every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Go Fishing at Bob Woodruff Park North
Pack your fishing poles and bait, and bring your family to Bob Woodruff Park North for a day of angling and playing outside. The kids can cast their lines from the shoreline of the pond or walk out to the fishing pier to cast into deeper water. You’ll want to bring binoculars with you to spot the varied birds that live in and around the park. You may see flycatchers, kingfishers, sandpipers, and baby ducks while fishing or strolling around the pond.
When the kids are ready for a break from fishing, they can run around the grassy areas tossing a Frisbee or throwing balls back and forth. They’ll also have fun exploring the on-site playground.
Location: 2601 San Gabriel Drive, Plano
Time and Days: Open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
When your kids are hungry after a day of fishing at Bob Woodruff Park North, fill them up with great food at any of these ethnic restaurants in the Plano area.
Explore the Children’s Adventure Garden at The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Gardens, flowers, shrubs, and plants abound in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. One highlight for families visiting this Dallas location is the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. As soon as you enter the Children’s Adventure Garden, let the kids explore the First Adventure area. Your little ones can play in the sandbox, run through the caterpillar maze, or plant in the potting shed. Next, lead your kids to the Incredible Edible Garden. The interactive exhibit shows children that most food comes from plants and that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy for them.
Daredevils in the family will get a thrill on the Texas Skywalk. This elevated walkway is 240 feet long and rises above the treetops with views of the Children’s Garden below. Finish the exploration of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Amazing Secret Garden. Here, the kids will go through a maze that finishes in a beautiful secret garden. If the kids are hungry afterward, there’s a restaurant on-site for the family to have lunch or snacks.
Location: 8525 Garland Road, Dallas
Time and Days: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See Animals at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Take a trip to McKinney to see animals at the 289-acre Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary, you have five habitats to explore, each with its own unique plant and animal life ranging from burrowing owls and wood ducks to turtles and frogs. Make sure to visit the White Rock Escarpment habitat to see thousands of fossils and pieces of iron pyrite, commonly called fool’s gold.
A highlight of the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is the animal exhibits. As you visit this section, you’ll see ring-tailed lemur, bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray fox, and Northern raccoon. On select days, one of the staff will display and talk about screech owls, burrowing owls, and other raptors that live in this part of central Texas.
Kids of all ages will feel awestruck when they step inside the seasonal Native Texas Butterfly House & Garden. Families can learn about the importance of butterflies as pollinators and use that knowledge to plant items in their gardens that attract these essential insects.
Location: 1 Nature Place, McKinney
Open Time: Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Our team at Crème de la Crème Plano hopes you and your family enjoy getting out in nature at these five spots near Plano. Which experience did the kids enjoy the most and why? Is there a cool nature spot that we missed and you can recommend? If so, let us know and we’ll add your recommendation to our list.