Keeping the family entertained when the weather is less than optimal can help keep the kids happy while they get exercise or mental stimulation. Instead of staying at home and having the kids watch television or fiddling on their computers, why not explore these things to do on a gray day in the Plano, Texas, area?

Thunderbird Roller Rink

Rollerskates on a skater at Thunderbird in Plano, TX

img_1998 by radiii is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

Roller skating is a blast, and everyone in the family will get a kick out of gliding over the hardwood floors on roller skates at Thunderbird Roller Rink. This family-owned roller rink has delighted Plano folks, young and old, for over 50 years. Whether you’re a quad skater or an inline skater, you’ll enjoy the ambiance of Thunderbird Roller Rink.

Come for public skate times offered in the afternoons or evenings, or take skating lessons to overcome your inhibitions about roller skating while learning how to move forward, how to stop, and skating safety basics. Are you looking for a cool place to hold a birthday party? If so, book a party package at Thunderbird Roller Rink where you can enjoy the party room, have skate time, and let the kids eat cake and share presents with the birthday child.

Location: 3200 Thunderbird Lane in Plano.

Contact: 972-422-4447.

Crayola Experience

Crayola Experience is one of Plano’s premier destinations for things to do on a gray day. Kids can express their inner artist in the activity studio where they can cut, color, and paste to their heart’s delight. When youngsters need to burn some energy, they can head over to the playground to bounce, jump, climb, and explore over and through fun, colorful obstacles.

More artistic adventures the kids can take part in include the kaleidoscope area, rainbow rain, princess palette, and scribble scribbles. Once the family winds down after a busy day playing at Crayola Experience, stop by Cafe Crayola for a bite to eat to refuel everyone’s bodies before shopping at the Crayola Store to bring home one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs to remind everyone what a great time they had at Crayola Experience Plano.

Location: 6121 W. Park Blvd. Suite A100 at The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano.

Contact: 469-642-2901.

Interurban Railway Museum

Spending the day at the Interurban Railway Museum is one of the best ways to learn about Plano, Texas, history. When you visit this unique museum, you’ll learn how important the building and the coming of the railroad system were to the settlement and development of the Plano area. On a gray Plano day, stop by the railway museum to see the various exhibits, including the downtown Plano model train that depicts what life was like in the Plano area in the 1920s.

Next, you’ll want to head over to the Texas Electric Railway exhibit that’s filled with interactive exhibits kids of all ages will get a kick out of. Be sure to explore the rotation of temporary exhibits at the Interurban Railway Museum with displays that show how the railway transformed the Texas prairies into prosperous towns and how life on the railway was often met with perilous danger from accidents or bandits. To get the most out of your visit to the Interurban Railway Museum, book a docent-led tour.

Location: 901 E. 15th St. in Plano.

Contact: 972-941-2117.


Nothing beats the gray-day blues more than spending time at KidMania. This family-fun center has arcade and video games and an intriguing maze youngsters can explore. The ManiaMaze area has five levels of playground and obstacle courses kids can romp and climb on to help them develop muscle strength and gross motor skills, all while having a good time. Everyone can stimulate their minds in the arcade room with fun video games where they can gain points to win prizes.

Parents can relax in the quiet comfort of the No Mania Parents Room overlooking the main floor so they can enjoy some downtime while the kids are playing downstairs. This area has Wi-Fi, a big-screen TV, massage chairs, and more for the parents to enjoy while just a glance away from the children playing. When the youngsters need to refuel between playing at KidMania, they can stop by the cafe to eat their favorite bites like pizza, chicken fingers, salads, and sweet treats.

Location: 7252 Chase Oaks Blvd. in Plano.

Contact: 972-517-7800.

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas is only about 20 minutes from Plano, and taking your family to the Dallas Museum of Art is a fabulous way to expose them to various mediums of artistic creative expression  — with art spanning over 5,000 years from various cultures around the world.

The Dallas Museum of Art has permanent exhibits and rotating ones throughout the year, so there’s always something interesting to experience at this top-notch museum. You’ll get to see exhibits such as Bamana Mud Cloth: From Mali to the World, Movement: the Legacy of Kineticism, and Afro-Atlantic Histories. You can also look forward to exhibits such as the Islamic Art Collection and Backs in Fashion: Mangbetu Women’s Egbe.

The Dallas Museum of Art also offers family programs throughout the year including Toddler Tuesdays designed for children 5 and under with storytelling, age-appropriate activities, and live performances sure to enchant the youngsters. Families can also participate in classes and workshops such as Toddler Art: Crazy for Color, Family Workshops: Imaginary Worlds, and Art Babies: Big Feelings.

Your family will work up an appetite looking at all the art exhibits and taking part in the workshops, and you can refuel everyone at the DMA cafe with healthy offerings such as soup of the day, salads, or sandwiches served with house-made potato chips, spring salad mix or a cup of soup.

Location: 1717 N. Harwood in Dallas.

Contact for ticket information: 214-922-1803.

That’s a wrap of our team at Crème de la Crème of Plano’s recommendation of things to do on a gray day in our wonderful city. If you have other suggestions for gloomy day activities in the Plano, Texas, area, let us know as we always enjoy learning more about attractions around our city.