Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Ennis, TX

  • Published 2023/03/08

Ennis, Texas, is a fairly old city, founded in 1872 and named after the director of the Central Texas Railroad, Cornelius Ennis.

This city is famous as the home of Bluebonnet Park, featuring the world-renowned Bluebonnet Trails.

Visit this city during the springtime when its natural beauty and attractions come to life.

There are various other things to do in this city year-round.

You can try watching a car race, attending live festivals, enjoying outdoor activities by the lake, or simply going on a guided tour of the city.

Here are the best things to do in Ennis, TX:

Take a Stroll along Bluebonnet Park

Beautiful sunset over Bluebonnet Park

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Labeled as the “Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail” in 1997, Bluebonnet Park has the oldest trails in the state.

With over 40 miles of mapped driving, take in the lush foliage and magnificent blooms on the grounds of Bluebonnet Park.

Walking trail at Bluebonnet Park

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Visit the park during the spring when you can find good picnic sites with ease.

In addition, you will see the park ground carpeted in a magnificent carpet of bluebonnets along with gorgeous trees all around.

Whether you’re planning for a hike or a simple walk with a great view, you’ll enjoy yourself at Bluebonnet Park.

A water fountain at Bluebonnet Park

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch a Race at 85 Speedway

Located at the edge of Ennis, 85 Speedway, otherwise known as Big O speedway, is a must-visit tourist destination.

At the legendary track in Ennis, you can watch fast cars competing on rugged dirt courses.

You can also take racing classes ranging from beginner-friendly to more experienced drivers.

The speedway is a great place to spend Saturday nights, offering a 0.25 mile-long oval track where modified automobiles of all shapes and sizes race.

Races can get noisy and loud, so get ready for your ears to ring!

Sip Fine Wine at Sugar Ridge Winery

Sugar Ridge Winery offers wine tasting in a relaxing outdoor environment suitable for both groups and solo travelers.

Found just north of the city center, Sugar Ridge winery has made wines from imported ingredients and grapes in their vineyards.

This winery produces a wide range of award-winning reds and whites that have received recognition for their flavor.

Since opening in 2011, this winery boasts locally made wine that can cater to all palates.

Whether you’re a fan of red or white wine, sweet or dry, you can try them all in their tasting room.

See a Show at Ennis Public Theatre

Exterior of Ennis Public Theatre

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ennis Public Theatre is a performance theater found right in the heart of the city.

Since 2002, Ennis Public Theatre has become the ideal venue for seeing live theatre performances in Ennis.

This theater stages musicals, original productions, Broadway successes, and local adaptations of famous plays.

Local artists from the city are the star of the show, performing in various genres and productions.

Book your ticket to one of their shows before they run out of seats.

Play Tennis at Lion Tennis Center

Play some tennis on one of the numerous indoor and outdoor courts at the Lion Tennis Center.

This facility comes packed with nine championship-level courts, including mini courts, a professional gear shop, a snack bar, and numerous ball machines in the building.

Challenge a family member or friend to a friendly competition under the sun or indoors.

This facility is found just minutes within the heart of Ennis, so stop by and break a sweat!

Enjoy Outdoor Recreational Activities at Lake Bardwell

Lake Bardwell is a little under 10 minutes from the heart of Ennis and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

This famous attracts thousands of tourists regularly and is a hotspot during the summer for all its amenities.

This body of water spans over 3,500 acres, providing vast space for activities for the entire day.

For example, you can go swimming, camping, and picnicking on the lake’s shores.

You can also go fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and other outdoor activities at Lake Bardwell.

Grab a Freshly Baked Treat at Kolache Depot Bakery

If you’re looking for freshly baked pastries or a sweet snack, head to Kolache Depot Bakery.

Found at the heart of Ennis, this bakery sells both traditional treats and Czech pastries.

These products carry on the traditions and culture of the city’s first Czech settlers in the late 1800s.

You can taste Czech sweets and cuisines at this little bakery that ensures freshly made treats daily.

Some of their most sought-after snacks include their kolaches and cinnamon rolls that go perfect with a cup of coffee.

These treats are too good to pass up, so Czech (check) this bakery out.

Learn Local History at Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum

Exterior of Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ennis is packed with rich history, particularly in the railroad industry.

Learn all about this heritage at the Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum.

This museum takes you back in time with the preserved memorabilia and artifacts, including replicas and exhibits from the old rail lines.

Situated right in downtown Ennis, you can also join a guided tour of the entire museum to give you a full scope of their history.

You can find a sizable well-preserved collection of various artifacts that showcase the city’s past.

Watch a video detailing its history.

Book in advance if you plan to tour Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum with a large group.

Enjoy a Homecooked Meal at Bailey’s Cafe

Bailey’s Cafe is a homestyle eatery that uses family recipes and serves freshly made meals daily.

You can savor the homemade dishes typically made at home, such as juicy hamburgers, crispy fried chicken, and the iconic onion rings that will ensure a happy tummy.

This cafe’s cozy and comfortable atmosphere will make you feel relaxed and right at home.

Whether you’re stopping by for lunch or dinner, this eatery ensures a freshly made meal just how you want it – hot and delicious.

They also serve various drinks and other meals, so check out their menu and see what else they have to offer.

Satisfy your hunger at Bailey’s Cafe.

Play Bowling at Ennis All-Star Bowl

Ennis All-Star Bowl, also known as Lion’s Lane, is an entertainment facility offering bowling for the whole family.

With 24 lanes, you can challenge your family to a friendly competition or polish up those bowling skills and get a strike.

After bowling, you can play pool or arcade games for both kids and adults.

They even have laser tag.

If you get hungry, you can also grab a snack at their cafe or wind down and relax at their lounge.

Competitive players can sign up for their leagues and tournaments with a chance to win awesome prizes.

Enjoy a Drive-In Movie at Galaxy Drive-In

Galaxy Drive-In's marquee

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch a movie within the comfort of your vehicle at Galaxy Drive-In.

This drive-in theater is a hotspot for locals and tourists who wish to catch the latest movie releases that cover a variety of genres and star iconic celebrities.

Gather your buddies and get cozy under the blanket while enjoying the show.

The screen and field of Galaxy Drive-In

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This facility also has a snack bar, selling a variety of famous movie treats such as popcorn, sodas, and candy.

Galaxy Drive-In has seven different screens, each featuring a different movie so that you can take your pick!

This establishment is perfect for a lazy night together for quality time with your loved ones.

Attend the Annual Ennis Czech Music Festival

The Ennis Czech Musical Festival is an annual event that attracts locals and tourists with its fun-filled atmosphere.

This event celebrates their Czech heritage with live music, entertainment, dancing, food options, and more.

These artists will keep you entertained as you dance the night away with the community members and fellow tourists, featuring European polka bands.

This music festival is also family-friendly, offering a kid-safe play zone where they can make new friends.

You won’t go hungry here with all the classic Czech snacks and treats passed around all day.

Try the Juiciest Steaks at Bubba’s BBQ & Steakhouse

Attention, barbecue lovers!

If you’re looking for the juiciest and most delicious barbecue-grilled steak in Texas, check out Bubba’s BBQ & Steakhouse.

Established in 1988, this restaurant serves the best barbecue steaks in Texas.

Their brisket, ribs, and turkey have also earned recognition.

Their meals are so good that you’ll keep coming back for more.

This family-owned restaurant also serves other meals, including tacos, chicken tenders, and even brownies for dessert.

You can also order at their drive-thru instead.

Enjoy Quiet Time at Ennis Public Library

Book lovers and avid readers will love the Ennis Public Library.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to read or pick up a new book, Ennis Public Library has a wide selection of books for you to choose from.

This library lets readers enjoy their peaceful establishment matched with the beautiful stained glass windows on either side of the building.

The books are also free to read and encompass various genres, from fiction to non-fiction, action, romance, drama, children’s books, and more.

They also host reading programs and activities for all ages, both children and adults.

Share your love for books at Ennis Public Library, bond with the community members and locals, and make new friends.

Watch Out for Bison Sightings at Kachina Prairie Park

Looking for a secluded getaway to rest amid nature while in Ennis?

Kachina Prairie Park is your best bet.

This 35-acre preserve is under the management of the Texas Land Conservancy, Indian Trail Master Naturalists, and the Ennis Garden Club.

Established in 1966, this prairie sanctuary is within the northeast section of Lake Clark Park.

It’s home to several wildflowers and native grasses, ideal for some nature observation.

Kachina Prairie Park also hosts several educational events and tours for everyone visiting.

Come by and see the bison herd at this park on West Baldridge Street.

See a Drag Race at Texas Motorplex

Exterior of Texas Motorplex

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Texas Motorplex is an all-concrete facility that opened in 1986.

It spans for about a quarter mile and caters mostly to drag racers and the like.

It has garnered various national milestones and was the racing ground for the famous racer, Darrell Gwynn.

Aside from the regular drag races and championships, this motorplex also brings to life the annual Stampede of Speed every October.

The facility also has campgrounds and offers rentals.

Texas Motorplex is on West Highway 287.

Listen to Live Music and Entertainment at Ennis Bluebonnet Festival

Ennis Bluebonnet Festival is your best stop for an Ennison-unique event.

Celebrated every April, this festival celebrates spring and the city’s designated flower, the bluebonnet.

One of its promised activities includes nature walks and Texas wine tastings.

For artists and art enthusiasts, the festival also features an arts and crafts fair.

There’s also live music and kid-friendly activities, perfect for the whole family!

So, keep your schedule free for April, just in time for the bluebonnets to bloom and paint the Ennis landscapes blue.

There’s always a reason to celebrate when you attend Ennis Bluebonnet Festival on Northwest Main in downtown Ennis.

Celebrate Solidarity and Independence at Ennis Freedom Fest

If you’re on vacation in Ennis during the months of June and July, don’t miss Ennis Freedom Fest.

This patriotic event doesn’t only celebrate independence and solidarity but also shines a light on the city’s art and culture scene.

Starting the event is a prestigious bike parade, featuring eagle floats and flags in downtown Ennis.

From kids’ inflatables to the Bluebonnet Market, there’s so much to do and explore during the festivities.

To end the event right, the sky lights up for what’s considered to be “The Most Beautiful Fireworks Display in all of Texas”.

And best of all, admission is free!

Ennis Freedom Fest takes place in Veterans Memorial Park on Ennis Parkway.

Hang Out with Family and Friends at Minnie McDowal Park

Ennis’ downtown district is a plethora of charming historic buildings and recreational hubs.

In the midst of all the buzzing and hustling, Minnie McDowal Park sits as a peaceful refuge for everyone happening to pass by the area.

Dedicated in 1993, this park got its name from a remarkable woman who worked at Plaza Theater, later renamed Cinemark.

In fact, you can see a tributary marker of her brief life inscribed on a wall with a sculpted painting of the countryside.

The park also features a prominent red-bricked gazebo.

This gazebo has been the go-to venue for many community events, including art exhibits and outdoor concerts.

Get going to Dallas Street to reach Minnie McDowal Park.

Final Thoughts

Ennis is packed with fun and entertainment for a memorable getaway.

You won’t run out of things to do in this fantastic city with entertainment centers, theaters, the best eateries, and even festivals.

You will also have a great time exploring the outdoors and enjoying recreational activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing.

You’ll learn so much about the rich history of Ennis with tours and museums.

Look no further and book your ticket to the historic Ennis, Texas!

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