Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Pharr, TX

  • Published 2022/12/23

Pharr is a thriving city in Hidalgo County, located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

It was named after Henry Newton Pharr, a Louisiana sugarcane grower, and was incorporated in 1916.

It recorded a population of 70,400 on the 2010 census, and it’s surrounded by the cities of McAllen, Edinburg, San Juan, and Hidalgo.

Rio Grande Valley is home to several tourist destinations offering art, music, entertainment, and outdoor recreation, and you can explore some of these top sights in this city.

Read more about the best things to do in Pharr, Texas, for your next adventure!

Embrace Nature at Pharr/Vanguard Academy Nature & Birding Center

Pharr/Vanguard Academy Nature & Birding Center sits on eight acres of developed land along South Richmond Drive.

This native habitat welcomes visitors in search of outdoor recreation from sunrise to sunset.

Explore the grounds of Pharr/Vanguard Academy Nature & Birding Center and learn about the native wildlife and unique ecosystem of the Rio Grande Valley.

Pack your binoculars, spotting scope, and cameras to get the best views of birds you may spot here.

Enjoy a peaceful stroll on the trail winding through the park and view the interpretative signage along the way.

Unwind at the picnic area and share a basket of your favorite snacks and drinks with the family.

Other facilities at Pharr/Vanguard Academy Nature & Birding Center include an amphitheater, pergola, restroom, stationary viewers, and bird feeding station.

Catch the Latest Flicks at Cinemark Pharr Town Center and XD

Cinemark Pharr Town Center and XD on North Jackson Road is among the favorite sites of movie-goers in Rio Grande Valley.

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. manages this movie theater, along with more than 500 theaters and 5,835 screens in the United States and Latin America as of September 2022.

Set a movie date with your family, friends, or special someone at Cinemark Pharr Town Center and XD!

This theater offers a great selection of Hollywood movies, plus independent and foreign films.

Get cozy and enjoy every scene in the spacious, electric-powered reclining seats equipped with cup holders and food trays.

Immerse in the cinematic world like no other with the innovative sight and seating technology of Cinemark.

Play and Create Fun Memories at Main Event Pharr

Main Event Pharr brands itself as everyone’s headquarters for family fun and entertainment in the city located on North Jackson Road.

It spans 58,000 square feet and encompasses 26 lanes of state-of-the-art bowling, laser tag, gravity ropes, and more than 100 games.

These features make Main Event Pharr perfect for birthday parties, company events, and many other exciting activities.

Show off your skills in the bowling alley, equipped with a surround sound entertainment system and HD screens playing music videos to level up your bowling experience.

There’s also a lane-side food service to munch burgers, wings, and other favorite snacks while engaging in a friendly bowling competition.

Push your limits in Main Event Pharr’s thrilling gravity ropes course that makes you feel like a star of your own action movie.

In the laser tag arena, put your skills and creativity to the test and aim to conquer the game!

Main Event Pharr also houses billiard tables, a game hall loaded with classic and latest games, and a bar where you can hit pause in life and chill.

Indulge Your Seafood Cravings at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

After visiting Main Event Pharr and Cinemark Pharr Town Center and XD, you may dine at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, one of the popular restaurants along West Expressway 83.

It’s part of the Pappas family of restaurants specializing in various cuisines across the United States.

At Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, savor mouth-watering, delicious seafood and dig into some flavorful Louisiana-style favorites.

The restaurant operates its own fleet of delivery trucks to guarantee that the freshest, most seasonal selections will reach your dining table.

Have a feast from its extensive menu consisting of classic dishes and culinary inventions made by talented chefs to tickle the taste buds of its patrons.

Whether you want your seafood grilled, fried, steamed, or baked, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen got you covered.

Splash around at Pharr Aquatic Center

If you’re visiting the city during summer, beat the heat at Pharr Aquatic Center on South Fir Street.

Take a dip in the fan-shaped, 6,800-square-foot leisure pool and be amused by the several play structures, like water slides, giant splash buckets, and ornamental water sprayers.

A lazy river is another attraction at Pharr Aquatic Center, where visitors can slide down in water tubes.

For kids, there’s the children’s pool covered with a shade structure to give protection from the sun and installed with geysers and a baby slide for water fun.

Other amenities at Pharr Aquatic Center include shaded and unshaded seating areas, a restroom and shower facility, and a snack bar.

Stay Cool at Aqua Planet Waterpark

Aqua Planet Waterpark is another seasonal water attraction that can be accessed on South Jackson Road.

Have a swim in its spacious pools with slides and water sprays that guarantee aquatic fun to visitors.

Take the children to the kid zone, where they can play around in the slides and splash zones.

At the poolside bar, get ready to sing your heart out and dance to the beat of the music.

You can bring your own food and drinks at Aqua Planet Waterpark to enjoy in the seating areas and palapas near the pools.

Barbecue pits are also available around the water park and can be reserved.

Pay Respect to the Nation’s Heroes at Memorial Park

Located on West Egly Avenue is a beautiful park maintained by the city where you can take a breather from the busy streets.

Memorial Park consists of a playground, covered picnic areas, benches, green spaces, and restrooms for the recreation of residents and visitors.

Families with children can create bonding moments at the playground with slides and climbing structures and share a feast on the open, grassy area or picnic table afterward.

Another highlight of the park is the Veterans Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifices and bravery of the nation’s fallen heroes.

Five dedication granite slabs stand at Memorial Park and are covered by black and gray sail-shade canopies.

Pause for a moment to view these structures and honor the heroes who served the nation.

Enjoy a Stroll and Stay Active at Victor Garcia Park

If you’re looking for a place to break some sweat, you may drop by Victor Garcia Park on West Polk Avenue!

This park has something for every age; there’s a playground where the young ones can climb, slide, and run around and some outdoor workout stations for adults wanting to get some exercise.

Navigate the park through the walking trail, and play a game with friends at the basketball court.

Practice skateboarding or roller skating at the skateboard park on site.

Moreover, Victor Garcia Municipal Park has covered picnic areas with BBQ pits perfect for special gatherings and bonding moments.

Up Your Game at Tierra Del Sol Golf Club

Experience golfing in the Rio Grande Valley by booking a tee time at Tierra Del Sol Golf Club, off East Hall Acres.

Thanks to the warm sub-tropical climate of the valley, it’s one of the few areas in the country where golfers can play throughout the entire year.

Whether you’re a novice or a professional player, Tierra Del Sol Golf Club welcomes you to play on its 18-hole course.

There’s also an on-site driving range equipped with facilities so you can practice your swings and shots.

Find relaxation in playing a round at Tierra Del Sol Golf Club while taking in the refreshing vistas this place offers.

Have Your Fill of Food and Games at Peter Piper Pizza

Peter Piper Pizza has served family fun and delectable food for more than 45 years in various locations in the United States.

Its story began in 1973, when war veteran Anthony “Tony” Cavolo opened a neighborhood pizzeria in Glendale, Arizona.

It was in 1982 when Peter Piper Pizza reached Texas with the opening of the El Paso branch.

Nowadays, there are more than 40 restaurants across the state, and one can be found in Pharr.

Fill your stomach with its handcrafted pizza that goes well with chicken wings and refreshing salad, or try the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet of Peter Piper Pizza!

Have a blast with family and friends in the game room with more than 25 games, ranging from the classics to the latest video games.

Peter Piper Pizza is located on South Cage Boulevard, just minutes away from Tierra Del Sol Golf Club and Pharr Aquatic Center.

Grab a Bite of Texas Barbecue at Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q

A trip to Texas is incomplete without tasting its celebrated seasoned smoked meats.

In Pharr, you can savor Texas barbeque in a cafeteria-style setting at Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q along West Nolana!

The first operation of Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q dates back to 1989, and through the years, it has expanded across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, and Colorado.

Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and group meals, you may order here brisket, sausage, pork ribs, chicken, and turkey breast.

Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q also has sandwiches, breakfast tacos, various sides, and desserts on its menu.

Other Things to Do Nearby

The city of Pharr serves as the entry point to many tourist destinations in Rio Grande Valley.

Here are some of the things you can do nearby, which are just a short drive from Pharr:

Have a Tour of Quinta Mazatlan

An owl at Quinta Mazatlan

Northern Exposure by JR /

Nestled in the heart of McAllen is a 1930s country estate and urban oasis offering art, history, and outdoor recreation.

Quinta Mazatlan is a historical marker and World Birding Center along Sunset Drive, nearly five miles away from Pharr Aquatic Center.

Explore the adobe mansion surrounded by tropical gardens and native woodland.

A bird at Quinta Mazatlan

Bettina Arrigoni, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the native plants and animals of the Rio Grande Valley as you follow the trails that twist through more than 15 acres of birding habitat.

Spot a variety of birds that reside, visit Quinta Mazatlan, and soak up the scenic views this place presents.

Learn Something New at International Museum of Art & Science

The International Museum of Art & Science is another of McAllen’s famous spot that encompasses more than 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and public access areas.

Engage in hands-on science activities and inspire your creativity and innovation as you tour this premier art and science museum.

Its permanent collection includes thousands of natural history and geology specimens, folk art, textile objects, and fine artworks displayed in various exhibitions.

“Science On a Sphere” is one of the several attractions at the International Museum of Art & Science, which introduces you to the wonders of the universe and more through interactive presentations.

Exciting activities also await visitors inside “Discovery Pavilion,” and there’s a garden where you can marvel at sculptures.

International Museum of Art & Science is located along West Nolana Avenue, around five miles from Main Event Pharr.

Visit Town Lake at Firemen’s Park for an Aquatic Adventure

Situated on North 1st Street in McAllen, Town Lake at Firemen’s Park presents several recreational activities with its three-acre lake, paved trail, and picnic areas.

Take pleasure in catch-and-release fishing on the beautiful lake, where you may reel in some bass, catfish, bluegill, or tilapia.

Fishing pole rental and bait purchase are available on-site.

Explore the waters by renting a boat or kayak at Town Lake at Firemen’s Park.

Munch your favorite snacks and drinks at the picnic areas, and have a restful day.

Town Lake at Firemen’s Park is approximately two miles from Main Event Pharr.

Bask in Picturesque Views at Gelman Stained Glass Museum

Gelman Stained Glass Museum is a one-of-a-kind attraction along Virgen de San Juan Boulevard in the city of San Juan.

It houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of stained-glass windows in the United States, as well as relics that make up the sacred atmosphere of the museum.

Dr. Lawrence Gelman, a collector of stained glass for decades, opened the museum, which showcases more than a hundred church windows.

Most of these works of outstanding craftsmanship came from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Marvel at these magnificent artworks and reflect on the stories these present inside Gelman Stained Glass Museum.

Bring your pad and pencils to sketch the captivating windows, or take photos to remember your visit to this serene and majestic space.

There are also events like concerts and educational activities to look forward to at Gelman Stained Glass Museum, which is around two to three miles from Pharr Aquatic Center.

Final Thoughts

Stop by Pharr the next time you visit Hidalgo County, Texas, and treat yourself to a pleasant vacation in its charming parks, water destinations, indoor attractions, and great restaurants.

Enjoy some outdoor recreation in sites like Pharr/Vanguard Academy Nature & Birding Center for nature viewing, Pharr Aquatic Center and Aqua Planet Waterpark for endless aquatic fun, and Tierra Del Sol Golf Club for tee times.

For entertainment and thrill seekers, you can visit Cinemark Pharr Town Center and XD and Main Event Pharr.

On top of these attractions are the popular sites to visit in nearby cities like McAllen and San Juan.

See for yourself these best things to do in Pharr, Texas, and bookmark this page to help you plan your itinerary for your next trip!

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