Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Terrell, TX

  • Published 2022/04/14

If you are planning a trip to Terrell, expect your visit to be an interesting, historically-rich, and fun-filled one.

Located in Kaufman County in Texas, Terrell lies east of Dallas, about 25 miles (40.23 km) away on the Interstate and U.S. Highway.

This town owes its birth to the development of the famous Texas and Pacific Railway line that came up in the late 19th century.

Today, this railroad town has emerged into a thriving commercial center that offers a superior quality of life to its citizens.

Strong ethics define the residents of Terrel, some of whom have lived here for many generations.

Terrell’s rich culture and heritage are embodied in the several museums and other historical buildings that dot the town.

But Terrell is also interspersed with numerous fun and adventurous spots, some of which can give you spooky, out-of-the-world experiences.

If you’re interested to know more about the best things to do in Terrell, Texas, read on!

Walk Down the Historic Downtown for a Snapshot of Old Terrell

Buildings along Terrell Historic Downtown

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Officially called Main Street City, this district is reminiscent of a bygone era.

The charming vintage street lights, the renovated historical buildings, and the beautifully designed sidewalks line the roads of this historic downtown.

You have plenty of things to do here.

You can drop in at the 125 Iris Theater, where you can find both out-of-print books and also the next bestseller.

Also, at the theater, you may browse through a sophisticated boutique selling clothes for women.

The road of Terrell Historic Downtown

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Furthermore, you can enjoy old movies twice a month or even watch plays by the Vagabond Players.

As you make your way through the streets, you can experience a lively collection of artworks in the form of murals decorating the buildings’ walls.

Ranging from vintage movie posters to fire engines to the Texas flag, these paintings give a peek into Terrell’s rich cultural heritage.

But once you get tired of walking down for too long, you can drop by a restaurant to freshen up and grab a bite.

Experience the Enigma of WWII at the NO.1 British Flying Training School Museum

If you are a history buff, a keen aviation enthusiast, or a war veteran, this museum on Silent Wings Blvd. is a must-visit for you.

Steeped in the history of WWII, this museum houses many hands-on exhibits.

The museum is a celebration of the cooperation between the United States and Great Britain.

This is because, during WWII, the United States allowed thousands of British soldiers to receive training at six civilian training schools across America.

The flying institute at Terrell was the largest, where more than a thousand British and American soldiers learned how to fly.

This museum houses an extensive piece of this little-known history in the form of an archive.

You can learn more about the NO. 1 British Flying Training Schools from the archive.

The other historical items at the museum, like the logbooks, uniforms, memorabilia, and training materials, give valuable insights into this chapter of WWII.

Additionally, the museum explores interesting stories behind the artifacts.

Go through these stories to know more about the background of the cadets, their training, and what happened to them after they left Terrell.

Soak in the Old World Charm at the R.A. Terrell Home

Once in Terrell, you can’t afford to miss coming to this place.

Located on the campus of Southwestern Christain College, this is one of the three houses built between the 1860s and 1870s that are still in existence.

The house belonged to Robert Adams Terrell, a farmer and surveyor who came to the Republic of Texas in 1840.

The house is octagonal and will leave you awestruck with its design and beauty.

It was built by an ace carpenter named M. Goodfellow from Canada.

The house was originally built to face south, but when the campus gave way to Texas Military College, the house was redesigned to face west.

This gorgeous house has many firsts to its credit, like the glass windows, for example.

They were the first in the county.

So do make it a point to visit this serene location to get a taste of Texas’s old-world charm.

Explore the Griffith Homeplace Museum

If you want to spend some quality time indoors, include this museum in your itinerary.

Originally, Griffith Homeplace Museum was a house owned by a family which has been turned into a museum.

The museum now contains memorabilia and artifacts of the family who lived here for generations.

There are many things you can do at the museum.

One of them is listening to history lessons offered by David-Griffith Cox as he narrates the background of the house.

Located conveniently from the historic downtown and other historical places of attraction, the museum offers a guided ghost tour that will take your breath away.

Enjoy Some Spooky Adventure with the Terrell Ghost Walk

Are you in the mood for some spooky fun? Then don’t forget to take the Terrel Ghost Walk.

You can undertake this one and a half hours long tour under the guidance of an expert.

This guide will be a person with in-depth knowledge about the length and breadth of the city, its haunted places, and everything paranormal.

You can carry your camera during this tour as it might give you a chance to capture something unusual.

You will have a chance to explore the Brin Opera House and Building on this tour.

Located on the E.Moore Street, this building is home to many business offices.

But this building is known both for its historic significance and haunted vibe.

You can hear stories about supernatural encounters around Terrell from business officials, clergy members, and also city officials.

Brace for the Haunted Attractions at Thrillvania Haunted House Park

Located on Wilson Road in Terrell, this haunted house park is one of its kind.

Sprawled across 50 acres, this haunted theme park based on urban legends will give you a unique and immersive experience.

The park was created in 1996 by Lance Pope.

It is one of the first haunted theme parks to use special film effects for added impact.

Pope, who bought an attraction called Cannon Manor from Disney Imagineers, rechristened it Verdun Manor after he moved it to Terrell.

Verdun Manor forms the foundation of the Thrillvania Haunted House Park, which has three major sights.

Aside from Verdun Manor, the two other attractions are Sam Hain’s Trail of Torment and Cassandra’s House of Clowns.

While Verdun Manor has all the elements of a chilling thriller, Sam Hain’s Trail of Torment will give you an equally hair-raising experience, consisting of a walk through a village.

Cassandra’s House of Clowns, on the other hand, is terrifying, with grotesque elements displayed across the house.

So before you decide to visit this international horror theme park, remember it is not for the faint-hearted.

Get Lost in History at the Terrell Heritage Museum

Exterior of Terrell Heritage Museum

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This museum is located in the Carnegie Library Building on North Frances Street.

This building came up in 1940 that served as a library for the residents of Terrell till the 80s.

It is a historical landmark that is now home to vintage photos, paintings, and other artifacts that reflect Terrell’s past.

Not only does the museum collect these artifacts and memorabilia, but it also catalogs and preserves them.

As you step into this historically vibrant and architecturally rich building, you will be transported back in time.

Some artifacts that will immediately catch your attention include a pipe organ from 1912, which has been restored to its past glory.

As you keep walking through the building, you will come across a Torah cupboard.

Some other fascinating artifacts you can browse are collections from the NO.1 British Flying Training School, the Midland Railroad, etc.

You can also get valuable insights into early farming in this region from the exhibits.

Other artifacts include the most recent in modern household appliances from a throwback era.

If you love dolls, be ready to be blown away by a unique collection.

The museum is also home to the Terrell Heritage Society’s archives, comprising numerous photographs and documents.

Explore Natural Beauty at The Scuba Ranch

This family-owned ranch is located on the Country Road in Terrell, Texas.

This is a 22-acre freshwater lake that is home to one of the most fascinating natural habitats.

They have a scuba diving facility.

Through this, you can explore the underwater wildlife that consists of turtles, jellyfish, and so on.

There are no sharks in this open dive-in facility, so you can enjoy your time in the water to your heart’s content.

However, if you wish to dive into the deepest part of the water, there is rental equipment available to help you do that.

The park hosts some annual events, like the Polar Bear Dive in January.

This brings both the amateurs and the seasoned divers together to negotiate the cold waters.

Summer, on the other hand, is the time for an enjoyable dive organized by the North Texas Scuba Relators Association.

It allows you to experiment with new equipment on the lake.

Unwind at the OK Corral Ranch and Arena

Located on Moore Avenue and spread across 50 acres of land, this ranch is a favorite hunting ground for horse lovers.

Earlier, known as Mystic Acres, it hosts numerous horse events under a covered area.

At the ranch, you can do things like taking lessons in horse riding or watching events at the arena.

The vastness of the place has a calming effect on the eyes that helps you relax.

The open sky and the sprawling land below also help create memories for a lifetime.

Take a Tour of the Gentle Zoo

Gentle Zoo is a children’s zoo located in Forney, Texas.

So if you have kids in the city, stop by this place!

It is a place that allows you to pet animals, including llamas, cockatoos, peacocks, and others.

Additionally, the zoo also has a playground, picnic area, and indoor party room to keep you and your children entertained.

The zoo offers seasonal events like Pumpkin Patch and Holiday Magic.

Head for a Shopping Spree at the Shops in Terrell

If you are a shopaholic, you must visit the exciting chain of upscale shops located in a 175,000-square-foot outlet mall.

This shopping center boasts top-notch brands like Gap, Rue21, etc.

Apart from indulging in some much-needed retail therapy, you can watch a movie at the theater located inside the mall.

With a plethora of fine dining restaurants, this outlet mall is also a great place to give yourself some gastronomic delight.

Practice Some Bowling at the Terrell Bowling Center

There is a place for bowling lovers, too, here in Terrell.

Located on Moore Avenue, the Terrell Bowling Center lets your bowling aspirations come to fruition.

It has 16 lanes and hosts multiple events like Special Olympics and tournaments.

So once you are exhausted from playing successive matches, you can also unwind at the snack bar located here.

The center offers party facilities.

It has an arcade, too, where you can have fun.

Pour into Books at the Riter C. Hulsey Public Library

If you are craving books, then do make your way to the Hulsey Public Library on North Rockwell, Terrell.

It is a wonderful place for kids, too.

This beautiful library boasts an eclectic collection of printed books, audiobooks, E-books, etc.

They host a series of events for both adults and children all around the year.

Plus, they also provide different online services.

Catch a Live Show at the Terrell ISD Jamie Foxx Performing Arts Center

Located on Poetry Road, Terrell ISD Jamie Foxx Performing Arts Center is one of the best places for performing arts in Terrell.

The facility hosts both school and rental events throughout the year.

Furthermore, it also organizes concerts by artists from across the world.

So, if you are lucky enough, you can catch a live show at the center.

You can also have a look around this spacious building, which is fully equipped with all facilities.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Train Your Guns at the Poetry Shooting Club

Want to have a go at shooting?

If so, then go to the Poetry Shooting Club.

At this family-styled club, you can practice shooting from a range of 700-yard.

It is a fun place for family gatherings and outings where you can shoot clay pigeons.

Poetry Shooting Club also offers lessons to young shooters.

Licensed by the State of Texas, the Poetry Shooting Club is a “Private Bird Hunting Area,” “Quail Hunting Preserve,” and “Game Bird Breeder.”

Final Thoughts

So is there anything stopping you now?

Plan your travel itinerary and hit the road.

Terrell is waiting to welcome you with open arms.

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