Part of Collin County, Allen has a large population, making it a haven for city attractions.
Many of the most popular attractions in Allen are free to visit, which makes this one of the best places near Dallas.
They have many commercial districts, creek trails, and city parks that add variety to your trip.
To get you started, here’s a list of the free things to do in Allen, Texas:
Visit the Allen Depot Museum
Allen Depot Museum offers more history at no cost.
While only a small museum, Allen Depot Museum makes up for it through its exhibits, spearheaded by a vintage locomotive called “The Ebenezer.”
This train, situated right along a neighborhood that makes it seem operational, makes for a fantastic photo souvenir during your stay in Allen.
Besides Ebenezer, Allen Depot Museum also hosts various documents and photos that tell the city's history.
A visit to this center is well worth it, as you won’t need more than an hour to appreciate its significance.
You can find the museum conveniently along East Main Street in the city’s downtown area.
Have a Picnic at Allen Station Park
One of the best parks in Allen is Allen Station Park, located along North Cedar Drive, close to the city’s Central Expressway.
There are a lot of activities to do here, as the place is a congregation of several other landmark attractions that deserve their mention.
However, Allen Station Park can be purely enjoyed for its scenic beauty, as Cottonwood Creek—famous among locals—runs across this large park.
As a large area where you can stroll around or do picnics, the picturesque greenery of Allen Station Park makes it one of the best places for families.
If you want to fill a hole in your afternoon, visit Allen Station Park for relaxation and tranquility.
Do Tricks at the Edge Skate Park
Allen Station Park has several other landmark attractions, such as the Eagle Stadium, Hydrous Wake Park, and an aquatic center.
All of these attractions will require a fee, but one more is free to use: The Edge Skate Park.
This place is one of the best skateparks in Dallas’ suburbs.
The Edge Skate Park offers several ramps and rails for skaters of all levels.
Even if you’re not into skating, the Edge Skate Park has a lot more in store, particularly a BMX track and street hockey courts which is a hit among the locals.
The Edge Skate Park also has a lively ambiance, often with music and concession stands, making this one of the most fun areas in Allen.
See the Historical Homes at Allen Heritage Village
Just across the area of Allen Station Park lies Allen Heritage Village, along St. Mary Drive.
Allen Heritage Village is an excellent addition during your visit to the city, as this is its historical area where you can learn about the rich past of Allen.
Best of all, it’s free, with passionate volunteers running it.
You can see many glimpses of the past as you explore this area, which also acts as an outdoor museum.
Dating as far back as the mid-1800s, the village is home to several old houses, some of which still have vintage 19th Century farming equipment.
Pay Allen Heritage Village a visit for its historic beauty.
See the Wildlife at Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve
Allen isn’t only known for its urban culture, as it’s also packed with several natural attractions like the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve.
This nature preserve is one of the best places to trek and photograph wildlife or observe along the way.
Spanning 72 acres, it’s a fantastic place if you’re looking for a quick way to enjoy the wildlife and nature of a Texas suburb.
Beautiful wetlands here make it a popular place for birds, reptiles, and all sorts of rich flora.
Located along Alma Drive, you won’t have to venture away from the city to go to Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve.
Go Trekking at the Trail at the Woods
Because Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve isn’t vast, you can continue your trek with another nearby nature attraction: The Trail at the Woods.
Just a few blocks southwest of the preserve, the Trail at the Woods features expansive walking trails that require no entrance fee for you to enjoy.
There’s more human activity in this area compared to Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve, as there are some paved walking trails and information boards.
This makes the place famous for large families as it’s easy to explore.
Full of lush woodlands and local flora, don’t miss out on the Trail at the Woods during your visit.
Check Out Celebration Park
Perhaps the most popular place in the entirety of Allen is Celebration Park, a recreational space that stays true to its name.
As one of the biggest public areas in Allen, Celebration Park is home to all sorts of free amenities like soccer fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, and a splash pad.
This makes it a go-to place for public events, so stay on the lookout during your visit dates for fun occasions.
Celebration Park also has a duck pond, picnic areas, and walking trails, allowing you to enjoy its serenity during an early morning visit.
As a symbol of Allen’s local community, Celebration Park can be found along Angel Parkway.
Ride a Bike along Cottonwood Creek Trail
You can enjoy Cottonwood Creek in many ways, but if you want a more rustic experience, try the Cottonwood Creek Trail.
The trail offers two trailheads, north and south.
If you want to follow its entire length, the northern section of Cottonwood Creek Trail begins along Starcreek Parkway, just beside its namesake playground.
The unspoiled environment is best experienced by bringing your bike, as the trail is quite long, spanning around 7.5 miles that reach into several neighborhoods.
Of course, this attraction's best feature is Cottonwood Creek, which includes some exciting rock formations along its bank.
When you get to the southern section of Cottonwood Creek Trail along Cabela Drive, you’ll already be close to Allen Station Park.
Take Photos of the Historic Allen Old Stone Dam
Located within the southern section of Cottonwood Creek Trail, Allen Old Stone Dam is your reward for trekking along the creek trail.
The Allen Old Stone Dam is a haven for history buffs and those looking for a quirky stop during their trip.
The place is full of historical information boards and vintage aesthetics that immerse you in the history of this water station built in 1874.
The centerpiece of Allen Old Stone Dam is its bridge suspended over a stone spillway, along with a railroad track that’s been weathered over time.
As one of the coolest places to explore in the city, Allen Old Stone Dam is a must for the curious adventurer.
Take the Kids to Watters Creek Village
Teeming with all sorts of restaurants and retail stores, Watters Creek Village is the premiere shopping center of Allen.
While its shops and restaurants headline its popularity, Watters Creek Village doubles as a park, offering one of the best play areas for young children.
They have large open spaces here with several exciting play statues and a picturesque garden, making it one of the best places to spend time with your family.
The gardens also have large, decorative ponds that become even prettier with the lights at night.
If you’re lucky, Watters Creek Village also has live music performances from time to time in their green spaces to complete the family fun.
You can find Watters Creek Village along Garden Park Drive.
See Local Art at Blue House Too
Within Watters Creek Village lies an underrated spot that’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts: Blue House Too.
As a non-profit art gallery dedicated to the artists of Allen, Blue House Too offers year-round exhibits from various local artists that are open and free to the public.
There’s always an exciting exhibit or event at Blue House Too, one of Allen's most famous art galleries.
If you’re lucky, a free event might happen here during your visit, so look out for announcements on their social media pages.
Blue House Too is a haven for art discovery; you can find them on floor 1, right along Village Green Drive.
Go Fishing at Bethany Lakes Park
Bethany Lakes Park is one of the biggest outdoor areas in Allen, home to four fishing ponds.
Home to lots of local fish like trout, Bethany Lakes Park is a popular place for all sorts of anglers, including families who want to immerse their children in the hobby.
Even if you’re not into fishing, the park has many other fun activities, such as wildlife observation; it’s home to birds like geese and herons.
Bethany Lakes Park is also famous for picnics and walking, full of picnic grounds and nature trails that won’t cost you a single penny.
You can find this beautiful park along East Bethany Drive.
Bring Your Dog to Bolin Park
Bolin Park is located along Twin Creeks Drive.
It is one of the more underrated city parks in Allen.
While parks like Allen Station and Celebration Park are often busy, Bolin Park is less crowded, making this one of the best places to have a soothing stroll.
Best of all, it allows you to walk with your dog, giving your pet a fantastic place to exercise without too much disturbance.
Tranquility isn’t the only thing Bolin Park is known for, as it offers one of the most pristine waters in Allen.
These waters are from Rowlett Creek, one of the major creeks found in the city.
Explore Dayspring Nature Preserve
Another nature preserve in Allen is the Dayspring Nature Preserve.
This is an excellent addition to your itinerary because of Watters Creek, another substantial body of water flowing through Allen.
Because of Watters Creek, Dayspring Nature Preserve is also home to various wildlife and abundant trees, flowers, and shrubbery.
It’s one of the more well-maintained nature preserves, boasting paved trails that make it an excellent place for biking with friends or family.
Dayspring Nature Preserve is a small but serene hidden gem in Allen.
You can visit this beautiful area along Rainforest Lane.
Other Things to Do Nearby
See Lavon Lake
When visiting Allen, you might want to stop by Lavon Lake, as it’s only 26 minutes away from the city by car.
Lavon Lake is a freshwater reservoir in Texas, located in the eastern portion of Collin County.
It’s home to various water sports activities, but simply seeing this huge lake for free is an experience.
There are several ways to see Lavon Lake.
One of the best ways to explore the lake is by driving along East Lucas Road, which follows the lake.
If you want to experience Lavon Lake firsthand, there are many public parks for free along the shores of Princeton and Lucas, the neighboring cities of Allen to the east.
Sprawling with city parks and various creeks that add a scenic touch to it, Allen has all sorts of things you can add to your Texas itinerary.
The exciting part is that most of the best attractions in the city are free, giving you many options for your travel.
Check out the free things to do in Allen, Texas!