Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Carrollton, TX

  • Published 2023/01/19

Carrollton is a city in Denton County, Texas, in the middle of Dallas, Denton, and Collin counties.

As with any Texas destination, Carrollton offers a mix of Western culture, outdoor activities, and a range of attractions for the whole family.

Carrollton may not have the same appeal as nearby cities like Dallas and Fort Worth, but there is plenty to discover for those looking for free activities.

Whether you want to check out its historic downtown area, discover the local food scene or spend time in the great outdoors, Carrollton offers a rich combination of free activities for your next trip.

Here is a list of the free things to do in Carrollton, Texas:

Visit the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

Exterior of the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

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

A.W. Perry Homestead Museum is an old Victorian-style house that dates back to the 19th century.

Located at 1509 Perry Road, this historic home is now a museum open for free public tours on selected days of the week.

Step into the past at A.W. Perry Homestead Museum and experience a captivating glimpse into life in north central Texas during the early 1900s!

The museum is named after A.W. Perry, who, along with his wife Sarah Huffman-Perry, was a pioneer homesteader and original property owner.

The homestead underwent several renovations, including one in 1909, which influenced the appearance of the present-day house.

The grounds of A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

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

Despite all the changes, the foundation stones of the first Perry house still lie beneath the museum.

It was officially designated as a historic landmark in 1977.

The tour will take you through the main house and then to the other historical buildings in the homestead.

Explore Historic Downtown Carrollton

The Historic Downtown Carrollton area is already filled with many free activities for the whole family.

Located in the city’s heart, this district boasts a unique mix of vibrant culture, shops, and restaurants.

You can easily spend an entire day exploring the area, from historic buildings to public art installations.

Many services are also available here, from chiropractic clinics to printing and many more.

Stroll through the area’s one-of-a-kind shops, check out its art galleries, or sample the local cuisine at one of its many eateries.

Remember that Historic Downtown Carrollton is like a double-edged sword.

It’s free, but it can be hard to tear yourself away without spending money on some of its unique offerings.

However, if you’ve decided not to spend anything, you can take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant part of the city.

Spend Time at Clifford E ‘Bill’ Hall Park

Clifford E ‘Bill’ Hall Park is one of Carrollton’s many public parks that boasts complimentary amenities and facilities.

Located at 2200-2204 Crater Lake Court, the park is named after Clifford E. Hall, a former Carrollton civic leader.

The park is more than just a memorial landmark as it boasts plenty of outdoor amenities you and the entire family will enjoy.

Clifford E ‘Bill’ Hall Park features a rubberized playground, plenty of benches, a picnic area, gazebos, and a pavilion.

Each of these amenities is well-maintained and free for the public.

There’s also an abundance of pretty flowers and well-manicured greenery in the park.

Clifford E ‘Bill’ Hall Park is an excellent spot in Carrollton for an enjoyable outdoor day.

Explore the Trails at Nob Hill Greenbelt

Nob Hill Greenbelt is a park in Carrollton known for its trails and pathways.

Located at 1600-1602 Crooked Creek Drive, this park features an eight-mile out-and-back easy trail that takes an average of two hours and 19 minutes to complete.

Nob Hill Greenbelt is the premier go-to park for people who want to go jogging, running, hiking, or biking along the trail.

You’ll also encounter like-minded people who come to this park to exercise and enjoy nature.

Nob Hill Greenbelt is also a popular birding spot.

Bring your binoculars and field guide so you can look closely at the wide variety of birds here.

Dogs are also allowed to enter the park but must be on a leash.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful and calming spot to spend time in or a place to exercise outdoors, Nob Hill Greenbelt is the perfect destination in Carrollton.

Let the Kids Play at Mary Heads Carter Park

If your kids love running, climbing, and exploring, they’ll enjoy Mary Heads Carter Park.

At 2320 Heads Lane, Mary Heads Carter Park offers a gigantic playground with plenty of play equipment to spark your children’s imagination.

The playground is designed with younger kids in mind.

See the three-story tower with giant slides, merry-go-round swings, see-saw ramps, monkey bars, and numerous child-friendly obstacles.

For the less adventurous kids, there are also off-ground walkways lined with beautiful flora and fauna.

There’s also a Little Library filled with children’s books and a picnic area for you to enjoy a family meal.

Mary Heads Carter Park offers something for everyone in the family,

Bring your kids here for a fun-filled day out!

Take a Scenic Hike along the Green Trail

There’s nothing like taking a long and leisurely hike through nature to refuel your senses.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable outdoor activity, check out Green Trail, a short but picturesque trail in Carrollton.

Green Trail is an easy three-mile out-and-back trail in Carrollton, Texas.

It takes less than an hour to complete and is an excellent trail for running, biking, walking, and hiking with the family.

You’ll enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding countryside, stunning wildflowers, and a variety of wildlife along the way.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced hiker, Green Trail is the perfect spot for a peaceful escape into nature.

If you want to go out and experience the great outdoors, add Green Trail to your itinerary.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Elm Fork Nature Preserve

Carrollton has excellent locations to experience and enjoy the great outdoors.

One of the best spots to enjoy the outdoors in Carrollton is Elm Fork Nature Preserve.

Located at 2335 Sandy Lake Road, this preserve is filled with beauty and bounty as far as the eye can see.

The preserve features stunning landscapes, grassy meadows, and woodlands that are fantastic for bird-watching and photography.

It’s also an excellent spot for hiking.

It has a mile-long trail loop perfect for a stroll or a vigorous hike.

Elm Fork Nature Preserve is near the Trinity River, offering great fishing and kayaking opportunities.

Whatever outdoor activity you’re looking for, Elm Fork Nature Preserve is the perfect spot to take in magnificent views and enjoy the wonders of nature.

Enjoy Family Day at Ward Steenson Park

You don’t have to go to the city’s most famous parks to have a great time with family and friends.

Sometimes, even the quaintest and less crowded parks can be just as enjoyable.

Ward Steenson Park is one of those places; it is a small neighborhood park located at 2050 East Jackson Road with a little bit of everything.

The park features a standard-sized playground, a basketball court, a covered pavilion, and several picnic areas.

There’s even a short trail called the Purple Trail across from the Carrollton Amphitheater.

Ward Steenson Park is the perfect destination for a family day out, with many amenities and nearby attractions.

If you ever grow bored with Carrollton’s more popular attractions, why not visit Ward Steenson Park?

It’s as simple as parks but a surefire way to create beautiful memories with your family.

Play Disc Golf at Jimmy Porter Disc Golf Course

Ditch traditional golf for something more innovative but with the same adrenaline-inducing elements: disc golf.

A game of disc golf at the Jimmy Porter Disc Golf Course is a fun and unique way to spend your day out without spending money on golf memberships or expensive equipment.

The Jimmy Porter Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole disc golf course located at North Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas.

Established in 1993, this well-maintained course is an excellent spot for all skill levels and is often filled with people looking for outdoor fun.

The Jimmy Porter Disc Golf Course features an assortment of greenery, scenic views, and challenging obstacles making it the perfect spot for a game of disc golf.

If you want an adventure that doesn’t cost a fortune, why not head over to the Jimmy Porter Disc Golf Course?

Beat the Heat at WJ Thomas Park Splash Pad

The Texas heat can be unbearable, but Carrollton offers a great way to cool off at WJ Thomas Park Splash Pad.

Located at 1955 Perry Road, this family-friendly attraction features an interactive water playground with several spraying water features.

With its many sprinkling fountains, the WJ Thomas Park Splash Pad is the perfect spot for kids to play around and cool off.

The park also offers several benches to sit down on while the kids play.

There’s also plenty of open green space for picnics and games.

The park even hosts public events throughout the year, so watch out for those.

Play Tennis at Martha Pointer Park

If you want to play tennis in Carrollton, go to Martha Pointer Park.

This park is the perfect spot for tennis players of all skill levels.

What separates the Martha Pointer Park from other parks in Carrollton is its active tennis scene.

Both locals and visitors flock to the park to play and sharpen their skills.

The well-maintained outdoor tennis courts are free, though one of them is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You better come early if you want a court for yourself; however, you can also ask to join other players or play doubles.

Besides their popular outdoor tennis courts, Martha Pointer Park also has basketball courts, a kids’ playground, public restrooms, a walking trail, grilling stations, and picnic areas.

Play with Your Dogs at McInnish Dog Park

McInnish Dog Park is the premier destination for dog owners looking to take their furry loved ones out for outdoor fun.

Located at 1845 Legends Tr, this fenced park features a wide open field for dogs to run around.

There are separate sections for large and small dogs, so you can let your pup play with other dogs of the same size.

The park also features plenty of benches, large trees, and a shady playground.

There’s even a small lake in the park, perfect for water activities with your pup.

The park also provides dog waste bags, water fountains, and agility equipment.

If you want a fun and free outdoor activity with your pup, then McInnish Dog Park is an excellent choice.

Get Active at Josey Ranch Athletic Complex

Josey Ranch Athletic Complex is a Carrollton park with numerous sports fields.

Located at 1440 Keller Springs Road, this park is the go-to spot for locals and visitors looking to get active and play field sports.

Some activities available here include baseball, American football, and softball.

There’s also a 700-seater high-school-type football stadium that hosts numerous games and tournaments throughout the year.

Several high school football teams also play home games at the Josey Ranch Athletic Complex.

You can catch some of their games during football season while you’re in town.

If not, you can play different sports with the locals and get your competitive juices flowing.

The park also features several running tracks, fields for athletics, and plenty of open spaces perfect for outdoor activities.

Join the Festival at the Switchyard

The Festival at the Switchyard is an annual event held at the Switchyard in downtown Carrollton every November of the year.

This event features free live concerts, as well as other great activities.

There are children’s entertainment and community performances that will give you a glimpse of the vibrant culture of Carrollton.

You can also explore the many booths that line up along the street, which showcase food and merchandise from local vendors.

Besides live music and shopping, there are fun activities like inflatables for kids and adults alike to enjoy.

There are even rides and games, face painting, balloon art, a beer garden, and more.

You can get festive, participate in all the events, or save money and enjoy the free festivities.

If you come to Carrollton in November, join the Festival at the Switchyard.

Visit the Carrollton Public Library

We all have a way to relax and recharge after spending the day outdoors.

For some, it’s reading a good book.

If that’s the case for you, then visit Carrollton Public Library.

Located at 1700 Keller Springs Road near Josey Ranch Lake, this library is an excellent destination where you can take a break from exploring and enjoy some quiet time.

The library features books, magazines, newspapers, and audiovisual materials.

There’s also a great selection of children’s books for young readers.

You can even access the internet for free if you need some research.

Whatever you plan to do, don’t miss out on the free resources and amenities you can access at Carrollton Public Library.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for recreational activities or just a place to take some time off, Carrollton has something for everyone.

Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a great time in Carrollton.

Enjoy the free things to do in Carrollton, Texas!

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