Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Garland, TX

  • Published 2022/12/07

The city of Garland will feel like heaven for nature lovers and families.

The first community in Garland was developed in 1874.

However, it was only incorporated as a city in 1891, consisting of the towns of Embree, Duck Creek, and Garland.

Located in Dallas County, Garland spans 29,000 acres.

The city boasts six recreation centers, aside from numerous parks and cultural attractions, which makes it a great place to bond with family.

Moreover, you don’t need to spend a cent to experience and enjoy Garland.

Here are the free things to do in Garland, Texas.

Explore the Landmark Museum at Heritage Crossing

Exterior of the Landmark Museum

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

Take advantage of the free admission to the Landmark Museum at Heritage Crossing.

This museum is dedicated to telling the history of Garland through different exhibits, such as Garland Railroad, Bankhead Highway, Garland Tributes, and Garland Hat Heritage.

Landmark Museum at Heritage Crossing also offers students private group tours and field trips.

Facade of the Landmark Museum

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

You can also join walking tours around the city to learn more about Garland’s history, making this museum a must-visit.

Explore the many beautiful aspects of Garland at the Landmark Museum.

Railcar at Landmark Museum

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

Follow the Breathtaking Nature Trails at Audubon Park

Named after John James Audubon, an American ornithologist, and naturalist, Audubon Park is one of the ideal places for hiking.

The park boasts 1.6 miles of paved trail, perfect for those who love biking and hiking, which links to the Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail.

The 223-acre park is conveniently located near I-635 and is perfect for a family outing.

It has a playground with slides, swing sets, and climbing structures, which will delight your kids.

Disc golf is also available in the park, where you could play with your friends for a friendly competition.

You can also watch practice games or tournaments in soccer and softball.

There are also picnic shelters at Audubon Park where you can have a family get-together or enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your loved ones.

Spend the Day at Winters Park

Located in the northern part of Garland, Winters Park is a perfect venue for those who love sports.

This 125.7-acre park is the perfect setting to host an event because it has many excellent softball and soccer facilities.

Besides being a sports paradise, Winters Park is the ideal location to take the family for a pleasant afternoon of relaxation.

The park also has a modern play area for children to enjoy themselves and bond with their friends.

You can enjoy the gorgeous views on the nearby Spring Creek Trail while you bike or walk.

Winters Park should be the next stop on your tour of Garland parks because it offers everything you could want in a park.

Take a Tour of the Resistol Hat Plant

If you want to know about the history of hats and how they are made, you must visit the Resistol Hat Plant.

Resistol hats are named after their resiliency, as they can stand any weather.

This factory opened in Garland in 1938, while the company Resistol was established in Texas in the late 1920s.

The Resistol Hat Plant produces two kinds, one made of straw and another of fur felt; however, both hats undergo almost the same production process.

If you take the tour, you’ll also be introduced to the “dead hat molder ” and the engineering building.

Today, the Resistol Hat Plant offers other products and other types of hats for men and women, but their main product is still the Resistol cowboy hats.

So, visit this fascinating factory in Garland.

Walk or Run on the Paved Trails at Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail

As a family-friend trail, the Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail offers paved trails for walking or running and natural habitat along the creek itself.

The Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail covers a 5.7-mile-long, eight- to 12-foot-wide paved trail.

Likewise, the trailhead features places to park, water fountains, and benches.

This natural habitat is home to various animals, such as frogs, birds, snakes, and other native species, so walking or running here will give you a fantastic experience.

The Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail also connects three parks: Ablon, Gatewood, and Cody.

It’s perfect for outdoor activities with your family.

Visit this fantastic trail when you’re in Garland and fall in love with nature.

Whether you want to enjoy nature or get some exercise, there’s something here for everyone!

Tour the Historic Property Sites on Bankhead Highway

To experience more of Garland’s rich history, explore Bankhead Highway.

This historic road is named after John H. Bankhead, a senator from Alabama who spearheaded the building of the road in 1916.

As one of the first transcontinental highways, the historic Bankhead Highway is also the home of unique properties, such as the 1910 Pullman Coach and the Tinsley-Lyles House.

You can also visit the Garland Landmark Museum for more information on the area and its fascinating history.

Other buildings on the Highway are the Gas Station at Highwater, Oriental Hotel at Pecos, and Bus Station at Abilene.

If you want to experience some of Garland’s heritage, visit Bankhead Highway today!

Have a Blast with Your Family at the Windsurf Bay Park

Located on Locust Grove Road, Windsurf Bay Park is the perfect place for families to have a good time.

The park features pavilions for picnics, grills, and playground structures to fill your day with outdoor fun.

There’s also a trail at the park that winds around scenic Lake Ray Hubbard and leads to the beach, making it ideal for enjoying the sun or taking a relaxing stroll.

You can also try windsurfing in this park due to the high winds generated by the lake.

There are also plenty of open spaces and hidden places to discover, making it feel like a true adventure.

There’s also a sand volleyball basketball court in Windsurf Bay Park so you can play with your relatives, friends, or family.

If you’re looking for fun in the sun, visit Windsurf Bay Park today!

Wander Historic Downtown Garland

Road of the Historic Downtown District of Garland

Randy Colborn, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll feel like you’re in another country when you wander the peaceful roads of the Historic Downtown District of Garland.

Visit quaint clothes and vintage stores while basking in the gentler pace of Garland’s small-town life.

The Downtown District of Garland is also home to various public art installations, such as painted drawings in different areas.

You can even win a prize when the Downtown management launches campaigns.

For instance, find the seven flamingos in the drawings across the Downtown District of Garland.

To win the special free prize, you must take photos of your proof and claim your prize at the Garland Office.

If you’re in the area during Halloween, you can join the free Day of the Dead celebration in the Downtown District.

Stop by the Downtown District of Garland when you’re in town.

Admire the Stunning Scenery at the Rowlett Creek Preserve

If you like mountain biking, you shouldn’t miss Rowlett Creek Preserve in Garland.

Bask in the sunshine as you ride along the winding trails and admire the stunning views of the surrounding area.

The Rowlett Creek Preserve is on Centerville Road and has 14 interconnected wooded trail loops.

Hikers and cross-country runners are also welcome on the trail, which is why you must exercise caution, especially if you are riding on the trails.

Whether you want to do some serious biking or stroll through nature, visit Rowlett Creek Preserve for the perfect outdoor experience.

Learn to Skate at the Boneyard Skatepark

Located on West Miller Road, the Boneyard Skatepark offers exciting skating fun.

The skatepark features a wide range of ramps and rails carefully designed to provide the perfect flow for skaters of all ages, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pro.

Plenty of tools are available at the park to improve your skills and skating.

Boneyard Skatepark covers 46,000 square feet, which makes it the second-largest skating park in Texas.

You won’t find a large, challenging skate bowl but a vast flow basin four to seven feet deep.

You can skate on unlimited trips with numerous pump bumps and meld zones distributed throughout the bowl.

If you tire of skating, you can always rest on the park’s benches while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Join the Holiday Fun at Garland Christmas

Every year, the city of Garland transforms into a picturesque holiday haven during the Garland Christmas celebration.

This magnificent event is held annually on December 1, when they light the Christmas Tree at Garland Town Square.

There are also numerous activities that you can enjoy during this event.

For example, you can take free pictures with Santa, craft making, and other Christmas activities for the kids.

A Garland Christmas starts at 5:30 p.m. and continues throughout the holiday season.

Other attractions include Christmas Lighting, a Brass Band Performance, and Christmas Carolers.

Children will enjoy Snow Hill and Holiday Inflatables, too.

If you want a fun holiday celebration, join the festivities at the Garland Christmas.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Hill Park at Indian Lake

The 4.8-acre Hill Park at Indian Lake promises endless fun and excitement for the whole family.

Delight in the pond’s relaxing scenery and marvel at the lush greenery surrounding you while you walk around the park grounds.

Kids will love playing in the open spaces and playing a game of it or tag.

The mood created by the pond makes this the ideal location for a picnic, a spot to go fishing, or to relax and take in the night sky.

Hill Park at Indian Lake is the perfect place to enjoy nature’s serenity and bond with your loved ones.

Spend an Unforgettable Day at Spring Creek Greenbelt – Fred E. Harris Section

For an unforgettable experience, visit the Spring Creek Greenbelt – Harris Section and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Spanning around .4 miles, this lush green trail is a favorite among residents and visitors for that quick morning or afternoon walk.

Here, you can unwind along the trails and take in the calming sounds of nature.

The trail is also famous for picnics and fishing, so bring your lunch and family to enjoy the day amid nature.

You can also bring your kids and their friends so that you can watch them play on the playground or play a game of softball.

Bring Your Dog to Garland Dog Park

Are you looking for a fun and exciting place to bring your dog?

Head to the Garland Dog Park.

This dog park is one of the best in the region, with over three acres of fenced area for your pet to roam around and play.

Garland Dog Park has three separate areas for small, large, and one for rotation, so you can bring along your pets of all sizes.

Watch your dog run free, play with other dogs, or socialize with fellow dog owners.

Other amenities include drinking fountains and pavilions to enjoy a picnic with your pet.

What are you waiting for?

Bring your dog to the Garland Dog Park today, and have an unforgettable time bonding with your furry friend!

See the Fireworks Display on the Fourth of July

Beautiful fireworks during the Fourth of July Celebration at Garland

Rajesh Jyothiswaran /

Each year, Garland celebrates Independence Day with a huge fireworks show.

The event is free, so it’s the perfect way to celebrate this historic day with friends and family.

The fireworks display is set off from the general Downtown area, such as the Firewheel Town Center.

Live performances and food trucks also accompany the event.

With fun activities and fantastic firework shows, such as the family-friendly Star-Spangled Spectacular event, this city knows how to celebrate in style.

The Fourth of July Fireworks Display usually starts at 9:00 p.m. and lasts for around 20 minutes.

Don’t miss out on all the excitement, and visit Garland on the Fourth of July!

Final Thoughts

With these tips and suggestions, you will have a fantastic time in Garland!

Whether you want to try fun outdoor activities or explore a rich history, this city has everything you need.

Don’t wait any longer!

Start planning your trip today and try all the free things to do in Garland, Texas!

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