Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Mesquite, TX

  • Published 2023/01/08

Mesquite is a stone’s throw away from Dallas, Texas.

This small suburban city in the eastern part of Dallas and Borden County is home to over 141,000 Texans.

Mesquite is Texas’ 22nd most populous city since it’s a suburb of the Dallas metro area.

This city might not be on many travelers’ bucket lists of destinations.

Still, Mesquite comes with various monikers, such as the “Rodeo Capital of Texas,” “Tree City USA,” and “Playful City USA” for multiple reasons.

With that in mind, Mesquite is a fascinating place to explore and find hidden gems.

Since it’s a few minutes away from Dallas, Mesquite is an ideal weekend destination for family or friends.

You can shake off stress from city life at its parks or perhaps visit historical attractions.

Also, you can join various events at Mesquite to add excitement to your visit.

You can do all these during your trip to Mesquite without spending a dime.

Here are the free things to do in Mesquite, Texas:

Cast Your Line at the City Lake Park

Daytime view of City Lake Park

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

The City Lake Park is a famous Mesquite fishing destination.

You can visit this park along Parkview Street.

Amazingly, this park has five lakes and ponds, giving you plenty of options on where you cast your line to catch some fish.

Local anglers love to spend their day at this park catching some trout and catfish, the most abundant fish in its lakes.

You can cast your line at the City Lake Park’s fishing pier.

Or perhaps, find cover under one of the trees on the lake’s shores for a more relaxing fishing experience.

Besides fishing, the lake has sports facilities for baseball and tennis for outdoor activities.

Traverse the Butterfly Trail

The Butterfly Trail starts within Paschall Park.

The trail is a popular hiking destination for locals and visitors, mainly for its gorgeous scenery and its monarch butterflies.

While hiking, you’ll come across gorgeous scenic locations filled with native plants and trees, which are home to local wildlife.

The best time to hike through the Butterfly Trail is during the peak season of the monarch butterfly migration, every April and October.

During that time, you’re guaranteed to see carpets of monarch butterflies across the entire trail, making it a magical experience.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Samuell Farm

Samuell Farm is best known for its top-notch outdoor activities.

You can visit this outdoor attraction along US-80 Frontage Road.

The place is known as an excellent birding, trail running, and hiking destination in Mesquite.

It features a four-kilometer looped trail that is pretty easy to traverse and enjoy some quieter times of the day.

This trail is open throughout the year, making it perfect for stretching your muscles and hiking with your loved ones or friends.

While hiking, you’ll spot scenic locations such as an old windmill, a farmhouse, bridges, and rolling hills featuring the local flora and fauna.

Besides the usual outdoor activities, many anglers love casting their line at Samuell Farm’s two freshwater ponds open for fishing.

Witness the Amazing Rodeo Parade

The Rodeo Parade is one of the most sought-after annual events in Mesquite.

This event has occurred in Downtown Mesquite for more than 60 years.

It’s a community-wide event that gathers locals, civic clubs, sports teams, schools, and rodeos.

The parade features not just rodeos but colorful floats, bands, horses, and other exciting attractions.

The parade route starts at the Belt Line and to Galloway Avenue.

The entire parade route is usually packed with locals and visitors who want to witness the festive event.

After the Rodeo Parade, expect plenty of festivities such as musical concerts, games, rodeo competitions, and more.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Since Texas borders Mexico, it’s a no-brainer that it has a substantial Hispanic population in most cities and towns.

Mesquite alone is home to more than 60,000 locals with Hispanic roots.

That’s why this city’s Cinco de Mayo celebration is a big deal.

When visiting Mesquite every May, you will see its downtown area preparing a grand celebration for this annual tradition.

The City of Mesquite partnered with the Hispanic Forum of Mesquite and other Hispanic-oriented groups to stage the Cinco de Mayo in the city.

During the celebration, expect a festive environment with plenty of Authentic Mexican dishes, a Jalapeño-eating contest, Mariachi bands, concerts, Folklórico dancers, and other activities, making it a fun-filled event to celebrate.

Explore the Mesquite Heritage Trail

View of the paved Mesquite Heritage Trail

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

The Mesquite Heritage Trail is another outdoor destination you mustn’t miss to explore.

This trail passes through North Mesquite Creek, several neighborhoods, and parks.

It stretches 4.25 miles of concrete trails, perfect for hiking and biking.

Expect plenty of locals who regularly use the trail for outdoor recreation during your visit.

Along the way, you can stop by some of the parks and relax or perhaps use its amenities.

Also, parts of the Mesquite Heritage Trail take you to some of the city’s other attractions, making it a worthwhile place to explore.

Catch a Hollywood Flick at Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park is one exciting outdoor movie experience you mustn’t miss during your trip to Mesquite.

This activity is free for everyone at Paschall Park.

This fantastic movie experience happens regularly every evening, thanks to Mesquite Parks and Recreation.

You’ll watch movies with locals with their families and friends on their foldable chairs or picnic blankets, a comfortable experience you mustn’t miss.

So, take a break from your Mesquite adventure and head to Paschall Park with your family or friends to enjoy your favorite film at Movies in the Park.

Have a Picnic at Debusk Park

Debusk Park spans over 40 acres of limitless outdoor recreation.

You can visit this excellent park along Gross Road.

This park features not just your usual playground and picnic area.

It also has a nine-hole disc golf course.

Meanwhile, its playground has been renovated to a more innovative play structure for a fun experience for kids.

In addition, Debusk Park has several sports facilities besides its disc golf course.

It has a baseball field, a football field, and a vast green open space for other sports.

With all that in mind, this community park is your go-to place for an excellent outdoor experience.

Wear Your Favorite Costume at PumpkinFest

Mesquite doesn’t just celebrate rodeos and Cinco de Mayo.

It’s also known for its festive Halloween season, which you can witness during the PumpkinFest.

This fun Halloween festival happens at Paschall Park every October.

It draws hundreds of locals, both grown-ups and children donning their favorite Halloween costumes for special prizes and traditional trick-or-treating.

If you visit Mesquite during Halloween, wear your spookiest costume with your family.

During PumpkinFest, you can enjoy carnival games, trick or treats, read-play-talk, animal shows, and musical performances, making it a worthwhile event.

Sweat It Out at Town East Park

Town East Park is more than an outdoor family destination.

Many locals love to spend their time at this park along Town East Boulevard to work up a sweat.

It’s mainly because the park features most of the exercise and sports facilities you’ll find in Mesquite.

The park has virtually limitless outdoor activities through its basketball, volleyball, running, and hiking sports facilities.

At the same time, it has exercise equipment for everyone.

If you have a dog, you can bring them to Town East Park’s Mesquite’s Leash Free Zone, a public dog park for smaller pets.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Mesquite could be your jump-off point for a broader and grander adventure.

Once you’re done exploring Mesquite’s best attractions, you can visit more with this recommended list below.

Pay Respects at the John F. Kennedy Memorial

Exterior of the John F. Kennedy Memorial

f11photo /

The John F. Kennedy Memorial is one of Texas’ most iconic historic attractions.

You can visit this memorial for the late president in Dallas, Texas, 24 minutes or 14.5 miles west of Mesquite in Dallas.

This attraction serves as a monument to the late president, erected in 1970 with a design by notable architect Philip Johnson.

Many visitors in Dallas usually drop by to pay respect to Kennedy.

Facade of the John F. Kennedy Memorial

Israel Pabon /

At the same time, take photos of this famous monument with a roofless 30-foot-high and 50-foot-wide square.

The monument has a block in the middle with a name and a message carved on a metallic panel detailing Kennedy’s life.

It’s also recommended to visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial at nighttime to catch a unique light emanating from the structure.

Interior of the John F. Kennedy Memorial

f11photo /

Paddle through Lake Ray Hubbard

A lighthouse at Lake Ray Hubbard

Eric Joshua /

Lake Ray Hubbard is one of North Texas’s most extensive lakes spanning over 22,000 acres.

You can visit and enjoy this lake for 16 minutes or 11.5 miles east of Mesquite.

For many, this lake is more than just its natural beauty.

It’s also one of many Texans’ favorite outdoor destinations, particularly for those coming to Mesquite, Dallas, and other cities and towns.

Boating, skiing, and fishing are some of the most popular activities you’ll enjoy at this lake.

When visiting Lake Ray Hubbard, don’t miss the chance to paddle aboard a boat through its smooth and pristine waters to complete your experience.

This lake is in Dallas, 15 minutes from Mesquite.

Commune with Nature at the Post Oak – Dallas County Nature Preserve

The Post Oak – Dallas County Nature Preserve is a vast natural area known for its outdoor recreation, mainly focusing on educating the public about nature.

You can visit this attraction in Seagoville, Texas, 16 minutes or 13.3 miles south of Mesquite.

This nature preserve is known for its ‘outdoor classroom.’

It offers the public free programs about nature conservation and relevant discussions.

This place is worth visiting since its programs take you to some of Seagoville’s most pristine natural areas.

Some of its most exciting activities are nature hiking, birdwatching, and sightseeing, which allows you to get closer to nature.

Pack your hiking boots and head to the Post Oak – Dallas County Nature Preserve for a serene experience with mother nature.

Take Photos of the Bronze Cow Statues at the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive

Close view of the cattle drive sculptures at Pioneer Plaza

Philip Lange /

Pioneer Plaza in Dallas is famous for its unique and amazing life-sized sculptures.

This park in downtown Dallas is known for depicting Texas’ prosperous cattle industry with its life-sized bronze statues of longhorn cows and cowboys on horses.

At the same time, this heavily visited Dallas tourist attraction has a Confederate War Memorial, which offers a fascinating history.

Far view of the cattle drive sculptures at Pioneer Plaza

ShengYing Lin /

Besides the bronze statues and war memorials, the Pioneer Plaza has a gorgeous park landscape filled with native plants and trees, making it a nice place to relax.

Also, this place is a stone’s throw away from most of Dallas’ famous attractions.

Pioneer Plaza is 22 minutes from Mesquite.

The grounds of Pioneer Plaza

amadeustx /

Mingle with the Locals at Deep Ellum Dallas

A sculpture at Deep Ellum Dallas

fitzcrittle /

Lastly, check out Deep Ellum in Dallas.

This district in Dallas is renowned for its top-notch lifestyle and entertainment experience.

It’s where most concerts and live performances from musicians and various artists happen.

A beer club at Deep Ellum Dallas

Epiglottis /

Every night, different artists perform at this place amid its lively atmosphere, allowing you to enjoy an excellent entertainment experience.

It’s an excellent way to have fun with Dallas locals and enjoy the music, parties, and sights simultaneously.

Head to Deep Ellum, 20 minutes from Mesquite.

Radiator alley at Deep Ellum Dallas

Epiglottis /

Final Thoughts

A short vacation or a weekend getaway in Mesquite offers you a splendid experience full of surprises.

This small Texan suburban city is packed with local gems and attractions that don’t require you to spend a dime.

Pin this well-curated list of the free things to do in Mesquite, Texas, as your handy itinerary.

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