15 Free Things to Do in Plano, TX

Plano, TX
Victoria Ditkovsky / shutterstock.com

Plano is a beautiful destination in the northern part of Texas, abundant in parks, shopping places, and gorgeous attractions.

Boasting a rich history, this city offers some of the most unique experiences to its visitors.

It has a lot of museums that can keep guests of all ages occupied, such as Heritage Farmstead Museum, Interurban Railway Museum, and Crayola Experience Plano.

Kids will also enjoy their trip around the city of Plano.

You can take them to Play Street Museum - Plano, Kid Mania, and Safari Run.

If you're into art and history, you are definitely in for a treat.

The Historic Downtown Plano Arts District has everything, from pottery stores to galleries.

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is the biggest park in Plano, offering plenty of opportunities for nature walking and scenic views.

Here, there is no shortage of things to do, whether traveling solo or with your loved ones.

The best part is you don't have to spend much to have a good time in this city.

Scroll down to see free things to do in Plano, Texas.

Explore the Hiking Trails at Russell Creek Park

Sunset over Russell Creek Park's water
Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble). Email the author: David R. Tribble Also see my personal gallery at Google Photos, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy wandering around Russell Creek Park.

This expansive park on McDermott Road is perfect for families who wish to spend some time outdoors.

There are many trails to explore, soccer and baseball facilities, a children’s playground, and a serene lake.

A bird at Russell Creek Park
Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble). Email the author: David R. Tribble Also see my personal gallery at Google Photos, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors can even enjoy a picnic on a quiet afternoon.

If you want to squeeze in a quick workout session while you take in pristine views, Russell Creek Park offers plenty of spaces where you can jog or run.

Let Your Furry Babies Play at Jack Carter Dog Park

Are you planning to travel to the city with your dogs?

If so, you might want to check out Jack Carter Dog Park.

Situated on Pleasant Valley Drive, this well-known park boasts many green spaces where your dogs can play and run around.

You don't have to worry about them getting dirty as there is a wash-off area within the vicinity.

It is also gated and fenced, so you can be sure it's safe for your dogs.

There are parking spaces near Jack Carter Dog Park, making it convenient for those planning to drive all the way.

All dogs are welcome here, no matter how big or small.

Discover Unique Sights in Historic Downtown Plano

Buildings at the Historic Downtown Plano
RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Interested in walking around a beautiful historical place while in Plano?

Head to Historic Downtown Plano and see what the Arts District can offer.

It is free to stroll around the area, but while you are here, you can also check out many local establishments where you can go window shopping.

Shops along the Historic Downtown Plano
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can see household goods, luxury clothing, vintage pieces, and even treats for your furbabies.

Be sure to bring your camera when you visit, as the vicinity has plenty of historical buildings worth capturing.

Grab Something to Read at Haggard Public Library

Do you enjoy reading books wherever you are?

If so, then Haggard Public Library on Coit Road is worth visiting.

While it's a small library, there are plenty of books for you and your companions to check out.

Kids are also welcome here, and there is a dedicated children’s section where you can find engaging books for your kids to read.

Those who need to do some work will also find this place convenient as computers are available here.

Check Out Interurban Railway Museum

A railcar beside the Interurban Railway Museum
Valerie Johnson / Shutterstock.com

Ideal for guests of all ages, the Interurban Railway Museum on 15th Street offers you the chance to explore the history of the Texas Electric Railway for free.

With lots of interactive exhibits, this is a wonderful place to visit if you want your kids to learn more about how electricity works.

The railway is decorated with stunning lights during the Christmas season, making it a must-see beautiful mini-exhibit.

Exterior of the Interurban Railway Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A reading session for The Polar Express is available to kids and adults.

Permanent exhibits include the Interactive Electricity Room, Downtown Plano Model Train, and The History of the Texas Electric Railway; other interesting temporary exhibits are also available.

Interior of the Interurban Railway Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stroll through The Boardwalk at Granite Park

Featuring restaurants right in front of the water, The Boardwalk at Granite Park is a great family-friendly destination in Plano.

It's a wonderful place to visit, whether you want to enjoy a relaxing stroll in the evening or snap some shots with your family and friends.

The Boardwalk at Granite Park at Granite Parkway also hosts events, including live music, offering guests a serene escape from the city.

The murals and outdoor games here will keep you occupied if you do not plan to dine at any restaurant.

Those who intend to drive to this location can take advantage of the available parking spots.

Bask in Beautiful Views at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

A creek at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
photocinemapro / Shutterstock.com

It's always a good idea to take a day off from the usual touristy things when you vacation in a new place.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve on West Parker Road offers a serene spot where you can do just that.

Featuring a bike trail, a hiking trail, and a playing area for kids, this beautiful park is great for all types of guests, whether you're seeking some alone time or some fun family time.

Nature trail at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Robert Nunnally from Allen, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With its covered pavilion, you can enjoy a laid-back afternoon with your loved ones while you savor delicious meals or snacks.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve also has restrooms for your convenience.

Art Gallery Pure, situated in The Shops at Willow Bend, features many distinct art exhibits.

Here, you will find displays of creative paintings and sculptures by different artists.

Art Gallery Pure on West Park Boulevard only showcases original art and features new art pieces in the Fine Art Decor Design Showroom every week, so visitors are sure to stay occupied no matter how many times they visit.

Its artists use all mediums, including glass art, photography, watercolor, and more.

Both local and international artists are featured at Art Gallery Pure, so it's a great place to visit if you want to see different artworks.

Commune with Nature at Bob Woodruff Park

The waters of Bob Woodruff Park
Nina Nelson / Shutterstock.com

Nature lovers can enjoy the peace and quiet that Bob Woodruff Park offers.

This park on San Gabriel Drive offers picnic tables and barbecue facilities, making it ideal for exploring with friends and family.

Bob Woodruff Park offers a small pier if you're in the mood for fishing.

Bench overlooking the waters of Bob Woodruff Park
Nina Nelson / Shutterstock.com

The pond is surrounded by a trail where visitors can run or walk while taking in quiet views.

Planning to visit the park with your children?

Bob Woodruff Park has a kids’ playground that your children can enjoy.

Birds at Bob Woodruff Park
Nina Nelson / Shutterstock.com

Get Active at Preston Meadow Park

Preston Meadow Park is on Lorimar Drive, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Plano.

It's open to the public, and you are welcome to use the amenities during your visit.

The park is also kid-friendly, featuring a small playground with slides and picnic grounds.

Parents can watch their kids play safely from the seating area near the playground.

There is a drinking fountain for your convenience if you run out of water while enjoying sports like volleyball.

With hiking and cycling trails available to explore, you can enjoy peaceful views while staying active at Preston Meadow Park.

Have a Relaxing Time at Haggard Park

A gazebo at Haggard Park
ulkare / Shutterstock.com

Haggard Park on East 15th Street is where the Interurban Railway Museum is located.

It features a gazebo where you can have relaxing moments with your loved ones as you enjoy views of the water and people passing by.

While it's a popular destination among those who wish to relax, Haggard Park also offers other activities.

Trail beside Haggard Park's pond
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This park hosts outdoor concerts and has a play area for kids.

If you want to take some photos, you can take advantage of the natural light and the small bridge over the water.

The grounds of Haggard Park
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a Picnic at Buckhorn Park

Located on Mission Ridge Road, Buckhorn Park offers many recreational opportunities for the whole family.

It's ideal for those who enjoy doing sports, as it has spaces for football, baseball, and basketball.

You can take advantage of the picnic facilities while your kids play at the nearby playground.

Enjoy a quiet walk by the creek, and later sit on any of the park benches when you feel like relaxing and just watching people pass by.

Buckhorn Park also has shaded areas throughout the park where you can rest.

Go Window Shopping at Legacy West

Daytime view of Legacy West
Jiujiuer / Shutterstock.com

While Legacy West is known for its shops and restaurants, it's still a good place for those not looking to spend.

You can walk along Windrose Avenue and enjoy the sights of the shops and eateries available in the area.

Inside Legacy West at Headquarters Drive, you will find a relaxing outdoor area where you can sit and enjoy marvelous fountain views.

Exterior of Legacy West
Karen Almond http://www.karenalmondphoto.com/, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out the beautiful Box Garden at Legacy Hall, which has a large stage for musical performances, a bar, and plenty of seating options.

If you enjoy window shopping, Legacy West is a must-visit in Plano.

Visit ArtCentre of Plano

ArtCentre of Plano, situated in Haggard Park on East 16th Street, is a historic house that also serves as an art gallery.

While it is a relatively small art gallery, ArtCentre of Plano hosts special events, including parties and weddings.

They make sure to change the works they regularly feature so guests can appreciate different types of art when they visit.

Besides its in-person exhibitions, ArtCentre of Plano also features online exhibits, which you can enjoy for free.

The house where it is located, Saigling House, is a sight in itself and a must-see when you are in Plano.

Don't forget to take some pictures!

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

White Rock Lake

Bicycles at White Rock Lake
Alissala / Shutterstock.com

White Rock Lake in Dallas is less than 30 minutes away by car from Plano, Texas, and is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

If your idea of fun is going hiking or biking, White Rock Lake is a fantastic choice with its 9.3-mile trail in the area.

You can also bring your pooch along as it boasts a large dog park where they can have fun.

There are also washing areas in case your dog needs tidying up before you leave the park.

Early morning scene at White Rock Lake
chalita_k / Shutterstock.com

For those who like to spend hours in the park, White Rock Lake offers great spots for birdwatching and awesome water views.

Have fun fishing on the pier, or have a picnic during your visit!

From here, you can also catch amazing city skyline views.

Couple watching the sunset from White Rock Lake's dock
Jane Corley / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

With an abundance of parks and museums, Plano is an attractive destination for solo wanderers, couples, and families.

You will find numerous activities to do for free while you're here, whether you're interested in art, sports, or nature.

Plan your trip and check out this list of free things to do in Plano, Texas!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.