Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Temple, TX

  • Published 2023/01/22

If you have plans to go to Texas, make Temple in Bell County your first stop since it’s the top-rated city you can visit in the state.

Known as the “Wildflower Capital of Texas,” the city was originally established as a railroad town and got its name after Santa Fe Railroad Bernard Moore Temple.

It’s rich in history, and visiting the region will help you learn and experience the culture of Central Texas.

Don’t worry about your budget because the city has many historic places and activities you can explore and try for free.

Check out these free things to do in Temple, Texas.

Head Out to Pepper Creek Hike & Bike Trail

Bridge part of Pepper Creek Hike & Bike Trail

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the western district of Temple is the Pepper Creek Hike and Bike Trail, considered one of the city’s most panoramic and recognized pathways.

The trail starts at State Highway 36 and goes south for more than a mile across a wooded area tracking Pepper Creek’s western bank.

Generally considered an easy route, this 5.1-km out-and-back trail takes an average of 58 minutes to finish.

This trail is excellent for biking, walking, or running, and is open 365 days a year.

You can bring your dog along for a walk, whether on or off-leash, in the Pepper Creek Hike and Bike Trail.

Bring Your Dog to Central Texas Bark Park

Located on Lion Park Road, Central Texas Bark Park is an outdoor spot designated as a recreation area for pet dogs.

You can bring your furry friends here to get some exercise and have a chance to mingle with other dogs.

The place is full-fenced and has a double-gated entry, doggy bags, and benches to rest when you get tired of walking your dog.

There are two separate dog parks, one for small and another for large dogs, water stations, and agility obstacles.

You and your dog will never get bored here because you’ll meet other fur parents and furbabies to socialize with.

Tour Lion’s Park

Lion’s Park features more than 100 acres of softball fields, disc golf, barbecue grills, hiking trails, and picnic tables.

You’ll love the varied numbers of sceneries and one-of-a-kind locations to trek and see at the Lions’ Park Nature Trail.

The trail has two kinds of surfacing—concrete for the lower loop and crushed limestone for the upper loop.

The lower loop is 1.25 miles long while the upper loop is 0.75 mile-long.

Within Lion’s Park is The Rotary Club of Temple South Accessible Playground.

It’s designed for children of all ages with disabilities to also enjoy time outdoors.

Have Fun in the Sun at South Temple Park

Located on 5th Street, South Temple Park has 50 acres of hiking trails, a disc golf course, and playgrounds.

It’s a 0.6-mile route and is considered easy.

The park features other several amenities, such as volleyball, pickleball, and basketball courts.

South Temple Park allows visitors and residents to enjoy outdoor recreation and preserve the environment at the same time.

The handicapped-friendly park is popular among locals for having fun in the sun.

Make it a Children’s Day at Whistle Stop Playground

Let your kids have the best of both worlds while playing!

Take them to Whistle Stop Playground, located on 11th Street, where they can see real trains while playing.

Undoubtedly, your kids will love this unique park because of its many facilities where they can swing, climb, and learn how to balance.

They can play as they like while waving to real trains that pass by as conductors greet them with big smiles.

Whistle Stop Playground is clean and ensures the safety of people in the park, especially children.

Deepen Your Knowledge at Temple Public Library

Exterior of the Temple Public Library

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Temple Public Library allows residents and neighboring areas to access information and connect with other community members.

It also offers various resources to encourage continuous learning and development.

The library’s two meeting spaces provide areas for your conference or private event.

Building sign of Temple Public Library

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Temple Public Library serves as a center for exploration and creativity for residents, including the surrounding area.

Show Off Your Stunt Skills at Skate Park in Miller Park

The American Ramp Company designed the Skate Park in Miller Park on 1st Street.

Bikers, skateboarders, and rollerbladers can use the structure made of solid steel.

However, the park isn’t supervised.

You can skate, bike, or rollerblade at your own risk.

It’s recommended that you wear safety gear when you skate, bike, or rollerblade in Skate Park at Miller Park.

Appreciate Art at the Cultural Activities Center

The Cultural Activities Center showcases artwork from regional artists in different mediums.

It provides the community with a space where they can dance, make art, play games, perform, and make music.

The art center encourages and collaborates with other arts institutions, upholding the arts in education, and providing materials to get active.

Located on 3rd Street, the Cultural Activities Center’s galleries are open during business hours and on weekends with free admission.

Discover Exciting Activities at Miller Park

Located on North 1st Street, Miller Park hosts numerous city-wide affairs, such as Martin Luther King Day and a fireworks display during the 4th of July, which is very popular among locals and visitors.

The park provides visitors with excellent facilities, such as fitness stations along a walking trail, a playground and a splash pad, a fishing lake, and more.

Families enjoy fishing events in the beautiful park.

You can also walk, hike, or bike for miles if you want to break a sweat.

Learn the History of World War I and II at the Temple Museum Of Modern Warfare

Currently, the Museum of Modern Warfare has a 9,000-square-foot area allowing visitors to see, feel, and experience the items used during the previous world wars.

Compared to other museums, this one showcases collections of military equipment from the present day and age, as well as some items from the past centuries.

The wide selection of weapons, armored vehicles, uniforms, and more will help visitors get a better insight into what the present soldiers use when setting out to serve their beloved countries.

The Vehicle Day is a tour with an opportunity to drive one of the historical vehicles, including an M3 armored car and a jeep, among others.

The historic museum accepts donations for the vehicles’ maintenance.

You’ll get to see warfare vehicles, including M1078 LMTV, M3A1 scout car, MORRIS GS truck, GPW jeep, and MB jeep, to name a few.

Located on Berger Road, the Temple Museum Of Modern Warfare also offers blank firing of some of the weapons and wearing of some of the gear.

Other Things to Do Nearby

If you still want more activities to do and places to explore, beautiful nearby places are waiting for you.

They also offer great places and activities that are well worth your visit.

Be Close to Nature at Chalk Ridge Falls

Cascades of Chalk Ridge Falls

DiamondV /

A nature lover must not miss going to Chalk Ridge Falls, located on FM 1670 on Belton along Lampasas River.

It features 2.5 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, and a suspension bridge.

The cable suspension bridge offers a bumpy but safe trip throughout the water downstream from the falls.

Waters of Chalk Ridge Falls

Wirestock Creators /

You’ll love watching birds in this beautiful park that is open to the public any time of the year.

You can bring your dog along as long as it is on a leash.

Chalk Ridge Falls is only 19 minutes away from Temple via I-35 S.

Explore Salado Sculpture Garden

Headquartered on Salado Plaza Drive in Salado, the Salado Sculpture Garden is nestled in a natural environment with gentle walkways and seating across the area.

This makes fine arts available to everyone and where one can see the ingenuity of different groups of artists.

You’ll be amazed at the pocket gardens planted with drought-resistant native plants.

These gorgeous plants are stuck between the trees and the sporadic dry creek that ranges through the meadow.

Designed with the help of Texas Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, these pocket gardens provide seasonal color and entice wildlife.

Admission to Salado Sculpture Garden is free, and you can reach the garden in just 20 minutes from Temple via I-35 S.

Check Out Salado Museum and College Park

The Salado Museum and College Park keeps and upholds the original history of Salado and the varied nationalities that occupied the area.

The museum contains a diverse collection of books, artifacts, and papers that record the settlement and tradition of Salado.

Likewise, it organizes educational programs and exhibits all year round in a captivating century-old building across from the iconic Shady Villa Hotel in downtown Salado.

College Park, on the other hand, is just south of the museum, where the ruins and grounds of Salado College are located.

The Museum and Wee Scots shop are open to the public at no charge.

Located on Main Street in Salado, the Salado Museum and College Park is just a 19-minute drive from Temple via I-35 S.

Discover the Intriguing History of the Bell County Museum

Exterior of the Bell County Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled between Waco and Austin is the historic Bell County Museum located on North Main Street in Belton.

Explore the engrossing good old days of Bell County, check out the Gault Site exhibit, and discover something new from the alternating traveling exhibitions.

The research library serves as a vault for all of the museums’ research materials and includes expansive central Texas history details.

Along with your family or friends, you’ll learn about science, history, and culture at the Bell County Museum and enjoy free admission.

You can reach the museum within a 12-minute drive from Temple via I-35 S.

Interior of the Bell County Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tour the Miller Springs Nature Center

Miller Springs Nature Center is open to the public throughout the year.

It’s a 260-acre spectacular natural area in the historic Tennessee Valley, situated in the cities of Temple and Belton.

You’ll enjoy hiking and biking with over 10 miles of trails branched into different loops.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used to own the center, which offers striking views, waterways, wildlife, and natural meandering trails.

Camping and fishing are common activities on the dam’s sides.

You can also bring your family or pets along for a walk or hike to the trails.

Miller Springs Nature Center is on Farm-To-Market Road in Belton and is 15 minutes away from Temple via Airport Road and Adams Avenue.

Final Thoughts

Temple is home to fascinating attractions and fun activities.

This makes the city a great option if you want to discover and experience Central Texas culture.

With these free things to do in Temple, Texas, you’ll enjoy the city without breaking the bank!

© All rights reserved.