Whether you’re new to the area or are a native Texan, if you’ve never explored the many fun things to do in McKinney, you are in for a treat. There’s a lot going on in this Collin County town that is home to more than two hundred thousand people. Take a look at all this historic town has to offer. Our collection of fun stuff to do in McKinney includes something for everyone!
Things to Do in McKinney
Wondering what to do near McKinney, TX? You’ll find a variety of activities for all ages. McKinney is a historic town that offers art galleries, live performances, outdoor recreation, shopping, great dining, and nightlife.
Explore McKinney’s History
McKinney was founded in 1848 as the county seat for the newly created Collin County. Visitors can learn more about the area’s history at the Collin County History Museum which is located in the historic 1911 post office building.
Just a five minute walk away is the Chestnut Square Historic Village which houses many historic buildings and is home to the 1854 Faires House, known as the oldest house in McKinney. The 501(c) (3) non-profit Heritage Guild of Collin County operates the village and offers tours of the village, larger city tours, and community farm tours. The guild also hosts a Saturday Farmer’s Market at the village and puts on various fun events such as family workshops, holiday tours, murder mystery dinners, ghost walks, and much more!
Visit Downtown McKinney
McKinney’s historic downtown square is a lovely marriage of historic architecture and modern commerce. The centerpiece of the square is the majestic old Collin County courthouse which was thought to be the tallest building north of San Antonio when it was completed in 1875. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of McKinney’s downtown historic district. Guided and trolley tours are also available.
Downtown McKinney is home to more than 100 businesses. Browse for antiques, books, clothing, jewelry, and art. Stop in for a relaxing spa treatment, a fresh baked treat, a coffee or a gourmet meal. Even geocaching enthusiasts will find treasure hunts to enjoy.
Enjoy Outdoor Recreation in McKinney
Some of the best things to do in McKinney, TX involve outdoor activities. Here are a few examples of great places to visit in McKinney, TX when you are feeling active and ready to burn off some energy.
Towne Lake Recreational Area is maintained by McKinney Parks & Recreation and offers activities for all ages including paddle boating on the lake, a fishing pier, a disc golf course, volleyball and horseshoe courts, and baseball fields. There is also a recreation center with a gym, a weight room, an outdoor play structure, a nature trail, and a multi-purpose rec room where programs and classes are held. Contact the rec center for more information on programs and hours of operation and any restrictions due to COVID-19.
Another outdoor option is Erwin Park, a beautiful 110-acre suburban park in North McKinney. There are swings, picnic areas with grills, overnight camping, 3 pavilions, and a 9.5-mile natural-surface trail for hiking and mountain biking.
Visit a Brewery or Vintner
If you are a fan of adult beverages, you’re in luck. You may find the local breweries and wineries to be among your favorite places to visit in McKinney, TX. Franconia Brewing Company produces Bavarian-style beers using traditional German methods. This environmentally-friendly brewer offers weekend tours with tastings. Tupps Brewery is located on the premises of an old cotton mill. Though they are not currently offering brewery tours, the taproom is open.
Wine lovers wishing to try a new varietal have two places to go in McKinney, both located in the historic downtown area. Lone Star Wine Cellars offers food and wine pairings, flight tastings and live music. Landon Winery offers their award-winning wines along with appetizers. You can enjoy them on site at their location or take anything with you to enjoy at home.
Places to Go in McKinney
If you’re looking for more exotic things to do around McKinney, read on. How about a thrilling high-altitude adventure or an all-natural experience? Here are a few more exciting places to visit in McKinney, TX.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
One of the coolest places to go in McKinney, TX is up! Yes, you read that right! Rohr balloons offers hot air balloon rides year-round on weekdays and weekends. Rides can accommodate large groups, you can arrange a private ride for two, three or four passengers, or you can book a shared ride. Free digital photos and video are included with each flight. Special options such as tethered flights, proposal packages, and wedding packages are also available.
Heard Wildlife Museum
One of the best things to do with kids in McKinney is to visit the Heard Wildlife Museum. This 289-acre nature preserve and museum has been connecting people and nature for more than fifty years. Heard is a wildlife sanctuary with an amazing assortment of wildlife, natural science exhibits, animatronic dinosaurs, miles of nature trails, a native Texas plant and butterfly garden, a ropes course with a zip line and much more. The museum hosts events and programs for kids and adults throughout the year such as night time hikes, summer and break camps, and Halloween and holiday themed events.
Events Near McKinney, TX
The greater North Texas area is home to so many great things to see and do, there’s no wonder it’s growing by leaps and bounds. That’s one reason so many families are buying new homes in Celina, just minutes away from all fun things to do in McKinney. In addition to all the attractions we’ve reviewed above, our area hosts some wonderful seasonal festivals that offer additional excitement for residents and visitors alike.
Some examples of the wonderful events near McKinney, TX include the following:
Arts in Bloom in Historic Downtown McKinney. For this April festival, more than 100 artists set up on the streets surrounding the performing arts center in downtown. The festival includes fine arts, dance, performance art, music, food vendors, Texas wineries, and more!
Red, White and BOOM! This July 4th celebration offers free fireworks, entertainment, and family activities.
McKinney Oktoberfest. Held in late September/early October, this festival features local breweries, food trucks, and live entertainment.
Home for the Holidays, a McKinney Christmas. Celebrate the season in historic downtown McKinney with Santa Claus, a Christmas carousel, family activities, an art market, and much more.
We hope you find a few things to try amongst all these McKinney, TX things to do! When you are ready to explore master-planned residential communities in North Texas, get in touch with us at Lilyana by Hillwood.