Top 10 Best Things to do in Plano, TX | A 2019 Guide

Things to do in Plano

As a city with a population around 286,000 people, Plano has made it clear what is important to them. The area has over 700 restaurants because people there like to eat. Plano is home to a handful of large corporate companies because people there like to work. And the city has a thriving downtown scene because people there like to have fun.

Though it was originally named “Fillmore” when the area was founded back in 1848, the locals quickly changed the name to Plano. Translating to the word “plain” from Spanish, it was a very fitting title for the city at that time.

But today, Plano is a growing community with a lot of great people, strong schools systems, and plenty of fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

Need to know the best things to do in Plano? Whether you’re currently living in Plano or plan on moving there soon, this list will give you at least ten ideas of where you can spend your time around town.

1. Historic Downtown

Most cities in the US have a downtown, but few of them offer the same level of history, art galleries, local events, and shops as Historic Downtown Plano. With a full calendar of activities and great restaurants, everyone will love all the fun options this area has to offer Grab a bite to eat at places like Raising Cane’s or Jorg’s Cafe Vienna.

Historic Downtown Plano

From there, you can make your way through the many shops from children’s boutiques and furniture stores to a custom scooter company. There are plenty of activities for every interest in the downtown area.

2. The Shops at Legacy

As the main shopping center in town, the Shops at Legacy is a fairly straightforward mall with shopping, eateries, and entertainment. But you won’t see many brand names among the stores inside. Instead, you’ll find unique jewelry stores like Another Time & Place, women’s fashion from Apricot Lane Boutique, and classy men’s apparel from Travis Mathew.

When you get hungry, skip over to the food court for some delicious sandwiches from Potbelly, a slice of pizza from Fireside Pies, or some authentic Italian food from Cafe Intermezzo. And once the sun goes down, you can enjoy the local nightlife at one of the center’s pubs or nightclubs.

3. Heritage Farmstead Museum

If you’re looking for relaxing things to do in Plano, one option would be a visit to the nearby Heritage Farmstead Museum. For a small fee you can get a behind the scenes look at what it was like to live on the Blackland Prairie. You can choose between a guided or self-led tour around the 4.5-acre property to see the varying exhibits, antique furnishings, and other collectibles.

Both children and adults will enjoy the museum programs to learn new skills during seasonal camps. The farm is also available for rent to hold events like birthday parties, private gatherings, and even weddings.

4. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve

As Plano’s largest park, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve covers over 800 acres. The area features 8.5 miles of walking trails for joggers or folks who simply want to go for a stroll through the park. Guests can hold family events by reserving one of the pavilions for picnics and other get togethers.

Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve

The park offers an adventure playground to keep kids entertained for hours on end, along with vast green belts for open space to run and play. If you want to go out on the pond, visitors are welcome to bring their own kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards.

5. Pinstack

If you’re looking for the ultimate destination in Plano for indoor activities, look no further than Pinstack. This venue offers a wide variety of activities for kids and adults of all ages. Guests can go bowling, climb the rock wall, and even play a round of laser tag.

Head there for a team or family event, or simply take the kids for a fun evening out. Try out the high ropes course, unload some stress on the bumper cars, or jump straight into the arcade for a night of gaming. The restaurant offers great food, snacks, and a wine bar for the big kids.

6. Angelika Film Center & Cafe

An extension of the Shops at Legacy is the city’s most popular movie theater. Head over to the Angelika Film Center to catch recent movie releases, as well as other B-movie options. But this special movie theater offers much more than just a regular cinematic experience.

This film center provides light gourmet fare you can bring straight into the theater with you. Enjoy comfortable seating, Dolby Digital sound, and add a glass of craft beer or wine to your food order. As a special treat, Angelika Film Center also holds occasional live events like plays and concerts in their auditoriums.

7. Interurban Railway Museum

Now this one may cater to a fairly specific audience, but as one of the few free things to do in Plano, many people enjoy a visit the the Interurban Railway Museum at least once. The museum cycles through seasonal exhibits and often has temporary side exhibits on display as well. Visitors may find anything from old baseball memorabilia to presentations about Plano’s diverse history.

Visits are always free for both children and adults. One of the best things to do in Plano with kids is attend the weekly story time sessions at the museum. Local librarians and storytellers come every Friday morning at 10:30 am to read books to attending children.

8. Adventure Landing

Another great option for Plano residents with children is Adventure Landing. Following a similar standard to Pinstack, this local venue swaps out the bowling lanes for batting cages. Guests can opt for slow pitch or fast pitch, based on their age and preference, with full equipment rentals included.

Along with the batting cages, you can also play some miniature golf, take a spin on the bumper boats, or game in their arcade. If you feel the need for speed, head over to the Adventure Speedway for a go-kart ride around their quarter-mile track.

9. ArtCentre of Plano

The ArtCentre is an art lover’s paradise packed into one building. As a local non-profit corporation, they hold frequent art gallery events, educational art classes, and fundraisers. Local artists can join the ArtCentre programs, volunteer at events, and even exhibit their own art projects.

One visit will be all you need to gain a desire to return again and again for each new event and art show.

10. Get Some Food and Drinks

Even though we’ve mentioned a couple food options above, a true list about any Texas city needs its own section for local restaurants and drinks. At the top of most Plano residents’ list, you’ll find Whiskey Cake, a popular restaurant with a Texas-sized menu. A unique place to grab a bite is The Latin Pig, where you can feast on an array of Cuban, Caribbean, and Native American foods.

places to eat in Plano

If you’d like to try something new, head over to Smoke for some fire-roasted oysters, pimento cheese croquettes, or cider vinegar prime rib. A final addition to this list has to include some good old-fashioned Texas BBQ from Lockhart Smokehouse. Recognized as one of the best places to eat in Plano, whether you’re in the mood for ribs, brisket, or pulled pork, your mouth will be watering from the moment you step through the front door.

Plenty of Other Things to do in Plano

With Dallas right down the road, easy access to nearby lakes, and more outdoor activities, this is far from an all-inclusive list of the best things to do in Plano. Everyone living in this city loves the local atmosphere, seasonal events, and great food choices.

Are you moving to Plano? All of us here at Mighty Movers would like to be the first to wish you a Texas-sized welcome! If you’re in need of assistance with your upcoming relocation, please be sure to check out our list of Plano moving services and let us know how we can help.

Give us a call at (214) 733-4411 for a free quote or to learn more about our moving offers.

McKinney, TX Neighborhoods – The Complete Guide

McKinney, TX is an increasingly popular choice to settle down, start a business or raise a family. Voted the #1 Best Place to Live in America by Money in 2014, it’s hard to pass up any number of the idyllic and charming McKinney neighborhoods throughout the city. The city’s allure stems from a growing job scene, excellent schools and constant business development. At the same time, historic buildings and unique, welcoming developments make it difficult to even choose where to live in McKinney.

The low cost of living in McKinney is a bit of surprise with all of its economic opportunity. Especially compared to nearby Dallas, McKinney rent prices are a shocking 24.17% lower in town. Everything from restaurant prices to childcare is lower in McKinney than Dallas, making this an ideal choice for finding a work-life business at any stage in life.

Housing developments are the most popular living arrangement in McKinney, each with its own take on living and quite often, their own Lifestyle Directors. Packed with activities and community-building opportunities, the benefits of living in McKinney go far beyond a beautiful and thriving location. Explore our McKinney neighborhood guide as you consider moving to this exciting area.

Historic Downtown

If you’re looking for a McKinney neighborhood that puts you right in the center of the action, Downtown McKinney could be for you. Home to a mix of historic brick buildings and more modern apartment building developments, Downtown McKinney living means you can walk to any of the countless restaurants and festivals offered year round.

A newer luxury apartment option, Davis at the Square, for example, sits right in the center of town and offers affordable rent for all apartment sizes.

Whether you live in or come to visit downtown McKinney, it’s here that you’ll find farm-to-table restaurants like Harvest or the decadent Sugarbacon for a cocktail. Bring the kids to McKinney’s Sweet Spot for dessert and then catch a show at McKinney Performing Arts Center. You can even get to know a bit more about the area by stopping by the Collin County History Museum to get a feel for McKinney’s story.

The less-residential neighborhood of Downtown McKinney may not be as traditional a choice to live, but it makes a fine spot for those trying out the area or looking to explore for an afternoon.


One of the most unique things about McKinney, Texas, is their range of housing development styles and personalities. An example of these notable communities is Provence Estates, inspired by French culture and architecture. Located only a short drive from the center of town, Provence sits on the edge of a park and nature reserve, with options for bringing the kids for outdoor fun and exploration.

The community offers European-inspired town homes and condos on the higher end of McKinney’s price range. This quaint neighborhood of eighty homes, with more development on the way, features pristinely trimmed landscapes and tree-lined streets. With nearby schools, this development is ideal for families as well. The condos offer high-end, modern amenities while maintaining an old-school, French design.

Trinity Falls

Trinity Falls is another example of a popular McKinney neighborhood and organized living community. Perched right nearby the beautiful Trinity River, the development of homes and recreation centers encourages neighborhood collaboration and an active lifestyle. A pool, dog park, clubhouse, open-air pavilion and fireplace make this an excellent spot for raising a family with plenty of things to do and places to explore.

With over 1,700 acres of open space, Trinity Falls allows its community to soak in the natural wonders of McKinney. The development connected with 20 miles of hiking and biking trails as well. Annual community events include wine festivals, barbecues and holiday celebrations.

Adriatic Village

Another McKinney neighborhood that reflects on European living and style is Adriatic Village. This housing community looks like something right out of another time and place, with stone-stacked architecture and Mediterranean accents. The neighborhood even includes a historically inspired bell tower at the center of town. Plenty of recreational areas bring the community together, creating an energy of charm and warmth.

This area offers a bit more of an activity-filled lifestyle, with access to several locally run business as well as pockets that are purely residential. These hand-picked businesses serve everyone in the area, including a wine shop, multiple restaurants and clothing stores.

Auburn Hills

This lush and balance suburban neighborhood of McKinney is home to many active professionals. With easy access to major highways, Auburn Hills is a go-to choice for commuting to Dallas and other major areas nearby. The community offers access to a local lake, hiking trails and a pool, making it an excellent McKinney neighborhood for families. It is also one of the safest neighborhoods in McKinney, along with any area northwest of route 308.

Auburn Hills is also across the street from Gray Branch Community Park, offering lacrosse and soccer field, performance centers and 212 acres of green space. Homes in Auburn Hills average around $370k, a fine balance with such access to jobs near McKinney. Real estate in the area also boasts energy-efficiency in their homes, lowering the overall cost of living and carbon footprint of each resident.

Hardin Lake

This newer neighborhood and development sits right on the edge of Hardin Lake, featuring terraced gardens and flowing hills. A creek surrounds the neighborhood, meaning that you have opportunities for outdoor exploration on all sides. The range in elevation means that many homes have lovely views of the surrounding areas.

The neighborhood features easy access to highly rated local schools, major highways and historic downtown.

Mallard Lakes

If you’re looking for large plots of land and expansive homes, check out the Mallard Lakes neighborhood of McKinney. Compared to the rest of the country, these large homes are still within reasonable prices while remaining accessible to routes 380 and 75 for an easy commute. Mallard Lakes is also only a short, 10-minute drive to historic downtown McKinney.

If you’re thinking of raising children in Mallard Lakes, one of the best elementary schools sits right across from the development, creating an atmosphere of easy living for all members of the family. As stated in its name, several lakes spot the landscape of the neighborhood, providing some beautiful views from elevated properties.

It is hard to ignore the impressive reviews and accolades that praise living in McKinney, Texas. A mix of unique neighborhoods and modern housing developments mean that there is something for everyone. Families will love the strong school systems and things to do with kids in McKinney while young professionals flock to the area for accessibility to Dallas. No matter what, the city’s dedication to community makes McKinney a fine balance between city and suburb.

Dallas Cost of Living — The Complete Guide

Finding the ideal city to call home can be a challenge. It requires a balance of affordability, a welcoming sense of community and the choice to cultivate your career. Between Dallas’ desirable cost of living and a thriving business scene, families and single professionals find a permanent home in the famous Texan city each year. Named as one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, Dallas’ affordable housing for first-time buyers and considerably low rent bring new resident of all ages.

The average cost of living in Dallas is an impressive 32% lower than New York City, but still welcomes a thriving economy, even named the 6th best city for business and careers by Forbes. So how much does it cost to live in Dallas from day to day? Here we’ll explore average rents in Dallas, grocery bills, travel costs and all the little details in between. If you’re considering moving to Dallas, check out the full picture before deciding what’s right for you.

Dallas Rent Prices

If you’re starting your rental search in the area, Dallas rent prices are currently remaining quite steady. According to Rent Jungle, rent prices in Dallas were at an average of $1,237 a month as of July 2018, very close to where its been in the past several years, but only with a slight increase. One bedrooms are around $1,050 a month, making this a great city for young couples and individuals to explore the area for the first time.

Rental prices in Dallas vary significantly by neighborhood, with chic, pricier options in the Arts District, Center City, Oak Lawn, Arts District, and the Near East neighborhoods. Many of these easily accessible neighborhoods cut down on commuting time and sit in the heart of the cultural city hub.

Average Cost of Groceries in Dallas

Grocery bills—one of the largest players in our monthly budgets—often speak to the cost of living in an area. The average cost of groceries per month, according to Numbeo is around $242 a person. This is 36% lower than New York City. As a point of reference, the average cost of a gallon of milk in Dallas is about $2.42 where it’s nearly $4.40 in NYC. Cutting your monthly food cost adds up pretty quickly. No matter which Dallas neighborhood you choose, the city has a strong range of discount grocery stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

Your Dallas Utility Bill

The typical average utility bill—which includes water, electricity, heating and garbage is comparable to a large-city price tag, just under $140 a month for a 195-square foot apartment. Since internet is a given these days, you’ll also want to include the average cost of internet in Dallas, which is around $60 a month.

On the other hand, the average water bill in Dallas has reports of significantly rising over the past several years. In early 2018, bills were still reported at an average of under $100 a month, but due to its dry climate, this is considered a high cost compared to other cities in the US.

Average Dallas Salary

Even with a relatively lower cost of living compared to other highly populated cities, how does this balance out with the average household income in Dallas? At just under $68,000 a year, the average pay in Dallas is quite complementary to comfortable living.

As a magnet city for technology and financial companies, the selection of high-paying positions in the city raises the average income. Dallas is also a hub for industrial jobs, and with the busy Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, notes Forbes, makes this city a major stopping point for company gatherings and conferences. A large selection of universities also bring money and culture to the area, several of which bring college football fans to the area which boosts the city’s economy during the Cotton Bowl each year.

Buying a Home in Dallas

In 2015, NerdWallet found that the Dallas-Fort Worth area was one of the most popular spots for first-time home buyers in 2015. And though prices have risen a large 12.7% in the past year according to Zillow, the market in Dallas is still considered quite manageable. The average home price in Dallas is still around $385,000. Zillow predicts that home prices in Dallas will rise nearly another 12% by fall of 2019.

As was the case with renting a home in Dallas, new home buyers, or those looking for a lower price point, can explore different neighborhoods. The hip neighborhood of Oak Lawn, for example, has a median home price of $304,000. Spots like Old East Dallas have homes in the mid-$200,000s with plenty of access to restaurants and parks for young residents and families looking for a city feel.

If you’re comparing different Texan cities, median Dallas home prices are comparable to the popular Austin and Houston home market, but with greater access to career opportunities.

Living Expenses in Dallas

Once you’ve determined all your necessary bills in Dallas, how much does it cost to enjoy everything the city has to offer? When calculating your monthly budget, you’ll want to make sure your expenses balance with a comfortable salary for living in Dallas. The average monthly public transportation pass in Dallas, for example, is about $80. The DART system—Dallas Area Rapid Transit—is growing in popularity as it provides greater access to different areas of the city.

According to Numbeo, the average cost of a gallon of gas if $2.60, which is lower than other large city prices but can be high if you’re commuting into work from one of the surrounding suburbs.

Looking to enjoy the many pockets of culture and food in Downtown Dallas? Assume that a three-course meal at a standard restaurant for you and a friend will only cost about $50. This same meal in New York City is around $80, showing the money you save in this Texan town. Grab a pint of beer for just over $4 or a fancy cappuccino for just about the same price.

Over thirty percent of the Dallas population are children under 18, pointing to the popularity of family life in the city. When raising a family here, you’ll also enjoy the comparatively low childcare costs for a large metropolitan area. Average monthly preschool is $862 a month, which is significantly lower than both Chicago and New York City.

Across the board, the low cost of living in Dallas is one of the many benefits of moving to the area compared to other cities of this size. With a high promise of job growth—one of the highest in the country next to Atlanta—there’s no question that opportunity in the next decade will make the city move a worthwhile one. The draw of the popular Texas State Fair, Cowboys football and the incredibly popular restaurant and arts scenes make moving to Dallas an immersive experience.

Our dedicated team at Mighty Movers welcomes new resident from across the country or when transferring to a new Dallas neighborhood. Contact us to begin the conversation about your Dallas move. We can walk you through your upcoming transition, guiding you along the way to make yourself at home in the Dallas community.

The 5 Best Things to do in Dallas with Kids

family having fun together.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Dallas with your kids, you’ve come to the right place. No matter if you’re a native Texan or a visitor to the Lone Star State, you’ll find plenty to do and see here in Dallas. From seeing exotic animals at the zoo, to flying through the trees on a zip line, there are tons of family attractions in Dallas that will keep you coming back for more. Who knows? We might even convince you to consider moving to Dallas, so you’ll never be far away from these family-friendly adventures!

The Dallas Zoo

Mother and child feeding a giraffe at the zoo.

If there’s one best thing to do with kids in Dallas, it’s this: go to the zoo! The Dallas Zoo spans 106 acres of land and features of 400 different species. Kids will love getting up close and personal with wildlife during wildlife exhibitions, feedings and other education programs that take place throughout the zoo every day. In the Children’s Zoo, your kids will get to pet farm animals and feed birds at Bird Landing. For a more exotic experience, stop by the Giraffe enclosure, where you can feed a giraffe from the palm of your hand!

We recommend at least a half day to enjoy the Dallas Zoo. In addition to walking around the park, you’ll need plenty of time to hop on the monorail, see the only koalas in Texas, and watch hippos through the underwater viewing space. If you stick around till the evening, you’ll get to see Safari Nights, a nightly concert for kids; while the kids rock out, the adults can even grab a cold beer or glass of wine to end the day.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

You might not think of a botanical garden as a top attraction for families in Dallas, but the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is here to prove you wrong! It turns out, this attraction is a great way to end the day, with gorgeous sites for parents, lots of spots for the family photos you want to post on Social Media, and even a few fun perks for the kids. Let’s start with just the natural beauty of this place. With over 66 acres of gardens, the Arboretum is a world of color and scent. Plus, with White Rock Lake at its back, the scenery is even more gorgeous.

But this experience is more than just a walk in the park. The Gardens have programs going on every day to engage visitors, including educational programs about plants, tastings for local produce, and more. The Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Garden offers easy playtime for kids, with more than 150 kid-friendly educational activities about nature. There are also tons more events that happen throughout the year. For example, if you visit in the Fall, you’ll get to experience “The Adventures in Neverland,” a seasonal pumpkin village, which features scenes from the book Peter and Wendy made out of 90,000 pumpkins!

Jump Street and Coo Coo’s

Little girl enjoying an indoor trampoline park.

Doesn’t it seem like kids have more energy than is possible in their bodies? Well, we’ve found the perfect thing to do in Dallas with kids to tire them out. Today, there are trampoline parks in many cities, but Jump Street is a Dallas original. With wall-to-wall trampolines, basketball courts and obstacle courses, your kids will bounce and play out all that energy in just a few hours. Plus, this is the perfect place to let out your inner kid, and finally nail that backwards flip.

Most Jump Street is intended for kids 7 and up, but if you’ve got little tikes, never fear! There is a section for younger children in the trampoline park, including a bounce house and play area. If you need something more entertaining for the toddlers, walk next door to Coo Coo’s, a bouncy castle paradise perfect for kids of all ages. Trust us, you’ll have a blast, and the ride home should be full of quiet, napping kids.

Trinity Forest Adventure Park

Do you have older kids or teens? Then you need to check out Trinity Forest Adventure Park! This epic treetop adventure is one of the best things to do in Dallas with kids who love adrenaline! A ticket gets you three hours of fun, including help harnessing and Ground School, where you learn the important safety measures needed to swing through the canopy.  The park is self-guided, so once you’re strapped in, you can go anywhere in the park that you want.

There are a variety of courses, which are color coded for different difficulties (Yellow being beginner and black being expert). The codes also denote which courses require supervision or adult accompaniment for kids under 16. You can try them all, or go along the easier routes, especially if it’s your first time. The obstacles range from ladders, tightropes and wobble bridges, to zip lines that will have you practicing your George of the Jungle call.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Kids enjoy learning at a science museum.

Perot Museum of Science and Nature is the top place in Dallas to take your kids if they love learning and having fun! As you walk through 5 floors of exhibits, you’ll get to experience the wonders of our world, and beyond. Eleven permanent exhibits include explorations into the human body, engineering, minerals and dinosaurs. The museum also features a rotation of amazing, 3D science films, which you can enjoy in their massive theater! For smaller kids, you can also visit the Moody Family Children’s Museum, play areas and daily programs to entertain children 4 and under.

Another great thing about the Science Museum? It’s one of the best free things to do in Dallas with kids! That’s right, general admission is absolutely free–you only have to pay for films and the special dino traveling exhibit, if you decide to go to them. The museum has hours of fun exhibits to enjoy, but most families can have their fill in less than a half-day here, or 2-4 hours.

More Fun Things to do in Dallas with Kids

They might not have made it into our top 5, but there’s no reason not to explore even more of what Dallas has to offer families. Here are a few more amazing experiences you can have with your family while visiting Dallas:

  • Dallas World Aquarium: Walk through a 22,000 gallon tunnel while fish swim all around you.
  • Klyde Warren Park: Built above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, this urban green space features a kids park with interactive fountains and a playground.
  • Hurricane Harbor: Can’t handle the Texas heat? This is the largest water park in Dallas, so get ready to get soaked.
  • Dallas Heritage Village: You can take a step back into history here by viewing Victorian homes and storefronts and learning about what life was like here in the 19th century.

Having Too Much Fun? Consider Moving to Dallas!

Oh, we’re serious. The only thing better than visiting Dallas is living here! Dallas is a great city for families. There’s plenty of work opportunities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. There are lots of great suburbs and amazing school choices. You’d be living in a State with no income tax! And have we mentioned, there is so much to do here?

If you are thinking about moving to Dallas, be sure to read up on the area first. Our blog has some great articles on things you should know about Dallas, and some of the best neighborhoods you’ll want to talk to your realtor about. Plus, when you’re ready to make the move, our local moving services will make your transition effortless.

If you have more questions about Dallas, or want a free moving quote, call us at (214) 733-4411. We can’t wait to hear from you!