If it's been a while since you've traveled north to Plano, it's time to give the Dallas suburb a second look. Besides recently reeling in several high-profile companies — Toyota, Liberty Mutual, FedEx Office, and JP Morgan Chase have all set up headquarters there — Plano is also bursting with opportunities for art, culture, and fun.
Here are just a few can't-miss activities and events you can look forward to exploring this spring.
Texas Music Revolution & Rodeo
Where can you catch Lee Ann Womack, Robert Earl Keen, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, Junior Brown, Jaime Wyatt, and Zane Williams? At this popular two-day concert bash held at Oak Point Park Amphitheater, presented March 29-30 by Deep Ellum Brewing Co. For the first time in TMR history, professional bull riding will be available to watch on March 30.
The mega mixed-use center, located at Legacy Drive and the Tollway, boasts all kinds of impressive tenants, from the Paris-born Amorino Gelato to Frontgate's massive new flagship store. You could easily while away a weekend (or more) shopping, dining, and admiring the unique art installations that occur throughout the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, all without leaving the development. As a bonus for foodies, Legacy Food Hall gathers more than 24 artisanal food stalls run by local chefs and aspiring restaurateurs along with two large craft cocktail bars, a natural wine bar, a full-fledged craft brewery, a tiki bar, still house lounge, Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. Outpost, and two rotating pop-up bars. Music lovers can jam out at the Box Garden performance space, which hosts all kinds of concerts and events.
Kids and kids-at-heart can't help but get swept up in the colorful world of Crayola at this interactive attraction inside The Shops at Willow Bend. Doodle — sorry, dawdle — your way through 22 hands-on attractions in a 60,000-square-foot space, doing everything from naming and wrapping your own Crayola crayon to creating melted wax spin-art. Be sure to stop off at the gift shop, which sells the world's largest selection of Crayola souvenirs.
Go Ape at Oak Point Park
Feel like monkeying around? Climb high in the sky at Texas' first treetop adventure course, located just minutes from the Downtown Plano Arts District at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. Five individual sections across 800 acres include rope ladders, a canopy tour, and 39 exciting crossings.
Carpenter Park Skate Park
One of the most extensive and unique skate parks in all of Dallas-Fort Worth combines popular street-style skating with bowl skating for a challenging adventure for both kids and adults. Show off your ollie skills at one of the largest bowls in the area, or on the various-sized ramps, rails, stair sets, and ledges. Those with an eagle eye might notice that the skate park's design is a "P" that resembles the official Plano logo.
Plano fourth-graders have traveled back in time to the 19th century, and now's your chance. The 1891 Victorian farm — it's on the National Register of Historic Places — is a collection of original buildings, a museum, and an active farm and garden museum.
Interurban Railway Museum
Climb into a refurbished rail car and learn about electricity, science, and Plano's history at this gem of a museum — where admission is free, by the way. A mix of permanent and visiting exhibits shed light on how the Texas Electric Railway helped shape the city into what it is today.
From Memorial through Labor days, take a refreshing dip in 168,000 gallons of saltwater that's shaped like the great state of Texas. This membership-supported community pool (there are tourist passes available) features a diving board, two water slides, and an island with a shallow "South Texas" wading area for the little ones. Picnic tables, a beach volleyball court, barbecue grills, and a snack bar complete the experience.
After a week of community art programming in late April, the free Plano Artfest is the grand finale that celebrates artistic inclusiveness, creative curiosities, and cultural connection. From April 27-28 in the Downtown Plano Arts District, you can enjoy live music, contemporary art installations, performances from local arts groups, a makers market of craftsmen and artisans, family chalk art, a kids' zone with bounce houses, and much more.
Cinemark The Void
Step into your favorite movie thanks to a whole-body, fully immersive VR experience called The Void, which movie theater Cinemark has partnered with to give guests a cinematic experience they'll never forget. By strapping on a vest, helmet, and virtual reality goggles, you can hear, feel, smell, and see what's actually happening in the movie. It's the first in-theater, hyper-reality experience like this in all of Texas.
For more fun things to do in Plano, check out this list.