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29 Free Things to Do with Kids near me around Plano

Don’t we all want to have some fun? Yes, we do but we all also know that some kids activities can be very costly.

There are, however, fun and free things to do with kids near me, that don’t necessarily need to break the bank, that are either free or cheap! 

Kids are easy to please and I think you’ll agree that they enjoy more things when they’re with family and friends. There are great places for free activities for kids and kid-friendly activities nearby.

We have 29 free things to do with kids near me around the DFW area.

More: 10 of the Most Fun Things to Do in Dallas with Kids

Free or cheap things to do with kids

Looking for “Free Things to do with Kids near me?”

Get out and Explore Nature

Here in Plano Texas alone, we’ve got tons of parks that are full of fantastic natural beauty, just perfect for walking, jogging, hiking, and playing – perfect for family fun.

While the Dallas Arboretum isn’t free, it does have a beautiful children’s garden and is one of the best places for kids if you head Downtown. Klyde Warren Park is also a great place to visit and you can combine the two into one day trip.

But out in nature, there are some of the best places for kids near me!

Our favorite places to head outside are the many parks and trails we have closeby, including Arbor Hills Nature Preserve (which has a fun playground too), Jack Carter All Abilities Park, and Haggard Park

Go hike to nearby nature trails, and if you get lucky, you may be able to see some local wildlife (or a Pokemon) and enjoy one of our nearby dog parks.

Arbor Hills Park Plano

Playgrounds to Run Around

The playground is always a huge hit for children!

Today, playgrounds are like miniature amusement parks for free. And, most of them are great for toddlers, kids, and tweens. Many of our Indoor playgrounds offer great free play options for kids.

Picnic at the Park

Weather plays an important part in planning a family picnic, Texas can be unbearable during summer, but spring or fall are great for picnics.

And, keep in mind that Plano’s surrounding areas have a lot of parks or green spaces that are perfect for setting up a picnic table. 

Check out the Plano Parks and its amenities.

Many offer covered areas for an ad-hoc small family picnic but also for a small fee you can reserve a spot for a larger party. 

Get wet at one of our local Splash Pads

Waterparks can be so expensive, and the crowd can be so overwhelming. So, skip the costly admission fees and long lines; cool off at the splash pads instead. One of our favorite free things to do with kids near me.

Most cities around DFW areas have added splash pads to their park, and during Summer, kids definitely will have a blast!

Splash Pads in North Dallas

Go Fishing

Fishing can be very calming and enjoyable; it is a perfect activity for generations of family members to have fun together.

Please double-check local park rules if you need a fishing license. Here is a link for reference, click here.

Fishing Lake Lewisville

Lake Ray Hubbard

Free things to do with kids near me
Plano Interurban Railway Museum

Head to 10 of the best Free Museums near by in Dallas and Fort Worth

The Interurban Railway Museum

The Interurban Railway Museum is located in Plano’s Haggard Park by Historic Downtown Plano is FREE for everyone. You can enjoy a tour of Railway Post Office Car #360.

Every Friday at 10:30 a.m. the museum offers a children’s story time which is geared for preschoolers, it is hosted by professional storytellers.

Nasher Sculpture Museum

There is free admission at the Nasher every first Saturday of the month. It is excellent for everyone, so bring the whole family to enjoy some arts and make memories.

Each month features a rotating schedule of things to see and do.

Dallas Modern Museum

General Admission is FREE every day; it includes viewing the museum’s collection galleries and most exhibitions.

Special exhibits will normally $16 but discounted or free admission is available for the following groups: Seniors (65+): $14, military with DOD ID, $14, students with school ID: $12, DMA members: FREE, and children age 11 and under: FREE

The Crow Museum of Asian Art and The Kimbell Art Museum are very close together so you can visit both. Admission to the permanent collection of the Museum is always free.

North Park Center is a shopping mall but with a large selection of artwork.

NorthPark Center’s internationally acclaimed 20th and 21st-century art collection turns shopping into a world-class cultural experience.  Making museum-quality art available every day for your enjoyment. 

More: You’ll also need some great Kids eat Free ideas!

Cultivate the Love of Reading, for free

Check out Plano Public Libraries

Any of the 5 libraries in Plano TX are a great place to hang out with your kids, not just because it is free, but because they are fun as well. While big kids can dive into books or tablets there, there are also fun things for toddlers near us, too.

An ideal option and one of a few free things to do with kids near me! Besides reading and checking out piles of books, they have tons of activities for everyone in the family.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is rewarding kids with a free book (kids can choose from several) after they read eight books and complete a reading journal this summer.

Movies in the Park

Downtown Plano continues to offer us a free movie in the park each summer.

Head out to Haggard Park at the end of every month, June through August, and watch some of the most beloved family-friendly movies.

Game Night

Oh yeah… this can be so fun! Board games such as Monopoly or Pictionary and some card games can be super fun for the whole family. You can even invite friends to come and play together.

Head out for a fun Photo Shoot

We have a ton of great ideas where you can capture some Instagrammable photos around the area

Photo Shoot places in Plano

And, here is the CHEAP Stuff

While many of the activities listed below have reasonable prices, some often have annual memberships with a break-even point of two visits.

It is also worth noting some have a free day once a month and you may even find budget-friendly discounts for kids’ fun near me, from sites like LivingSocial or Groupon.

Summer can be too hot to be out and about, so museums are great to cool off and at the same time learn something new.

7 Reasons you need to really need to visit The Heritage Farmstead Museum

It is a living history, and you can experience what life is like on the Blackland prairie back in 1891. They offer camps during summertime, but the fun at the Farmstead is not limited during summertime. They are open all year round and offers unique learning opportunities for everyone.

Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Preserve

The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Preserve is a piece of gem. It has 289-acre wildlife sanctuary and a natural science museum for the primary purpose of educating children about nature. 

For $10 adult admission and $7 for kids, you are learning new things at the lab, new exhibits to check out, walk at the trail and at the butterfly garden, and play at the pioneer village (this village features eight buildings in playhouse scale that emulate structures that would have been typical in prairie settlements in the late 1800s).

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The membership is all worth it!

For the year, it includes free admission to all the exhibit halls, gives you discounts on parking, discounts to theater admissions and special exhibits, early members hour to skip the crowd, you get free admission to other 360 museums worldwide, some exclusive preview days to traveling exhibitions and pre-public access to special programs like Social Science and lectures.

Family membership for two adults and all children or grandchildren (17 and younger) is $130. 

Watch Movies and have Popcorn

Cinemark West Plano Movies

AMC Theaters, the largest movie theater chain in the United States, has had Tuesday as its nationwide discount day. AMC Stubs members, including ones who had a free membership, were eligible for $5 standard 2D tickets every Tuesday and reduced prices for premium tickets.

At Studio Movie Grill $5 Tuesdays mean all of your favorite Hollywood releases are only $5 all day long!

At Regal Cinemas you can watch $1 family movies at Regal Cinemas every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cinemark has a variety of discounts offered to you.

Get Artsy

Summer means doing outdoor fun, but when the heat is unbearable, most notably here in Texas, then there are things to do most especially for our little artist.

It doesn’t cost much to explore, imagine, and create.

Crayola Experience

Check out their membership packages to get the most discounts or grab our exclusive discount too. It’s ideal for “Preschool activities near me”.


You can make creativity happen! Check out their classes and events for kids and adults.

Shakespeare in the Park

This is such a unique opportunity for people to enjoy and experience Shakespeare in a casual setting.

Kids Bowl Free App

Kids Bowl Free has been operating since 2007 and offers kids two free games of bowling a day all summer long at select bowling centers.

This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and give kids a safe and fun way to spend time this summer.

Check out here to learn how it works.

Pogo Pass

Save 50% on the Annual Pogo Pass Membership

This is one steal of a deal for families!

Each pass includes free admission to kids’ activities at over 20 destinations around Dallas/Fort Worth for only $49.99 per person.

Give the gift of experiences all over DFW!

Use code PLANOMOMS or just use our link below to buy.

Buy the Pogo Pass

If you have Questions, we’ve written a huge guide to the Pogo Pass to help you!

Recreation Centers and Pools

There are so many classes offered at your nearest recreation center.

Most cities always make sure of creating a comfortable and fantastic experience for people of all ages and backgrounds in and around the city.

Have you discovered any others?? Share them with us!