It’s hard to imagine that big, bustling Plano was once a small farming community. Now the vibrant city of food, shopping and culture is anything but country quiet. Chock full of cool events and fun things to do, check out what’s new, what’s hot and where the locals go for a good time.
THINGS TO DO
For art and music lovers, there’s concerts, art and dancing in the Downtown Plano Arts District practically every week. Starting with the first Thursday of the month, the Courtyard Texas Music Series is set to bring country to town. So grab your boots and your bling (it’s Plano after all) and get rockin’. The Downtown Plano Art and Wine Walk returns April 13 and continues on the second Thursday of each month till December. Sip wine while strolling about, listening to live music, gawking at art galleries and enjoying discounts from local stores. The Live and Local series and dance lessons hits town every third weekend at McCall Plaza. The event is free and features upcoming local talent.
Go Ape! Courtesy: Visit Plano
Want to explore the great outdoors? Monkey around at Go Ape!, a ropes course above the trees in Oak Point Nature Preserve, or take a drive to West Plano for a nice walk to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve overlook. You can also swim in a Texas-shaped pool at (you guessed it) the Historic Texas Pool!
On September 22-23, keep your eyes to the sky during the Plano Balloon Festival. This three-day event features inflatable bounce houses and activities for the kiddos, live music and—of course—magnificent hot air balloons.
In October, you can all enjoy things German at Steinfest in Historic Downtown Plano. Head to the festival on October 19-20 to dance to polka music, drink German beer, shop at the marketplace and even watch a Weiner dog fashion show!
THE PATIO LIFE
Sip rosé in a pretty greenhouse atrium at Sixty Vines and transport yourself to wine country. The menu features fresh seasonal ingredients paired with sixty wines by the glass. Their Salumi and Cheese plate of Texas sausage with artisanal Californian cheeses is a must. If you fancy dining under the stars, snag a seat at the rooftop ice bar and patio at Urban Crust in Downtown Historic Plano. Chef Salvatore Gisellu or “Tore” as locals call him, serves up Sardinian specialties and handspun pizzas. Katy Trail Outpost with its winning combination of burgers, BBQ and beers wows crowds at their laid-back Austin style patio.
Urban Crust, Courtesy: @allysoneats
Get on the Hawaiian poke craze at Below 40 Poke House. Their fresh sashimi salad bowls are healthy and light. Save your calories for the smoothies or shaved ice desserts. If you’re hankering for old school hand-churned ice cream, Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream has been a local tradition for over 33 years. The ice cream is not only delicious, but owner Henry Gentry says “Ice cream makes you pretty.” The newly opened Mango Mango is a Hong Kong style dessert house. Cool off with mango sundae or get adventurous and try their desserts with lychee jelly and red bean. There’s also an array of ice slushie drinks and crepes.
SAVE FOR LATER
Be a kid again at Crave Popcorn Co. where they hand-pop their corn daily for freshness. There’s flavor for every popcorn junkie from classic butter to jalapeno cheddar to chocolate and sea salt. These gourmet treats will surely change movie night at home. Chocoholics needn’t look further than Dude Sweet Chocolate. Fun names like “Crack in a box” chocolate bark and “One Night Stand” chocolate potions laced with tequila and sure to bring a smile to the recipient.
Legacy West, the largest mixed-used destination in North Texas is garnering lots of attention from locals and visitors alike. Shake Shack and West Elm were the first tenants, and a curated lineup of stores have trickled in since then, including Tesla, Kate Hudson’s athleisure line Fabletics, Filson, Bonobos and Tumi to name a few. Restaurants like True Food Kitchen, Haywire, Barnes & Noble Kitchen (the first in Texas!) and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House have joined the Legacy West family too. Don’t miss your chance to chow down at Legacy Food Hall, one of Legacy West’s coolest new attractions. They often have free concerts in the Box Garden, so be sure to check the schedule if you want to see a show! After checking out the excitement at Legacy West, you can head across the street and shop ’til you drop at the Shops at Legacy!