Tag Archives: Dinosaurs Live

Ring Them Bells: It’s Christmastime in McKinney!

27 Nov

And so the Christmas season has begun again in McKinney, the holidays official rung in over Thanksgiving weekend at Dickens of a Christmas: Home for the Holidays and the wonderful Believe Run with its Great Santa Chase. That weekend was the precursor of a month full of feel-good, homey activities in McKinney ahead of us, a time when the community comes together to celebrate all we hold dear, and a time to reach out to those who might need help. (In McKinney, the desire to help others is happily a year-round attitude. That being said, please drop a contribution in the red kettles while you’re out and about. We have a very active Salvation Army and they will appreciate your support.)

Take a gander at what is coming up in the month of December, mark your calendars and by all means, please take part in one, three or many of them. You’ll be glad you did, and your cheeks will feel rosier!

The Arts: Music, Drama & Visual

There’s still time to see Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol,” the classic holiday tradition from the McKinney Repertory Theatre at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (Dec. 1-2.  Tickets are available online or by calling 214-544-4630.

Join McKinney’s own Jon Christopher Davis (pictured at right) for Wales Manor’s first Music Under the Stars Holiday Concert (Dec. 1, 7-10:15 p.m). Admission is $10/person. Bring a lawn chair and blankets, but no outside beverages. Wine, margaritas, sodas and water for sale, and oven-fired pizza!

The Krakatuk Ballet presents two performances of A Nutcracker Prequel Ballet (Dec. 12 for schools; Dec. for the public). The story includes an evil mouse queen, a king, queen, princess, sausages, nursemaids, cats, a very hard nut to crack and a boy who is able to crack it. Tickets are at MPAC.

The all-volunteer McKinney Community Band is holding its first public Christmas Concert, “Sounds of the Seasons” (Dec. 14, 7;30 p.m.) at Christ Fellowship Church in McKinney, 2801 Orchid, just off Eldorado. Admission is free, and the church will have its coffee shop open for purchases of hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and other yummy goodies.

Enjoy the Romance of Christmas Concert with Erica Lane and Dustin Keele (MPAC, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.). Tickets are $20 and $22.

The Turtle Creek Chorale brings laughter, joy and the most beautiful music of the season to MPAC (Dec. 15, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.) in their “Comfort & Joy” concert. Tickets are $20 and $30.

Second Saturday (Dec. 8, 7-10 p.m.) as always showcases the art of wonderful local and regional artists at our downtown art galleries. For a list of participating galleries and businesses, click HERE.

The annual Heard-Craig Center for the Arts hosts its annual Holiday Tea & Conversation (Dec. 12) program this year, showcasing the amazing voices of the McKinney High School Harmony group and the Boyd High School Jazz Choir.

Holiday Sights and Lights

The McKinney Rotary Club presents the 13th Annual Christmas Parade of Lights (Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m.) around the historic downtown square. This year’s parade features the theme, “Christmas at the Movies.” Gather your family and friends to see all of the beautifully decorated and lighted floats as we kick off the festive Christmas season, McKinney-style. Then hang around the square for dinner and live music!

The first weekend of December (Dec. 1-2) has been The Heritage Guild of Collin County Holiday Tour of Homes since 1973! Every year, five or six homes and historic structures are decorated for Christmas for the tour. Proceeds from ticket sales and raffle are a major component to the ongoing operation of Chestnut Square. Tickets are $20 at the door/$15 in advance and are available online or at locales downtown; 12 and under free.

The Heard Museum hosts its Holiday Trail of Lights (Dec. 14-15, 6:30-9 p.m.) where guests will see thousands of holiday lights–many synchronized to holiday music–along a half mile Heard nature trail. Have a photo taken with Father Christmas and Mother Nature in a festive setting. Enjoy hot beverages and treats. Listen to live holiday music in the Heard outdoor amphitheater performed by local groups.

And Even More To Do:

Dec. 1: The DFW Toys for Tots 44-mile Motorcycle  Run kicks off in McKinney to collect toys. Line up at 8:30 a.m., leave at 10:30 a.m. Don’t ride a motorcycle? Bring $15 and a new toy to the McKinney VFW Post 2150 for lunch, and photos with Santa and Marines. Benefitting DFW Toys for Tots. 1710 N. Church. For info, call 214-563-4185.

Dec. 1Morning Maniacs Shine & Show Classic Car Show: 7:30-10:30 a.m. around the McKinney Performing Arts Center on the square.

Dec. 5-6: Scholastic Book Fair: Pick up books and great stocking stuffers at this annual  McKinney Community Center event; all inventory 50% off.

Dec. 14-16: Third Monday Trade Days is the oldest and largest monthly trade days/flea market in North Texas. Over 400 vendors offer almost anything you can imagine—unique gifts, delightful home décor, trendy clothing and accessories, sporting goods, antiques and collectibles, landscaping materials, tools, and small animals along with many specialty “state fair” type food concessions. Shoppers will find plenty of all-weather parking, clean restrooms, two ATMs, an air conditioned and heated Mall building, mobility cart rental, wagon and stroller rental, and a family-friendly atmosphere including a fun playground and train ride. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. all three days.

Dec. 15:  For Adriatica’s Christmas Cookie Competition & Craft Fair, bring a plate of your decorated cookies, take pictures with Santa, sip on some hot cocoa, and check out all of the wonderful crafts! Winners of the Christmas Cookie Decorating Competition will receive awesome holiday prizes! Craft Fair: 10am-5pm; Cookie Competition: 2pm-4pm; Pictures with Santa: 2pm-4pm. At the Love Life Wrapping Center, 6851 Virginia Parkway, 972.540.5955.

Saturdays at 11 a.m.: Franconia Brewery Tour with Bavarian brewmeister Dennis Wehrmann shares his knowledge and laughs. Tour fee of $5 gets you the tour and tastings. 495 McKinney Pkwy., 972-542-0705.

NYE 2013


Ring in the New Year at MPAC!

The McKinney Performing Arts Center is hosting a New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31 bash featuring casino games, dancing and a champagne toast. Guests will groove to the beats of DJ Mark Brown and enjoy refreshments in the courthouse’s old vault retrofitted as a lounge area. Details and tickets are available on the MPAC website.


It’s November Already?

6 Nov

This will be the scene in downtown McKinney in the next week or so, as the city prepares for the holiday season.

Doesn’t it feel like it was just September? Then we blinked and it was November. We did enjoy many wonderful activities in McKinney in October; it just seemed to go by in a whirl.

Now that we’re into November already (it’s Election Day, as we post this – we hope you all voted!), there is again so much to keep everyone busy as we close in on the holidays – music, art, drama, races, and of course, Dickens of a Christmas.

McKinney Art Studio Tour (MAST)

Three galleries and 22 artists’ studios will welcome guests for tours  (self-guided after buying a ticket booklet – get tickets HERE) during the McKinney Art Studio Tour (MAST). This is the fourth year of the tour which offers T-shirts for purchase, and those who complete at least 15 stops on the tour (validated by signatures from the artists) can enter a prize drawing. The self-paced, leisurely tour allows visitors to watch the artists where they work and live, and talk to them about their creative processes.

32nd Annual Dickens of a Christmas

McKinney Main Street kicks off the holiday on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-25) by hosting Dickens of a Christmas – Home for the Holidays. Historic Downtown McKinney will offer holiday shopping, entertainment, activities and food. This free event offer visitors to Historic Downtown McKinney a chance to enjoy strolling carolers, live entertainment, carriage rides, children’s activities, holiday shopping and dining at the more than 100 shops and restaurants downtown. The ever-popular show hill is coming back this year, and of course, Dickens wouldn’t be complete without Santa!

Believe Run (1 Mile/5K/10K)

This fun and healthy family event starts and ends at McKinney’s Mitchell Park early the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24). The McKinney Rotary Club hosts this race that benefits Holy Family School and other charitable organizations. Before the race, kids get chase Santa (alias McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller) in the Great Santa Chase. Teams and families often dress in costume; strollers and dogs are welcome! Then hang around town after the race to enjoy Dickens.

ShopAnthropy Shopping Tournament

How fun is this? Teams of four each ($200 per team to enter) will spend the day (Nov. 10) on the downtown square, saving money (participating stores offer discounts to these teams), stopping for great food, and having 100% of the proceeds help kids in our area who have aged out of the foster care system and were never adopted. You can check out the charities here: www.embracetexas.org andwww.simplestofgifts.com.

On Stage

Everything from young performers to seasoned ones are performing this month.

Legally Blonde, the Musical (Nov. 10-11, 15-17): Fine arts students at McKinney Boyd High School bring this adaptation of the popular Broadway musical to their auditorium at 600 N. Lake Forest.  An opening night gala on Saturday (10th) features reserved seating, dinner, dessert at intermission, a silent auction and a meet-and-greet with the cast following the show, all for $25. Regular show tickets are $15 for adults. Get tickets HERE.

Young Actors Guild One-Act Plays (Nov. 16-18): McKinney Repertory Theatre’s Young Actors Guild presents two one-act plays, the mystery comedy “Who Murdered Who?” and an old-fashioned melodrama, “She Was Only a Farmer’s Daughter.” For showtimes at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC)  and to get tickets, click HERE.

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23-25, 30-Dec. 2): The McKinney Repertory Theater once again presents this holiday class to MPAC in what has become a long-standing tradition for kicking off the

Steel Magnolia (Nov. 29): This country duo won Can You Duet? on CMT in 2009 and now they’re hitting the Courtroom Theater stage at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Winners of the McKinney Mash-Up (finalists were crowned earlier in the month) will open for the duo. Get tickets HERE.


Many talented musicians and singers call McKinney and our area home. You can see them almost any day of the week at many eateries and the wineries downtown and elsewhere throughout the city. Below are establishments that regularly offer live entertainment.

Second Saturday Art Exhibits & Activities (Nov. 10)

McKinney’s galleries and other businesses feature new art exhibits, starting each Second Saturday on the Square, or hold special events. During this special evening, the galleries and many stores stay open later than usual, and provide snacks as well as the opportunity to meet the artists and talk to them about their work. The artists being featured at various locales downtown this month include:

  • Design Ten1 Studio: Ashley Bossung Bruegel; 110 S. Tennessee. 972-542-5514.
  • Garret Gallery:  Garret artists Clara Stovall, Ginny Bitting, Babs Light, Gail Delger, and Marian Hirsch; 111 E. Virginia; 972-548-9361.
  • Imaging on the Square: Jewelry artist Joy Jones. 109 S. Tennessee, 972-548-7575.
  • Laura Moore Fine Art: Peggy Epner (GODSPEED); 107 S Tennessee. 214-914-3630.
  • Orisons Art & Framing: Santa artist Brenda Brannon;. 110 E. Louisiana, 972-529-1441.
  • McKinney Wine Merchant: Nick Saia (sample pictured at right) and wine tastings from Mt. Eden Vineyards; 120 W. Virginia, 972-542-4636.
  • Main Street Magic & Fun Company presents two cabaret style magic shows in their Magic Attic Theater on Saturday – 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $10 each. Seating is limited so call 214-274-7802.

While we try to be as complete as possible in our monthly event blog, new things do come up, and then there are the monthly standards like flea market and vintage shopping at Third Monday Trade Days, Old Red Lumberyard, and the Flour Mill District; classes, garden shows and workshops, nature days and Dinosaurs Live! (at right) at the Heard Museum and more!

As always, check VisitMcKinney.com and the Destination McKinney Texas Facebook page for more event information.

And if you don’t have our Smartphone app yet (for iPhone, iPad or Android) by all means, go HERE now and get it! You’ll be glad you did.

October in McKinney: Fall Colors & Spooky Stuff

1 Oct

Grab a pumpkin and have a fun October in McKinney

Once again, we feel the hint of crispness in the air as our thoughts turn to all things autumnal –pumpkins, brilliant colors of changing leaves, and things that go bump in the night!

McKinney offers all these things and more. Check out the many activities in store for visitors and residents in McKinney in the month of October.

At the Heard Museum

October 2012 gets underway with the Oct. 2 opening of the annual Dinosaurs Live! exhibit at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. T-Rex and his pals will be around until February, giving you plenty of time to see and hear these animatronic creatures, made right here in Collin County, by the way. Don’t forget the camera as family pictures with the dinos make great additions to annual holiday cards. (We know this first hand, as we at the McKinney CVB took our holiday picture with the T-Rex a few years back!)

Dinos return to the Heard Oct. 2

A little later this month at the Heard:

  • Halloween at the Heard(Oct. 20, 6-10 p.m.) allows kids to trick-or-treat by flashlight along the nature trails, or take a detour to the “Haunted Forest” (not recommended for younger guests). There’s a costume contest (12 and under), concessions for purchase, and this year’s outdoor movie, “The Lorax.”  Tickets go on sale to members today (Oct.1) and to the general public on Oct. 8. Note: this event sells out fast!
  • The monthly 2nd Saturday Bird Walk (Oct. 13) allows bird and nature enthusiasts to explore the abundant bird life in the sanctuary. For more about birds and nature, watch this VIDEO.

Historic District Events

McKinney Community Band Free concert

Enjoy several entertainment options taking place in and around downtown McKinney this month:

  • McKinney Repertory Theatre brings Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” (Oct. 5-6, 12-14) to the Courtroom Theater at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC).
  • A capella sensations Pentatonix(winners of the Nov. 2011 “Sing-Off” Season 3 on NBC) perform at MPAC this month (Oct. 18), but sorry, folks – this show’s already sold out!
  • The McKinney Community Band honors Serenity High during their “After Ghoul Special” concert featuring bewitching music befitting the Halloween season. The concert is free, but tickets are needed as seating will fill up quick for this special night at MPAC. Get tickets HERE.

    Scare on the Square

  • Kids will fill the square by the thousands for Scare on the Square (Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m.) featuring trick-or-treating, a costume contest, and the McKinney Fire Department McTown Klownz(performing at 6:30 p.m. in a free show at MPAC).
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show (Oct. 19, 9-11 p.m) – The adults can enjoy some kid-free Halloween fun, too, as they rock along with this cult-classic. Bring your water guns, newspapers, toast, rice and more, or buy your Rocky Horror Kit when you buy your ticket to this late night event at MPAC.
  • Vocalists are submitting videos now (through Oct. 11) for the McKinney Mash-Up with online voting starting soon (Oct.12-26). Contestants will be notified Oct. 29 with the event taking place next month at MPAC.

Over at Chestnut Square Historic Village, enjoy the following family-friendly events:

  • Visit the last weekly Farmers Market (Oct. 13) Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon, before monthly markets start up.
  • At Legends of McKinney Ghost Walk (Oct. 20 & 27), guests will learn about McKinney’s ghostly legends on a self-guided tour through McKinney’s purported haunted locales, including this year’s addition of a haunted trolley ride to Finch Park (additional fee applies).
  • The city’s Parks department is hosting an outdoor showing of “The Hunger Games” at the McKinney Community Center (Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.). You bring the lawn chair and/or blankets while the city provides the movie and free popcorn.

Jon Christopher Davis

McKinney At-Large

Fall fun isn’t just for the historic district. Check out these Fall events elsewhere in the city:

Charitable Causes

Go to Pumpkinville at Tucker Hill & see their incredible fountain

  • The 4th annual Wish 100 (Oct. 6, 8 a.m.) in which the city partners with The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas, McKinney Velo and Matrix Cycling for a 60-mile ride through McKinney and surrounding communities to raise funds to help make wishes come true for children battling life-threatening medical conditions.
  • A special Sunday Brunch at Gather (Oct. 14) benefits CASA. Reservations are recommended and a photo booth will be on-site for capturing the fun with your friends.
  • Walkers and runners can help multiple charities at the Stonebridge Racers’ Halloween Hustle (Oct. 28) which features 1K, 5K and 15K races.

This event list may look extensive, but our website calendar is full of many others, including Second Saturday art gallery openings, Third Monday Trade Days and Old Red Lumberyard, classes, FFA shows, garden workshops, Scouting badge days and more!  As always, check VisitMcKinney.com and the Destination McKinney Texas Facebook page for more event information.

And if you don’t have our Smartphone app yet (for iPhone, iPad or Android) by all means, go HERE now and get it! You’ll be glad you did.

Unique By Nature? Yes, We Are!

24 Aug

On the nature trails at the Heard.

“What’s unique about it?”

That’s a question we frequently get at the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau. Those of who live here, know: it’s that “special something” that brought most of us here, the reason we chose to call it home.

McKinney’s 2012 Honor!

And Money Magazine obviously gets it, too, considering they just named our city the #2 Best Place to Live in America, up from #5 in 2010 and #14 in 2008. (They publish the list for cities our size every two years, and it is practically unheard of for a city to make three consecutive lists, much less move up in ranking each time.)

So what is unique about McKinney? That’ll take several blog entries to explain, so today, we’ll start with a word that is in that description – our nature (which was even incorporated in our logo in the way of a tree). Most cities have trees and nature; we know that. But McKinney’s nature is different.

A predator bird presentation at the Heard amphitheater

Over the years, those who have sculpted McKinney into what it is today have worked diligently to incorporate and preserve nature in as many ways as we can. In this blog entry, we talk about one of those special places where visitors and residents can enjoy nature to its fullest and most pristine.

The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

The Heard, which will celebrate its 45th  anniversary on Sept. 30, offers so many cool opportunities to enjoy nature, we are devoting an entire blog entry to it. (We’ll cover other McKinney nature in our next blog entry.)

Wetlands Eco-Adventures at the Heard

This museum was the vision of McKinney native Bessie Heard (1886-1988) who donated the land and started the museum back in 1967 when she was 80 years old. The beautiful 289-acre wildlife sanctuary on which the Heard Museum sits features more than six miles of natural walking and hiking trails, some more hilly than others as they wind through woodlands, prairies, and grasslands. More adventurous guests can even call ahead and schedule an Eco-Adventure (a canoe tour of the wetlands) or for groups of 10 or more, challenge themselves on the high and low elements of the ropes course in the Heard’s deciduous forest tree canopy.

Inside the Heard’s butterfly house

A nature museum displaying native wildlife and special exhibits also houses a store that kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring for books, maps, science tools, toys, T-shirts, and do-it-yourself kits of all kinds. Also on the property, guests will find a beautiful outdoor amphitheater where concerts, bird and wildlife lectures, and other events take place throughout the year. In the summer, the Heard’s Native Texas butterfly garden and butterfly house are filled with brilliantly-colored winged creatures and numerous species of flowers.

We recommend you peruse the Heard’s website to learn of all the educational programs and events they offer, including children’s camps, night hikes, birdwatching and tagging, snake feeding, the Animals of the World exhibit, as well as Spring, Halloween and Christmas events, and many more. And their science building and other facilities are available for church gatherings, meetings, weddings and other events.

Watch out for the spitting dino!

The pièce de résistance at the Heard, though, would have to be the Dinosaurs Live! event happening annually from fall into winter. (The animatronic dinosaurs will inhabit the sanctuary starting Oct. 2 this fall until Feb. 3, 2013.) Walk the nature trails to find them hiding along the paths, moving and making noise in natural settings. Their Halloween at the Heard event is especially thrilling for youngsters as they trick-or-treat along the nature trails at dusk, watch an outdoor movie and compete in a costume contest. But be careful – there is usually a water-spitting dino among them, always a favorite with the kids! Bring the camera to capture poses with the 46-foot T-Rex and his friends, who are all made right here in McKinney by Billings Productions.

The 46-foot tall T-Rex is a favorite among kids.

Whether you’re visiting us in McKinney, or that “special unique something” has caught you, too, and you’ve decided to call McKinney home, there is a little piece of nature for everyone.

More examples of how you can enjoy nature in our city will come in this blog entry’s sequel next week.

Visit McKinney Texas: Where to find us!

Remember “everything McKinney” is always at your fingertips with our Smartphone app. Links for downloading it to iPhone, iPad and Android can be found HERE. And if you need to check out McKinney on your computer, you can find us at our website or on Facebook and Twitter. We’re even working on growing a Pinterest page! And if you’d rather pick up the phone, you can contact the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau at 214-544-1407 or tollfree at 888-649-8499.

New Year, New Opportunities

6 Jan

We hope 2012 is off to a great start for you and, we want to challenge you to try something new this year. Sign up for a class to learn a new skill, attend an event you’ve never attended, or try that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, but have never managed to step in the door.  We see the new year as a chance for new opportunities, and we plan to relish in them and take them on! Now here’s what you have to look forward to in this first month of 2012.

Learn Something New!
January is chock full of opportunities to try something new or take on new hobbies, so why not challenge yourself!

  • Adults can consider Intuitive Painting (ongoing), crazy patchwork quilting (1/16) and more at The Artist’s Loft on the downtown square.
  • Kids in grades 1-8 can take part in free weekly dance classes, presented by Chamberlain Performing Arts, at the Boys & Girls Club while those 7-14 can take a Discover Art class (1/6) at the McKinney Community center or a variety of “Discover” classes including art, African culture, and modeling at Old Settler’s Park Rec Center.
  • Also at Old Settler’s every Saturday at 10 a.m., ages 10 and up are invited to be part of the hand drum circle where they’ll learn the art of hand drumming; drums are provided for those who don’t have them. The sponsoring organization, Drums Not Guns, also hosts a Fourth Friday Night Drum Circle in Mitchell Park (Church/Louisiana) from 7-10 p.m. each month.
  • Learn how to be “green” at the Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop ($50 each; 1/21) offered by the city’s Office of Environmental Stewardship and AgriLife Extension office; participants will make their own rain barrel for use in collecting and using rain water.

Claim the Spotlight
Those craving the spotlight have the opportunity to audition for three stage productions this month:

Or pretend to be an Olympic ice skater while twirling on the ice during the Winter Blast at the Dr Pepper Star Center (1/28).

Appreciate the Arts...and Animals
Performance and visual art enthusiasts can take in an art exhibit opening, a musical or a night of comedy during this first month of 2012.

  • The McKinney Youth Theatre presents the “Wizard of Oz” at the Heard-Craig Performance Hall (1/13-22).
  • Second Saturday (1/14) features a new exhibit opening of Elizabeth McDonald at Laura Moore Fine Art Studios, while the Garret Art Gallery holds over their popular miniatures exhibit and sale from December. Orisons Art & Framing features the wildlife portraits of K.D. Hafley (pictured). Live musical performances are on tap at the eateries and wineries on the square and over at Hank’s Texas Grill.
  • Also during Second Saturday, enjoy the sounds of two bands – “The Patient Patient” and “Taylor Thrash” during the Winter Jam, a fundraiser for New Life Church of McKinney’s College Ministries (at MPAC, 1/14).
  • The Four Funny Females (pictured right) return to the Courtroom Theatre at the McKinney Performing Arts Center for the first of three early 2012 shows (1/21).
  • The McKinney Community Concert Association presents the 3 Inspirational Tenors at Faubion Middle School (1/7). These are annual membership performances, but call 972-542-2960 prior to the show to see if any tickets might be available.
  • And don’t forget! The dinosaurs are still stationed along the nature trails at the Heard Natural Science Museum through Jan. 29. While there, check out the Animal Superheroes indoor exhibit as well.

Here Comes the Bride
McKinney Performing Arts Center will host its second “Walk Down the Aisle of History” Bridal Show (1/21) featuring a wide variety of the vendors and venues that help make McKinney the “Wedding Capital of North Texas.”

Unique Shopping
McKinney’s monthly shopping opportunities are back, of course, with TreasureSpotters being open 1/7-8, and Third Monday Trade Days taking place 1/13-15. (Old Red Lumberyard will not have a January market.)

Go, Dog, GO!
Myers Park & Event Center starts off the year with a full calendar including a livestock show and a handful of dog agility shows. All are free for spectators and a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon with the family, especially those with kids who love animals!

  • Collin County Livestock Show (1/4-7)
  • Happy Hounds Dog Show (1/14-15)
  • Alamo Area Whippet Dog Show (1/21-22)
  • Lone Star Poodle Club Dog Show (1/21-22)
  • Texas Kennel Club Dog Show (1/28-19)

For more information, visit the Myers Park calendar.

As always, you can learn more about McKinney’s events by visiting VisitMcKinney.com and by downloading our free Visit McKinney Texas Smartphone app. (For links to the Apple Store and Android Market, click HERE.)

Happy Fall, Y’all!

27 Sep

Fall has officially arrived in McKinney, Texas … and with that comes the promise of many fun family activities. Many business owners on the downtown square are already decking-out their shops with fall colors and some of the windows are so festive with autumn and Halloween themes. (The main picture is but a sampling of the color that awaits you on the square. More decorations will be appearing around downtown in the coming weeks.)

The month of October gets a roaring kick off with the Oct. 1 opening of the annual Dinosaurs Live! exhibit at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. We grabbed the camera and ran out to The Heard to snap a few pictures of the dinosaurs last week as they made their grand entrance via18-wheeler flat-bed. They’ve spent the past week finding the right spot to settle in along the nature trails for their four-month stay among the trees, grasslands and wildlife. They roar, they move, and a couple even spit. (It’s easy to find these, as groups of kids often gather in front of them, waiting to be sprayed by the ferocious beasts!)

Also at The Heard this month:

  • Night Hike (Oct. 15) – Grab a flashlight and venture out on the nature trails at night. You’ll hear and see, if you’re lucky, some of the nocturnal wildlife that calls The Heard home. Reservations are required. Also on Oct. 15: Free Visitor Day, National Fossil Day celebration & the opening of “Animal Superheroes” Exhibit.
  • Halloween at the Heard (Oct. 22) – The kids will love trick-or-treating by flashlight on the nature trails, stopping at the dinos to collect candy. Also scheduled: a costume contest, refreshments, Haunted Forest, and an outdoor movie! Reservations are required and it sells out FAST every year.

The City of McKinney presents some fall events as well, some for families and others more adult-oriented, including:

  • Family Fall Festival (Oct. 23, 6-10 p.m.) – This event at the Community Center on Central Expressway just south of Towne Lake features games and activities for families as well as an outdoor movie (“How to Train Your Dragon”) from 8-10 p.m. Registration is required. $5 per person. 972-547-2690.
  • Scare on the Square (Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m.) – The downtown square is closed off to allow children to trick-or-treat at the downtown shops, participate in a costume contest, visit with the McKinney Fire Department McTown Klownz (who perform at 6:30 p.m. in a free show at MPAC after this event), and more.
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show (Oct. 29, 11 p.m) – The adults can enjoy some kid-free Halloween fun, too, as they rock along with this cult-classic. Bring your water guns, newspapers, toast, rice and more, or buy your Rocky Horror Kit when you buy your movie ticket. At the McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee. 214-544-4630.
  • Also at MPAC in October: Daddy’s Dying, Who’s Got the Will? (McKinney Repertory Theater, Oct. 1, 7-9); Girl Talk: A Girls Night Musical (Oct. 15); Stars Go Dim Concert (Oct. 23); The Murderous Mansion of Dr. Uno (MRT Young Actor’s Guild, Oct. 21-23); and McTown Klownz (Oct. 31)

Over at Chestnut Square Historic Village, enjoy the following family-friendly events:

  • Farmers Market: October is the last month of the weekly Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon through Oct. 29), with the final market featuring a pumpkin patch and more fun, including adorable Collin and McKinney, two baby goats currently living at Chestnut Square.
  • Legends of McKinney Ghost Walk (Oct. 22 & 29): Learn about McKinney’s ghostly legends on a self-guided tour through McKinney’s purported haunted locales, including this year’s addition of a haunted trolley ride to Pecan Grove Cemetery (additional fee applies). Also see findings from TEXPART (Texas Paranormal Research) at MPAC, and hear ghost stories told by Civil War re-enactors.
  • 4th Annual Ghouls on the Lawn (Oct. 23): While this event isn’t actually at MPAC, it is presented by the McKinney Performing Arts Center at McKinney’s Tucker Hill and features trick-or-treating (5-7 p.m. only), haunted graveyard, ghost stories, pumpkin painting, magic show, hayride, petting zoo, and a live performance of Harry Potter’s “Dance of the Dementors”!

Music fills the air in October, too, and not only in the music and downtown wineries every weekend and on Second Saturday:

  • Music Under the Stars (Oct. 22): Wales Manor Vineyard and Winery again welcomes Jon Christopher Davis and friends for the filming of an episiode of the new TV show, “Troubadour Texas.” (Details to come on the Wales Manor website.)
  • Music In Motion (Oct. 28-29): This two-day festival will feature a wide range of musical groups as well as promoting all the live-music venues now entertaining visitors and residents. While the musicians make their music, a slew of McKinney artists will also be on-hand to demonstrate and who their art. (This event is the first venture of the newly-established Arts & Music Guild of McKinney.) Details to come on their website.

This event list may look extensive, but our website calendar is full of many others, including art classes, FFA shows, garden workshops, and more!  As always, check VisitMcKinney.com and the Destination McKinney Texas Facebook page for more event information.

And if you don’t have our Smartphone app yet (for iPhone, iPad or Android) by all means, go HERE now and get it! You’ll be glad you did.