Garland is a magical place that nature lovers and urbanites can both appreciate. In 2008, it secured a spot on CNN and Money magazine’s top 100 places to live in the US, and its appeal only grows each year. And with Lake Ray Hubbard on one side and Firewheel Golf Park on the other, there is no shortage of crazy fun things to do in Garland for every type of person.
Aside from its many parks and trails, the food, live music venues, and nightlife scenes are reason enough to check out this vibrant city. Many travelers won’t know that Garland is actually a diverse and unique destination with plenty of entertainment opportunities.
We’ve spent lots of time here, so we want to share our best things to do in Garland to help you plan your trip. Keep Garland beautiful when you travel! We offer trash pickups in Garland and prefer it when the city is sparkling clean. We are including some epic outdoor places as well as some of the city’s best attractions to check out.
1. Hawaiian Falls Garland: Splashes of Fun and Relaxation
Address: 4550 N Garland Ave, Garland, TX 75040
Hawaiian Falls Garland, a family-friendly waterpark, promises a day filled with aquatic adventures and cool relaxation. The park features an assortment of thrilling water attractions, which is a great attraction to bring the whole family. It has exhilarating slides that send visitors spiraling into refreshing pools and lazy rivers that wind through lush landscapes.
The park’s wave pool mimics the ocean’s gentle tides, creating a beach-like ambiance perfect for sunbathing and aquatic play. Hawaiian Falls also emphasizes safety, offering dedicated areas for younger children to splash around under careful supervision.
2. Walk along the trails and discover nature at Spring Creek Preserve
Address: 15012 Brown Rd, Tomball, TX 77377
With its winding hiking trails that traverse through dense woodlands and creeks, this preserve offers an opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. A diverse range of plant species, including native Texas flora, thrives here, providing a picturesque backdrop for leisurely walks or birdwatching with your young family.
The park consists of four distinct sections with a huge range of attractions depending on what you fancy doing.
- Spring Creek Forest Preserve and Greenbelt: Home to ancient trees (up to 300 years old) and over 650 plant and animal species
- Spring Creek Greenbelt – Harris Section: Features a playground, covered picnic shelters with tables and grills, a backstop, a pond with a fishing pier
- Spring Creek Greenbelt – Winters Park: Ample parking
- Spring Creek Park Preserve: Features a natural walking trail with picnic tables
This unspoiled ecosystem is a prime example of urban conservation efforts, allowing visitors to observe wildlife and appreciate the importance of preserving green spaces within a metropolitan area.
3. Have a great time at Duck Creek Golf Club
Address: 2800 Diamond Oaks Dr, Garland, TX 75044
Duck Creek Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course located in the heart of Garland, TX, with breathtaking views of Lake Ray Hubbard and suburban forests. The course is serene and inviting with its gently rolling hills, lush greens, and beautiful water features.
This public golf course offers a variety of amenities to make your round enjoyable. The practice range and putting green are perfect for honing your skills, and the pro shop is stocked with all the latest gear. There’s also a restaurant and bar that serves up delicious drinks and snacks to refuel after playing!
The course itself is well-maintained with challenging holes, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens. Visitors can use a day pass to play or sign up for annual membership, so both casual golfers and regulars alike can enjoy the course.
4. Spend an afternoon at Surf and Swim
Address: 440 W. Oates Road, Garland, TX 75043
Surf and Swim is a family-oriented aquatic center that promises a day of water-filled excitement. This water park features a large outdoor pool with a wave machine, giving visitors the chance to experience simulated ocean waves. The pool’s shallow areas are perfect for young swimmers to safely splash around. The park also houses water slides that offer thrilling rides for both kids and adults.
In addition to the pool, Surf and Swim offers other amenities for visitors. There are shaded areas where guests can relax or enjoy a picnic lunch, a cafe serving snacks and cold drinks, as well as a kiddie zone with fun games. The park also hosts special events throughout the year like Dive-In Movie Nights and Water Polo Tournaments!
5. Shop at Firewheel Town Center
Address: 245 Cedar Sage Drive, Garland, TX 75040
Firewheel Town Center is a premier shopping destination in the area, with shops and eateries to please every member of the family. It’s home to popular stores like Dillard’s, JCPenney, Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, and Coach. Not to mention the variety of restaurants that offer everything from Mexican cuisine to delicious desserts!
The center also boasts several entertainment hubs where guests can enjoy a night out or an afternoon with friends. Live music venues, comedy clubs, and movie theaters are all available for a fun-filled night on the town. And don’t forget the range of arcade games and bowling alleys are an ideal place to bring kids on a rainy day!
6. Unveil history’s tapestry at Garland Landmark Museum
Address: 393 N. Sixth Street, Garland, Texas 75040
If you want to take a break from shopping and swimming, the Garland Landmark Museum is a great place to explore. This museum has exhibits that highlight local history and culture. Exhibits range from interactive displays on pioneer life to photography collections of the city’s landmarks. Guests can also explore the museum’s permanent collection, which includes artifacts from the region’s 19th-century ranching and farming days.
The museum also boasts a large research library with books, manuscripts, photographs, and microfilms of Garland’s history. This is an ideal destination for those looking to learn more about the region’s past or do some genealogical research. The library’s staff are always on hand to answer any questions and offer assistance in locating materials.
7. Spend a family day at Jumping World
Address: 4445 Saturn Rd B, Garland, TX 75041
Jump into the fun at Jumping World, a family-friendly amusement center. This indoor facility offers hours of entertainment for all ages. Kids can burn off some energy on the trampolines, play games at Toddler World, or build their own pizzas in the cafe. There are also plenty of activities for adults including a sports lounge and bar with craft beer and cocktails.
There are tumbling lanes where you can jump around and perform flips. For basketball enthusiasts, the slam dunk arena is a hit, allowing visitors to replicate those incredible jumps and flips they witness in the NBA. There is also an obstacle course with obstacles that range from simple ladders to daring tightrope challenges for those looking for a more thrilling experience. It is the perfect place to bring family.
8. Texas Skatium – Enjoy the Thrill of Speed
Address: 2020 Rowlett Rd Garland, TX 75043
The Texas Skatium is a state-of-the-art skate park where you can ‘skate your heart out’! Open to both experienced skaters and novices alike, this is a great place to learn how to skateboard, inline skate, or scooter in an environment tailored for fun. Professional instructors are available to teach the basics and safety tips on skating.
It is a great venue to hold a birthday party or special event, with a state-of-the-art sound system, amazing music, and great lighting. They also have organized events like contests and skate nights for those looking for more than just skating. For those just wishing to watch the action, the park has a comfortable viewing area with food and drinks available.
9. Go fishing at Lake Ray Hubbard
Address: Rockwall, TX 75032
The lake offers an excellent escape from central Garland, boasting a wide range of activities that make it an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike. A great fishing spot, anglers can catch bass, stripers, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and blue cats at Lake Ray Hubbard – each one bigger than the last! There are plenty of spots along the lake shoreline to fish from and if you are looking for a more secluded spot you can rent a boat from the marina.
For visitors who want to experience the lake in a more leisurely way, Lake Ray Hubbard offers scenic cruises and other boat rides all year round. Enjoy the stunning views of the shoreline as you cruise along the water, or relax with a fishing charter that takes you to the best spots on the lake.
10. Buy a cowboy hat at Resistol Hat Plant
Address: 601 Marion Dr, Garland, TX 75042
Texas is known for its cowboy hats and nothing says “Texas” quite like a Resistol, the official hat of Texas. Located just outside of Garland in nearby Melissa, TX, the Resistol Hat Plant offers visitors an opportunity to see how these iconic hats are made. Here you can watch artisans cut and shape felt into hats, then dip them in boiling water to give them their famous shape. After that, the hats can be customized to customers’ specifications and shipped all over the world. For those who don’t want to wait that long, there is a selection of ready-made Resistol hats in almost every style imaginable available for purchase on the premises.
In a nutshell, Garland, Texas, is a place where the best of both worlds collide – where the calming embrace of nature intertwines with the energy of city life. Its historical charm and modern attractions blend seamlessly, creating a delightful mix of entertainment and opportunity that’s hard to ignore. We have listed the top 10 fun things to do in Garland, but this is only a glimpse of the many activities that contribute to the city’s vibrant culture. We invite you to explore all that Garland has to offer and create your own list of things to see and do!
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