A few weeks ago Kelly wrote a post spotlighting the great city of Richardson. Now, I grew up in Richardson; attended Yale, Apollo, and Berkner. Although I don’t live in Richardson anymore, I live just across the street from the border, and my children will attend Richardson schools. This might make it sound like I’m trying to promote Richardson, but my point in telling you this, is that growing up in the city, there’s not much I haven’t seen or done. Maybe you’re feeling this way about your own suburb too?
What I’ve found is that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know other cities near my home. One of my favorite things about living in the suburbs of Dallas is the ability to venture 10-15 minutes away and feel like I’m in undiscovered territory.
One of my favorite areas right now is Carrollton / Farmers Branch. (These are two great suburbs that should be discussed individually, but for the sake of being able to mention them both, I’m going to put them into one post.) If you haven’t ventured East towards 35, then here’s some great places you might start with.
The city of Carrollton runs along I-35 from Belt Line Road to 121 and on over to Midway. Between this border lies some great restaurants and family friendly activities.
Sandy Lake Park – This old fashioned amusement park is located near George Bush & I-35. There’s carnival rides, miniature golf, a swimming pool, and arcade; plus pony rides on the weekends. Each person is only $2 to get in, and tickets for the rides are $0.50. Bring your family for the day and enjoy a picnic between paddle boat rides and trips on the train around the park. Although the park is young family-friendly, most of the kids require children to be at least 32” to ride.
Elm Fork Nature Preserve– Escape the city and find yourself in the middle of a self-contained ecosystem. One of the few undisturbed woodland areas left in Dallas, Elm Fork is a branch off of the Trinity River. You can walk the old river bottom and see lots of animals in their natural environment.
Historic Downtown Carrollton– Built in the 1800’s, you’ll find many of Carrollton’s oldest buildings in the downtown square. Walk the town and browse through Mr. Pickles Toy store and Blooms Nostalgic Candy & Soda Pop Shop with over 100 types of soda and 800 different types of candy.
Just south of Carrollton before reaching 635 lies “The City in a Park,” Farmers Branch. Extending from the Dallas North Tollway to I-35, Farmers Branch is only 12 square miles and has over 27 parks.
Burke Nature Preserve – Part of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, Burke Nature Preserve is 104 acres of nature wetlands and upland forests. A great experience for families, but make sure to come prepared with lots of water, insect repellent, and long pants for hiking through the trails.
Manske Library– The only library Farmers Branch needs! With an enormous children’s area, this beautiful library overlooks a large pond. Head over on a Wednesday (0-16 months) or Thursday (16-36 months) and enjoy a playful storytime.
Historical Park – After visiting the library, head over to Historical Park and visit a 27 acre park dedicated to the heritage of Farmers Branch, but don’t forget your camera! Inside the park, there’s an 1885 Queen Anne Victorian cottage with a beautiful naturally-kept rose garden (no fertilizers or pesticides). There’s a train station with caboose, church and school house set up to mimic the early North Texas residents.
Carrollton and Farmers Branch have so much more to offer, but these are just some of the highlights. Keep a look out for our next City Spotlight post when we’ll feature other amazing Dallas suburbs you can begin to explore!
What’s your favorite thing to do in Carrollton / Farmers Branch?