A Collin County Mom’s Guide to the Month of October

Happy October, happy fall! Just in time, since my seasonal affective disorder was getting unmanageable. As usual, local events and activities look quite different than they did at this time last year. But there are still some safe and fun options! I also want to mention our Guide to Fall Events in Collin County, a separate post dedicated to local fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween affairs. Enjoy!

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All Month Long :: The life-size animatronic dinos are back for Dinosaurs Live! at the Heard Museum in McKinney. Walk the trails and hear them roar, then get hands on in the outdoor fossil dig. Visitor tips here. COVID protocols here. Tickets are $12/adults, $9/ages 3-12, 2 & under are free.

All Month: Wednesdays :: The McKinney Public Library just released their Fall Program Guide, so check that out! Multilingual Story Time for ages 3-5 happens every Wednesday at Hall Library. Read stories and sing songs in Spanish, Hindi/Tamil, French, Chinese, Arabic, and more. Celebrate other cultures, enhance literacy skills, and work together on a take-home craft. 11:15am. Free!

Until October 20 :: It always seems like there’s so much time to get over to the State Fair of Texas, but then it’s gone before you know it. Check out their daily schedule to help plan your visit before it’s too late! And take a look at their ticket combo packages to help save a little money. PLUS: State Fair of Texas Bingo and tips on taking kids to the fair.

October 1 :: Strengthen those community bonds at Wylie’s National Night Out in Olde City Park. Pony rides, petting zoo, bounce houses, fireworks, face painting, and lots of free food. Like always, everyone is encouraged to turn their porch lights on when they get home from the party and meet their neighbors. 5:30-8pm. Free!

October 4 :: Twice a month, Paint & Palette in Plano has Kids Night Out/Parents Night Off for ages 6-16. Under age six allowed if accompanied by an older sibling who can assist them. Kids enjoy a night of painting, pizza, popcorn, and a movie. 6-9pm. $35 per child. Pre-registration required.

October 5 :: Windhaven Meadows is a great new park in Plano and they are hosting a Play Day with yoga, arts & crafts, city services, therapy dogs, yard games, and more. 8-11am. Free!

October 5 :: Learn about monarch butterfly migration and more at the Plano Environmental Education Center Nature Explore Family Day. Enjoy kid-friendly activities that include trying nectar, making butterfly feeders, and identifying local butterflies and their favorite plants. 10am-12pm. Free!

October 5 :: The Plano Food & Wine Festival is at Willow Bend today. Over 100 wines, food from 20+ local restaurants, musicians, local artists, beer and cocktails, demos from North Texas culinary experts, kids’ play zone, and more. 2-7pm. Free!

October 5-6 :: The Cottonwood Art Festival is back in Richardson. Live music, food, beer garden, 240+ artists, and a kids area where children of all ages can paint, weave, practice sculpting clay on a real potter’s wheel, and more. Saturday: 10am-7pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm. Free!

October 6 :: Play Street McKinney hosts Pint-Sized Playtime today for little ones ages three and under. Each child will get to take home My First Games: Tidy Up (from HABA), where kiddos can practice their sorting and cleaning up skills. 10-11:30am. $20 per child.

October 11-12 :: The Craig Allen Annual Amateur BBQ Cook-Off fundraiser is this weekend with Saturday billed as the family-friendly day. Adaptive wheelchair and hockey games, Kids Corral, silent auction, kids ‘que, local music, games, giveaways and more. See link for more info on the charity and event details. Saturday: 10am-6pm. Tickets $10.

October 12 :: The Fall Plano Train Show returns to the Plano Events Center. Come and experience the largest model train show in the area, with how-to clinics, vendors, and more. 9am-5pm. $10/person, children under 12 FREE. Cash only at the door.

October 12 :: Tour the world at the Plano International Festival in Haggard Park. Tons of performances—dance, music, vocal, and acrobatic, a Children’s Global Village filled with free hands-on activities, food vendors with festival fare and all sorts of international offerings, fashion shows featuring ethnic dress, and more. 11am-5pm. Free!

October 17 :: Watters Creek Lucky Duck Kids Club: I Spy Pumpkins is today (always the third Thursday of the month). Crafts, treats, and entertainment for kids ages 2-6 and their families. No pre-registration required. 11-11:45am. Free!

October 19 :: Head to The Village at Allen for the Allen Down Home Festival and Chalk the Walk, a community celebration with food, vendors, music, sidewalk chalk art, prizes like tickets to upcoming events, Village Kids Club and Allen Americans Activity Zone, and more. 12-4pm. Free!

October 19 :: Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a major holiday celebrated by Hindus, Sihks, and Jains around the world to mark new beginnings and the triumph of good. Celebrate Diwali at the Davis Library in Plano with stories, crafts, henna and more. Come and go. All ages. 2-4pm. Free! (psst – here’s the Plano Library Fall programs brochure)

October 26 :: The Halloween Christmas Mash-Up at Willow Bend is a family-friendly, not-so-spooky event with activities, treats, candy, prizes, Halloween and Christmas characters, and a special showing of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 5-8:30pm, movie begins at 7pm. Free!

October 29-31 :: Safari Run Plano will host a Halloween costume party this week with ongoing open play, plus games, giveaways, sack races, and eyeball relay races. 9:30am-1:30pm. Included with admission.

October 30 :: Collin County Moms and our sister site Dallas Moms are throwing a Spooktacular Halloween Party at Legacy Hall for you and your littlest kiddos. Come in costume for the costume parade, enjoy mini pumpkin decorating, face painting, balloon artists, DJ, dancing, food, and more! See the link for all the deets. Get your tickets HERE. 9am-12pm.

And don’t forget to check out our 2019 Fall Activities Guide for even more events this month!

Katie Lewis
Katie grew up in Dallas, went to SMU, and spent 10 post-college years in Austin, where she and her husband Mick welcomed Gemma in 2011 and Ryker in 2013. They all moved to central Fort Worth almost 4 years ago and have found it to be quite fun and a great place for kids. Katie is horrible at social media but will admit to a preference for her Twitter timeline these days. Favorite uses for her phone: reading library books and listening to comedy podcasts. Least favorite uses: making and receiving calls. She's forever down to watch any show that's British, supernatural, or on The CW. If you can quote Death Becomes Her, Big Business, or the 1987 Shelley Long flop Hello Again, please get in touch because you are most certainly kindred spirits.