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

It’s January! New beginnings. A clean slate. All the optimism and potential that comes with a new year? WE’LL TAKE IT. Have a look at our roundup of January events and activities below to get 2022 started off right.

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Be sure to check ahead for cancellations and updated safety requirements.


Get some steps in and see Dinosaurs Live! at the Heard in McKinney. Be sure to check the weather before you go, because they won’t turn on the dinosaurs if temperatures drop below 35 degrees. Closed Mondays. Tickets are $12/adults, $9/ages 3-12. Kids ages 2 & under are free.


Rewind, the current special exhibit at The Sweet Tooth Hotel (in Watters Creek), features colorful, immersive art installations created by local and national artists. Click the link to get a better idea of what that means. You can add on a Scavenger Hunt Package to make it extra fun. An indoor event. Tickets from $15.


The city of McKinney is great about putting together seasonal Activity Guides for their parks, libraries, and civic centers. Check out the McKinney Parks & Recreation Winter/Spring Activity Guide for classes and events starting in January. How about Discover Art for ages 6-12 on Mondays (from January 10). Students explore different mediums as well as exposure to art history and its influences. Media includes painting, drawing, sculpture, mural, mixed media. Free!


I love how thoughtful and organized all the Collin County library systems are. Check out the Plano Library Program Calendar, color-coded by event category and filled with virtual and in-person programming. Browse separate calendars for each branch. Free!


Want a little structure to your next park outing? Print this Bingo Sheet out and head to Old Settler’s Park in McKinney. I don’t quite get how it’s bingo, but it would work great as a scavenger hunt checklist for the kiddos. Free!


Cathy’s Critters (in Princeton, TX) is open to the public on weekends. If you’ve never been, check out the “Before Your Visit” info here. Friday: 9am-2pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10am-4pm. Tickets $10-15, ages 3 and under free. Cups of feed are $3 each.


There are a bunch of limited-run North Texas Performing Arts productions this month. Check the link to see which ones appeal to you! I’m eyeing The Addams Family on January 1–2 and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on January 20–23. Detailed safety protocols at the NTPA site. Tickets from $10.


Last chance to immerse yourself in The FRIENDS Experience at Willow Bend. Interactive set recreations, original props and costumes, photo ops, a retail store, and Central Perk (but of course). An indoor event. See link to purchase advance tickets.


Day 1 DFW (formerly Day 1 Dallas) is all about family fun, with proceeds benefitting Vogel Alcove, a nonprofit for homeless children and their families. You can participate at multiple Main Event locations around the metroplex, so visit the link for details, additional activities, and to purchase tickets. 9am-2am. An indoor/outdoor event.


Are you up for a Lakefront Polar Plunge in Little Elm? See link for details on the Polar Plunge after party (t-shirt, drink ticket, restaurant discounts, etc.). Jump in at 1pm, 2pm, or 3pm. Tickets $25.


On Friday mornings starting January 14, bring your little one (ages 3-5) to the Art & Donuts Morning Preschool Class at Creative Arts Guild Wylie. They’ll serve donuts and teach basic drawing skills, art techniques, and art vocabulary while exploring different mediums. An indoor event. 9:30–10:15am. Sign up for multiple sessions or pay per class ($15) at the link.


There’s a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade through the streets of Carrollton today. Stay for the program after the parade. Parade route details at the link. 10am. Free!


One more for the Heard: Trail Guides will take you on a special Winter Night Hike tonight from 6–7:30pm. Sharpen your senses to spot signs of animal life and learn more about the inhabitants of the Heard. Check the link for night hike rules and to register in advance because these always sell out. $12 for members ages 3 & up/$14 non-members. Prefer to take a guided walk during the day? They’ll have one on January 22 from 2–4pm.

JANUARY 15 – 16

The Dallas Area Train Show is back at the Plano Centre this weekend (indoor event). Saturday: 10am–5pm, Sunday: 10am–4pm. $10 per person, 12 and under free.


The 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is a North Texas civic event planned as a non-political, inter-faith celebration of the ideals of Dr. King under the 2022 theme “A World Divided: Tomorrow United.” Plans are to be in person (indoors) at Marcus High School MAC [Marcus Activity Center] in Flower Mound but they will pivot to virtual if needed. Lots more details at the link. Free!


Plano ISD celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with their 35th annual showcase of student artwork and writing, live performances, and the Diversity Leadership Awards. An indoor event. 6:30pm. Free!


There’s a Lunar New Year Celebration at the Allen Public Library for grades K–3. It’s an indoor event and space is limited. Tickets available at the Children’s Desk 30 minutes before the program starts. 4:45–5:15pm. Free!

Katie grew up in Dallas and then spent 10 post-college years in Austin, where she and her husband Mick welcomed a daughter and son (in 2011 and 2013). They've since moved to Fort Worth and find it to be quite fun and a great place for kids. Katie is horrible at social media but secretly likes Twitter best. Favorite uses for her phone: reading library books and listening to comedy podcasts. Least favorite uses: making and receiving calls. If you've seen Death Becomes Her or Big Business more than once, you'll be best friends.


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