10+ Indoor Places to Take Kids in McKinney

It’s only 98 degrees outside—yay! But it also isn’t even 9am yet…UGH. We have needed ALL the indoor places to take kids to in McKinney this summer.

There are a ton of awesome things to do to keep the kids busy at home (check out this summer activities article). But between the bickering, the heat, and back-to-school anxiety, we’ve really been needing to get out and about. Here are some of our favorite indoor places to take the kids to in McKinney!

Free Indoor Places to Take Kids in McKinney

John and Judy Gay Library

Even if you can’t make it for a story time or activity (and they have activities for kids of every age and adults!), the library is still an excellent indoor summer stop. There’s a bunch of great reasons to get a library card. We’ve been watching summer movies from the library this year. Plus, John and Judy Gay Library in McKinney has an amazing play-and-read area for preschool and elementary kids. Check out their program schedule here.

indoor places to take kids in mckinney library picture
Hanging out at a McKinney library

Collin County History Museum and Fire Museum

The hours for these vary, so make sure to check out the website for the Collin County History Museum and the Collin County Fire Museum before you go. These are pretty short trips that are best for older kids.

{Check out these other spots in Collin County where kids get free admission.}

Window Shopping

Granted, window shopping is much harder with kids, but can also be a fun activity. I still count this as free because our favorite places to do this are the pet store and the home maintenance store. While we are there, we’ll spend an hour going up and down the aisles looking at all the colors of flowers, or the toilets aisle, which always gets a laugh from my littles. There’s a ton to see. And walking the aisles of the pet store is like a free zoo. I usually do end up budgeting for a little more than I plan on buying, so this is not something we do all the time. But I try to make it a fun event instead of just a boring or sad shopping trip.

Rec Centers

The rec center at Towne Lake has one of our favorite playgrounds (when it’s bearable to be outside). But this one is especially great for older kids because they have an open game room and a schedule for open gym time. Check out more about the rec centers in McKinney and the schedules.

Paid Indoor Places to Take Kids in McKinney

Movie Theater

There are so many fabulous kid deals this summer for movies! And for regular-priced movies, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Jurassic World Dominion have been named the summer’s must-sees for families.

At the Movie House and Eatery in McKinney near 121 and Custer, every Tuesday is 50% off! Check out the full schedule here.

At Cinemark theaters Wednesdays are Summer Movie Clubhouse days! Tickets are $1.50. North McKinney is my favorite location because of the heated and reclining seats.
For the rest of the 2022 summer:

  • July 27: Peter Rabbit 2
  • August 3: Clifford

AMC theaters have select $5 fan-favorite movies that are sometimes kids’ movies. They also have a refillable popcorn bucket and teen snack deal.

Alamo Drafthouse has $5 Alamo Kids Camp movies on the weekdays and a surprising amount of family fun movies and events throughout the year!

indoor places to take the kids in mckinney movie theater picture

The Theater

These are not in McKinney, but they’re close! North Texas Performing Arts Center is a kids theater program that has shows in several places, the closest being both Frisco and Fairview. Find the full NTPA schedule here. The Dallas Children’s Theater also has fabulous and fun shows.

Play Street Museum McKinney

Play Street Museum McKinney is set up like a mini farm, ideal for kids ages 1–8. The cost is $13 per child. They are only open for free play on weekdays 8:30am–5:30pm. They are located in between Highways 380 and 121 off of Custer. Find more info here.

indoor places to take the kids in mckinney playstreet museum picture
Friends playing together at Playstreet Museum

Urban Air Adventure Park

This trampoline park is located off of Eldorado. They have open play hours every day of the week. And while they do have sections for younger kids, it’s more ideal for elementary kiddos and older. They also have a pretty great monthly membership deal ($9–$12) that’s cheaper than a one-day pass. You will also need to plan on purchasing their $4 socks (which you can bring back each time). Find more info here.

North Texas Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are popular for a reason! What I love about this location is that it’s a one- party room, so that means you aren’t randomly going to be thrown into a room with strangers. You can have 2–8 people play for either 45 minutes or 60 minutes. And the price depends on the length of the game and the amount of people playing. You can expect to pay $25–$35 per person. This is also meant for older kids and adults, the lowest age listed is 10.

Walls of Clay

A fun clay art studio in Downton McKinney, with glass art and candle-making options as well. The open studio hours vary from Tuesday to Sunday. Price varies based on the pieces you pick but start at $17 and include firing in a kiln. Find more information on the studio here.

McKinney Apex Center

There’s a lot to do at the McKinney Apex Center. It’s one of the residents’ favorite summer indoor places to take kids in McKinney. Because we’re only interested in their indoor and outdoor pools right now, I don’t want to pay the monthly membership, but I will pay for a day pass. Find out all about the pool schedules, day passes, and outdoor water park features. (Side note: It’s outside, but The Gilda Garcia Garza Aquatic Center is open during the summer with a few fun things for the kids, one bigger water slide, and it’s less than $5 per person.)

Best Ice Cream Treats in McKinney

We’re talking about indoor places to take kids in McKinney specifically to beat the heat. So, I definitely don’t want to leave these places off the list!! Here are our favorite places to get a cold treat with the kids in McKinney.

Carnival Eatz and Treats is a fun and new small business in McKinney. They have amazing shaved ice and a fun indoor atmosphere. But they also have carnival/fair food and candy!! Funnel cakes and other friend treats. They’re located off of 121 and Lake Forest, and you should definitely check them out this summer. The Unicorn Explosion is my kids’ favorite. Find out more here.

Nom Noms Mexican Grill in McKinney is located off of Virginia. They have delicious homemade ice cream treats you do not want to miss. Find out more here.

Our other three favorites are all chains that you can find all over Collin County:

Grab a scoop at Braum’s and pick up a gallon of milk that’s cheaper and better than what you would get at the grocery store!

Bahama Bucks does not have an indoor sitting area, but outside of the Frisco Snow Cone Lady, their snow cone flavors cannot be beat!

Andy’s claims to have the best frozen custard in the world. And not many people argue that point. Known for their ‘Concrete’ treats, Andy’s is always a cool and fun summer stop.

{Check out Ice Cream, Popsicles, & More: A Guide to Frozen Treats in CC.}

5 Favorite Indoor Play Places in Collin County

Outside of McKinney, there are three free indoor playgrounds that I am aware of: the play area inside of Stonebriar Mall is specifically for younger preschoolers; the play space inside of Prestonwood Church in Plano is for ages 10 and under; and the play area in the Frisco Library.

Here are our favorite 5 indoor play places in Collin County:

1. Nerfies is a fun place to take your kids to battle it out with Nerf guns. And the best part is not having to find those foam pellets lodged in every crevice of your house afterwards. They also have inflatables. The cost starts at $18, and it’s located on 15th Street in Plano. Find out more here.

2. Cheeky Monkeys is like a play museum but one that has a giant playground. It’s in Fairview Town Center off of Stacy. The cost varies in between $12–20 and socks are required.

3. Crayola Experience in the Willowbend Mall in Plano is a fun indoor play and create space. Visit first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid school groups. Annual passes start at $38 (which is $10 more than a basic day pass), so if you can visit more than once, the pass is absolutely worth it. Find out more here.

4. The National Video Game Museum is in Frisco off of Main Street and the DNT. The entry price starts at $10 for ages 3+. This is a super fun stop for older kids! Even if they are not all that excited about the history of video games, this place is fascinating and fun! Find out more here.

5. Top Golf is technically outside, but the spaces are shaded and have excellent fans. Prices vary based on time of day and amount of people. I absolutely suggest going on a weekday during off-peak hours because the wait times stack up quickly. We love the one in Allen off of Stacy and 75. Learn more here.

Thanks for checking out this article on indoor places to take kids in McKinney! You might also be interested in these articles…

Tour Downton McKinney

Family Friendly Things to do in Downtown McKinney

Fun and Free Summer Family Activities 

McKinney Suburb Snapshot 

Sarah was raised in Plano, took a detour in Oklahoma for college, and now lives in McKinney. She's a teacher and mom who believes that ten 3-year-olds are easier to handle than one. Sarah and her husband, Nathaniel, are foster and adoptive parents and advocates. Big fans of deep conversations, they run a blog that helps parents connect with their kids over entertainment. She likes to try DIY projects that are way over her head and experiment with different teas and chocolates while binge-watching great series. Check out her movie and book guides for parents at Down the Hobbit Hole Blog and follow on Facebook or Instagram .

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