Welcome to the Neighborhood
While all three of these towns have a long history, Carrollton and Farmers Branch feel more established with older neighborhoods where it’s not uncommon for kids to play in the streets or go biking with friends. Both Carrollton and Farmers Branch have good city amenities, including rec centers with aquatic complexes, and Carrollton has concrete trails that follow the creek system throughout the city. A gem in Farmers Branch is Brookhaven, the family-friendly country club where Jordan Spieth learned to play golf. (Junior lessons and camps are offered, in addition to three courses, though we can’t guarantee PGA stardom.) Farmers Branch puts in a lot of effort to keep the town looking nice, as does Addison—in the latter’s case, there’s not much room for big yards around the city’s zero-lot-line houses and townhomes, but ample, well-maintained parks make up for it. Plus, Addison is home to several top-notch private schools, not to mention a slate of larger-than-life events that bring locals and visitors together. Still, if you want to head south to Dallas or north to Collin County for a day out with the fam (or your day job), this tri-city area’s central location, four major highways, and several north-south thoroughfares that run the length from Carrollton to Dallas make the drive relatively painless.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
24 elementary schools; 6 middle schools; 5 high schools
Blue Ribbon Schools
Greenhill School, 1984-85
Carrollton (Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD)
Country Place Elementary School, 2015
McCoy Elementary School, 1998-99; 2014
Newman Smith High School, 1997-98
R.L. Turner High School, 1990-91
Farmers Branch (private)
Parish Episcopal School, 1993-94
Mary Immaculate Catholic School, 2008
Farmers Branch (ISD)
Early College High School, 2014
Vivian Field Middle School, 1992-93
Farmers Branch Manske Library
Open daily; Monday–Thursday open till 9pm.
13613 Webb Chapel Road, Farmers Branch, 972/247-2511; farmersbranchtx.gov/library
Josey Ranch Lake Library
Open every day but Thursday; open till 9pm Monday and Wednesday. The walking path around the pond is open 24/7 if you want to visit the resident swans and ducks.
1700 Keller Springs Road, Carrollton, 972/466-4800; cityofcarrollton.com/library
Health & Fitness 101
Crosby Recreation Center
1610 E. Crosby Road, Carrollton, 972/466-9810; cityofcarrollton.com
Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center
14050 Heartside Place, Farmers Branch, 972/247-4607; farmersbranchtx.gov/parksandrec
Addison Circle Park
4950 Addison Cirlce Drive, Addison, 972/450-8851; addisontexas.net
Take the scenic route all throughout Carrollton by walking or riding your bikes. Paved walkways (some with center stripes marking lanes) loop through neighborhoods and connect ponds and playgrounds. Look online for a printable map or download the free smartphone app Carrollton Trail Guide.
Elm Fork Nature Preserve
Enter through the McInnish Sports Complex for access to this woodsy natural area near the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Take the quick, 1-mile loop beginning at the interpretive center and offering views of the pond on the other side.
2335 Sandy Lake Road, Carrollton, 972/466-3080; cityofcarrollton.com
Farmers Branch Market
This evening farmers market located at The Grove at Mustang Crossing doubles as a family-fun night out with live music, food trucks and kids’ activities. Let them get to work in the mulch pile with kid-size wheelbarrows and shovels and come on the first and third Saturdays of the month for extra activities. May–September, each Saturday from 5–8pm; additional markets in November and December.
12700 Denton Drive, Farmers Branch, 972/919-2598; farmersbranchmarket.com
Farmers Branch Community Garden
12411 Templeton Trail, Farmers Branch, 972/919-2625; farmersbranchtx.gov/158/community-garden
Gussie Field Watterworth Park
Explore all of the park’s 12 acres that include the rose garden at the north end, an all-inclusive playground and winding down the ¾-mile paved walking trail with bench swings along Rawhide Creek.
2610 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, 972/919-2620; farmersbranchtx.gov/parksandrec
Les Lacs Linear Park
Though many of the town’s biggest events take place at Addison Circle Park, Addison’s largest and possibly most kid-friendly park is Les Lacs Linear Park. Take a stroll through the trail, part of which encircles a neighborhood lake, and stay for a while at the bug-themed playground, a mostly shaded play area renovated in 2015.
3901 Beltway Drive, Addison, 972/450-2851; addisontexas.net
A.W. Perry Homestead Museum
Catch a vintage baseball game, movie screening, picnic, holiday festival and other family events at this turn-of-the-century home. Tours offered Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday at 11am and 1pm. Ask about birthday parties.
1509 N. Perry Road, Carrollton, 972/466-6380; cityofcarrollton.com
Farmers Branch Aquatics Center
The Frog Pond outdoor water park opens during the summer season for fun in the activity pool (for tadpoles), plus there’s a deeper lagoon pool, a lazy river and a 30-foot-tall slide tower. The indoor Margaret Young Natatorium is open year-round for lap swim, lessons and fitness classes.
14032 Heartside Place, Farmers Branch, 972/919-8720; fbh2o.com
Farmers Branch Historical Park
Littles 3–6 learn about history through themed activities on the first Friday of every month; check the calendar online for more events throughout the year, like bird walks, chalk drawing, camps and October’s Halloween in the Park.
2540 Farmers Branch Lane, Farmers Branch, 972/406-0184; fbhistoricalpark.com
Historic Downtown Carrollton
Every November, Carrollton honors its railroad history with the Festival at the Switchyard, which has entertainment for the whole family, like games, food and live music. All year round, hit the square for specialty sodas and candy from Bloom’s Candy and Soda Pop Shop, pizza from Cane Rosso and old-fashioned burgers and shakes from Sid’s Rainbow Cafe, a no-frills throwback diner.
Around Broadway and Main streets, Carrollton; cityofcarrollton.com
WJ Thomas Splash Park
Push the top of the red fire hydrant to make it rain from the water features and wade through the mini blue creek bed while parents can watch from the nearby wooden deck with picnic tables. Open daily May–October.
1955 N. Perry Road, Carrollton, 972/466-3080; cityofcarrollton.com/splashpark
Carrollton Early Childhood PTA
Monthly meetings for families with children under 6 run September–May, and membership dues are $25 per year.
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) and MomsNext of First Baptist Carrollton
Both groups meet select Mondays at 9:30am at First Baptist Church Carrollton’s Josey campus. Annual membership dues are $140 per person, including child care.
2400 N. Josey Lane, Carrollton; fbcc.org/mops