Welcome to the Neighborhood
Once a tiny country town that seemed a world away from big-city life, McKinney is now Collin County’s second-largest city and a popular place for families to settle down, and with good reason: diverse housing options that are slightly less expensive than in Frisco and Allen, a lot of sports complexes and parkland—much of it with splash pads—and a historic downtown area that’s always busy with families visiting the eclectic shops and top-notch eateries. And with Interstate 75 running right through the middle of town and the Sam Rayburn Tollway just to the south, McKinney parents have a direct (if lengthy) commute to Dallas, Plano or Frisco—though new developments in the area mean it’s increasingly becoming a place to live and work.
McKinney’s neighbors to the west are following in its footsteps. Perhaps it’s no surprise that a place with a name like Prosper has, well, prospered over the years—and really started booming in the last decade. The town is the ideal home base for commuting parents, especially with so many companies setting up shop in Frisco and Plano. Just north, Celina is another rural town on the rise. The Historic Downtown Square is at the center of the action for many local events—except on Friday nights in the fall, that is, when the whole town turns out to Bobcat Stadium to watch its historically dominant high school football team.
1 primary school; 2 elementary schools; 1 middle school; 1 junior high school; 1 high school
20 elementary schools; 5 middle schools; 3 high schools
9 elementary schools; 2 middle schools; 1 high school
Blue Ribbon Schools
McKinney (McKinney ISD)
C. T. Eddins Elementary School, 2007
Glen Oaks Elementary School, 2006
Valley Creek Elementary School, 1996-97; 2003
Wolford Elementary School, 2006
Celina Public Library
Monday–Tuesday 10am-8pm; Wednesday–Thursday 10am-6pm; Friday–Saturday 10am-4pm
142 N. Ohio St., Celina, 972/382-8655; celina-tx.gov
MCKINNEY PUBLIC LIBRARIES
John & Judy Gay Library
Open daily; Monday–Thursday open till 9pm
6861 W. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney
Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library
Open daily; Monday–Thursday open till 9pm
101 E. Hunt St., McKinney
Prosper Community Library
Open Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday–Sunday; open till 8pm Tuesday–Thursday. Come see the new library location inside the new town hall.
200 S. Main St., Prosper, 469/219-2499; prospertx.gov/library
Health & Fitness 101
This $36 million aquatics and fitness facility opened in spring 2017 at Gabe Nesbitt Park. Come for the swim lessons, summer dive-in movies and more special events at the indoor pools and slide as well as the outdoor water park. Child care available in the playroom for ages 3 months–9 years while you work out.
3003 Alma Road, McKinney, 972/547-2739
McKinney Community Center
2001 S. Central Expressway, McKinney, 972/547-2690; mckinneytexas.org/618/community-center
McKinney Family YMCA
300 Ridge Road, McKinney, 972/529-2559; ymcadallas.org
Old Settler's Recreation Center
1201 E. Louisiana St., McKinney, 972/542-5014; mckinneyparks.org
Chesnut Square Farmers Market
While Mom stocks up on groceries—like cuts from Buck Creek Meats and N&P Farm and Dairy’s cheeses—kids choose from face painting, pony rides, dancing to live music or sampling sweets from Aunt Nettie’s, Village Baking Co. and more. April–November, 8am–noon each Saturday.
101 E. Hunt St., McKinney, 972/562-8790; chestnutsquare.org/farmers-market
Crape Myrtle Trails
Did you know that McKinney is the crape myrtle capital of America? Explore the trails from May to September. Start the journey
at World Collection Park in Craig Ranch, and after running through the 7-acre park, explore more plantings on Eldorado Parkway.
6452 Collin McKinney Parkway, McKinney; crapemyrtletrails.org
Frontier North Park
In February 2018, Prosper nearly doubled the size of Frontier Park, adding several lighted fields, a fishing perch from the pedestrian bridge and a covered playground with giant, baseball-themed climbing structures, among other features. The original Frontier Park includes a splash pad and a sprawling, frontier-themed fort with a windmill.
1551 Frontier Parkway, Prosper, 972/346-3502; prospertx.gov
Light Farms Community Garden
1234 Homestead Court, Celina, 214/292-3484; lightfarmstx.com
Local Yocal Farm to Market
Monday–Wednesday 8am–6pm, Thursday–Saturday 8am–8pm
213 N. Tennessee St., McKinney, 469/952-3838; localyocalfarmtomarket.com
Towne Lake Recreation Area
Bring your fishing pole and chair to set up at the water’s edge, or get out onto the water via paddleboat: white swans and yellow ducklings available for paddling on Saturday and Sunday with reservation.
1405 Wilson Creek Parkway, McKinney; 972-547-2690, mckinneyparks.org
Celina's Historic Downtown Square
Pack a picnic, grab some blankets and sprawl out with your brood across the lawn. The city screens free family-friendly flicks on select nights during the year. Visit the website to get the details for upcoming screenings of The Karate Kid and Star Wars.
141 N. Ohio St., Celina, 972/382-2682; celina-tx.gov
Kids young and old flock to the 100-year-old store at the heart of McKinney’s Chestnut Square Historic Village. After viewing the collection of ice cream freezers, snack on old-fashioned candy while you peruse the selection of toys.
315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney, 972/562-8790; chestnutsquare.org
Hat Creek Burger Company
There’s an outdoor playscape with a climbing wall and an Airstream trailer. Need we say more? Yes, actually—on Tuesdays after 5pm, burgers are half-price.
3321 S. Custer Road, McKinney, 214/592-0534; hatcreekburgers.com/mckinney
Friday Night Market
Drop by Celina’s square on the first Friday of the month March–November for an evening market. This kid- (and pet-) friendly fair offers you the chance to sample snacks from local farmers and eateries, buy goods from resident artisans and participate in a rotating slate of activities for the kids.
141 N. Ohio St., Celina, 972/382-2682; celinamarketonthesquare.com
MCKINNEY AQUATIC CENTERS
Juanita Maxfield Aquatic Center
1701 N. McDonald St., McKinney, 972/542-9718
Old Settler’s Aquatic Center
1101 E. Louisiana St., McKinney, 972/542-2516
McKinney Splash Pads
Al Ruschhaupt Soccer Complex
2701 Northbrook Drive, McKinney
Ash Woods Park
10301 John F. Kennedy Blvd., McKinney
1201 Monticello Drive, McKinney
301 W. Standifer St., McKinney
401 Flatrock Drive, McKinney
4212 Shawnee Drive, McKinney
John M. Whisenant Park
3701 Hudson Crossing, McKinney
Dr. Mack Hill Park
1849 Reagan Drive, McKinney
Play Street Museum
Kids 8 and younger can don overalls, drive a tractor and milk a (pretend) cow, among other creative play activities at this indoor play space themed On the Farm.
3851 S. Stonebridge Drive, Suite 400, McKinney, 469/362-8624; playstreetmuseum.com/mckinney
Mothers with kids of all ages in Prosper and Celina can join the Fearless Mom group at the local Fellowship Church outpost. On Wednesday mornings and evenings, the group gathers for biblical readings and discussions while kids enjoy some supervised playtime. Visit the website for the schedule of bimonthly family events across North Texas, from park play dates to museum trips.
1100 Cypress Creek Way, Prosper, 972/471- 5700; fellowshipchurch.com
MOMS Club organizes regular activities for kids and families, plus some much-needed moms-only social gatherings.
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) of Crosspoint Church
Meets the second and fourth Fridays of the month from 9:30am–noon from September–May. To submit a membership request, email email@example.com.
2101 S. Stonebridge Drive, McKinney; crosspoint-church.org
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) of First McKinney Baptist Church
Meets every other Monday from September–May at First McKinney’s children’s building. You can register to join the group at any time during the year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about membership.
1615 W. Louisiana St., McKinney; firstmckinney.com/mops