The best thing about Christmas vacation is that it can allow some treasured time with your kids. But you don't have to bankrupt yourself to have a valuable time. There are plenty of opportunities for good, clean family fun right in your own backyard-things that are little off-the-beaten track, but reasonably priced and in the McKinney vicinity.
Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary: Named for "Miss Bessie" Heard, this place offers nature walks, a terrific museum and-best of all, IMHO-dinosaurs! And if your kids are budding scientists, they have nature camps to keep them even more occupied.
Towne Lake Recreation Center: A 22-acre lake just perfect for fishing, paddle-boating or lazing away a glorious day.
Hydrous Wake Park: In Allen, you and your kids can get wet and wild-and get in some great exercise, too!
Collin County History Museum: Run by the local historical society, it's one of those places that hides in plain sight. But those in the know, they love it.
The Frisco Rough Riders: The minor league baseball team plays just a short drive away, tickets are cheap, and seats are great. So what could be better than watching your kids cheer on the Rangers' future stars?
Play Street Museum: For young ones, it's hard to beat a couple of hours at Play Street. They call it "interactive"-you should understand that to mean engaging and fun.
Heritage Farmstead: In nearby Plano, the farmstead offers programs for everyone. It's a great place to get (re) acquainted with Texas history or to unplug for a few hours.