City of Plano Parks & Recreation Blog

Posted on: December 6, 2017

PARD shortlist: 16 ways to combat cabin fever over the holiday season


Many people feel lost when it comes to staying in shape as winter approaches. With family dinners, holiday parties and gift giving, there are plenty of distractions out there that can keep us from focusing on our health the way we should. But don’t worry, Plano Parks and Recreation is here to help you stay fit and healthy all year long!

Our department was hard at work in 2017, creating inviting spaces for you and your family to create memorable experiences! For example, check out the renovated playground at Buckhorn Park, the recently constructed Stimpson & Drake Park in the Douglass Community, and Jack Carter Park’s new all-abilities playground. And there is so much more!

For more ideas, here are 16 fun, creative and cost-effective ways to keep the “play” in Plano this holiday season:

  • Bypass the weather forecast and take a walk/jog around the indoor tracks at our rec centers. A brisk one-hour walk can burn 300 to 400 calories!
  • Take to the trails—with 81 miles of concrete and soft surface trails throughout the city, this is a great way to take in Plano’s natural landscapes. Whether on a bike or on foot, our trail system’s connectivity can get you virtually anywhere. Plan your next outing using out handy trail maps.
  • Explore one of our many parks—From the sprawling nature of Arbor Hills Nature Preserve to our smaller neighborhood playgrounds, many of Plano’s parks feature recreational amenities, such as open fields for playing Frisbee or flying kites, volleyball and basketball courts, grills, ponds for fishing, and much more.
  • Shoot some hoops or play some racquetball/pickleball at our recreation centers. Open play hours vary. Find your rec center’s hours at
  • Sign up for a class to start the New Year off right—Pick up a copy of our winter/spring edition of Plano Recreation or visit online to check out our many course offerings for 2018. From youth sports clinics and educational classes and boot camps for adults, our recreation centers have everything you need to nourish both the mind and body.
  • Take a dip Bootybarre_Suki6_WEBat the new pool at Carpenter Park Recreation Center—Plano Parks and Recreation’s newest leisure pool features a slightly warmer temperature, perfect for a family outing or solo workouts. The new pool will be offering a variety of aquatics classes starting in January (sign up here).
  • See a show at Courtyard Theater—It may not be considered exercise, but it’s good to flex the cultural muscles too!
  • Hang out at Go Ape Treetop Adventure—Located high in the canopy of Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, (5901 Los Rios Blvd.), this interactive, two- to three-hour ropes course includes zip lines, Tarzan swings, and a variety of obstacles and crossings. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more.
  • Go fishing at Oak Point Lake—Need tackle? You can rent rods, reels and tackle boxes with hooks, sinkers and bobbers at Oak Point Park Nature & Retreat Center (5901 Los Rios Blvd.). Just make sure you have your fishing license!
  • Book a tee time at Pecan Hollow Golf Course—Did you know this golf course has been a certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary since 2009? Spend the day here with friends, practice your swing at our driving range, or bring the kids and try our short course ($5 for a one-day pass).
  • Play tennis at High Point Tennis Center—We all know there will be warm December days in Texas! With 21 tennis and eight pickleball courts to choose from, there is room for everyone. For reservations, call 972-941-7170 (option 4) or visit
  • Cut a rug at the Plano Senior Recreation Center—Stop by for lunch at the Gazebo Café on Thursdays and top it off with some free dancing compliments of the Kings of Swing. This all-volunteer band will be cranking out the big band tunes from 12:30-2 p.m. The center also holds Tuesday night dances from 7-9:15 p.m. First and third Tuesdays of every month feature country music, while the second and fourth is ballroom dancing (cost is $5 per person).
  • Go on a treasure hunt at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve—Follow the GPS coordinates to find the caches we have hidden in Plano’s largest park! To participate, download the geocaching app to your smart phone or visit to create an account and view caches in your area. We will be placing more around town later this month to help kick off our 50th anniversary, so stay tuned!
  • Visit the Interurban Railway Museum—This interactive museum for children and adults of all ages gives visitors an in-depth look at the history of the Texas Electric Railway and the science behind it all worked. From hands-on electrical displays to a guided tour of a real rail car, this museum has something for the whole family.
  • Take a night hike with flashlights on the trails.
  • Visit the city’s Christmas tree at Haggard Park—The pond and playground there also make for great picnics or play dates on warmer days.

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