#5 - Plano, TX - Top 10 Best Cities for Kids, 2014

The Amphitheater at Oak Point Park in Plano, Texas, hosts family-friendly concerts and events.
The Amphitheater at Oak Point Park in Plano, Texas, hosts family-friendly concerts and events.

Many children view Plano, Texas, as one giant playground. The city offers a massive amount of activities for kids, from indoor surfing to hiking through nature preserves and petting barnyard animals. A telling statistic demonstrating that Plano caters to kids is the fact that nearly half of all restaurants here offer children’s menus. In addition, nearly 28 percent of households in Plano include school-age children. Schools rank well, and the crime rate is almost half the national average.

Parks in Plano provide families with many recreational opportunities including biking, feeding ducks (or the sometimes opportunistic seagulls) and swimming. Plano’s 83 public parks together span more than 4,000 acres. One of the most popular places to play is the Tom Muehlenbeck Center, which features a swimming area with a lazy river and splash ground, a game room with air hockey and foosball, and set times for table tennis and badminton. More than 11,000 children participate in the Plano Youth Soccer Association, and the city maintains several soccer complexes, which helped it land on our Top 10 Soccer Cities list. Many families attend the annual Plano Balloon Festival to get an up-close look at colorful hot air balloons.

For mommies and daddies: A large collection of cafes gives parents plenty of sophisticated food options.