For a full listing of all the events going on in McKinney, be sure to check out the McKinney Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. They have a fantastic calendar and there’s even a phone app for that!
Several events downtown are recurring and many of the merchants also offer regular classes.
Every Second Saturday, the downtown galleries and several of the shops open late, from 7 to 10, unveiling new exhibits and holding artist receptions. Quite often, musicians are hired by different businesses to play on the sidewalk outside their doors or inside, space permitting.
You’ll hear about an annual event called Art Walk that is not technically a Second Saturday but may be scheduled on one. Art Walk is like Second Saturday on steroids. There are artists on all of the sidewalks and there may be special art contests scheduled. It was held in May in 2010 and April in 2011 so I’m not sure what the rhyme or reason is on how it is scheduled. Look for the painted frogs outside merchant’s doors to signal the approach of Art Walk.
See the Main Street web site for more info.
Beginning the first weekend in March, the Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday from 8:00 to 12:00 at the Chestnut Square Historic Village. In addition to fresh produce, the market has locally produced dairy, meat and baked goods. Local skilled artisans are also on-site, demonstrating their talents and selling their finished products. Live music and magic shows are common fare. See their web site for a schedule.
Farmer’s Market also runs on an abbreviated schedule during the winter when the weather permits.
For more information, see the Chestnut Square website: http://www.chestnutsquare.org/programs/farmers_market.asp.
Canton-style Vintage Venues
Antique hunters and vintage seekers will love the sales offered in the shadow of the Flour Mill on weekends throughout the month. The first weekend of every month, Treasure Spotters is open on Virginia Street. Other vintage sales are announced each month based on the vendor’s schedules. Check the following to find out when they will be open: Fringe – The Event, House of Hargrove Barn Sale and Old Red Lumberyard Sale.
Historic District Trolley Tours are offered by Chestnut Square every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month except July and August. The trolley, painted like an antique green street car, leaves from Chestnut Square at 11:00. They can also pick up patrons at the east entrance of MPAC (the courthouse downtown) as they begin the tour. The tour guide will give tidbits about the houses in the District to include when it was built, info about its architectural style and the people associated with the house, many of whom were founding families. Seats 32. Call Chestnut Square for more info or reservations.
Chestnut Square Historic Village offers tours every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11:00AM. Chestnut Square is a collection of historic homes, a schoolhouse, a general store and a chapel that have all been saved from demolition throughout the years. Tours last approximately 1 hour and cost $5 for adults, $4 for kids. Family rates are available. For more information, see their website at http://www.chestnutsquare.org/programs/public_tours.asp.
Ghostly Hauntings of Chestnut Square are offered the third Saturday of every month at 8 PM. These lantern lit tours start at the schoolhouse and last two hours. Children under 12 are not permitted and bigger children need to be accompanied by an adult. This is not the same as the annual Ghost Walk that occurs each year on the last two weekends in October.
Chestnut Square Haunted Tours (Video)
Heard Craig Center for the Arts offers tours of the Heard Craig house (the big yellow Victorian across from the First United Methodist Church) at 2:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 on Saturdays. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for kids. For more information, see their website at http://www.heardcraig.org/index.php/museum/tours.
Happy Trails Carriage Rides offers classic horse and buggy rides through the historic residential district. For more information, see their website at http://www.happytrailscarriage.com/.
Cadence Cyclery regularly has a 30-mile group bicycle ride that starts out from their shop on Tennessee street on Saturday mornings around 7 AM. We don’t have bike paths in the Historic District but they aren’t just riding around the neighborhood. They have a pretty long route along Farm to Market roads going out past New Hope and Altoga and circling back.
Arts & Crafts Classes
Happiness is Quilting has classes in machine piecing, hand embroidery, applique` and, of course, quilting. For more information visit their web site at http://www.happinessisquilting.com/store/pc/home.asp.
They also have a few free events that require only an RSVP so they know how many are coming. Check their site for sewing and embroidery meetups in the evenings during the week.
The Art House of McKinney has an incredibly active and varied course calendar from drawing to pottery and lots of stuff in between. To see a current listing of available courses, see their web site at http://www.arthousetx.com/
Garrett Art Gallery hosts the Wednesday Paint Group , a water-color group that meets Wednesday mornings, led by Babs Light. Ms. Light received Signature Status in the Southwestern Watercolor Society in 2006. She accepts beginners and offers instruction for all levels of experience. She is originally from Arizona and studied at the Phoenix College and Glendale Community College.
Wild Brush Studio is all about painting. Bring friends and beverages and they provide corkscrews and painting supplies. You can now select what you want to paint (they have suggestions). I’ve also confirmed that you can paint anything. So, for instance, if you have a terra cotta frog you want to gussy up, just bring it along. For more information, see their website at http://wildbrushstudio.com/home.html.
Walls of Clay is a paint your own pottery studio. They have a selection of pottery and paints and plenty of know-how to help you make it come out beautifully. For more information, see their website at http://wallsofclaymckinney.org/.
Diggin’ It, just off the square on Tennessee Street offers a variety of classes. Like the store, the class schedule is eclectic. Previous classes have included: knitting, yoga, painting parties, how to make mosaic tiled birdbaths, how to make english flower troughs, cooking for real women, and more. Check out their schedule at: http://thedigginitshop.blogspot.com/2011/02/spring-classes-at-diggin-it.html
Mendior Photography offers classes through the North Texas Photography Club. Classes are available for all levels of experience and often meet downtown. For more information, see their website at http://www.mendior.com/Education/Education.html.
Entertainment Photos offers classes in CS3, CS4 and CS5. For more information, see their website at http://entertainmentphotos.net/.
Voice & Musical Instrument Classes
John Wynn’s Guitar Studio offers instruction on playing the guitar and reading music. Classes are Monday through Thursday with day and night classes available. For more information, see his web site at http://www.johnwynn.com/lessons.htm
Margarita’s Piano and Voice Studio offers both piano instruction and vocal coaching. For more information, see their web site at http://www.margaritasstudio.com/lessons.html
Drums Not Guns offers hand drumming workshops every Saturday from 10 to 12 at Settler’s Park. These are hand drums as in African drums (google djembes). Their goal is to get at-risk youth interested in a non-violent past time. For more information, see their web site: http://www.solidrumanddance.com/index.html
Performance Arts Classes
Main Street Magic & Fun Company offers a series of classes to teach the student everything from the beginning moves to evolved patter and advanced magical moves. Also has a birthday party package. For more information, see their web site at http://www.mainstreetmagicandfun.com/Classes.htm
Texas Youth Ballet Conservatory meets in the McKinney Performing Arts Center and has classes Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with monthly or seasonal rates available. For the current class schedule, see their web site at http://texasyouthballet.com/index.html
Joyful Dance offers instruction for kids ages 2 to 12 in ballet, tap and jazz inside the McKinney Performing Arts Center. For current classes, see their web site: http://www.joyfuldance.info/schedule.htm
The Green Art Center also offers dance instruction for kids (and families) inside the McKinney Performing Arts Center. For more information, see their web site: http://www.thegreenartcenter.com/
If you know of any other merchants downtown that offer classes, please let me know!
The Rotary Club of McKinney meets every Friday at Rick’s Chophouse from noon to 1 pm. Anyone interested in membership is invited to attend. For more information, see their web site: http://www.mckinneyrotary.org/
Of course there’s all kinds of shopping and events and hair places and the list goes on and on but I wanted to mention that Made of Sugar and Spice Girlie Girl Parties also offers a “Drop and Shop” service for 6 girls or more. Now, that’s a neat service. (Must call ahead)