Nestled in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, this is a lively college town with a unique character all its own, and today we’re sharing the best things to do in Denton TX. Though small in size, Denton packs a punch when it comes to arts, culture, food, and entertainment.
Music lovers will delight in Denton’s thriving local music scene, anchored by the legendary Dan’s Silverleaf music hall. The charming historic downtown square transports visitors back in time with its grandiose courthouse, quaint storefronts, and statues honoring Denton’s founders.
Beyond the square, the sprawling University of North Texas campus offers scenic strolls past stately buildings and green spaces. Families will enjoy splashing around Denton Water Park or exploring hands-on exhibits at the Science Museum.
Outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of opportunities to hike, bike, or paddleboard on the waterways at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center. Denton’s many parks provide the perfect picnic spot, while its lakes and golf courses allow for a day of recreation.
From catching a concert at Dan’s Silverleaf to cheering on the Mean Green football team, Denton invites visitors to eat, play, and soak up the best of quintessential small-town Texas life. With this list of the top 25 things to do, you’ll experience the very best of what Denton has to offer.
The Best Things to Do in Denton TX
We have sectioned into four (4) groups:
- Top attractions
- Unique experiences
- Outdoor activities
- Cultural and artistic experiences
Here are your key takeaways…
- The Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum and the Little Chapel in the Woods are must-visit attractions that offer a glimpse into Denton’s rich history and cultural heritage.
- The Campus Theatre, A-train, Denton Community Market, and Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center provide diverse cultural experiences and opportunities to explore the city.
- Unique experiences in Denton include visiting the Chairy Orchard, exploring the Bayless – Selby House Museum, bowling at Andy B’s Bowl Social, experiencing the Parker House Haunted Attraction and attending the North Texas Fair and Rodeo.
- Outdoor activities in Denton include hiking at Ray Roberts Lake State Park, enjoying Water Works Park, camping at Pilot Knoll Park, and exploring wildlife at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch.
Top Attractions in Denton, Texas
The Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum is a must-visit attraction in Denton, displaying the city’s history and offering guided tours.
1. Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum
Situated in the historic 1896 Denton County Courthouse, the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum presents a captivating journey into Denton’s past. This cornerstone of downtown Denton is an iconic artifact that showcases exhibits and unique collections reflecting the rich history and cultural heritage of the county.
From art created in the early 1900s to more recent times, it offers visitors a deep dive into various facets of local heritage. As part of your trip to Denton, Texas, this museum on the US National Register of Historic Places truly deserves a spot on your itinerary.
With its Romanesque architecture being a sight to behold, you’ll also gain insights into how this courthouse has influenced community life over numerous generations.
2. Little Chapel in the Woods
Tucked away on the tranquil campus of Texas Woman’s University, The Little Chapel in the Woods is a beacon of beauty and a testament to enduring architecture. This charming stone structure was built in 1939 by renowned architect O’Neil Ford, making it one of Denton’s most historic sites.
It also holds prestigious recognition as one of Texas’ 20 most outstanding architectural achievements. Despite its modest size, this chapel has an impressive history – including being dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt herself.
The Little Chapel in the Woods attracts visitors with both its rich history and picturesque setting. Nestled amidst lush greenery, it offers a peaceful ambience that belies its location within bustling Denton County.
While admired for sheer aesthetic value and significance over time, this hidden gem also serves as an idyllic venue for weddings. Its scenic backdrop coupled with its quaint charm make visits to ‘The Little Chapel in the Woods’ undeniably top among things to do while exploring Denton TX.
3. Campus Theatre
Nestled on the University of North Texas campus, the Campus Theatre is a vibrant cultural gem in Denton. This historic venue was built in 1909, making it one of Denton County’s oldest theaters that still draws crowds today.
Experiencing its unique and captivating live performances is an affordable activity loved by students, locals, and visitors alike. The theater also shares a close association with other top attractions such as the A-train from Denton County Transit Authority.
Certainly, this artistic hub is recognized among the best things to do in Denton TX due to its rich history and consistent delivery of entertaining shows.
4. A-Train (Denton County Transit Authority)
The A-train operated by the Denton County Transit Authority (DCTA) is a popular mode of transportation in Denton, Texas. It provides convenient access to various attractions in the area, making it easier for visitors to explore the city.
Whether you’re looking to visit the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, Little Chapel in the Woods, or Bayless-Selby House Museum, the A-train offers a safe and affordable way to get around.
Not only does it offer convenience, but it also allows you to enjoy your trip without worrying about parking or traffic. So hop on board and let the A-Train take you on an adventure through Denton’s top attractions!
5. Denton Community Market
Denton Community Market is a vibrant and bustling producer-only art and farmers market located in downtown Denton, Texas. It offers a unique and fun experience for both locals and tourists, featuring live music, kids’ activities, local farms, and artists.
This market promotes the best of Denton’s art scene and agriculture by exclusively showcasing products from local producers. Families are drawn to this lively market for its activities catered to children, creating a welcoming atmosphere for all.
Conveniently situated in downtown Denton, the market is easily accessible for visitors exploring the city. Denton Community Market is not only considered one of the top attractions in Denton but also an integral part of the community that showcases local talent and produce.
6. Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center
Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center is a must-visit attraction in Denton, Texas. Covering over 2,900 acres of land, this beautiful center offers more than 5 miles of family-friendly hiking trails for visitors to explore.
The trails wind through diverse habitats, including open prairies, forests, and even along Clear Creek and the Trinity River. Nature enthusiasts will be thrilled to spot deer during their visit.
What’s even better is that admission to Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center is completely free! It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the stunning flora and fauna that this area has to offer.
Unique Experiences in Denton, Texas
Experience the thrill of exploring the Bayless-Selby House Museum, a historical house dating back to 1904.
7. Visit the Chairy Orchard
The Chairy Orchard is a quirky neighborhood park in Denton, Texas that offers a unique and entertaining experience for visitors. This popular spot, located along the banks of Copper Creek on the northeast side of the city, features a field filled with various types of chairs for visitors to sit and relax on.
Started in 2013, the Chairy Orchard has become a beloved attraction in Denton, known for its punny and creative displays of chairs. It’s not your typical orchard with fruit; instead, it’s an open-air collection where you can take pictures and enjoy free entertainment options.
As part of the Denton County Historical Park, which also houses the Quakertown House Museum, this whimsical park is considered one of the top 25 things to do in Denton. So grab your camera and have fun exploring this charming attraction while immersing yourself in the unusual atmosphere it offers.
8. Explore the Bayless-Selby House Museum
Located in Denton County Historical Park, the Bayless-Selby House Museum is a true hidden gem in Denton, Texas. This historical house dates back to the early 1900s and offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Denton.
The museum provides guided tours that allow visitors to explore the rooms and learn about the house’s rich past. It is one of the top attractions in Denton and offers a unique and educational experience for both locals and tourists alike.
9. Go bowling at Andy B’s Bowl Social
Located in Denton, Texas, Andy B’s Bowl Social is a must-visit for those looking for a unique and exciting experience. This modern and industrial hangout offers more than just your typical bowling alley.
With 20 lanes of full-service bowling, guests can enjoy unlimited games while sipping on hand-crafted beverages and snacking on delicious eats from the menu. Not only that, but Andy B’s Denton TX also boasts an array of other attractions including a classic arcade, laser tag, VR experiences, and throwback table games.
Whether you’re looking for a fun night with friends or a memorable family outing, Andy B’s Bowl Social has something to offer everyone. Plus, with their affordable pricing options like $27 for unlimited bowling plus two hours of arcade fun, it won’t break the bank either!
10. Experience the Parker House Haunted Attraction
Located in Denton, Texas, the Parker House Haunted Attraction offers a unique and thrilling experience for visitors. This haunted house is known for its dark history of murder, torture, and black market activity.
Housed in a building that was previously a funeral home and mortuary, the Parker House attracts thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure. Open to the public during the Halloween season, this haunted attraction promises fun and fright as visitors brave their way through the eerie corridors.
Situated just north of Dallas and Fort Worth, Denton is renowned for its attractions such as the University of North Texas and various museums. The Parker House adds to Denton’s allure by providing an unforgettable spooky experience that will leave visitors with lasting memories.
11. Attend the North Texas Fair and Rodeo
The North Texas Fair and Rodeo is a beloved annual event in Denton, Texas, running for an impressive 95 years. From August 18 to 26, 2023, this lively fair will bring together hot country music performances, thrilling rodeos, and exciting livestock shows.
With approximately 140,000 attendees each year, the North Texas Fair and Rodeo is one of the largest events in Denton County. People from all over the greater North Texas area and beyond flock to Denton to experience this incredible celebration.
Whether you’re a fan of live music or want to witness impressive horse and livestock displays, the fair has something for everyone. Make sure to mark your calendars for this unforgettable gathering!
12. Visit the Denton Firefighters Museum
Located inside the historic Central Fire Station in Denton, Texas, the Denton Firefighters Museum is a must-visit for history buffs and those interested in firefighting. Opened by local firefighters in 2005, this museum showcases intriguing historical collectibles and artifacts from the 1800s, including a hose cart and firefighting memorabilia.
With its extensive collection of old photos, objects, and art that tell the story of the community’s brave firefighters past and present, this museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into Denton’s firefighting heritage.
So make sure to add a visit to the Denton Firefighters Museum to your itinerary when exploring all that Denton has to offer!
Outdoor Activities in Denton, Texas
Go hiking at Ray Roberts Lake State Park, enjoy Water Works Park, camp at Pilot Knoll Park, explore the wildlife at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch – Denton offers a wide range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Read more to discover the best outdoor experiences in Denton, Texas!
13. Go Hiking at Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Ray Roberts Lake State Park in Denton, Texas offers a fantastic opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to go hiking and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. With several trails of varying difficulty levels, visitors can choose the hike that suits their preferences and fitness level.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, this park has something for everyone. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and have ample opportunities for wildlife spotting and nature photography.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park is truly a haven for hikers seeking adventure and tranquility amidst picturesque scenery.
14. Enjoy Water Works Park
Water Works Park in Denton, Texas is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. This popular attraction offers an array of fun-filled activities for all ages. The park spans across 300 acres and features stunning open spaces, gardens, parks, lakes, and pathways to explore.
One of the highlights of Water Works Park is its impressive water attractions. From four different slides that provide thrilling rides to a lazy river where you can relax and soak up the sun, there’s something for everyone here.
Families with children will love the dedicated children’s area with splash pads and shallow pools. What sets Water Works Park apart is its convenience – visitors are allowed to bring their own food and drinks in coolers, making it easy to have a picnic while enjoying the park’s amenities.
15. Camp at Pilot Knoll Park
Pilot Knoll Park is a 65 to 85-acre park in Denton, Texas that offers an amazing camping experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful views of the lake and peaceful atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars.
The park provides various amenities and facilities, including camping sites with lake views and proximity to the water. Whether you’re looking to go hiking, horseback riding, or simply relax in nature, Pilot Knoll Park is a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor activities in Denton, Texas.
16. Explore the Wildlife at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
When visiting Denton, Texas, make sure to explore the wildlife at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch. Located just outside of Denton in Pilot Point, this animal reserve is home to a variety of exotic animals including alpacas, lemurs, monkeys, lions, camels, and goats.
It’s a great destination for families and nature lovers alike. Visitors can participate in petting and feeding the animals as they learn about conservation efforts to protect wildlife in Denton.
The ranch also offers pony rides for additional entertainment. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures while enjoying the beautiful countryside views on your way there from Denton.
17. Visit the Big Sandy Boat Ramp for Lakeside Scenery
The Big Sandy Boat Ramp in Denton, Texas is a must-visit destination for those seeking picturesque lakeside scenery. Located near Lake Lewisville, this historic and beautiful dock offers breathtaking views of the water and surrounding landscape.
Whether you’re looking to have a picnic with a view or simply want to admire stunning Texan sunsets, the Big Sandy Boat Ramp is the perfect spot. Just a short drive from Denton, this popular attraction attracts both tourists and locals alike.
Don’t miss out on experiencing the beauty of Lake Lewisville at the Big Sandy Boat Ramp.
18. Beat the Texas heat at Doubletree Ranch Park
Doubletree Ranch Park in Denton, Texas is the perfect place to beat the scorching Texas heat. This popular park offers a wide range of recreational activities to help you cool off and enjoy the outdoors.
Whether you’re into boating, fishing, or kayaking, there’s something for everyone at Doubletree Ranch Park. You can even take a refreshing dip in the water near the shore or relax on the sandy beach area.
With its scenic beauty and serene atmosphere, Doubletree Ranch Park is a top choice for those looking for fun outdoor adventures while escaping the heat in Denton.
Cultural and Artistic Experiences in Denton, Texas
Explore the Denton County African American Museum, which showcases the rich history and contributions of African Americans in the area.
19. Discover Art at the Texas Fashion Collection
Visit the Texas Fashion Collection in Denton to discover a vibrant collection of art and fashion. Located at the University of North Texas, this boutique museum showcases the work of well-known artists and singers through concerts and activities.
The collection is associated with the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design, which emphasizes developing creative talent within the visual arts and design fields. Visitors can explore exhibits highlighting Texas fashion trends, and history, and even make their own artsy creations through workshops and events.
If you’re interested in fashion or looking for a unique cultural experience in Denton, be sure to check out the Texas Fashion Collection.
20. Browse Through Works at the Galleries at UNT
The Galleries at UNT in Denton, Texas offer a diverse range of art exhibits and events for visitors to enjoy. Located in the UNT Art Building, these three galleries showcase both student and professional work from the College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD).
The CVAD Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, providing a unique opportunity to browse through various works of art. With 29 degree programs offered by CVAD, including the prestigious Texas Fashion Collection, visitors can expect to see a wide range of artistic styles and mediums on display.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about exploring different forms of creativity, a visit to the Galleries at UNT is sure to be an engaging and visually stimulating experience.
21. Experience the Greater Denton Arts Council
The Greater Denton Arts Council is a haven for art enthusiasts and creative minds visiting Denton, Texas. Known for its rich history and bustling music and arts scene, Denton offers an eclectic artistic vibe that can be experienced at the Greater Denton Arts Council.
This vibrant cultural hub hosts a variety of programs and exhibits, including the nationally recognized “Materials: Hard & Soft” exhibition. From community theatre shows to musical performances, the Greater Denton Arts Council is a place where creativity thrives and visitors can immerse themselves in the dynamic arts scene of Denton.
22. Explore the Denton County African American Museum
Located at 317 West Mulberry Street in Denton, Texas, the Denton County African American Museum is a must-visit for those interested in learning about the rich history and heritage of African Americans in the county.
As part of the cultural and artistic scene in Denton, this museum showcases the contributions and experiences of African Americans dating back to earlier times. The museum features an impressive collection of photographs, objects, and art that tell the compelling story of African American families in Denton County.
From guided group tours to special events, visitors can immerse themselves in this significant chapter of local history while gaining a deeper understanding of the community’s journey.
23. Visit the Texas First Ladies Historic Gown Collection
The Texas First Ladies Historic Gown Collection is a must-visit attraction in Denton, Texas. Located at the Texas Woman’s University, this unique collection showcases a rotating selection of 17 out of 42 exquisite gowns worn by the First Ladies of Texas.
Created by Dr. Marion Day Mullins and assembled by the Daughters of the American Revolution, these heirloom garments offer a fascinating glimpse into both the fashion history and political legacy of Texas.
Whether you’re interested in cultural experiences or simply appreciate fine craftsmanship, a visit to the Texas First Ladies Historic Gown Collection is sure to be an enriching and memorable experience during your time in Denton.
24. Attend a performance at the Oak St. Drafthouse
Located in Denton, Texas, the Oak St. Drafthouse is a must-visit venue for music lovers and those seeking a unique cultural experience. Housed in a historic house just one block east of the Downtown Denton Square on Oak Street, this laid-back bar offers unbeatable live performances and over 70 beers on tap.
With its large patio beer garden, visitors can relax and enjoy their drinks in a vibrant atmosphere. The establishment also features a dog-friendly back patio and ping pong for added entertainment.
As part of Denton’s thriving downtown district, the Oak St. Drafthouse provides an unforgettable evening of music and fun that perfectly captures the spirit of this artistic city.
Things to Do in Denton TX – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, Denton, Texas offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring the rich history at the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum to experiencing unique adventures like visiting the Chairy Orchard or attending the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, there is something for everyone in Denton.
Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, Denton has it all. So make sure to add these 25 best things to do in Denton to your travel itinerary and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this vibrant city.
1. What are some of the top attractions to visit in Denton, TX?
Some of the top attractions to visit in Denton, TX include the Texas Woman’s University Gardens, Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, and the Campus Theatre.
2. Are there any outdoor activities available in Denton, TX?
Yes, Denton offers various outdoor activities such as hiking and biking trails at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, fishing and boating at Lake Lewisville or Ray Roberts Lake, and picnicking at South Lakes Park.
3. Where can I find live music venues in Denton, TX?
Denton is known for its vibrant music scene. Some popular live music venues include Dan’s Silverleaf, Harvest House, Andy’s Bar & Grill, and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.
4. Are there any family-friendly activities in Denton, TX?
Absolutely! Families can enjoy visiting the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods at Texas Woman’s University campus or exploring exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Denton. Other family-friendly options include going to Water Works Park for water slides and pools or attending a performance by the Music Theatre of Denton.