If summer makes you feel like escaping the big city to slow down and experience some small town living for a day, you don’t have to venture too far beyond northeast Dallas to Wylie to experience just that. Wylie’s historic row of shops and restaurants on Ballard Avenue will make you feel like you’re hours from the traffic on 635. Let the kids blow off some steam at Olde City Park, and don’t forget to visit the rescued exotic cats at In-Sync Exotics.

Olde City Park
112 S. Ballard Ave, Wylie, Texas
Free Admission

oldecitypark Family Fun Guide To Wylie

(Photo: Olde City Park) credit: City of Wylie)

This clean, expansive park sits at the end of Ballard Street, near Hwy 78. If the kids are itching to stretch their legs after your ride out, they can climb on one of the 2 playscapes, swing or slide. There’s also a pavilion with electric outlets, ample off-street parking, clean restrooms, and a gazebo.

Ballard Street Café
112 N. Ballard Ave, Wylie, Texas
Hours: Monday- Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

ballardstreecafe ballardstreetcafe Family Fun Guide To Wylie

(Photo Ballard Street Cafe) credit: Ballard Street Cafe

If good old fashioned home cooking is what you’re craving, you’ll find plenty of it at Ballard Street Café. Their chicken fried steak and “Stick To Your Ribs Breakfast” Menu have earned them Best In Wylie awards from the Wylie News for 13 years. It’s a very short walk across the street from the Olde City Park.

Say It With Sugar
106 N. Ballard Ave, Wylie, Texas
Hours: Tuesday- Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sunday

strawberrycupcakes sayitwithsugar Family Fun Guide To Wylie

(Photo: Strawberry Cupcakes) credit: Say it with Sugar

Whether you saved room for dessert or you’re getting hungry again from browsing the shops on Ballard, be sure to stop by Say It With Sugar to for something sweet. This family-owned bakery creates custom cakes for all events, but even passersby can celebrate the ordinary summer day by stopping in and picking up a personal size creation to enjoy. Cupcakes start at $1.39 each. You can also buy a whole pie or cake in their “ready-to-go” case to bring home.

In-Sync Exotics
3430 Skyview Drive, Wylie, Texas
Summer Hours:  Tours Thursday- Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Regular Hours: Saturday & Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Admission: Adult (13-64) $10, Child (4-12) $7, Senior (65+) $7, Under 4 Free

tiger insyncexotics Family Fun Guide To Wylie

(Photo: Bengal Tiger) credit: In-Sync Exotics

You won’t get this close to big cats like lions, tigers and jaguars at the zoo. In-Sync Exotics is a non-profit wildlife rescue and education center that takes in large cats from all over the country who’ve been neglected, abused, or who are simply unwanted. They treat them, rehabilitate them, and house them in one of many enclosed habitats on site. Strollers are not allowed on the property because they can spook the cats, so be sure to bring baby carriers or extra arms if you’re bringing children who can’t walk. The terrain around the cages can get rocky. Shoes should be comfortable and made for walking. While there isn’t a cafeteria to purchase food from, picnic lunches are allowed. Admission fees go to help feed, treat and house the cats.

Jill Krause is a blogger, product ambassador and mother to 2 young children. You can find her humorous take on life as a parent at www.BabyRabies.com.


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