What’s more Texas than bluebonnets? Ennis is a small town a half-hour south of Dallas and it’s known for its abundance of blooms during our wildflower season. When you’re not snapping pictures and staring in awe at its gorgeous fields and trails speckled with blue, there is plenty of things to do in Ennis, TX.
Let Loose, Be Festive in Ennis
Everyone loves a good party, and Ennis has several for you to attend for a fun-filled summer.
Blues on Main
The fun for the family doesn’t seem to end in Ennis. Blues on Main is a summer event presented by the Unity One Summer Music Festival. Your day will be lively with jazz and blues music, a domino tournament, face painting, vendors, Sunday brunch, and so much more. Make sure to bring a picnic blanket and lawn chairs because they will pair wonderfully with the picturesque summer evening you’ll have in Ennis.
Ennis Bluebonnet Festival
In Texas, bluebonnets are a treasure, and Ennis throws the perfect party to celebrate their blooming. With local merchants, delicious food, opportunities to taste new wines each year, and wine glasses to take home as souvenirs, you’re in for gorgeous views and a good time at the Ennis Bluebonnet Festival. Pick up a map at the downtown square for some help navigating the 40-miles of bluebonnet trails. Whether they be candid or posed, take ‘lots of pictures because you’ll want to remember the beauty you witness in Ennis.
Ennis Freedom Fest
You’ll never see the 4th of July the same after you’re a part of these festivities in Ennis. With a Red White and Bike Parade, a raffle drawing, the famous Ennis farmer’s market, a fireworks show at the Texas Motorplex, and live music at Veteran’s Memorial Park, you’ll want to keep coming back every year.
Things to Do Outside in Ennis TX
In Texas, we love our diverse terrain, and so we take every opportunity to highlight and appreciate it. However, Ennis’ bluebonnet-covered landscape isn’t all there is to see under the Texas sun, and it doesn’t matter the time of year.
It’s surreal to have such a giant, but gentle creature nibble food from your palm. While you are out exploring the Bluebonnet Trails, make a stop at 32°26’53.0″N 96°35’44.6″W and check this unique Ennis experience off your list.
Walk the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
Ennis is the Official Bluebonnet City of Texas, and for over 69 years it has housed the Bluebonnet Trails, the oldest of their kind in the state. The Ennis Garden Club reports back to the city’s welcome center each year about the state of the trails so those who come to see these blue beauties have the best opportunity to do so. Although weather and terrain play a role in the timing, you can expect to see bluebonnets around the third week of April.
Make Waves at Bardwell Lake
Ennis has you covered for all your summer activity needs on the water. Choose from skiing, fishing, swimming, and boating; camp or picnic by the lake. Highview Marina has paddle boats for rent and space under a pavilion for covered fishing. If you time it right, you can glimpse the fields of bluebonnets near the lake’s shore.
Experience Minnie McDowal Park
The story behind the namesake of this Ennis park is truly heart-warming. In the 1940’s, Ennis native Minnie McDowal worked at the Plaza Theater, which once stood on the same property where the park is now. When the theater was purchased by Lee Roy Mitchell, founder of Cinemark, the Plaza Theater became the first one of the Cinemark enterprises. Then, when Cinemark moved to Dallas, Minnie commuted from Ennis and served the company until she retired. It’s the perfect place to relax after walking the shops on nearby Dallas Street, to survey the greenery and the iconic “Art Wall Sculpture,” and to cool off in the summertime on the splash pad. The city also hosts live music events at the performance gazebo.
Learn More About Ennis TX
Every small town has its own unique culture and history, but Ennis’ is extra special and celebrated in a grand fashion.
Visit the Czech Museum
Submerge yourself in the rich Czech history of Ennis, Texas with a stroll through the Czech Museum. Simply call and schedule an appointment. You can have the chance to truly experience it with a trip to Ennis during the 3-day National Polka Festival or the Czech Music Festival.
Explore the Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum
The railroad is a huge part of Ennis’ origin story. The building neighbors the very railroad tracks that nurtured this tiny Texas town into what we know it as today. Transport yourself to the town’s founding in 1872 and learn what all it has contributed to our great state.
Support Ennis TX
Shopping and exploring locally can do a lot to support small towns and family-owned businesses. After the hard year businesses like these have had over the last year, this is the perfect opportunity to make a positive impact while on vacation.
Load Up at the Downtown Ennis Bluebonnet Market
Thankfully for us, the fun doesn’t end after the Bluebonnet Festival is over. In April all the way until October, you can support local Ennis businesses at the downtown farmer’s market. It’s a great way to get the family outside and to change up your typical Saturday routine. Keep a lookout for their free crafts for the little ones too!
Get Excited at Texas Motorplex
Car shows and drag races are king at the Texas Motorplex. As one of the nation’s finest ¼ mile drag race facilities and the home of the world speed record, it’s just the place to get your adrenaline fix vicariously through the talented racers on the track below.
See a Movie at the Galaxy Drive-In Theatre
What began as a three-screen drive-in in 2003 is now seven screens and two snack bars. Add affordable tickets and concessions, this is the place to be, rain or shine. Come with friends, family, a date, or your four-legged pal. All you need is a working FM radio to travel back in time while enjoying a new movie!
Sip at the Sugar Ridge Winery
Sugar Ridge Winery offers winery tours, tastings, karaoke nights, Girls Night Out evenings where you can sip wine and do a little shopping, live music, and themed events like Beach & Wine Night, complete with sangria slushies and its Hawaiian theme. Check their website or their Facebook to see what events are coming up!
Shop the Ennis Bluebonnet Spirit Shop
You’re postponing your Ennis trip or you forgot to pick up a souvenir? Have no fear, the Bluebonnet Spirit Shop is here to help. Their website is stocked full of celebratory Ennis t-shirts and accessories with fresh and colorful designs. All proceeds go back into the community to create cultural, educational, and social experiences in historic downtown Ennis. What a great way to shop local and make a direct impact!
Grab a Seat at Theatre Rocks!
Founded by a husband and wife duo with experience in the world of the performing arts, this intimate space offers tickets for an ever-changing list of shows by local performers with potential worthy of Broadway.
Watch a Race at Big O’ Speedway
March through October is racing season at Big O’ Speedway in Ennis, and the affordable tickets, concessions, open-air seating, and the chance to win a raffle prize will add excitement to everyone’s plans, no matter who you are. They offer opportunities during race intermission for younger audience members to meet drivers, take photos, and get autographs! What’s even cooler is they offer racing classes for kids ages 10 to 17. Check their website for more information.
Party at the Ennis All-Star Bowl
There are endless things for you to do at Ennis All-Star Bowl. You can easily spend your whole day here! When you’ve bowled to your heart’s content, eat, sip, play pool, dance, and enjoy a live band at the All-Star Bar & Grill. Or, slip into the game room for a while. This venue is definitely an Ennis must-see.
Get a Ticket to the Ennis Public Theatre
You won’t want to miss the chance to witness classic performances and creative masterpieces at the Ennis Public Theater. They even offer affordable season tickets that allow you to pick your seats and to create early reservations so you can plan your Ennis road trips ahead of time.
Refuel in Ennis TX
Travel can directly cause hunger, don’t you think? And what’s a vacation without some great food recommendations? I’ve got you covered.
Roof Top 101
The country charm of Ennis, TX is wonderfully complemented by the affordable, yet up-scale Southern cooking of this bar and restaurant. Roof Top 101 offers everything from catfish and chicken fried steak to French Dip and New York Cheesecake. Stop in for a glass of local wine from the one-and-only Sugar Ridge Winery and admire the cherry red paint of the classic 1940 Ford Coupe de Luxe in the dining room. Check their website for daily specials and night-time events like Mom’s Night Out and Teacher Thursdays. Or, pop in on Date Night, but BYOG (Bring-Your-Own-Games) and order from the light appetizer and wine menu.
Sushi at the Bristol General Store and Grill
A local secret, Bristol General Store and Grill is known for their tasty sushi. It’s authenticity, beautiful plating, and affordable pricing make it a must for everyone, whether you’re just making a stop or you want to investigate all the nooks and crannies of Ennis.
BBQ at the Ruston Cattle Company
Get your hands dirty with their BBQ or chow down on a finely cooked steak, then pair it with a drink and some toe-tapping live music. Ever heard of a black steak? The Ruston Cattle Company is here to help. Charred on the outside with plenty of color left on the inside, the thought of tasting this delicious beef won’t let you pass this place up on your next trip to Ennis.
Put Up Your Feet in Ennis TX
There’s no need for extravagant hotels and resorts when you have a treasure like this available to you.
Relax at the Hoefer House
This bed and breakfast isn’t meant to just be your lodging at the end of a fun-filled day in Ennis. It must be an active part of your next getaway: soak in the clawfoot tub; read a book with the floor-length curtains open to expose its large windows; snack on pastries and quiche provided by the staff in the kitchenette, and admire the artwork and decor that honor the gems of Ennis. When you’re ready to venture out, there are also bikes on property to borrow. How could your trip be any more perfect you ask? You’re within walking distance of downtown Ennis too!