Lubbock is a city of more than 240,000 people located in the northwestern region of Texas. The area gets very hot in the summers, and has mild temperatures in the winter months. The city draws people from surrounding counties to take advantage of its economic development, educational opportunities, and health care facilities. There are lots of cool things to do in Lubbock.
10. Kingsgate Center
If you enjoy an upscale shopping experience, you’ll want to visit Kingsgate Center. Located at 4210 82nd St., this is an outdoor shopping center, and the stores keep their own hours. Some of the stores and services include the White House / Black Market, The Woodhouse Day Spa, Prestige Frabricare, Sprouts Farmers Market, La Madeleine Café, Marble Slab Creamery, McAlister’s Deli, Davidson-Taylor Salon, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Francesca’s Collections, Inc., Fox and Hound, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Pei Wei, and J. Jill, to name a few.
9. Joyland Amusement Park
Located at 500 Canyon Lake Drive in Mackenzie Park, this amusement park has been a popular attraction in the city since 1973. It was built at the site of the older Mackenzie Park Playground from the 1940s, which had fallen into disrepair. Today, the park features more than 30 thrill rides, kiddie rides, rides for the whole family, water rides, and games. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Lubbock for kids, if your visit falls between March and Labor Day. Joyland is closed during the fall and winter months.
8. Buddy Holly Center
The Buddy Holly Center, located at 1801 Crickets Ave, is dedicated to preserving Buddy Holly’s legacy, and also to promoting contemporary visual artists and musicians in the area through its artifacts and displays. Exhibits include those in the Buddy Holly Gallery, the Foyer Gallery, the Fine Arts Gallery, and the J.I. Allison House. The center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sundays 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, closed on city holidays. The center offers tours and classes. There is an admission charge to see the Buddy Holly Gallery, but the foyer Gallery and the Fine Arts Gallery are free.
7. Cactus Theater
The Cactus Theater, located at 1812 Buddy Holly Ave, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998. The Art Deco style theater was opened in 1938, and seats 400 people. Originally a movie house, the theater is a venue for live music acts, musicals, and plays today. Past shows include The Cactus Family Christmas Celebration, Girls’ Nite Out, Jerry Jeff Walker, and the Maines Brothers. Tickets can be purchased for specific events through the box office or online. They frequently sell out, so early purchase is recommended.
6. First Friday Art Trail
On the first Friday of every month, the public is invited to take a self-guided tour to Lubbock art centers, museums, galleries and businesses to check out the exhibits. Tourists can walk the route, or ride one of the First Friday Trolleys along the route for free. There are sixteen venues along the route. The heart of the tour is the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, at 511 Ave. K. The tour runs from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. You may want to bring a jacket, as the temperatures cool off at night. Giorgio’s Pizza and J & B Coffee are part of the tour, in case you need refreshments.
5. Mackenzie Park
This 248 acre park is the largest park in Lubbock. Located at 601 Municipal Drive, it is the site of Joyland Amusement Park, Meadowbrook Golf Course, the American Windmill Museum, Prairie Dog Town, and more. Visitors can play a round of disc golf with friends, have a picnic while the kids play at the playground, and enjoy the view of the river. The spacious park even has trails for horseback riding. The southern end of the park is home to the Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre, and the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.
4. National Ranching Heritage Center
The National Ranching Heritage Center is a museum and historical park located on the property of Texas Tech University. The park contains nearly four dozen historical buildings including outhouses, corrals, cabins, a train stations, windmills, a school, a milk and meat house, a blacksmith shop, and many more. The park, which was dedicated in 1976, spans 27.5 acres. The museum features rotating displays. Visitors may use the library and shop at the souvenir store. The museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Sundays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free.
3. Silent Wings Museum
Established in 2001, the Silent Wings Museum displays glider planes from World War II. Visitors watch a fifteen minute film about the history of glider flight before moving on to the exhibits, the Timeline, Hangar and Combat Galleries. Among the artifacts are a fully restored WACO CG-4A glider and TG-4 trainer. The center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sundays 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, closed on some holidays. Group tours and classes are available on request. Museum admission is free if you have Buddy Holly Center tickets.
2. Moonlight Musicals Amphitheater
This amphitheater is located at 413 E. Broadway in the southern part of Mackenzie Park. The venue is equipped with some terraced seating and accommodates 1600 theatergoers. It is a good idea to bring a blanket and food, if you like, but alcohol and tobacco are prohibited. The musicals are kid-friendly. “Beauty and the Beast” is one past title. “Oklahoma” is another. Tickets can be purchased online. The amphitheater’s season runs June through August each year, and features local talent and guest artists. In the event that a performance is cancelled due to weather, tickets may be exchanged for another performance.
1. Stars and Stripes Drive-In
First opened in 2003, this drive-in theater in done in a retro style for a fun atmosphere. This theater, at 5101 Clovis Hwy., is open year round. You can buy your tickets at the box office or the website. The drive-in is open Fridays through Sundays by 6:30 PM, but you should plan on arriving about an hour early. Get some snacks at the 50s style café, hang out at the playground, and then cuddle up in your car to watch a double feature on one of three movie screens. This nostalgic drive-in experience would be a memorable part of a romantic weekend.
If you find yourself in this Northwestern Texas city, you will have plenty to do. Lubbock has universities, parks, theaters, and numerous museums. This list of places to visit in Lubbock will help you enjoy your stay. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen for day, and your jacket for night.