Lubbock is home to rich art and cultural scene, boasting delightful musical acts, a hospitable atmosphere, and great fine dining options.
It’s packed with numerous points of interest that make for great tourist attractions.
With so many things to choose from, what should you opt for?
Here are our picks for the 22 best and fun things to do in Lubbock, Texas.
1. National Ranching Heritage Center
Termed as one of the beautiful places in America, the National Ranching Heritage Center is one of the free things to do in the city of Lubbock, and it’s also one of the most-loved Lubbock attractions.
Opened in 1976, it is a park composed of multiple different structures that offer an informative glimpse into the history of Western ranching and its architecture.
The complex of the National Ranching Heritage Center comprises 49 different structures, dating as far back to the 1780s and as near as the 1950s.
The oldest building is a replica, but all the others are genuine structures relocated painstakingly from countries across the globe.
Each building is arranged so that they are in chronological order and connected by paths of concrete, allowing you to get the full feel of ranching development over the years.
A trolley comes by every half an hour to bring you through the tour on wheels, with a small fee.
The National Ranching Heritage Center takes up 19 acres of space, and its main building spans 44,000 square feet.
This structure is a ranching museum, covering a large array of different topics that go from cattle rustling to cowboy boots.
You’ll also find stunning sculptures in front of the building, life-sized and well-crafted.
As for the rest of the buildings, you’ll find that they are mindfully furnished to period-correctness!
In April at the National Ranching Heritage Center, a special event called Ranch Day brings the true spirit of Texas with horses, cowboys, and chuck wagons all coming to perform.
Address: 3121 4th St, Lubbock, TX 79409, United States
2. American Wind Power Center
The American Wind Power Center was created by Billy Wolfe, a home economics teacher and local of Texas, as a labor of love.
Over the course of her adult life, she located, photographed, researched, and put a lot of effort into the preservation of windmills, their importance, and their cultural significance.
For close to three decades, Wolfe worked as hard as she could to purchase hundreds of these structures, aiming to open a museum just for them one day.
The American Wind Power Center, today, is exactly that.
It opened in 1998 and eventually expanded in 2001, and now, it is home to almost 200 different windmills of all kinds, colors, shapes, origins, and sizes.
Windmills played a fairly significant role in the lives and survival of settlers back in the prairie days.
The American Wind Power Center features their stories and highlights their importance with reconstructed windmills and educational information.
Stretched across a large field, the center is one of Lubbock’s most fun places to visit and can be spotted from the road.
Address: 1701 Canyon Lake Dr, Lubbock, TX 79403, United States
3. Buddy Holly Center
The Buddy Holly Center is dedicated to its titular celebrity: Buddy Holly, the rock-and-roll icon that took America by storm in the 1950s.
As a native of Lubbock, Texas, it only makes sense that he is honored here in the city where he was born!
The Buddy Holly Center provides a great glimpse into the career and life of Buddy Holly, ranging from his childhood years all the way up to the height of his performing career and beyond.
Memorabilia of all kinds bring you closer to the talented man, with some highlights being his signature glasses and his Fender Stratocaster guitar.
The former was actually recovered from the site of the fatal airplane crash that took Holly’s life.
The main museum building holds many other personal items, too, like records, guitars, and even a large sculpture of those famous horn-rimmed spectacles.
Next to the building, you’ll find the J. I. Allison House, which is the site where Holly co-wrote That’ll Be The Day.
Across the street from both buildings, you’ll also see a large life-size statue of the late great Buddy Holly himself, holding his guitar.
Fans of the artist should certainly add the Buddy Holly Center to their list of what to do as it definitely is one of the cool places to visit!
Address: 1801 Crickets Ave, Lubbock, TX 79401, United States
4. FiberMax Center for Discovery
Texas may not be famous for its agriculture, but it’s played its fair share of a role in the industry.
The FiberMax Center for Discovery, located in Lubbock, provides some of that history in a fascinating and interesting format.
It’s one of the best ways to learn about the growth and development of the agriculture and farming industries.
The FiberMax Center for Discovery features many different interactive displays that discuss equipment, farming methods, tools, and other interesting tidbits of information.
Interacting with displays can show you how farmers worked on fields, how blacksmiths designed tools for the trade, and play other interesting programs.
One of the most intriguing points of interest at the FiberMax Center for Discovery is the tool shop, featuring genuine 20th-century objects.
This display holds a whopping hundreds of different little tools that are set up in an intricate arrangement.
With a touch screen, you can look through each tool and discover its individual uses.
Other unique stops along the way are a drilling exhibit, a room with over 700 toy tractor, a showcase of seeds, and the Cotton Harvesting Simulator.
Address: 1121 Canyon Lake Dr, Lubbock, TX 79403, United States
5. Museum of Texas Tech University
The Museum of Texas Tech University is designed as a research and educational space for the aforementioned university, but it’s also open for the public to enjoy and is one of the many fun free things to do in Lubbock.
Public exhibitions and programs allow for plenty of informative ways to learn about the state!
Many different collections are featured at the museum, including ones covering anthropology, history, paleontology, fine arts, natural sciences, and even clothing and textiles.
The Natural Science Research Laboratory itself is worth calling one of the city’s tourist attractions, with an awe-inspiring collection of mammals, invertebrates, birds, and all kinds of genetic resources.
You can view a mammoth skeleton replica, dinosaur skeleton replicas, collections of pottery and textiles of Southwest Native American origin, a huge showcase of western art.
Rotating exhibitions allow for a more varied experience at the museum.
Docent-led tours are also available, with different options depending on your interests.
Some are gallery specific, others bring you through just the highlights, and some take you quickly through the entire building!
Address: 3301 4th St, Lubbock, TX 79415, United States
6. Silent Wings Museum
The Silent Wings Museum is situated within what was once the airport terminal of Lubbock.
It is one of Texas’ top places to visit for those interested in the history of World War II, and it is dedicated to glider pilots who fought for the United States in those times.
80% of those glider pilots were trained here, too.
The Silent Wings Museum interprets, collects, preserves, records, and exhibits all sorts of artifacts and information related to the glider program.
A 90-minute tour around the museum gives you a quick look into the world of World War II gliders, showcasing the realities of those who piloted them through photographs and other forms of memorabilia.
The museum is also arranged uniquely, designed to mimic a genuine war zone of the era.
The highlight of the Silent Wings Museum is its WACO CG-4A, a giant glider that has been perfectly restored and is now on display for the public.
It hangs from the building’s ceiling, just low enough for you to look inside as you imagine the amazing bravery involved with descending from 1,500 feet to the ground without the aid of an engine in the middle of a war.
You’ll also be able to view military equipment, smaller gliders, footlockers, uniforms, and glider parts.
With a low entrance fee, a visit here is one of the city’s coolest cheap things to do.
Address: 6202 N I-27, Lubbock, TX 79403, United States
7. Prairie Dog Town
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Lubbock and you love cute little animals, then Prairie Dog Town is the spot for you!
It’s a simple little attraction and is merely a small field filled with these lovely mammals, surrounded by a low wall that you can see over.
It was established in the 1930s by Kennedy N. Clapp and his wife and is situated within Lubbock’s Mackenzie Park.
Prairie Dog Town is the first site just like it to be designated a protected location.
Its humble beginnings involved a mere two burrows and four dogs, but today, it has grown a lot and even features native grasses and irrigation for the animals!
The cute critters in question have free reign of the field, running wherever they like as they check out the cars in the parking lot, perch themselves on the fence, and peek into the entrance road.
They mostly don’t pay too much heed to guests, so you can stand near them without them feeling disturbed.
In addition to all of that, there is no entrance fee to Prairie Dog Town, so it’s one of the city’s free things to do!
Watch these cute prairie dogs play and lounge close to their holes, peeping as they go, standing up to showcase their full length, and often even falling over in the most precious ways!
Address: MacKenzie Park Rd, Lubbock, TX 79401, United States
8. Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark sits in Yellowhouse Draw, an age-old valley that was once a source of water for those living in the Southern High Plains.
In the early 1930s, Yellowhouse Draw dried up, and settler activity was slowly covered up as sediment formed over it.
A while later, the city decided to try to find the springs and breathe new life into them.
Dredging of the underground springs would soon lead to the discovery of bison kills from the Folsom Period, including one by a Paleoindian group of settlers that were unknown at the time.
Radiocarbon dating eventually revealed that people had been living in the Southern High Plains for as long as 12,000 years!
In the summer, annual excavations are continued at the National Historic Landmark in order to further preserve the legacy and historical remnants of these settlers.
With over 336 acres of land, there are plenty of places to go within the valley, with 4.5 miles of biking and walking trails in one of the city’s best historic locations.
You can find the National Historic Landmark on the Texas Tech University campus.
Address: 2401 Landmark Dr, Lubbock, TX 79415, United States
9. Science Spectrum Museum and Omni Theater
The Science Spectrum Museum and Omni Theater is an amazing and fun location, especially if you’re bringing kids with you on your Lubbock vacation.
It boasts 250 permanent exhibits that are all interactive, providing so much stuff to do, and even more traveling and rotating shows.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy at the Science Spectrum Museum and Omni Theater.
Live animal shows allow you to interact with all sorts of critters, many of them exotic or not from America.
The Omni Theater showcases all kinds of great feature films.
The Children’s Museum portion is packed with kid-friendly exhibits.
The aquarium – the only one in the city – is home to many Brazos River marine animals.
If you thought that was all, well, the Science Spectrum Museum and Omni Theater have much more!
Physical Science Exhibits allow children and adults alike to learn about physics, a Texas Alive exhibit discusses the wilderness and wildlife of the state, and the science stage hosts all sorts of electricity and chemistry shows.
It’s a lot of excitement in one place!
Address: 2579 S Loop 289 #250, Lubbock, TX 79423, United States
10. English Newsom Cellars at Caprock Winery
English Newsom Cellars at Caprock Winery is a short distance from the center of Lubbock, Texas, and it’s famous for being one of the best things to do in Lubbock for wine enthusiasts.
It’s also one of the state’s most prestigious vineyards.
It has been operating since 1988 and is internationally acclaimed, even rivaling some of the finest establishments in places like France and Italy.
The scenic grounds of the English Newsom Cellars at Caprock Winery, coupled with impressive building architecture, already makes a great impression as soon as you arrive.
With both white and red wine varieties, a trip to the tasting room is a great way to relax this weekend.
Don’t forget to buy a bottle or two that you particularly like!
Tours are also available, led by capable and knowledgeable staff or even the sommelier himself, and some even include samples!
Address: 408 E Woodrow Rd, Lubbock, TX 79423, United States
11. McKenzie Park
McKenzie Park is one of the free things to do in the city, which is why it’s convenient that it’s also one of the more famous Lubbock attractions.
Spanning 248 acres, this park is packed with lush green grounds and a wide range of activities to spend your time on.
Two golf courses, both of championship level and with 18 holes, let golfers get a few games in.
Horseback riding trails allow the equestrian-inclined to trot about on their steeds.
Sculptures decorate the parkland, designed by Steve Teeters, a fairly well-known artist.
For more low-key activities in this Lubbock, Texas attraction, you can lounge in nature with a picnic, looking out over the Brazos River, or simply walk around and explore the many gardens and different terrains that Mackenzie Park has to offer.
Address: 301 I-27, Lubbock, TX 79403, United States
If you have more time and you’d like to explore more, why not visit El Paso and Fort Worth? If you do plan a trip, here are some of the best things to do in El Paso, and some cool things to do in Fort Worth!
12. Joyland Amusement Park
Joyland Amusement Park is actually within Mackenzie Park, but it’s such a good option among places to visit in Lubbock, Texas for a little bit of fun that it deserves its own number!
It’s a traditional kind of park, packed with old-school delights and nostalgic rides, classic activities, and all the quintessential amusement park experiences.
Thrill rides and roller coasters are great for teens and adults, but for those seeking kid-friendly rides, you’ll find a lot of different more relaxed options too.
Among the many rides for all sorts of ages and preferences include The Little Coaster, The Mad House, The Galaxi, the Dare Devil Drop, bumper cars, a carousel, and plenty of arcade games.
No matter what part of Joyland Amusement Park you’re in, you’ll find some food stands near to your location.
Think of all the classic and traditional all-American snacks, like funnel cakes and other sinful delights of fried food.
If you go here at night, you’ll get to see all the lovely rides lit up!
Address: 500 Canyon Lake Dr, Lubbock, TX 79401, United States
13. Caviel Museum of African American History
The Caviel Museum of African American History is one of Lubbock’s newer museums.
It educates visitors on the history of African-American people in the region, telling their stories and tales with artwork and exhibits.
Antiques, artifacts, and informational displays about important figures in the community paint an interesting and enlightening picture.
The Caviel Museum of African American History is situated within the first pharmacy to be run and owned by an African-American couple in America, namely Alfred and Billie Caviel.
After five decades of successful business, they donated the shop to the Roots Historical Arts Council and retired, personally hoping it would be turned into a museum for their culture.
In 2015, the museum opened as the first of its kind in the general area.
It’s now one of the best ways to learn more about the African-American community, and if you’re looking for what to do in Lubbock of historical significance, a trip to the Caviel Museum of African American History is a great option.
Address: 1719 Avenue A, Lubbock, TX 79403, United States
14. Legacy Play Village
The Legacy Play Village is the go-to spot to learn more about the South Plains in a fun way, and it’s designed for children to learn through activities and other exciting educational programs.
In 2001, it was opened in McAllister Park as a bit of a beautification project and labor of love by the Junior League of Lubbock.
The result was a three-story wooden playground perfect for children and made to provide learning experiences in an engaging manner.
It boasts multiple picnic areas and pavilions, and its beautiful architecture is a treat to see and engage with.
Kids will learn about Texas and the South Plains as they play.
All in all, it’s one of the points of interest to consider letting your children have a blast this weekend!
Address: 6401 Marsha Sharp Fwy, Lubbock, TX 79407, United States
15. Lubbock Memorial Arboretum
The Lubbock Memorial Arboretum is located in the K. N. Clapp Park and is one of the city’s top historical spots.
It’s also one of the tourist attractions to take a partner to, as strolling through its 93 open-space acres is one of the city’s most romantic things to do!
The Memorial Arboretum is home to a wide and diverse range of shrubs, trees, plants, flowers, vines, and other flora.
It also hosts birds, butterflies, and some other wildlife, mostly native to Texas but some from further beyond.
One of its most delightful spots is the Sensory Garden, which encourages the use of the five human senses to explore the flora and fauna.
Within the Memorial Arboretum, you’ll find the tranquil Playa Lake, packed with waterfowl, an Interpretive Center for nature classes housed in a quaint and lovely red brick building, and a walking trail spanning 1.18 miles.
Guided tours will tell you all about the plant life you can find within the arboretum.
Address: 4111 University Ave, Lubbock, TX 79413, United States
16. Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts first opened its doors in 1997 and is an entirely non-profit organization.
It consists of nine buildings spread across four blocks, providing multiple places to visit and offering plenty of fun experiences.
At its core, the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts is dedicated to the act of connecting, supporting, showcasing, and promoting artists of all skill levels and fame levels.
It uses a mix of performances and exhibits, all diverse and varied, to do so.
Exhibits change all year round, constantly shifting to highlight both international and local artists, with some even being from Lubbock or Texas themselves.
The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts is one of the core components of the city’s art scene, which is slowly bringing the downtown portion of the city back to life.
Whether you seek theater performances, paintings, sculptures, or drawings, art lovers will be sure to enjoy a trip here!
Address: 511 Avenue K, Lubbock, TX 79401, United States
17. Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center
Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center is designed to provide music, arts, and garden center to the city’s local community.
It has been operating since 1960 and provides a wide range of competitions, classes, shows, and exhibitions for the creative community.
Classes are often taught by famous or award-winning gardeners and professionals.
Of the many fun things to do in Lubbock, Texas, this Municipal Garden and Arts Center is one of the most interesting ways to get a glimpse into genuine local life.
It’s the city’s most-used meeting space facility by the Parks and Recreations System, providing space for clubs, groups, and organizations of all kinds.
Numerous different settings allow for an engaging experience, with the Tea Terrace, Rose Garden, and Gazebo being among the most serene.
Address: 4215 University Ave, Lubbock, TX 79413, United States
18. Lubbock Veterans War Memorial
The Lubbock Veterans War Memorial is one of the best ways to honor the heroes of the South Plains.
It is located in Huenke Park and is one of the biggest memorials not just in Texas, but in America aside from Washington DC.
It is surrounded by a lovely garden and pond.
The Veterans War Memorial features many different bricks, and each one represents veterans that were in the line of duty in the Armed Forces during the South Plains battles.
The names of those who passed away while serving the country are all individually listed in a wall of marble.
The memorial cost 1.2 million dollars to construct and was dedicated in the year 2003 and stands as a melancholy testament to bravery and patriotism today.
It’s one of the city’s sobering places to go, and it’s a wonderful way to remember those who gave their lives for the country.
Address: 4001 82nd St Henry Huneke Park, Lubbock, TX 79423, United States
19. Charles Adams Gallery
The Charles Adams Gallery is situated within the Lubbock Cultural District and is one of the cool places in the city.
It’s a hotspot for culture and art, and anyone who’s anyone spends their evenings hanging out in this locale.
Basically, if you want to know what’s big in the American art scene, the Charles Adams Gallery is the place to go!
The gallery features permanent and rotating exhibits, so if you’re looking for what to see, you’ll find something new and interesting on your visit.
It’s a fun way to view works of art from local, regional, and international artists.
It’s also a fairly renowned place and has been home to works by greats like Andy Warhol in the past.
Address: 602 Avenue J, Lubbock, TX 79401, United States
20. Ballet Lubbock
Ballet Lubbock is famous for being one of this Texas city’s premium cultural experiences.
It provides gorgeous forms of entertainment and performance art, especially during the holiday season, when they put on a whimsical and delightful showing of The Nutcracker.
Check the schedule to see if there’s anything showing tonight!
And, even if tonight’s empty, you’ll be sure to find more dance activities available, as the ballet sponsors and organizes all sorts of different events, classes, and workshops for the community!
Even if you’re not much of the artsy kind, watching or participating in the ballet’s events is one of the top things to do in Lubbock.
Address: 5702 Genoa Ave, Lubbock, TX 79424, United States
21. Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe
It may not be one of the more “typical” Lubbock attractions, but Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe should be on your list of places to visit in the city of Lubbock regardless.
This old-school shoppe sells, as its name suggests, ice cream, and it has the perfect retro atmosphere.
Booths are bright and striped red and white, the air is vibrant, the jukebox awaits input, and it’s a fun, family-friendly environment.
Holly Hop Ice Cream is pretty famous in the city thanks to the wonderful things it sells and the vibe it projects.
It’s also one of the city’s romantic things to do!
Ice cream, milkshakes, and more creamy goodies make for delicious offerings, and there are all sorts of flavors and varieties, including vegan ice creams!
Address: 3404 34th St, Lubbock, TX 79410, United States
22. Antique Mall of Lubbock
If you like hunting down treasures, great finds, and good buys, head to the Antique Mall of Lubbock this weekend!
Since 1985, it’s been the go-to for collectors seeking antiques and trinkets, and it remains one of the premier shopping complexes of its kind across the nation.
Spanning 24,000 square feet, the Antique Mall is home to more than 100 showcases and hosts 50 unique booths that sell all kinds of different American collectibles and antiques.
As you walk around, expect to find vintage clothing, sports memorabilia, books, china, pottery, western memorabilia, art, glassware, toys, and jewelry.
You may also find advertising signs, tins, store displays, soda, jars, and tobacco from old-fashioned Drug Store, Pharmacy, and General Store collections.
One of the Antique Mall’s prized offerings is its high-quality collection of early American and Victorian furniture, featuring mahogany, walnut, and oak woods.
Any antique-lovers must add this mall to their list of what to do!
Address: 7907 19th St, Lubbock, TX 79407, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Lubbock
Lubbock, Texas is packed with fun entertainment for all, no matter what you’re in the mood for.
This list of some of the greatest Lubbock attractions can help you find all the most interesting hotspots to add to your itinerary!