This is how to spend a fun weekend in Cleburne, TX, with your family.
I fell in love with this charming Texas town I grew up near but never visited. Cleburne, Texas, located in Johnson County (North Texas) and a short drive from Downtown Fort Worth, offers the whole family a lot of outdoor space and a bit of history. Cleburne had way more fun things to do than I thought. From the museums to the fun stores downtown, the state park, and all the wonderful people I met on our weekend trip. Find out here how you can have a fun weekend in Cleburne, TX, with the entire family.
14 Fun Things To Do On A Weekend In Cleburne, TX
Cleburne is growing leaps and bounds from what I gather about the town. I had an agenda to follow but found more things to do from the folks I met in town. I love to talk with the locals because they are the experts in their space. If anything, try to hit the history museums in town. You’ll get to know more about Cleburne’s history if you do.
For a family-friendly place to stay in Cleburne, consider the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cleburne. The hotel has an indoor pool, which my grandson loved; the staff was very friendly, and breakfast comes with your stay.
There are plenty of things to cover in a weekend, so explore what you can and return to do the rest!
Things To Do In Cleburne, TX
You could spend an entire weekend in this charming North Texas town visiting museums, shopping downtown, taking history tours, and visiting the state park, etc.
1. The Outdoor Chisholm Trail Museum
Besides the Big Bear Museum, there is a working Blacksmith Shop, a one-room schoolhouse, the old county jail cell, and several demonstrations about the olden days. My son’s favorite thing to do the whole weekend (even beat out swimming in the hotel pool) was getting locked up in the jail cell and getting inside the jail stagecoach.
The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum is a Western adventure with great history. Admission is very reasonable.
The museum hosts several outdoor events throughout the year, including a Bluegrass Festival in May and Pioneer Days in November, summer, and many others. When the weather gets warmer, kayaks will be for rent on Lake Pat Cleburne, and horseback rides through the trails will also be offered.
For a complete museum tour, start at the Big Bear Native American Museum, then walk down to the rest or drive your car – plenty of free parking. There is a nominal admissions fee that helps the non-profit museum thrive. I believe it’s $3.
2. Walk The Streets Of Downtown Cleburne
Historic downtown Cleburne has many antique shops, boutiques, a unique courthouse, museums, and restaurants. Don’t forget to wander down the side streets – oftentimes, hidden gems are down those streets. I’m sure you and the family will find something you all like – look for the candy store, toy story, and all the picture-worthy murals.
Parking is free on Main Street, Chambers Street, and other streets.
3. Trovato Street Candy Store
Trovato Street is a nostalgic candy store with a root beer bar and a new root beer sign above it. The candy store is an experience just walking in as it takes you back to yesteryear and leaves you feeling good. Don’t worry if you don’t like root beer. There are many flavors of candy to choose from. You’ll have a great time from the old-time candy that you probably grew up with or perhaps your parents did to the fancy root beer bar in the back. There are lounge chairs and couches inside for you to linger in should you want to …and you’ll want to!
4. Historic Liberty Hotel
The Liberty Hotel – a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel located in the center of downtown is a quaint place to stay. Close to everything and within walking distance of nice restaurants. While talking to the manager, I learned about the hotel’s history from the beginning to the present. You do not have to stay there to walk around the hotel–it’s open to anyone who wants to look around.
5. Take A Historic Homes Tour
Go by the visitor center and pick up a brochure on all the historic homes in Cleburne. Then take a pleasure drive to see them all. The brochure shows all the homes and addresses of each. I did this, and if you like old historic homes, you’ll love this self-guided drive tour.
6. Dillon Depot
Dillon Depot on Anglin Street features an old-fashioned ice cream & soda fountain. It also has an expansive display of model trains and vendor booths featuring antiques and collectibles.
7. Cleburne Railroad Museum
Cleburne Railroad Museum opened to the public in 2016 and now hosts a collection of over 2,000 railroad artifacts.
8. Gone With The Wind Museum
Step back in time to remember the classic movie “Gone With The Wind” and visit the Gone With The Wind Remembered Museum. The museum brings devoted GWTW collectors and tourists from around the world to Cleburne, TX, and is one of the world’s largest private collections of memorabilia from the movie. You will find an entire wall dedicated to actors and actresses in the film, making a spectacular backdrop for a photo outside the museum. You can’t miss it – look at the mural of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara.
9. The Layland Museum Of History
Things to do in Cleburne, TX, went up a notch with this free admission to the Layland Museum, where you’ll find a rich history and displays of original historical pieces found worldwide by Mr. Layland.
10. Cleburne State Park
Cleburne State Park is worth the drive – it’s beautiful and offers water activities such as swimming, fishing, and boating on the spring-fed lake – Cedar Lake. There are also over five miles of mountain bike trails. Camping is available with hookups. Bring your kayak or rent one from the self-kiosk. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch largemouth bass – so bring your fishing pole along! It’s the perfect way to end the day.
11. Mainstay Farm Park & Winery
If you’re around the area during the fall season, Mainstay Farm Park has its Fall Festival from around the middle of September through the first of November. Now, it looks like they’ve added a winery to the mix.
12. Plaza Theatre Company
Located in historic downtown, Plaza Theatre Company is a theatre to see musical theatre and plays. Check the website for special events that are not lined up on the season ticket list, like Count Dracula (2023). “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be playing for the holidays.
13. Songbird Live
A live music venue downtown where you can listen to talented professional artists and musicians up close. Songbird Live presents all genres, including jazz, folk, and blues. Check out the upcoming concerts.
14. Play A Round At Cleburne Golf Links
Cleburne Golf Links is an 18-hole par-72 course with beautiful views around Lake Pat Cleburne. The golf course is for all skill levels and has a full-service golf shop.
Restaurants In Downtown Cleburne
The menu may be small, but the meals are huge! If you order Jimmie’s Burger loaded with hot links, bacon, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, and a special sauce, you better be hungry – because it’s mighty. I enjoyed the salmon dinner plate, and Jimmie made everything on the menu. His restaurant is only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 5 p.m.
Address: 114 E Chambers St.
Lunch At Loaf’N Dog
Family-owned hot dog joint offering excellent one-of-a-kind hot dogs. See them for weekly live music, and order the Texas-style dog!
Address: 208 E Chambers St.
La Cima Mexican Cuisine
Voted #1 restaurant by locals. If nothing else, go there for the chips and hot sauce –delish! Kid-friendly – Brody loved the hot sauce too.
Address: 736 N Main St.
Garden Of Eating Bistro
This must be a local’s favorite because they told me about it. I couldn’t make it because my agenda was full, but I sure wanted to. For hot gourmet sandwiches and other healthy options, be sure to stop in for lunch.
Address: 205 S Main St. Opens at 11 am.
Best little burger joint in town. It has been a community staple and a local favorite for years. I love a good hamburger!
Address: 109 N Anglin St.
Cleburne, Texas, is a charming town with much Texas history, yet it’s a hidden gem to most travelers. Next time you’re in Fort Worth, head southwest for about 30 minutes to visit Cleburne. I bet you’ll want to go back, too. It could very well surprise you as it did me.
Road trips are in, so why not explore these too – 13 Texas Family Road Trips.