Culture in Carrollton, TX

Carrollton is a mid-sized city located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area of Texas. With a population of over 130,000, Carrollton prides itself on having a vibrant and diverse culture.

This guide provides an overview of Carrollton’s arts and entertainment scene, diversity, family attractions, shopping opportunities, annual events and more.

Arts and Entertainment

Carrollton has a lively arts and entertainment scene centered around several key venues.

Carrollton Cultural Arts Center

The Carrollton Cultural Arts Center is a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary facility featuring a 340-seat theater, art gallery, dance studio, and classrooms. Some key aspects of the Cultural Arts Center include:

  • Broadway musicals and plays
  • Concerts spanning multiple genres
  • Dance recitals and competitions
  • Art exhibitions, classes, and events
  • Children’s theater and educational programs

With an average of over 200 yearly events, the Cultural Arts Center is a hub for Carrollton’s lively performing and visual arts community.

Parks and Amphitheaters

Several of Carrollton’s parks feature open-air amphitheaters that host cultural events during warmer months. These include:

  • Josey Ranch Lake Park Amphitheater – Summer concert series and movie nights
  • Quintana Park Amphitheater – Plays and musicals
  • Rosemeade Rainforest Amphitheater – Community theatre productions

Smaller neighborhood parks also have covered picnic shelters for cultural gatherings.


The Carrollton Public Library system features rotating art installations and hosts regular cultural events. These include author talks, creative writing groups,children’s storytimes and crafts, computer and technology classes, book clubs, and more.

The Hebron and Josey Old City Library branches have specialized genealogy and Texas history archives.


Over 30% of Carrollton’s population is foreign-born, contributing to a vibrant cultural diversity.

Places of Worship

Carrollton has places of worship representing diverse faiths including Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist communities. The Islamic Association of Carrollton mosque and temple has been an integral part of the city’s culture for over 20 years.

International Markets and Dining

Reflecting its global community, Carrollton has many international grocery stores, restaurants, and specialty food stores. This allows residents to experience authentic cuisine and products from around the world.

Popular international dining and shopping options include:

  • Indian – Patel Brothers grocery store, Clay Pit Restaurant
  • Korean – H Mart grocery store, Arirang Korean Restaurant
  • Mexican – El Rancho Grande grocery store, Mi Cocina Restaurant
  • Chinese – Woo Grocery Store, First Chinese BBQ
  • Vietnamese – Vietnam Town Marketplace, Pho 95 Restaurant

Family Fun

Carrollton offers many family-friendly attractions and events.

Great Wolf Lodge

This massive 80,000 square foot indoor water park resort features water slides, pools, interactive water play areas, and even complimentary kids’ activities.

Emerald Bay Park

Known locally as “Dragon Park”, this playground destination is famous for its large dragon sculpture. The park features winding pathways, scenic ponds, and picnic areas.

Family Events

Some of the top annual family events include:

  • July 4th Celebration – Parade, street fair, fireworks show
  • Craftapalooza Festival – Arts and crafts street festival
  • Carrollton Festival at the Switchyard – Outdoor festival with live music, rides, vendors
  • Movies on Main – Outdoor movies in downtown during summer

Shopping Destinations

From malls to boutiques, Carrollton offers diverse shopping opportunities:

Shopping Malls

  • Stonebriar Centre Mall – Over 200 stores, 100 dining options, AMC movie theater
  • Vista Ridge Mall – Department stores, retail/dining options, IMAX movie theater

Furniture Stores

  • Nebraska Furniture Mart – Massive 430,000 square foot store with whole home furniture
  • Living Spaces – Trendy, modern furniture sold at affordable prices
  • Rooms To Go – Stylish furniture sold in bundled room packages

Old Downtown Carrollton

Over 50 specialty shops, antique stores, restaurants, and boutiques in an historic Main Street district.

Yearly Events

Carrollton has lively festivals, cultural celebrations, and holiday events throughout the year.

Lunar New Year Celebration

Kick off the start of the lunar calendar with family-friendly activities showcasing Asian cultures. Enjoy activities like calligraphy demonstrations, dragon dances, firecracker shows, and vendor marketplaces.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Every March, downtown Carrollton hosts a massive St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival featuring Irish food, drink, music, dancers, craft vendors, carnival rides, and contests.

Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Join one of the area’s largest Cinco de Mayo festivals held in May. Enjoy spicy Mexican cuisine, mariachi bands, ballet folklorico dancers, carnival rides, and more for the whole family.

Carrollton Festival

Each September, one of the biggest community events takes place – the annual Carrollton Festival at the Switchyard. Experience live music acts, a jalapeno eating contest, cooking demos, craft beer, and amusement park rides.

Free Things to Do

On a budget? Luckily many Carrollton cultural attractions and events are inexpensive or completely free.

Heard Natural Science Museum

This museum features wildlife exhibits, dinosaur galleries, outdoor trails, butterfly gardens and more absolutely free of charge! Donations welcomed.

Movies on Main

From May through August, bring blankets and chairs for a free movie under the stars on select weekends in historic downtown Carrollton.

Exercise Classes at Josey Ranch Lake Park

Take free weekly fitness classes like yoga, bootcamp, Zumba, and belly dancing offered courtesy of community sponsors. Most classes take place outdoors by the lake!

Library Programs

Carrollton libraries offer over 3,000 free annual programs. Learn technology skills, enjoy storytimes and crafts, attend workshops, go to book clubs, enroll kids in summer reading challenges, and more free of charge!

There’s always an abundance of accessible cultural programs to take advantage of locally in Carrollton for free or low cost. Exploring the diversity of the city is fun for all ages – from honing artistic talents to experiencing global cuisine to creating unforgettable family memories.

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  • Take the highway 75 North from Dallas toward Oklahoma. After about 10 miles, take exit 29A toward Belt Line Road. Merge onto Belt Line Road and continue for 3 miles. Turn left onto Old Denton Road and continue for half a mile. Turn right onto Verlaine Drive. 2002 Verlaine Dr will be on your right. The total drive is about 15 miles.
  • From Dallas, head west on Interstate 635 W. Take exit 17 from I-635 W to merge onto TX-121 N/Sam Rayburn Tollway toward DFW Airport/Lewisville. Continue on TX-121 N for about 10 miles then use the 2 right lanes to take exit 28A for TX-114 W toward Southlake. Continue onto TX-114 W for about 6 miles then use the left 2 lanes to take exit 43 for TX-121 N toward Grapevine/DFW Int’l Airport. Take that road for 2.5 miles then use the right 3 lanes to take exit 23A to merge onto TX-121 N/TX-26 W. In 1 mile, use the 2nd from the right lane to take exit 26A toward E Belt Line Rd/FM-2499. Stay straight to go onto William D Tate Ave then turn left onto Old Denton Rd. After half a mile, turn right onto Verlaine Dr. 2002 Verlaine Dr is on the right just after Rembrandt Dr. Total drive is around 25 miles.
  • Start out going northwest on Live Oak St toward Pacific Ave for 0.3 miles. Use the left lane to turn left onto north Pacific Ave. Continue on Pacific Ave to US-75 N. Merge onto US-75 N toward Sherman. Take exit 29 for Belt Line Rd. Turn right onto Belt Line Rd. Turn left onto Old Denton Rd and continue for half a mile. Turn right onto Verlaine Dr. 2002 Verlaine Dr is on your right. The total drive is just over 15 miles.