Outdoor venue Wayback Barn in McKinney hosts games and family-friendly fun
There's a new family-centric outdoor games spot open in McKinney: Called The Wayback Barn and Social Club, it's a mom-and-pop venue dedicated to enjoying the great outdoors, now open at 3964 County Rd. #168, in rural North McKinney.
The 4-acre country facility features axe throwing, cornhole, tether ball, 9-square, horseshoes, and ring toss, plus room for pickup games of football and soccer.
Wayback is from husband-and-wife Ryan and Laura O’Dowd, who created the concept after a family vacation to Colorado.
“We spent the entire time outside and had a blast playing yard games all day. When we got back to McKinney, we tried to find something similar and nothing was even close,” Laura says. “The heartbeat behind it is getting people off screens and outside."
They acquired a patch of land that includes The FarmHouse McKinney, a historic property built in 1915, which they renovated, as well as a 108-year-old horse barn which is the centerpiece of their entertainment venue. There are also picnic tables, firepits, and a stage for live music.
Prices range from $8 for general admission, with a $35 household family maximum, plus $20 for one-hour of axe throwing, with general yard games included.
Axe throwing is a trend that hit Dallas in 2018 and has somewhat peaked. But the family says their twist is that they offer outdoor axe throwing, which isn’t common in DFW. It's for ages 10 and up only, and requires a waiver and closed-toed shoes. To avoid mishaps, the axe area is fenced off from the rest of the property.
There's also some basic food and drink, with a “snack menu” of packaged goods like chips, crackers, cookies, s’mores, and a charcuterie board; guests can also bring their own food, as well as pets.
The facility is located in a dry county, requiring the O'Dowds to register a “social club” in order to sell alcohol. They've applied for a liquor license, which is still pending. Until then, the space is BYOB.
For now, they're open weekends only: Friday-Saturday from 12-10 pm and Sunday from 12-6 pm, but they stay closed on days when the temperature doesn’t get above 40 degrees.