Fun Things to Do in Old Town Tomball: 12 Ways to Spend a Day in Downtown Tomball TX

Things to Do in Old Town Tomball

One of the most popular areas of the city of Tomball is the charming streets of Old Town. This historic part of the city is a treasure trove of activities—whether you're strolling through the well-preserved streets, savoring the delectable local cuisine, or immersing yourself in the unique local history, Old Town Tomball has it all. You'll discover a rich blend of history and modernity, creating a unique atmosphere that caters to every taste. If you’re looking for ways to spend an enjoyable afternoon, consider a few of these fun things to do in Old Town Tomball:

Browse the Old Town Tomball Shops

Old Town Tomball Stores

Old Town Tomball is well-known for its collection of boutiques, antique stores, and unique shops scattered across several square blocks in the center of the city. Visitors enjoy browsing the variety of handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind items found among the dozens of establishments in Tomball's historic downtown.

Old Town Tomball shops and boutiques include women's fashions, handmade jewelry, and whimsical accessories at places like the Turquoise Door Boutique and O'Suzanna's. Lovers of Western art enjoy exploring Sallie Fisher's gallery, with its collection of cowboy-inspired paintings and sculptures curated by Sallie herself. Old Town is also home to many favorite Tomball antique stores and vintage shops, including Granny's Korner, Birds of a Feather, and Elite Antiques and Books. 

Tomball Antiques Stores

Old Town Tomball antique stores rival the most eclectic shopping experiences found anywhere. Among the top spots in town for discovering relics of yesteryear is Granny's Korner, a collection of several vendors all under one roof. For more than 20 years, visitors have flocked to Granny's for antique and vintage treasures, primitive folk art finds, and one-off decorative items. 

Nearby, Birds of a Feather Antiques and Vintage Marketplace houses a fun and funky selection of antiques, unique clothing and accessories, and a variety of quirky collectibles and fun finds. A few blocks over on Main Street is Antiques Galore and More, with yet another impressive inventory of antique furniture and vintage keepsakes.

On the other end of Main Street, Elite Antique and Books is home to hard-to-find books, rare first-edition hardbacks, and interesting second-hand souvenirs. And it's a short walk to Cherry Street Antiques, where folks can easily lose track of time browsing all the cool stuff on display. 

Tomball Farmers Market

Near the antique stores along Main Street in Old Town, shoppers will also find the Tomball Farmers Market. Established in 2012, this year-round market has grown to feature more than 60 vendors, offering plenty of local produce, an assortment of arts and crafts, and several educational booths. The gates open at 9:00 every Saturday morning and the market has events going on every month of the year, from Chirstmas in July to the TFM Christmas Market.

Favorites among the regular stalls are the seasonal fruits and veggies from folks like Atkinson Farms and Gundermann Acres, as well as the goat milk cheeses and soaps offered by the family-owned Dapper Goat Dairy Farm from down the road in Waelder, Texas. 

Other popular vendors include Katerra Ranch from the nearby city of Katy, with a weekly selection of pasture-raised exotic meats ranging from bison to venison. Tomball's own Three Sisters Farms is another farmers market regular, showcasing a variety of free-range duck, quail, and chicken eggs, along with fresh fruits and vegetables and prepared items like pickled veggies, sauerkraut, and preserves.

Explore Old Town Tomball's History

Things to Do in Downtown Tomball: History

Old Town Tomball features a variety of activities and attractions celebrating Tomball's history, along with numerous restored buildings representing the vintage architectural styles of its early railroad days. Some of the best ways to explore the town's past include touring the Tomball Museum Center, joining a guided ghost tour, and checking out the sights and sounds at Old Town's Railroad Depot.

Railroad Depot

Dating back to 1907, Tomball's Railroad Depot museum celebrates the town's origins as a stop on the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railroad. The museum displays the town's permanent collection of train memorabilia, artwork, antiques, and a couple of model railroads replicating old downtown Tomball. 

In addition to the restored yellow station building and the iconic red caboose, the Railroad Depot plaza includes a scenic gazebo and nearby statue honoring the town's founder and namesake, Thomas H. Ball. It’s considered one of the best parks in Tomball for the number of activities surrounding it and its easily accessible location.

The Railroad Depot is also home to a full slate of annual events, including Tomball's German Heritage Festival, live music events like the Bluegrass and Texas Music festivals, and holiday favorites like the Deck the Depot Tree Lighting ceremony and the famous Tomball German Fest Christmas Market.

Tomball Ghost Tours

The old yellow train depot building serves as the starting point for Tomball's ghost tours. These one-hour guided excursions are typically on foot, with lantern light leading the way to several haunted destinations throughout Old Town.

For instance, legend has it that Granny's ghost at her namesake Granny's Korner antique shops gives hugs to visitors in need. Folks can get a taste of the paranormal at Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue as well, where a local spirit named Travis has allegedly been heard making late-night rounds. Ghost hunters might also spot the apparition of a woman in Civil War-era attire sitting in the parlor rocking chair at The Griffin House, among the historic old buildings in the Tomball Museum Center.

Tomball Museum Center

Visitors are invited to explore local history and heritage through the impressive collection of restored homes, churches, and other structures at the Tomball Museum Center, along with 19th-century artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits showcasing the day-to-day life and activities of the area's earliest residents. Located near the northwest corner of Old Town Tomball, the Museum Center features buildings like the Griffin Memorial House and the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, both dating back to the 1800s, as well as the old one-room schoolhouse, an early doctor's office, and the city's original jail. 

Old Town Tomball Architecture

Evidence of Tomball's original turn-of-the-century architecture is on full display throughout Old Town, with numerous well-preserved examples of construction circa the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many vintage buildings here housing local businesses like the Whistle Stop Tea Room, Granny's Korner, and others are typical of Tomball's early aesthetic and railroad-town roots. Today, the antique stores, restaurants, and mom-and-pop shops throughout Old Town Tomball continue breathing fresh life into the town's historical past while renovations and new construction in the area remain faithful to the architectural styles of yesterday.

Enjoy Seasonal Events

Old Town Tomball Festivals

Several community events are held each year to commemorate the town's European settlers, who found the area reminiscent of Germany's Black Forest region. Favorite celebrations in Old Town include the Tomball German Heritage Festival in the spring and the Tomball German Fest Christmas Market, kicking off every holiday season.

Tomball Christmas Market

The Tomball German Fest Christmas Market happens every December in Old Town, near the Railroad Depot plaza. The festival is rated among the best Christmas markets in the country, with more than a hundred street vendors and wandering entertainers, lots of live music on multiple stages, and an open-air market filled with plenty of handmade holiday crafts and seasonal treats.

The celebration begins with a parade and opening ceremonies, and no self-respecting German festival would be complete without the official tapping of the beer keg. Visitors will find abundant activities and attractions, with a weekend full of fun for the whole family. Best of all, admission and parking are free. The Christmas Market is not the only annual German celebration in town, though. The oompah returns every March with the springtime version of Tomball's German Heritage Festival.

Tomball German Heritage Festival

Every spring, Tomball residents and visitors enjoy another chance to don their dirndl and lederhosen and celebrate the town's German roots. Produced by the Tomball/Telgte Sister City Organization, the German Heritage Festival held each March features live polka, bluegrass, and country music, strolling musicians and street performers, and a bounty of German food, beer, and wine. Over a hundred vendors here display their unique crafts and souvenirs, and the festival features plenty of family-friendly activities like a parade, pony rides, and a petting zoo. There are even more exciting things to see and do at the Triple-T carnival and nearby Kinderfest area, offering games and activities designed for the younger crowd. 

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Tomball Restaurants in Old Town Tomball

Old Town Tomball is home to an abundance of food and beverage options. Locals and visitors enjoy dozens of delicious dining and drinking destinations and several exciting entertainment venues throughout the pedestrian-friendly historic district. Hotspots include an unconventional BBQ joint crafting homemade chocolates, one of the area's favorite lunch rooms, and an extraordinary concert hall and gathering place. 

Main Street Crossing

Among the most unique concert venues anywhere in the region is Tomball's Main Street Crossing, a nonprofit organization that combines live music with community outreach. The establishment also serves as the spiritual center for several area church congregations. Considered one of the Houston area's best places for listening to Texas music, Main Street Crossing has previously hosted well-known acts like Asleep at the Wheel, Junior Brown, and Gary P. Nunn. In addition to great music, visitors also enjoy an impressive food and drink menu. Burgers and pizzas top the list, washed down with an ever-changing selection of beers and wine.

The Whistle Stop Tea Room

A block over from Main Street Crossing is the Whistle Stop Tea Room, one of Old Town's favorite spots for lunch. The Whistle Stop has been serving savory soups, salads, and sandwiches, along with a sweet selection of homemade desserts, for more than 20 years. Among the many popular menu items here are Whistle Stop's Chicken Salad Sandwich and a bowl of their famous Tortilla Soup. Visitors are encouraged to save room for dessert, like a slice of Strawberry Champagne Cake or their decadent and aptly named Yum Yum Pie. The Tea Room is open from 11:00 to 3:00 every day except Sunday.

Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue Craftory

On the other side of Commerce Street from the Whistle Stop Tea Room is Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue, a one-of-a-kind establishment combining handmade chocolates with authentic Texas-style barbecue. "Low and slow" is the name of the game here, and there are some surprising similarities between the creation of their chocolates and their BBQ.

Starting with flame-roasting the premium cacao beans, the folks here take their time crafting the various truffles, candies, and other chocolate confections. Their famous barbecued meats are also born from the flames, with whispers of slow smoke sneaking out of the pit loaded with brisket, ribs, and house-grind sausage. The doors open at 11:00, Tuesday through Saturday. The line outside generally starts forming before that, so make plans to show up early. 

Discover the Best of Old Town Tomball

With a wealth of historical charm and a few modern twists keeping things lively, downtown Tomball offers a lifestyle that's second to none. From the intriguing local attractions to the delicious cuisine and artsy allure, there's always something exciting around the corner. Embrace the history, the culture, and the vibrant atmosphere, and you'll find that living in Tomball is a decision you won't regret.

Ready to discover your next home in Tomball, Texas? Call The RealFX Group at (512) 956-7390 to get in touch with an experienced local real estate agent and start your Tomball homebuying journey today.

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