Free, Fun Things to do in Dallas
Living in the Lone Star State of Texas doesn’t mean spending all your free time inside alone — especially in Dallas. If you’re new to the area or currently live in Dallas, there’s plenty of free and exciting things to do that make it easy to feel right at home. The hardest part will be figuring out which one to do first.
Dallas touts nearly 20 beautiful parks, covering more than 20,000 acres of green space. There’s also an assortment of lakes, hiking trails and biking paths to choose from, making it the perfect mini-escape for outdoor fun, relaxation and recreation. Here are a few to check out:
< p>Klyde Warren Park: Set in the heart of downtown Dallas, this popular park is filled with tons of free activities. It includes a large playground area, free lawn games, an outdoor library, free exercises classes, block parties, a dog park, walking paths and more. Residents of Klyde Warren Park enjoy a convenient location with city amenities.
White Rock Lake: This popular scenic spot caters to the avid outdoorsman with a 9.3-mile trail for running and biking. You can even take to the lake for rowing, sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding or hang on the shore for a picturesque picnic or some puppy time at the dog park.
Main Street Garden: Whether it’s hanging out on the lawn, going on a run with your dog, people-watching at the cafe or enjoying the public art installations and fountains, this downtown park is a great place to go solo or roam with a group of friends for a little fresh air and fun.
PLUG INTO HISTORY
From 19th century burial grounds to a famous president, you can dive into the past easily by exploring these popular historic sites for free:
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza: Reflect on the John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation exhibit. Then retrace JFK’s final steps at Dealey Plaza, where he was assassinated in 1963.
Freedman’s Cemetery & Memorial: This pre-Civil War burial ground pays tribute to a mid-1860s African-American community of freed slaves and features stoic bronze sculptures by artist David Newton throughout the site.
EXPLORE WITH THE FAMILY
On the kid-friendly side, you’ll find a range of educational to entertaining events your family can enjoy for free. Here are a few:
Founders’ Plaza Observation Area: Get a front-row seat at this popular spectator area near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to see planes land and take off. The site is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with convenient parking, picnic tables, telescopes, air traffic radio and more.
Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players: Culture abounds with free classical music festivals, concerts and educational activities created just for families and children.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Lobby and Outdoor Plaza): While the museum itself isn’t free, you can still take advantage of the lobby and plaza spaces without paying a dime. The main lobby features an iconic 35-foot Malawisaurus fossil. The plaza area has a hands-on musical forest with over-sized xylophones and chimes as well as a one-acre urban forest of native plants to stroll through.
BASK IN ART AND CULTURE
Dallas is filled with amazing museums and public art to feast your eyes on. Several museums offer free admission. Here are a few must-sees:
The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: Wander through 10 centuries of samurai artistry, including Japanese armor, helmets, masks and weaponry.
Deep Ellum: More than your typical Dallas neighborhood, this area is filled with avant-garde culture that includes art galleries, theaters, restaurants and a notable music scene with free events that will keep you coming back weekly.
The Dallas Museum of Art: Spend the day enjoying more than 22,000 pieces of ancient civilization, modern art and everything in between.
African American Museum of Dallas: This one-of-kind museum holds the largest collection of African-American folk art in the nation. Guests can also enjoy a variety of entertainment and education programs.
The Sculpture Garden – Crow Collection of Asian Art & Trammell Crow Center: Find contemporary and historical art at every turn within a garden of bamboo, maples, pine tress and azaleas.
Latino Cultural Center: Dive into Latino and Hispanic culture with live entertainment, film, performances, kids’ arts and crafts, exhibitions and more.
GO WINDOW SHOPPING
Dallas has much to offer when it comes to shopping. Window-shop at these choice destinations:
West Village: Spend your time strolling through dozens of top brand shops within this walkable, dynamic neighborhood located in the Uptown area of the West Village District of Dallas.
Galleria Dallas: Touted by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Places to Shop,” this shopping mecca boasts more than 200 shops and boutiques and a large in-door skating rink, which makes it the perfect place to people-watch.
NorthPark Center: Known as Dallas’ premier shopping center, you’re sure to find a favorite designer shop. There’s also restaurants, a garden and high-profile art pieces throughout, including work by Andy Warhol, Joel Shapiro and more.
Highland Park Village: This shopper’s paradise is the first planned shopping center in the nation. It includes premier designer boutiques like Dior, Harry Winston, Jimmy Choo and many more.