Free things to do in Dallas
If you're a budget conscious visitor, here are a few ways to get the most out of your visit to Dallas without breaking the bank.
Free Arts and Culture
Use D-Link to explore Dallas' arts, fun, culture and dining. Check out the Dallas Arts District and much more across downtown Dallas and historic Oak Cliff! Buses run every 15 minutes, 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Service provided by DART, Downtown Dallas, Inc. and the City of Dallas.
The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection brings ten centuries of craftsmanship as one of the world’s only museums dedicated to samurai art with suits of armor, helmets, masks, and weaponry. What makes this fine collection of Japanese armor a Dallas must-see is its location of the museum sitting in a historic 1920s elementary school building, now transformed into a museum and Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar.
Travel back in time
Dallas is home to some captivating and breathtaking neighborhood communities. Walk, ride or drive through historic Dallas neighborhoods such as Highland Park, Swiss Avenue, Kessler Park and Munger Place, just to name a few.
The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is a breathtaking display of sculpture, artifacts and paintings dedicated to the arts of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. Its centerpiece is a serene sculpture garden that houses 15 contemporary and historical works nestled amongst bamboo, maples, azaleas and pine trees. Inside, the museum features permanent and rotating exhibitions, lectures & gallery talks, wellness programs and special events.
Economy in Action
The Economy in Action is a free exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays, learn about the Federal Reserve, money and the economy.
Thanks-Giving Square is a private, interfaith and educational venue welcoming people of all nations, culture and religious traditions. The unique spiral-shaped building is the “Home of American Thanksgiving” and features a nearby meditation garden.
See the real Dallas Cowboys
A growing number of larger-than-life steers and their cowboy escorts move along the Shawnee Trail during the 1850s in this never-ending cattle drive; the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world located in Pioneer Plaza.
Cure your cabin fever
When city founder John Neely Bryan first camped along the Trinity River, he probably never imagined that his log cabin would garner so much interest. But today a replica of Bryan’s original cabin stands in Founders Plaza, in downtown Dallas.
View the grassy knoll
Just outside the former School Book Depository is the infamous ‘grassy knoll' where an indelible mark was left on history. Nearby is the John F. Kennedy Memorial. Designed by family friend, Phillip Johnson, the memorial is an open-roofed, concrete-walled monument symbolic of an open tomb.
Explore Dallas’ heritage
Less than one mile north of downtown Dallas, is Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial, a pre-Civil War burial ground in what was once the Freedmen's Town Area–a small Dallas community formed by African-Americans freed from slavery in the mid-1860s.
Free Outdoor Activities
(Free only on third Thursday of each month) As part of the Trinity River Corridor Project, the Trinity River Audubon Center is the perfect place to enjoy nature as a family. Enjoy the hiking trails, hands-on exhibits and the Children’s Discovery Garden. While you’re there, check out the more than 50 species of birds or hike the largest urban bottomland hardwood forest in the country.
Take a walk on the green side
Dallas has numerous green spaces perfect for soaking up sun, reading a good book or even people watching. With more than 21,000 park acres throughout the city there are plenty of options from which to choose. If you’re near downtown try Belo Garden, Main Street Garden Park or newcomer Klyde Warren Park.
Blaze a trail
Dallas has a number of bike/hike trails to for the outdoor/athletic type. For an invigorating run (or walk) do a lap at White Rock Lake or hit the Katy Trail. There's also the Santa Fe Trail, a unique trail that extends from White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum.
Unleash your inner foodie
Go for a stroll and take in the delicious sights of the Dallas Farmers Market where local farmers display mouth-watering fruits and vegetables and on occasion offer free samples.
Go on a wilderness retreat
Just a short drive from downtown is the Cedar Ridge Preserve featuring 600 acres of preserved wilderness with 9 miles of hiking trails, native-plant nurseries and a picnic area.