As one of the metropolis areas in Texas, there are tons of fun and frugal things to do in Dallas year-round. No matter if you and your travel partners prefer exploring the great outdoors or checking out the city’s cultural offerings, there’s a little something in Dallas for everyone. While exploring, there is no need to shell out tons of cash to experience the culture and history of this city. Many spots are just a short drive from the affordable vacation rental that will host you, plus visitors can enjoy an advanced public transit system to get around. For a great trip to Texas without breaking the bank, check out these 19 free or cheap things to do in Dallas! check out these 19 free or cheap things to do in Dallas!
19 Fun Activities in Dallas That Won’t Break the Bank
Whether you are seeking free things to do in Dallas or cheap things to do in Dallas, these recommendations will create memorable and exciting experiences in Dallas. What is better than having fun and not spending a ton of money? Follow this guide to get a taste of some awesome things to do on a budget.
McKinney Avenue Trolley
Get a taste of how folks get around in this southern city! Take a ride on the McKinney Avenue Trolley (also known as the M-Line) to explore Dallas and see some of the amazing sites in historic Uptown. Acting as a method of transportation since 1890, the modern day M-Line serves around 600,000 people per year! Plus, each train car has been given a fun and interesting name, Betty, Emma, and Green Dragon being a few. Learn more about the history of street car transportation by clicking here.
Price: The trolley features four restored vintage cars that give visitors rides for free every day of the year.
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art offers a bit of culture for those visiting Dallas on a budget. Everything is bigger in Texas and this place is one of the largest art museums in the United States. Featuring works by Vincent Van Gough and Naudline Pierre, among many other fine artists around the world will serve as a great way to get in touch with your artistic side. Traveling with children? There’s an interactive kids’ area, so even the little ones will have fun.
Price: Admission to the art museum is free; however, you’ll need to pay to see the special exhibits.
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is one of the top free things to do in Dallas for people of all ages. Soak up the sun in the urban park while kids play around in the splash pad. Grab a bite to eat from the food trucks lined up along the street nearby at lunchtime.
Price: This public space is free to visit! It’s also the location for several free events throughout the year.
Trinity River Audubon Center
The Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood forest in the country. Learn more about the beautiful forest, explore five miles of trails, and enjoy hands-on exhibits for free on the third Thursday of every month. It’s crazy to believe such a natural place exists so close to such a major city, but the state of Texas never ceases to amaze us!
Price: Free! However, you’ll need to pay to see the special exhibit. But, as mentioned, these attractions are free on the third Thursday of every month!
Dallas Farmers’ Market
One of the top free things to do in Dallas has to munching on free samples at the Dallas Farmers’ Market, which is open Friday through Sunday. It’s the largest of its kind in the nation, because everything is bigger in Texas. With multiple farmers, food shops, and vendors to explore, stop by this world class farmers market and sample around on your own little food tour!
Price: The Dallas Farmers’ market is free to visit!
Mary Kay Cosmetics Headquarters
For anyone interested in inspiring stories or cosmetics, one of the top places to visit in Dallas, Texas is the Mary Kay Cosmetics Headquarters. If make up is your thing, don’t miss this industry leader’s home base! The establishment is excited to welcome you into its home.
Price: The headquarters has a free museum, theater and Hall of Honor for anyone who wants to learn the story of Mary Kay Ash.
Children’s Medical Center of Dallas Train Exhibit
Visiting a hospital may not be at the top of your list of places to visit in Dallas, Texas, but you should make time to visit the train exhibit in the lobby of the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Built and designed by Malcolm Furlow, the Trainscape was built over 30 years ago! With eight trains running simultaneously, it’s the largest permanent train exhibit in the country. It may not be so permanent any more, as the hospital has plans to remove it to make room for a new children’s playground. Though, many Dallas residents are rejecting the idea of the trains being removed. Learn more about the fight to keep the trains alive here.
Price: Admission is free, and it’s open every day.
Latino Cultural Center
Latino and Hispanic culture is a big part of Texas and Dallas. Learn more about Latino arts and culture at the Latino Cultural Center that offers many free performances, exhibits and film showings. Find an inspiring story about Latino history by visiting this non profit organization. The LCC opened its doors in 2003 and features a 300 seat theater, sculpture courtyards, a gallery, a multipurpose room and a plaza for outdoor events.
Price: The Latino Cultural Center is free to visit!
Bonnie Parker’s Grave
The infamous Bonnie and Clyde both have their final resting places in Dallas. While Clyde’s resting place is in a cemetery not open to the public, you can visit Bonnie Parker’s grave at the Crown Hill Memorial Park in North Dallas. Learn about the history of America’s beloved criminal duo at this historic cemetery.
John F. Kennedy Memorial
The John F. Kennedy Memorial is located near Dealey Plaza — where JFK was assassinated in 1963. The large memorial plaza is a great place for honoring President Kennedy and a must-see for any history buff. Learn about the fateful day and gain a perspective of all the historic facts (and conspiracies). The historic museum is located at 11 Elm Street and is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.
Price: While this establishment is not free, it is highly worth the $18 admission!
Located right downtown near the JFK Memorial, Founder’s Plaza features a replica of the cabin the city’s founder lived in. With a beautiful fountain to explore, a lush green field to lounge on, and epic Dallas skyscraper views, this public space is the ideal place to spend an afternoon. The plaza is located smack in the middle of the city, being sandwiched in by many other iconic Dallas attractions. No trip to this city is complete without a visit to Founder’s Plaza.
Price: This public space is free to visit!
If you’ve ever been interested in watching a cattle drive happen in real life, head over to the Stockyards Museum where they happen twice a day. The museum features photos, artifacts and exhibits that give you a deeper glimpse into the history of the Stockyards. With an ever growing exhibition collection, this museum, which opened in 1989, is visited by thousands of people each year.
Price: Kids can visit the museum for free and adult admission is only $2.00
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Anyone with a love of horses should visit Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, which is halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth. There are lots of free and inexpensive seats to see the beautiful thoroughbreds and quarter horses. Catch a real life horse race and make it even more exciting by betting on your lucky choice!
Price: Depending on the event, tickets range from free-$20 per person.
Deep Ellum has a long history in the jazz and blues scene, which can still be seen in the neighborhood’s art galleries, music venues and restaurants. There are lots of things to see and do here for those who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money. Explore the many offerings and learn about the rich musical heritage at this special location.
Price: Deep Ellum is free to visit!
White Rock Lake
Those who like to spend time outdoors can enjoy the water, trails and sun at White Rock Lake. The man-made lake is just five miles from downtown and offers dozens of recreation options. This area house the Dallas Arboretum, the Bath House Cultural Center, bird watching, and a great dog park if you are visiting with your pooch. Looking for adventure? Stop by the skatepark or spend the day kayaking! Something in between? Try out the 18 hole disc golf course!
Price: White Rock Lake is free to visit!
Chase Tower Sky Lobby
If you’re looking for one of the best and least expensive views of the entire city, head over to Chase Tower Sky Lobby. Catch a magnificent perspective of Dallas from 40 stories high as a way to experience the architecture that Dallas hosts.
Price: Admission to the Sky Lobby is free!
The Pioneer Plaza is a fun place to snap photos when visiting Dallas. Located near the convention center, the Pioneer Plaza features 49 steer and three cowboy bronze statues that represent a cattle drive. Take a break from the business around the convention center and stroll through the installation.
Price: Here we have yet another free attraction in Dallas!
Those looking for things to do in Downtown Dallas should wander over to Thanks-Giving Square. The park and chapel were created to promote unity and offer a place of solace and peace to anyone. The unique spiral design of the chapel can’t be missed among the straight lines of Downtown. Peace, love, and gratitude is an absolute vibe that shouldn’t be missed. The fact that this city has a space dedicated to this makes us happy to recommend it.
Price: Love is free at Thanks-Giving Square!
Crow Collection of Asian Art
The Crow Collection of Asian Art features more than 500 works of art from China, Japan and other parts of Asia. View the artwork and outdoor sculptures, and try to visit on the first Saturday of every month when there is storytelling, face painting, and crafts. After your visit, keep the theme going by dining at Musume, one of Dallas’ finest Asian restaurants! This place isn’t the most affordable but it’s definitely worth the price. Plus, you’ll be able to afford it after all the money you have saved by reading this VacationRenter guide!
It’s Not Expensive to Have Fun in Dallas
As you can see, there is no reason to spend lots of money on your next vacation to Dallas! We love this city thanks to its affordability, epic views, and of course, many things to do! Pick your favorite attraction, book your accommodations, and hit the ground running for a memorable trip to Dallas!