18 fun Things to Do in Dallas
1. Klyde Warren Park
Bridging Uptown and Downtown Dallas, the Klyde Warren Park offers five acres to enjoy for all ages. Perched above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, the park is an expansive green space home to live music side-by-side with lawn games, like croquet.
The park is surrounded by food trucks, so grab a bite to eat then head to one of the numerous green bistro tables. During the summer, the Klyde Warren Park offers free movies in the park on Saturdays starting in June and continuing until early August.
Find a multi-dimensional playground in the Children’s Park. And the Imagination Playground features kid-sized foam blocks.
2. Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
When it opened in 2012, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge transformed the Dallas skyline. Spanning the Trinity River, the cable-stayed bridge offers a sculptural element seen for miles.
Designed by Santiago Calatrava, it’s picturesque during the day and even prettier at night when it’s lit up.
Located next to the Trinity Groves, a 15-acre restaurant and entertainment district southwest of Downtown Dallas.
3. Learn About JFK
A dark moment in American history, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum charges admission, but you can visit the Dealey Plaza and the grassy knoll for free. See the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed the United States president from the book depository.
4. Dallas Museum of Art
Walk a gallery or walk a floor, the Dallas Museum of Art offers an expansive collection that most cities would charge $20 to enter. And this art museum is FREE.
If you’re visiting with kids who need a break, head to the Center of Creative Connections for a space just for families and packed with hands-on activities. The Sculpture Garden offers another space to explore outdoors. Find restaurants for dining inside of the museum. Located at 1717 North Harwood. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free for collections, though special exhibitions are extra.
5. Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
First off, what’s MADI? It’s non-representational, hard-edged art bursting out of the frame. And kids understand this medium better than adults, especially the Minecraft kids who build kingdoms of blocks. So explore the geometric works of art at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art with your kids.
Located at 3109 Carlisle Street, north of Downtown Dallas. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Donations accepted.
6. Crow Collection of Asian Art
Stroll the collections with art from China, Japan, Vietnam and India among other countries. The works in this museum include ancient works to contemporary.
Located at 2010 Flora St. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7. Stare into the Giant Eyeball
It’s a giant eyeball and your kids want to see it.
Everything is bigger in Texas, even the eyeballs. See it with your own eyes! The 30-foot tall fiberglass eyeball was designed by Tony Tasset and it’s one of the funkiest free things to do in Dallas.
8. Pioneer Plaza
Back 150 years, Dallas was a rough and tumble place with a western flavor. Relive its cattle drive past with a larger-than-life bronze sculpture depicting the Shawnee Trail. It was the predecessor of the Chisholm Trail of Fort Worth. Kids marvel at the longhorns with their massive horns. Located at 1428 Young St., next to the Dallas Convention Center.
9. Belo Garden
Find a downtown garden that marries native plants with Texas granite. Add an interactive water feature and kids can chase the streams of shooting water.
10. Ride a Vintage Street Car
The M Line Trolley rolls up and down McKinney Avenue.
Take the M line in-between popular Dallas destinations Klyde Warren Park and the Dallas Museum of Art on the McKinney Avenue Trolley. The vintage cars are air-conditioned and heated for comfort year-round. It’s one of the surprising free things to do in Dallas.
Find a stop designed by a maroon sign labeled with M-line Trolley.
11. Free Walking Tour
Download the Pegasus Urban Trails, a free app, for seven free DIY walking tours. Covering all the downtown districts, go at your own pace discovering its neighborhoods.
Explore the Dallas Arts District for all the top museums. Then head to Deep Ellum, the entertainment district, for a walking tour of its murals. Or learn some DFW history with the West End Historic District trail.
12. Walk the Stalls at the Dallas Farmers Market
Every weekend, stroll among the stalls at the Farmers Market at the Shed. It’s an outdoor covered pavilion lined with local produce growers and artisanal manufacturers.
Located at 920 S. Harwood St. Open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is one of the free things to do in Dallas so long as you don’t buy anything!
13. Picnic at White Rock Lake
Off Mockingbird Lane east of downtown Dallas, enjoy the day exploring White Rock Lake. A 9.9-mile walking path, built in 1911, circles White Rock Lake. The Dallas Arboretum (not free) and the Bath House Cultural Center (free) are along the shores of White Rock Lake, too.
14. Drop in at the Downtown Skate Park
If you have a skater in the car, head to Guapo Skateboards with its indoor skate park. Located at 4000 Elm Street. Open Wednesday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from 2-10 p.m. and Sunday from 2-6 p.m. for girls only and 6-10 p.m. for all.
Or head to an indoor/outdoor park that’s also a nonprofit. 4DWN Skate Park even has skate mentors to help younger skaters. Located at 2633 Ferris St. Open Wednesday and Thursday 4-9 p.m., and Saturday 2-8 p.m.
15. Stroll the Streets of the Bishop Arts District
Stroll the streets of Bishop Arts District.
With a collection of boutiques, restaurants and art galleries, stroll this eclectic neighborhood. The nearby Texas Theatre is the place to take in a classic movie.
16. Mary Kay Museum
Here’s one for the YouTube make-up mavens and their fans. Learn about Mary Kay, the original make-up maven. Stroll through the Mary Kay Museum at the Mary Kay Headquarters to learn about her legacy. Currently closed to tours.
Located north of Dallas at 16251 Dallas Parkway, Addison. Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
17. Trinity River Audubon Center
Explore a former illegal dump site and see how this 130-acre site recovered. Stroll through the bottomland hardwood forest and the wetland prairie habitat to see the animals that have returned to the area.
Located at 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way. Admission is free on the third Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with admission.
18. Nasher Sculpture Center
With an indoor and outdoor space, stroll among contemporary and modern sculpture. Find Matisse, Picasso and Giacometti among others.