Having fun doesn’t have to be expensive, as a matter of fact, it doesn’t need to cost that much at all! Dallas is an incredible city in that it offers so many wonderful exhibits and features for free! That’s right, you pay zilch, zero, nada to get into or take advantage of these wonderful Dallas treasures.
Bonus: Number 15 is perfect if you’re brave enough and want a Halloween adventure!
- McKinney Avenue Trolley (M-Line Trolley): Hop on the free M-Line Trolley—restored, vintage trolleys that run through Uptown and Downtown. The trolleys stop at several points of interest, including West Village, Hotel Zaza, Shops at The Crescent, Dallas Arts District and more.
- Free Admission Museums: Who says one needs money to get cultured? The Dallas Museum of Art is free and features more than 22,000 works of art spanning all mediums and time-periods, from ancient civilization to modern art. Other must-see museums include The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Crow Collection of Asian Art, African American Museum and the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art. The Meadows Museum of Art, with one of the largest Spanish art collections outside of Spain, at Southern Methodist University is free on Thursdays after 5 p.m.
- Dallas Arts District: Spanning 68 acres and 19 contiguous blocks, the Dallas Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the country. The area showcases more than a dozen different attractions and world-renowned venues, such as the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Museum of Art (free admission), Nasher Sculpture Center, Crow Collection of Asian Art (free admission), Klyde Warren Park and much more. 214-744-6642, 2301 Ross Ave. (Blue Garage for area parking)
- The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: Nestled in a unique location on the second floor of the Saint Ann restaurant and bar, this collection includes Japanese armor, artwork, helmets, masks, horse armor, weaponry and accessories. It’s one of the largest collections of its type in the world. Then afterward, pull up to the bar downstairs for craft beer and charcuterie. 2501 North Harwood St.
- Uptown and West Village: Dallas’ popular Uptown district is exploding with new residential, retail and entertainment centers with a variety of elements coming together for an experience that will appeal to all types and tastes. Hop on the free M-Line Trolley and explore the sights of one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods. The West Village shopping center is the unofficial epicenter; start there, or sightsee historic homes off McKinney Avenue. 3699 McKinney Ave.
- Lower Greenville Avenue: This area of Greenville Avenue, south of Mockingbird Lane and north of Ross Avenue, is one of the city’s liveliest nightlife spots. Lower Greenville is bar, after café, after live music venue, jam-packed on the weekends and decently populated during the week. One of Dallas’ biggest yearly festivals happens on Lower Greenville, too. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches each year down this street, and culminates in a green-beer-flowing block party with local and national acts and fun costumes. Greenville Avenue between Mockingbird Lane and Ross Avenue
- Flagship Neiman Marcus: Originally opened in 1907 and permanently moved to its current location on the corner of Main and Ervay streets in 1914, the Neiman Marcus flagship store is a must-see for any sartorialist. Stroll the street and window shop, or venture inside for luxury goodies. 214-741-6911, 1618 Main St.
- NorthPark Center’s art collection and 1.4-acre CenterPark: NorthPark Center is Dallas’ premier shopping and dining favorite and a not-to-be missed destination for art enthusiasts. The art collection features major works by renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Joel Shapiro, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist, Antony Gormley, Barry Flanagan and Beverly Pepper, among others.
- NorthPark’s 1.4-acre landscaped garden, CenterPark, doubles as a serene urban retreat and an exciting venue for free community events. Relax and dine amid world-class sculpture, canopies of trees and a lush green space. A complimentary map of the NorthPark Art Tour with descriptions of each piece on display is available from the NorthPark Center Concierge. 8687 North Central Expwy., Complimentary shuttle to/from Park Lane DART Light Rail Station. 214-363-7441
- Model trains at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas: Housed in the lobby of the hospital, this is the largest permanent model train display in the country. Eight trains run simultaneously at the free exhibit that’s open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. 1935 Medical District Dr.
- Dallas Farmers Market: Seven days a week, local farmers display and sell a mouth-watering selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs, locally purveyed honey and nuts, and plants at the Dallas Farmers Market. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll. Also check out The Shed, where specialty products are offered, or watch a cooking demonstration. 1010 S. Pearl Expy.
- Sports connection: Dallas has six professional sports teams: Basketball’s Dallas Mavericks and the new arrival to Dallas – Dallas Wings, football’s Dallas Cowboys, baseball’s Texas Rangers, hockey’s Dallas Stars and soccer’s FC Dallas. This means that at any given time in any given local sports bar, visitors will find sports fans cheering for the home team. Join the fun at one of the city’s many sports hangouts.
- Dallas Symphony Community Concert series: For more than 20 years, the DSO has presented the Community Concerts Series throughout Dallas in the spring. These free outdoor performances include the popular Memorial Day Concert at Flagpole Hill, which is topped off by a stirring fireworks show. Other locations are selected on a rotating basis. Various locations
- African American Museum at Fair Park: The African American Museum is the only one of its kind in the Southwest devoted to the preservation and display of African-American artistic, cultural and historical materials. It has one of the largest African-American Folk Art collections in the United States. Visitors will find African art, African-American fine art, extensive archives and more housed in four vaulted galleries, augmented by a research library. The museum also hosts entertaining and educational programs presented in the theater, studio arts area and classrooms. 3536 Grand Ave., 214-565-9026
- Haunted Dallas: Every city has supposed haunted places, and armed with a little historical knowledge and a good camera, visitors may just find something unexpected at these places around town (please note: these venues are only allegedly haunted, and may not be free admission to enter), including: Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum, Historic West End, Millermore Mansion at Old City Park, The Adolphus Hotel, Majestic Theatre and White Rock Lake.