There are so many things to do in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area that you could stay busy for months. While it’s true many of the attractions here can add up quickly, you don’t have to break the bank to have a great time in DFW.
Take it from us, Marty and I were born and raised in the DFW metroplex, so we know how to have fun without spending a ton of money.
There are so many free things to do in Dallas-Fort Worth that you can easily have a great time without breaking the bank.
Of course, many of these make for a great date night in Dallas-Fort Worth as well!
If you are looking to get out of the city for a little while, then you should definitely consider some of the incredible day trips from Dallas as well.
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50 Free Things to do in Dallas-Fort Worth
1. Klyde Warren Park
Located in the Dallas Arts District and downtown, Klyde Warren Park is a little oasis in a big city. This isn’t your ordinary park though.
Klyde Warren Park is built over Woodall Rodgers freeway and is packed with things to do. Even though you are right over Woodall Rodgers Freeway, you would never know it!
You can enjoy a great green space, free wifi, a dog park, food trucks, live music, exercise classes, chess, and more! Klyde Warren Park also offers a great view of the Dallas skyline.
Not only is Klyde Warren Park one of the best free things to do in Dallas, it is also one of the great ideas for date night in Dallas!
2. McKinney Avenue Trolley
Take a ride in a vintage streetcar through Uptown Dallas for free! The McKinney Avenue Trolley operates 365 days a year and is a great way to hit the many shops, restaurants, and bars in this trendy neighborhood. The McKinney Avenue Trolley is one of the top ways to see the city.
This trolley is one of the great free things to do in Dallas!
3. Trinity River Audubon Center
Located just south of downtown Dallas, the Trinity River Audubon Center is the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States. What was once an illegal dumpsite has been repurposed and cleaned up.
Today you will enjoy a 130-acre sanctuary. Encompassing miles and miles of trails and beautiful natural green space, this is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a little while.
While there is normally an admission fee, you can visit for free on the third Thursday of each month from 9 am-4 pm.
You will find this outdoor museum in the Dallas Arts District. Sprawled over 2 acres, the Nasher Sculpture Center houses a great collection of contemporary and modern art sculptures.
This beautifully designed museum features rotating and special exhibits throughout the year.
The Nasher Sculpture Center also hosts special events that include twilight strolls through their sculpture garden which includes musicians, and guest speakers. Normally there is a small entry fee to visit the Nasher Sculpture Center and sculpture garden, but it is free to visit the first Saturday of each month!
The Nasher is one of the best free things to do in Dallas.
Everything is bigger in Texas, so of course, Texas would house one of the largest art museums in America. And what a bonus that general admission at the Dallas Museum of Art is free every day!
The gallery at the Dallas Museum of Art boasts one of the largest collections of art that consists of over 22,000 works of art encompassing over 5,000 years of history.
With art from all over the world and pieces of all types of medium, you are sure to find a portion of the Dallas Museum of Art that you love. We especially love the Egyptian pieces that are housed here.
The Dallas Museum of Art also offers several events throughout the year, including family and teen programs and make and take art classes. Visit on the second Thursday of the month to enjoy Second Thursday With a Twist for a fun and unique experience at the museum.
There is also a performing arts section to the museum called the Arts & Letters Live. During this event, literature is combined with the performing arts.
I mean, a world-class museum like the Dallas Museum of Art should definitely be on your list of free things to do in Dallas.
This beautiful collection of art at the Crow Collection of Asian Art is dedicated to the art of Japan, China, India, and Southeast Asia. Also located in the beautiful Dallas Arts District, the collection at the Crow Collection of Asian Art originated from Trammell and Margaret Crow as a gift to their children, and the visitors of Dallas.
The Crow Collection of Asian Art is small, housing just over 500 pieces, but the pieces are beautiful and world-class.
Makeup lovers and female entrepreneurs take note. You can tour the Mary Kay museum for free!
Celebrating the legacy of one of Dallas’ most loved female entrepreneurs, Mary Kay Nash, the Mary Kay Museum is located in the headquarters of the Mary Kay Company.
The museum has a theatre where you can hear Mary Kay give a motivational pep talk, while the displays encompass four decades of her legacy.
Whether you want to grab your running shoes or a picnic, White Rock Lake and Park is a great setting to do either!
White Rock Lake encompasses over 1,000 acres just north of downtown Dallas. On the property, you will find a museum, dog park, walking paths, picnic areas, and boat ramps. White Rock Lake is one of the top places to exercise in the Dallas area.
There are also several great restaurants and bars around White Rock Lake. This is one of the great free things to do in Dallas for outdoor lovers.
9. Enjoy the Deep Ellum Neighborhood
Deep Ellum is the place to go for a trendy, hip neighborhood in Dallas. The Deep Ellum neighborhood is comprised of arts and entertainment venues and is even known as the live music capital of North Texas.
Enjoy a walk through Deep Ellum and catch the live music blaring out of the door of the many clubs and bars. Throughout the year, Deep Ellum also hosts several events including the ever popular St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Be sure and take plenty of pictures of the great graffiti around the Deep Ellum neighborhood as well. The Deep Ellum is fun and quirky and definitely worth a visit.
10. John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza is a monument to honor President John F. Kennedy as this was the spot of his assassination in downtown Dallas. Dealey Plaza is so popular that you will see people at the outdoor plaza at all times of day.
Dealey Plaza actually holds much more Dallas history than just the JFK assassination. This site is the original ‘birthplace of Dallas’ and was often called “The Front Door of Dallas.”
The monument at Dealey Plaza stands 30-foot high and 50-foot wide and is said to resemble an ancient tomb. The monument offers free admission 24-hours a day. Definitely a piece of American history.
Another trendy Dallas neighborhood, The Bishop Arts District is home to over 60 boutiques, restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Marty and I love coming to the Bishop Arts District to just walk around. There seems to always be something going on! There is also a great food tour of the Bishop Arts District as well. We had so much fun on this tour!
Take note that the Bishop Arts District is located in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff. While the Bishop Arts area is safe, there are parts of Oak Cliff that are not, so be careful in the Oak Cliff area.
Head north of Dallas to the suburb of Frisco, and you will find the cutest little heritage center. The Frisco Heritage Center is a village comprised of an old church, some old houses, and a replica of the Frisco Railway Depot, all of which have been lovingly restored.
You can rent the area for special events, or they offer free admission the third Sunday of each month. Really, there are so many fun things to do in Frisco, Texas that you could spend an entire day just in Frisco!
13. Meadows Museum
You will find the Meadows Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The Meadows has an extensive collection of Spanish art.
Here on the campus of Southern Methodist University, you can also find works by Picasso, Goya, and Rodin. The museum usually charges for admission, but the museum offers free admission Thursdays after 5 p.m.
14. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Housing permanent collections of works of art including American Art, the Amon Carter won’t disappoint art lovers.
We love to go to the Amon Carter for the photography collection. With over 30,000 photographic prints, The Amon Carter is a shutterbug’s delight!
15. Botanic Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)
A conservationist will love the BRIT, Tarrant County’s first USGBC LEED Platinum-rated building. You can explore the BRIT to learn about conservation and reusing natural resources.
Be sure and visit the first Saturday of the month when the BRIT hosts a great outdoor farmer’s market.
Show me the money!
Well, that’s exactly what they will do at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth.
This Bureau of Engraving and Printing site is where over half of the nation’s currency is made. You can tour the facility absolutely free of charge.
Take the self-guided tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and see interact with displays and exhibits all while seeing the beautiful currency being produced before your eyes.
17. Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
One of the best things to do in Fort Worth is to visit the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. Located just outside of downtown Fort Worth, this is a nice retreat from the city.
Roam the 109 acres of The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens to see over 2,500 species of plants.
Kids will enjoy the boardwalk where they can interact with whisper phones and learn all about the vegetation and animals surrounding them. Adults will appreciate the beautiful rose garden and outdoor sculptures.
During your visit, also, be sure to walk along the boardwalk to enjoy all of the natural Texas vegetation that surrounds you.
18. Trinity Trails
Fort Worth definitely is not short on walking trails, and some of the favorites are the Trinity Trails. The Trinity Trails follow the Trinity River and its tributaries offer a variety of outdoor activities.
The Trinity Trails run for miles, but some of the most popular stretches are just on the edge of downtown Fort Worth by the Trinty River. This area includes Trinity Park. Trinity Park has a children’s playground, miles of trails, and more. People love to bring a picnic to Trinity Park on a nice day!
There are picnic areas, boat launches for canoes and kayaks, equestrian trails, and even a slalom water-ski course located along the Trinity Trails.
19. See the Fort Worth Herd in the Stockyards
I mean, where else can you see a cattle drive headed down the middle of the main street in a major city?
Twice a day you can witness a live cattle drive in The Fort Worth Stockyards. Texas cowboys lead their herd of longhorns down Exchange Avenue every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The cattle drive has been taking place for years and is one of the unique Fort Worth attractions. Really, a visit to the Stockyards is not complete without seeing the cattle drive.
Giving people a taste of our cowboy heritage has to be on the list of fun things to do in Fort Worth!
20. Fort Worth Water Gardens
Located on the southern end of downtown Fort Worth, across the street from the Convention Center, the Fort Worth Water Gardens are a little oasis in the city of Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Water Gardens is unlike most urban parks. Instead of being surrounded by greenspace, you find yourself surrounded by water in this park.
Families love the visit the Fort Worth Water Gardens as kids really enjoy being around all of the water pools here.
Venture down the main waterfall area, and you will find yourself surrounded by water. In other parts of the Fort Worth Water Gardens, you will find a meditation pool and several fountain pools all surrounded by beautiful oak trees.
The Fort Worth Water Gardens is one of the best things to do in Fort Worth.
Check out this article for more information on the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
21. Fort Worth Cultural District
A few miles west of downtown lies the Fort Worth Cultural District. This neighborhood hosts great museums in a beautiful park-like setting.
Here you will find the Amon Carter, Will Rogers Memorial Center, the BRIT, and the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens to name a few. Trinity Park, located across the street from the Botanical Gardens, is a great way to spend the afternoon outdoors.
Go and explore this great neighborhood. You will be surprised by all that it houses.
22. Heritage Trails of Fort Worth
This walkthrough of downtown Fort Worth showcases the people and events that shaped Fort Worth. Visit historical landmarks throughout the downtown area to learn all about Fort Worth’s history.
Download the interactive map and get to exploring.
23. John F. Kennedy Tribute-Fort Worth
Come and visit the tribute to John F. Kennedy while you’re in downtown as well. This historical location is where JFK spoke to a crowd of people outside the Hotel Texas (now the Fort Worth Hilton) on a rainy day just before his death in Dallas.
Today, there is a gorgeous bronze statue honoring the former President that is surrounded by photographic displays and quotes.
24. Sundance Square in Fort Worth
Sundance Square is the perfect area to explore day or night. This 35-block area located in downtown is full of boutique shops, great restaurants and bars, art galleries, and live performance venues.
After shopping the day away, relax in Sundance Square Plaza enjoying the fountains before heading to catch a play or comedy show.
The Kimbell Art Museum is a world-renowned art museum located in the heart of the Cultural District in Fort Worth. Home to permanent collection works of renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Michelangelo, the Kimbell Art Museum will fascinate any art lover.
Be sure and admire the unique architecture of the building itself while visiting. While some exhibits have an entry fee, the general exhibits can be viewed for free anytime.
Located in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, the Livestock Exchange Building has over 100 years of history.
Once known as the “Wall Street of the West”, the exchange building is where cattle traders would come to do business.
Today, the majority of the building is office space, but there is an area devoted to the North Fort Worth Historical Society Museum that is worth a visit.
Put your boots on and head to the world’s largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas.
Try your luck on the mechanical bull or dance the night away while listening to live music. Billy Bob’s is a legend and a must-do while visiting Fort Worth.
Take note, because this is a concert venue there is a charge if a concert is scheduled, but you can visit Billy Bob’s for free during the day most of the time.
On the beautiful campus of Texas Christian University, you can get up close and personal with space! The Monnig Meteorite Gallery houses over 3,000 meteorites, many of which are on display for you to see.
While you are here, check out the ground of Texas Christian University as well.
Located in Sundance Square, the Sid Richardson Museum is the place to go if you want to see 19th-century art about Western America. Visit the museum anytime during business hours for free, or stop by for a guided tour on Tuesday or Saturday.
Hanging out in the Stockyards is sure to make you feel like a modern-day cowboy. The Stockyards offers many restaurants and clubs, as well as some great shopping.
You will see the original brick walkways and the tried and true wooden corrals. Spend some time exploring the cattle pens before boot-scootin’ in Billy Bob’s and seeing the cattle drive on Exchange, the main street in the Stockyards.
Take time to eat at one of the many great restaurants in the area. Here you will find awesome Texas BBQ, Tex-Mex food, and some delicious steaks.
On the weekends, there is also a ghost tour that takes place in the Stockyards that is really interesting.
While exploring the Stockyards, you will probably notice bronze markers outlining the achievements of different individuals. This is the Texas Trail Hall of Fame.
Celebrating Texas heritage, this is a great way to learn about the western culture that helped shape this area. The markers are interesting in themselves as they are modeled after a frontier marshall’s badge.
32. Fort Worth’s Molly the Trolley
Hop on the vintage-looking Molly the Trolley for easy transport around downtown Fort Worth, Texas, including Main Street and the Fort Worth Sundance Square area.
Molly the Trolley is a fun vintage-looking trolley that makes several stops along its route, making Molly the Trolley a great way to get around.
Molly the Trolley travels between Sundance Square and the Convention Center for quick access to the places you want to visit, and it’s free! Molly the Trolley runs 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Average wait times for Molly the Trolley are about 15 minutes.
Rotating exhibits are a key feature of the William Campbell Contemporary Art Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas, which has been a staple of the local art scene for over 40 years.
The gallery features artists working with all types of media including photography, prints, ceramics, mixed-media, paper, and others.
Take note that the gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday.
While there is normally an entrance fee for the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, you can visit for free on Sundays, and half-price on Wednesdays!
The Modern houses over 3,000 pieces of art including paintings, sculptures, videos, and photographs representing all major movements.
There is also a great restaurant within the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth called The Modern. Here you can enjoy a fabulous meal with a beautiful view over the grounds of the Modern Art Museum.
35. Cowtown Opry
Every Sunday at 2 p.m., you can head down to the Livestock Exchange Building in the Stockyards for a free concert put on by The Cowtown Opry.
Check out one of the art exhibits at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. After the exhibits, the art is usually available for purchase.
You never know, you might find a favorite piece to take home with you!
37. Hike to Airfield Falls
Find your way to Tarrant County’s only natural waterfall, Airfield Falls. The trailhead is located adjacent to the Pumphey Drive entrance to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.
If you are choosing to do this hike in the summer, be sure to take lots of water as it gets really hot in Texas.
Located between Dallas and Fort Worth in the city of Arlington, you will find the 1,300-acre recreation area known as River Legacy Park.
The park is home to 8 miles of paved hike and bike trails as well as a 10-mile mountain bike trail.
You will also find picnic areas, a playground, restrooms, and a canoe launch area.
39. Lake Worth Castle
Yes, you read that correctly, there is a castle in Fort Worth, Texas well just north of Fort Worth, in Lake Worth. You can’t go inside the castle as it is privately owned, but you can drive by and see it.
Surround by mystery and intrigue, the castle is said to be haunted. Locals swear that they have seen a figure of a woman all dressed in white running from the castle and into the lake.
Maybe you will catch a glimpse of her on your drive by.
40. Cedar Ridge Preserve
The Cedar Ridge Preserve is part of the Dallas Audubon Society. Located on Mountain Creek Parkway in southwest Dallas, Cedar Ridge Preserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife and trails on over 600-acres of park space.
This wooded area is home to a variety of flora and fauna that is native to Texas. Visitors here can enjoy facilities that include restrooms, picnic tables, and miles of natural surface hiking trails. This is a great place to spend some time outdoors while in Dallas.
In the middle of downtown Arlington, you will find Levitt Pavillion. Enjoy free music here over 50 days of the year. Their concerts include music from all genres.
You can enjoy jazz, country, or hip-hop, just to name a few. Visit their website for a complete calendar.
Also in Arlington, be sure and connect to a little bit of Arlington history by visiting the Fielder House. Here you will find historic exhibits encompassing the city of Arlington.
The Southwest Nature Preserve is a 58-acre natural preserve in southwest Arlington. There are three ponds that allow catch and release fishing, an outdoor seating area, and of course tons of nature trails. Like most places in Texas, take care of yourself if you are out in the Texas heat.
44. Roanoke Skate Park
Skateboarders will love a visit to the world-class skate park located in Roanoke, TX. Whether you are practicing your ollie or learning to skate the rails, you will have a great time at Roanoke Skate Park.
45. Trader’s Village
If you like flea markets, then you have to visit the Texas-size flea market of Trader’s Village in Grand Prairie. Trader’s Village has tons of vendors selling everything from furniture to car accessories. Here you can walk around for hours browsing the many shops before eating some fun carnival-style food. If you are so inclined, you can even buy a new pet while here!
Kids will enjoy the carnival-style rides available at Trader’s Village.
46. Play Free Games at Barcadia
Eat, drink, and play at Fort Worth’s Barcadia. On Monday and Tuesday nights, you get free arcade play!
Grab a drink and meet some of your friends at Barcadia to show them your awesome gaming skills.
The Gallery at UTA is located in the fine arts building of The University of Texas at Arlington. The Gallery focuses on providing young artists with an area to promote their art.
They offer a number of exhibits throughout the year showcasing all different media.
48. Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge
Enjoy one of the largest city-owned refuge sites in the United States. The Fort Worth Nature Center covers over 3,600 acres of natural preserve.
You will find tons of hiking trails as well as several educational opportunities here. In addition to this, there is a buffalo herd on site that visitors can view.
Home to monthly exhibits showcasing local artists, Artspace 111 is a trendy space open for your viewing pleasure.
Live music and vendors abound at Friday on the Green. This free outdoor concert celebrates local bands of the DFW area. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the show!
Need a place to stay in Dallas?
There are so many great places to stay while visiting Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Here are some of our favorites:
Fairmont Dallas– The Fairmont Dallas is right in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, so you are close to several of the attractions that we have mentioned here in this post.
Aloft Dallas Downtown- The Aloft Hotel in Downtown Dallas is a great loft-inspired hotel located right in the middle of downtown Dallas.
The Magnolia Hotel Dallas– The Magnolia is located close to the American Airlines Center and offers a boutique experience right in the middle of the action.
Omni Fort Worth Hotel– The Omni Fort Worth is a great hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas that allows you to be close to the action of Sundance Square.
Hyatt Place Fort Worth Stockyards-If you’re wanting to experience the “cowboy culture” of Fort Worth, then the Hyatt Place Fort Worth Stockyards is exactly where you want to be!
Stockyards Hotel– Another great hotel in the Fort Worth Stockyards is the Stockyards Hotel. This historic hotel might be the perfect place for you to call home.
Of course, we love using Airbnb to “live like a local” when we are traveling. Click here to get a $55 Airbnb credit from us!
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.