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The Best Free Things to Do in Dallas

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things to do in dallas

Things to do in Dallas

The biggest tourist destination in Texas, Dallas, is filled with fun free things to do and see whether traveling with friends or the whole family.

“Live large. Think big.” Dallas certainly knows how to live up to its motto. As one of the biggest cities in the United States, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, Dallas is not only a popular place to live and work, it has earned a reputation as a tourist destination to boot.

While there’s fantastic shopping, five star restaurants, and lots of wonderful theatre and entertainment options to splash out on, for those who like to watch their pennies on their Dallas vacations, there is also a long list of free things to do and see in this Texan city.

Dozens of Dallas Outdoor Sculptures Free to the Public

Art lovers can not only enjoy a range of galleries, but also take in some of Dallas’ outdoor sculptures. There are more than 30 sculptures to be found in Downtown Dallas, from 19th Century pieces to contemporary works.

The Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive is one of the most popular sculptures, and a top photo spot for tourists. Bronze cowboys herd their steers along Pioneer Plaza, in the very place where the Shawnee Trail drive was held in the 1850s. The largest bronze monument of its kind in the world, the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive can be found Downtown at Young and Griffin Streets, near the Dallas Convention Centre.

Also Downtown, at the base of the Trammell Crow Centre at 2010 Flora Street, visitors can soak up the works of French masters including Rodin in a stunning Sculpture Garden. Here, it’s worth taking time out to soak up the beautiful gardens, listen to the splashing water, and to generally chill out before stepping back into the real world.

The Nasher Sculpture Centre outdoor garden is free on the first Saturday of the month, and includes pieces by Picasso, Rodin, and Borofsky. For those who aren’t there on the right day, and are happy to pay a small fee to see more sculpture, entry is only $10 for adults.

Dallas Parks, Trails and Lakes Create an Inner City Refuge

Dallas may be a big city, but visitors are still able to keep in touch with nature thanks to more than 21,000 acres of parkland. Dallas’ parks are mostly land, but they also feature 4,400 surface acres of water spread out over with 18 lakes, where water lovers can fish, sail, or canoe.

There are also a variety of trails to take a leisurely walk through, or hike, bike or run, depending on how energetic people are feeling.

While some of the parks charge a small entrance fee, others are completely free. There’s also a free booklet outlining all of the leisure and recreational activities that are available in the parks.

To receive a copy, call Dallas Parks and Recreation Department on 214-670-4100 and ask for the Ultimate Adventure booklet. The Department is also able to help provide hiking and biking trail maps.

Downtown Dallas’ Famous Fountains

Back in the city, Downtown’s Fountain Place is an oasis of colorful flowers, waterfalls, and fountains. Found at the base of a dramatic office tower at 1445 Ross Avenue at Field Street, Fountain Place has 172 bubbler fountains surrounding a central fountain, which is considered one of the world’s most complex fountain systems.

Fountain place was designed by architectural firm I.M Pei & Partners, and has received international recognition. This is one building that looks different depending on the angle it’s viewed from, so be sure to enjoy the many different faces of Fountain Place and what modern architecture is capable of.

Get Around for Free

Hop on the McKinney Avenue Trolley that takes you through Downtown, The Dallas Arts District and Uptown. Look for the “M-Line” maroon sign that’s located at all the stops along the route, and track the trolley to see when its near.

Get Around Cheaply

E-Frogs is an eco-friendly golf cart service that takes you around seven Dallas neighborhoods in style. Each cart is wrapped in colorful and eye-catching décor, and easy spot on the streets. Services are offered all-year round, just text your departure and arrival addresses to (469) 432-4055 to request a ride. Tips are encouraged.

Spend Less – Experience More with Dallas CitiPass

CityPASS Admission Includes

See fascinating science, incredible views, amazing animals, important history and more with Dallas CityPASS tickets. Plus, you’ll enjoy:

  • One simple purchase.
  • Nine consecutive days of validity, including the first day of use.
  • Line-skipping privileges at select attractions.
  • Instant delivery with convenient mobile or printable ticket options.

FYI: Through February 28, 2021, Dallas CityPASS has expanded the validity period for Dallas CityPASS tickets from 9 to 30 days. This is to help travelers during the pandemic.

With more people engaging in staycations and traveling closer to home, the extended validity gives buyers more time to use their tickets. For example, if you’re doing a family staycation, but still have to work during the week, the extended validity gives you 4 weekends in which to use your admissions. 

A Guide to Dallas

Whatever your interests or budget, Dallas offers great ideas for a memorable Dallas experience. Guides can be found on Visit Dallas for all types of visits:

  • Dallas Loves Brunch
  • Amusement Parks and Attractions
  • Seven Best BBQ Joints in Dallas
  • Craft Beers and Breweries
  • RoofTop Bars
  • Comedy
  • Live Music
  • Sports Bars
  • Sweet Tooth
  • Coffee Shops
  • Late Night Food Stops
  • Shopping Centers
  • Hidden Breakfast Eateries
  • Dog Parks & Attractions
  • Pet Friendly Hotels
  • Dog Friendly Resturants
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