One of the best things about Dallas is that it is dotted with a large number of museums. An absolute treat for art and history lovers, these museums have on display a variety of artworks, literary works, artifacts, antiques, inscriptions, and samurai armor. Not only are these museums known for their extensive collections but also for their unique architectural elements, gardens, courtyards, displays, their histories, and also for the programs, events, and lectures they regularly organize. Some of the museums in Dallas are free to visit throughout the year while others might not charge an admission fee on certain days or for certain people. These venues mostly have designated parking spaces or are quite close to public transportation stops.
Over the years, this downtown Dallas neighborhood has come to be known as the hip entertainment district of the city owing to its rich musical history. While Deep Ellum was home to many jazz and blues musicians, and minstrel shows about 100 years ago, it is a lot more today. Situated north of Exposition Park and south of Bryan Place, this neighborhood is quite popular for its street art and wall murals, art galleries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, music shows, theatres, stores, and markets, and even parks, gardens, trails, and picnic spots. Deep Ellum has something to offer to people of all age groups, and especially to those who enjoy the arts.
The city of Dallas, Texas is home to about 400 parks and gardens, thus providing locals as well as tourists with plenty of options when it comes to finding lush green land amidst the busy city. These parks and gardens are suitable for people of all age groups and many of them not only allow pets but are meant specifically for them. Spread out over different parts of the city, parks like Belo Garden, Ferguson Park, and Griggs Park offer plenty of space for relaxing, walking, jogging, exercising, and playing sports.
Many of them have their designated sports areas such as basketball courts, softball complexes and baseball fields, playgrounds with playing equipment as well as trails which are excellent for walking pets or biking as well. They are usually full of thick trees, beautiful flowers, and bushes or even close to lakes, ponds, or creeks. Many regularly host events, festivals, and shows or have distinctive architectural elements like sculptures or memorials.
While in Dallas, it goes without saying that Dealey Plaza and the John F. Kennedy Memorial is a must-visit. Declared a National Historic Landmark District, Dealey Plaza is where the late former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was shot dead in 1963 while in the middle of a presidential motorcade. Apart from being of much significance simply because of the assassination, the John F. Kennedy Memorial was erected in 1969, built by Philip Johnson.
A cenotaph, it consists of vertically scored walls with narrow openings on two sides and a black granite slab in the middle with the former President’s name in gold. Dealey Plaza is also home to a number of other structures and buildings such as the Texas School Book Depository, which houses the Sixth Floor Museum, Dal-Tex Building, and Annex, Old Dallas County Courthouse, Dealy Statue, Dallas County Criminal Courts Building, etc.
Located in downtown Dallas, Texas, the Arts District is not only the country’s biggest arts district but is also one of the most significant features of the city spread out over an area of about 68 acres and 19 blocks. It is home to a number of renowned facilities, museums, and other structures that offer people the chance to discover and witness different forms of art. While some of these venues might charge an admission fee, it is absolutely free to roam around the district and marvel at it.
It includes venues that feature famous sculptures, paintings, artifacts, literary works, ballet, dance, opera, theatre, and also host regular exhibitions, educational programs, lectures, and festivals. Moreover, there are also a few structures that might not be associated with art but are known for their historical or architectural significance.
For anyone with a taste for stand-up comedy or just comedy in general, the Dallas Comedy House is the place to be. Situated within the Deep Ellum neighborhood of downtown Dallas, the Comedy House organizes stand-up shows five days a week, with the majority of the performers being part of the comedy school itself. While the stand-up shows cost less than $10, Tuesday nights (8:00 pm) and Sunday afternoons (2:00 pm) are reserved for improvs and open mics that are absolutely free of cost. It is important to arrive early for a show because seating is first-come, first-serve basis. Moreover, the Dallas Comedy House organizes free comedy classes on the last Wednesday of every month.
Address: 3036 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226, United States
Timings: 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Wednesday- Thursday), 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Friday to Saturday), 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Sunday), Monday- Tuesday closed
Shows and Events: Virtual Speed Dating, Online: Intro to Sketch Comedy for Teens, People Watching, All The Feels Stand-Up, etc.
The McKinney Avenue Trolley Authority, or MATA, runs the M-Line Trolley throughout the year, with two to three cars operating at all times. A vintage trolley service going around Uptown Dallas, it provides clean, air-conditioned as well as heated trolleys that serve as free public transportation. The entire route takes about an hour to complete, owing to traffic and weather conditions, and includes a total of 42 designated stops marked by a maroon “M-Line Trolley” sign.
In order to board the trolley at any given point of time, it is necessary to be at one of the 42 stops and to wave at an approaching one so at to make it halt, and to ring the bells overhead the seats when looking to get off. The trolley allows bringing in bikes and strollers given that there is sufficient space for passengers, and well-behaved pets as well.
Timings: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm (Monday- Thursday), 7:00 am to Midnight (Friday), 10:00 am to Midnight (Saturday), 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (Sunday/ Holidays)
Nearby Rail Lines: Blue, Orange, Red, Green
Nearby Stations: Cityplace/ Uptown Station, St. Pauls Station, Pearl/ Arts District Station
Stops on the Trolley Route: Klyde Warren Park, West Village Shops, Perot Museum, Dallas World Aquarium, Federal Reserve Bank, Nasher Sculpture Garden, Mi Cocina, etc.
A private research institute at the heart of Dallas, Texas, Southern Methodist University hosts a large number of campus tours each year for those looking to enroll at or transfer to the institute or those just looking to tour an educational campus. These tours are organized during the week and the weekend and last about an hour, led by a current student of SMU. A visit to the Dallas Hall, Bishop Boulevard, George W. Bush Presidential Center, library, the museum as well as the Taos campus and Plano campus are some of the highlights of the tour. Moreover, it organizes admission events for prospective students such as Mustang Day along with virtual campus tours.
Address: Dallas, TX 75205, United States
Admission Events: Mustang Day
Campus: Main Campus, Taos Campus, Plano Campus
Schools: Cox School of Business, Perkins School of Technology, Lyle School of Engineering, Dedman School of Law, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences etc.
Dallas happens to have the maximum number of shopping centers per capita when it comes to major cities of the United States, and so, it goes without saying that options are abundant for shopping destinations. Purchasing something at one of the stores might cost money but window shopping is absolutely free. All around the city, there are individual stores, shopping centers, malls, and even antique shops containing all kinds of things.
The city is home to Highland Park Center, the country’s first planned shopping center and a historic landmark. Moreover, window shopping doesn’t just apply to apparel but also to fruits, vegetables, and other fresh produce that is sold at the Dallas Farmers Market, and sugary treats, sold at stores like Rocket Fizz Deep Ellum.
There are a number of neighborhoods and districts to be explored in Dallas, each with its own attractions and tourist destinations. Some of them are known for their museums, murals, gardens and parks, restaurants and bars, residential complexes, shopping centers, stores, historic landmarks, educational institutes, and more. Each of these neighborhoods, with their distinctive features, also hosts several events throughout the calendar year.
There is a well-connected system of public transportation (rails, buses, trolley services, subway) to take people from one place to the other. Some of the most popular attractions to visit in Dallas, scattered around these neighborhoods are Nasher Sculpture Center, Dealey Plaza, Turtle Creek, Dallas World Aquarium, American Airlines Center, etc.
One of the most interesting things to do in Dallas is to attend an event or a festival since many of them are completely free. The city hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year during national holidays or festivals, and there are many city attractions that organize these on their own. There are events and festivals which focus on art, music, food, sports, important historical figures, and much more, and are suitable for people of all ages, and sometimes even for pets.
Also, there are several seminars and events that are organized keeping in mind students and their varying academic or career needs. It is important to keep in mind that while most of these events or festivals charge no admission fee, visitors would have to pay to purchase items such as food and drinks, souvenirs, apparel, etc.
Watching a sports game at home is undoubtedly fun but what is slightly better is going to a sports bar and watching a baseball, soccer, or hockey game with a lot more people. Dallas has no shortage of sports bars that charges no admission fee, and offer the ideal environment to watch some sports, especially if it’s a major match. Featuring large screens all around the bar, visitors would find themselves completely immersed in the game.
Apart from the ambiance, these bars offer drinks and all sorts of snacks to make the experience even better, though it costs some money to get them! Some of these also have a rooftop terrace or patio to sit out on for those who wish to take a little break from the crowded bars.
The city of Dallas is not only an urban center but also has its fair share of nature, especially in the form of trails. These trails, located all around the city, are the perfect opportunity to get some exercise in the form of walking, jogging, or hiking. Linear trails, neighborhood trails, nature trails, off-road bicycle trails, and loop trails are just a few of the types of trails found in the city; many of these are also perfect for walking dogs.
Owing to the fact that a few of them are located within parks, they offer a great deal of space to set up a small picnic and observe the flora and fauna. Another interesting fact about a few of the trails is that they connect parks or neighborhoods to one another, thus making it easy to go from one place to the other.
Mainly consisting of three different kinds of sellers; produce dealers, local farmers, and wholesale dealers, the Dallas Farmers Market is a massive public market in downtown Dallas, Texas, that is open throughout the week. The market features a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, butter, herbs, locally purveyed honey, flowers and plants, and much more.
Purchasing something costs money but visitors are allowed to taste some of the food for free, and of course, explore. Furthermore, the market frequently organizes live cooking classes, events, workshops, yard sales, and even festivals. There are also several options for visitors when it comes to finding a place to grab a bite to eat.
Address: 920 S Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States
Timings: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
Restaurants/ Cafes: 8 Cloves, El Mero Mero, Palmieri Café, Chelles Macarons, Juicebabe, Taqueria La Venatana etc.
Events: Simply Irresistible: Ladies Day Out, The Boho Market Pop-Up, DFM Pumpkin Patch, The Shed etc.
Just like any other city in the world, Dallas has its fair share of haunted locations and sites for people to visit and maybe get a little spooked. Littered around the city, these were mostly the site of some major historic events, criminal activity, or just have legends associated with them. Consisting of parks, bridges, abandoned buildings, streets, hotels, there have been sights of alleged ghost and animal sightings, demonic presences, and eerie events reported at these sites, with some photographs emerging as evidence as well. For the best spooky experience, it is advisable to visit these locations after the sun sets or late at night, and to preferably bring company!
A couple of the best-haunted locations in Dallas are: • Millermore Mansion • White Rock Lake • Historic West End • Goatman’s Bridge • Lake Highland’s High School
Let us know down below if you found this list of free things to do in Dallas interesting and helpful.
This post was published by Arushi Bhowmick
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