While Dallas is certainly not lacking for things to do, see and experience, finding things that won’t cost you an arm and a leg is a bit more challenging.
DFW Living on the Cheap is your solution. When you want to get out and about and see what this amazing city has to offer but not bust your budget, this is THE list to reference. Better yet, sign up for our email list and get cheap or FREE things to do in DFW sent right to your inbox.
Cheap (or FREE) Things to Do in DFW
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
For a beautiful day to soak up the sun or gush over the beauty contained in one place, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is your place. Located right off of University Drive in Fort Worth, this 109 acre garden is your place to explore. From dramatic waterfalls to exquisite winding paths, it’s a beautiful place that doesn’t cost a dime. Find out more about the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Levitt Pavilion in Arlington (Summer and Fall seasons)
Levitt Pavilion is an outdoor, live music venue with performances every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Summer and Fall. From the sounds of The Roosevelts to the fun of the B-52’s, Levitt Pavilion is one of the best kept secrets. During the Summer season, the Levitt will have additional performances throughout the week for summertime fun. Best of all, admission is FREE and coolers are allowed.
Hours: Varies, check the website
Sundown at Granada
For something with a historic vibe yet without a historically high price tag, check out Sundown at Granada. The Granada Theatre has been a local hotspot since 1946. Located in Lower Greenville, acts like Willie Nelson, Old 97’s, Bob Dylan and the Black Keys have graced its stage. Sundown at Granada is a restaurant next door to the Granada Theatre. Have a bite to eat and head over to one of the FREE shows at the Granada.
Admission: cost of food / drinks
Hours: Monday – Friday 5pm – 10pm
Saturday – Sunday 11am – 10pm
Discover music, art and shopping in Deep Ellum. From catching local bands to exploring art on the many murals and galleries, Deep Ellum has been a mainstay in Dallas since 1873 and has a truly eclectic feel. While you’re there, grab a drink and some lunch at one of the many bars and restaurants.
Hours: 11am – 2 am
Nostalgia with a mix of modern day convenience, Free Play is for all ages and boasts the games you remember back in the day. Timeless classics like pinball and pac-man come together in one of the largest collections of arcade games. There are Free Play locations in Arlington and Richardson.
Admission: $10 entry fee to play all the games
Hours: Sunday: 11a – 11p
Monday: 3p – 11p
Tuesday: 3p – 11p
Wednesday: 3p – 11p
Thursday: 3p – 11p
Friday: 3p – 2a
Saturday: 11a – 2a
Arlington Museum of Art
The Arlington Museum of Art is nestled in between Dallas and Fort Worth and has the best of both worlds. The AMA features exhibits such as Pablo Picasso Ceramics, Youth Art, Milton, H. Greene and Rock ‘n’ Roll Wall of Fame. Spread across four floors, the AMA attracts local and tourists alike.
Admission: $8 for adults, under 12 are FREE
White Rock Lake Park
You may have been here before, but have you been kayaking at White Rock Lake Park? Spend an hour or an entire day, White Rock Lake Park is a park covering over 1,000 acres just north of downtown Dallas. From biking to hiking to boating, White Rock Lake Park has something for everyone. Best of all, it’s entirely FREE.
Hours: Dusk to dawn
Trinity River Audubon Center
Explore a part of the 6,000 acre Trinity Forest at the Trinity River Audubon Center. From hiking the trails to bird watching, go on a guided hike or do some nighttime owl watching. Come to the Trinity River Audubon Center ready to explore.
Hours: Monday through Friday 9am – 4pm
Saturday 7am – 3pm (We offer guided early morning bird hikes most Saturdays at 7am, check our event calendar for more info!)
Sunday 11am – 5pm
Closed on Mondays and major holidays
Ride the McKinney Avenue Trolley
The McKinney Avenue Trolley is a fully restored vintage trolley. Riders can hop on and travel all the way from the Majestic Theatre down to Klyde Warren Park and the Nasher Sculpture Center. With a nostalgic nod, the McKinney Avenue Trolley is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Admission: FREE (donations encouraged)
Hours: All hours, every day – Rides from 7:30am to 12:30am on a Saturday
Nasher Sculpture Center
The Nasher Sculpture Center, located in the downtown Dallas Arts District, offers a diverse collection of modern and contemporary sculptures. It’s the museum you’ve always heard about but never visited. Now is the time to visit. From Movie nights to free admission days, the Nasher is a great place to check out.
Admission: Adult: $10
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) riders: $8
Seniors 65 and over: $7
Student with ID: $5
Children under 12: FREE
Military with ID: FREE First Responders: FREE
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm
Closed Mondays, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
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