Looking for something fun and free to do this weekend in Dallas? This list is great for couples, the kids, or the whole family!
Step Back in Time
If you love history or want to learn more about Dallas’s beginnings, there are plenty of historical sites and buildings all over town.
1. The Hall of State at Fair Park
Debuting in 1936, the Hall of State was built for the Texas Centennial Exhibition. Today it contains over 3 million historical documents and items. If you want to learn about the history of Dallas and Texas—all for free—this is absolutely the place to visit.
2. The Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive
The Shawnee Trail drive of the 1850s traveled right through what is now modern-day Dallas. At one site of the trail, Pioneer Plaza, you can find 70 bronze steers and 3 bronze trail riders right in front of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas. They’re so lifelike you might feel like you’re driving cattle down the trail with them!
3. Dallas Pioneer Park Cemetery
After viewing the cattle drive art in Pioneer Plaza, take a walk over to nearby Pioneer Park Cemetery. The site dates back over 170 years, officially named a cemetery in 1857. Veterans of the War of 1812, the Texas Revolution, and the Civil War were laid to rest here, as well as many notable people from Dallas’s history, including judges, mayors, senators, doctors, leaders, and more.
4. Freedman’s Cemetery
One of the largest Freedman cemeteries in the United States, Dallas’s site is a must-see. Established in 1861, it was created for the early African American population. In late 1990 the site saw a new memorial to commemorate the contributions of African Americans in helping Dallas become what it is today.
5. The John F. Kennedy Memorial
Dedicated in 1970, the John F. Kennedy Memorial allows visitors and residents to pay their respects to the late president. It’s located very close to Dealey Plaza, where JFK was assassinated and where you can find a new memorial that was dedicated in 2013.
Want to learn more about the assassination and its ripple effects? You can pay $18 (adults) and $0 (children with no audio guide) to check out The Sixth Floor Museum.
Explore Museums, Art, and Music
If you’re a fan of history, art, and music, then you’re going to love these absolutely free things to do in Dallas.
6. Fine Arts Chamber Players
The Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) host absolutely free concerts all over Dallas to help spread the love of music far and wide! Visit their website to see when and where you can catch their next performance.
7. J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
If you have a passion for history and books, you’ll definitely want to swing by the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and borrow a novel or two. While you’re there, take a look at Shakespeare’s first folio from 1623 and an original print of the Declaration of Independence!
8. Dallas Arts District
Over at the Dallas Arts District, there’s plenty for lovers of art and music to do! First up is the Dallas Museum of Art, which is home to over 22,000 pieces of art—from ancient times to today. To step back into Asian history, pay a (free) visit to the Crow Museum of Asian Art. After visiting these two locations, next up is the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center—home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra—where you can take a tour of the architecture, sculptures, and more.
9. The Meadows
For a bit of Spanish history, you’ll want to visit the Meadows in Dallas. It features one of the largest Spanish art collections found outside of Spain. It’s located at Southern Methodist University, which is worth a stroll as well! This museum is free on Thursdays after 5 PM.
10. The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum
For a deeper look into the history of the Samurai, don’t miss the Samurai Collection! You’ll get a unique look at armor, masks, weapons, and more! And it’s all free to the public.
11. The African American Museum
Next up on the tour of museums is the African American Museum. The location features African American cultural, historical, and artistic items and is actually home to one of the largest African American folk art collections in the U.S.
Stroll Through Dallas Neighborhoods and Districts
Want an excuse for some exercise and fresh air? Take your time wandering around these gorgeous and unique Dallas neighborhoods. You’ll find plenty to see and may discover a new favorite spot!
12. Deep Ellum
A center for music, Deep Ellum’s history is rooted in jazz and blues, gambling, and dancing. Today you can take a tour of this Dallas neighborhood and enjoy theaters, restaurants, art, music, and plenty of culture.
13. West End Historic District
To take another step back into the history of Dallas, pay a visit to the Historic West End in Downtown Dallas. In beautiful restored buildings, check out unique stores, museums, sights, and sounds. The West End is also home to the Dallas World Aquarium. It’s not free, but it’s very cool, especially for kids!
14. West Village® of Uptown Dallas
If you enjoy window-shopping or viewing the latest in entertainment, you’re going to want to pay a visit to Uptown Dallas. It’s a posh and bustling neighborhood. And you can get there by taking the free McKinney Avenue Trolley!
See Sights, Walk the Parks, Enjoy Annual Events, and More
There’s plenty more for families and couples to do all around Dallas! Check out these fun ideas you can plan for in the near future or do this weekend!
Take Part in the Annual Festivals and Events
Dallas and the surrounding areas are home to several festivals and events year round! Add these to your list:
- Texas Veggie Fair
- Asian Festival
- Deep Ellum Arts Festival
- Cottonwood Art Festival
- Dallas Symphony Orchestra community concerts
Visit a Park
Dallas has quite a few gorgeous parks, lakes, and playgrounds—free and open to the public. Klyde Warren Park in the Dallas Arts District hosts:
- A playground
- An outdoor library
- A dog park
- Exercise classes (that are free!)
- Food trucks
- And more!
White Rock Lake may be manmade but no one can doubt it or the surrounding park’s beauty! Bring the whole family to paddleboard, canoe, and more!
Take a Hike
Dallas and the surrounding areas are home to a wealth of hiking and biking trails. White Rock Lake is one great example, but there’s also:
- Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
- Cedar Ridge Nature Center
- Katy Trail
- Grapevine Botanical Gardens
- And several other
View the Sights
From Pegasus Plaza to Thanks-Giving Square, there are plenty of gorgeous locations all over Big D. Pegasus Plaza is often considered the heart of the city and can be found in Downtown Dallas. Also located downtown, Thanks-Giving Square is home to a gorgeous chapel.
There are plenty of free things to do in and around Dallas. Whether you’re planning a date night or looking to take the whole family out, this list of parks, museums, sights, and events is sure to keep everyone busy!