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11 Best Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Dallas

As one of the largest cities in Texas, Dallas has plenty to see and do. Travelers of all types head to Dallas. And travelers on a budget can still have a great time exploring the free and cheap attractions this Texas city has to offer. From great parks to incredible shopping districts to top-notch museums, these budget-friendly things to do in Dallas are fun, educational, and won’t break the bank.

Explore Klyde Warren Park Klyde Warren Park
Credit: Klyde Warren Park by Klyde Warren Park

Explore Klyde Warren Park

What Is It? Explore one of Dallas’ incredible green spaces for a couple of hours of budget-friendly fun. 

Why Do It? Klyde Warren Park, located between downtown and uptown, is a perfect place to visit for an afternoon stroll or a picnic. Kids will enjoy the playground while adults may love the food trucks that visit the park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Good to Know: Klyde Warren Park even hosts free events for kids from storytelling to yoga. 

Visit Pioneer Plaza Pioneer Plaza
Credit: Pioneer Plaza by bigstock.com

Visit Pioneer Plaza

What Is It? This free Dallas attraction, known as Pioneer Plaza, is actually a life-sized sculpture of a cattle drive. 

Why Do It? The bronze cattle sculpture has 49 steers and three cowboys on horseback, truly a unique site to see while visiting Dallas. This art installment is the only bronze replica of its kind as the steers even gallop over a hill and through a stream. 

Good to Know: Since it’s located by the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, those busy at the convention center find Pioneer Plaza as the perfect spot to take a break and snap some photos.

Ride the Mckinney Avenue Trolley Mckinney Avenue Trolley
Credit: Mckinney Avenue Trolley by mata.org

Ride the Mckinney Avenue Trolley

What Is It? The McKinney Avenue Trolley, referred to as the M Line, gives free rides into Uptown. 

Why Do It? This vintage streetcar is a fun experience, and its free rides from downtown to uptown are perfect for travelers on a budget. Since the stops gain riders access to the Dallas Arts District, Uptown’s trendy shopping area, and Klyde Warren Park, the McKinney Avenue Trolley is a great budget-friendly transportation option in Dallas. 

Good to Know: The trolley runs seven days a week, every single day of the year.

Enjoy the Outdoors at White Rock Lake White Rock Lake
Credit: White Rock Lake by White Rock Lake

Enjoy the Outdoors at White Rock Lake

What Is It? For those wanting to explore Dallas’ outdoor recreation options, a visit to White Rock Lake Park is a must.

Why Do It? This man-made lake, built in 1911, has a 9.3-mile path around it, making it a perfect spot to walk, run and bike. However, enjoy this 1,015-acre lake by paddleboard or canoe too. 

Good to Know: Since it’s located only five miles from downtown, it’s easily accessible for those staying in the city area.

Browse the Dallas Farmers Market Dallas Farmers Market
Credit: Dallas Farmers Market by Dallas Farmers Market

Browse the Dallas Farmers Market

What Is It? The Dallas Farmers Market is unlike other farmers’ markets; it’s actually one of the largest city markets of its kind in the nation. 

Why Do It? The farmers market is held in The Shed and is open Friday-Sunday, while The Market Building is open 7 days a week with local restaurants and shops. This is a great, budget-friendly spot to explore during lunchtime. Grab some street tacos, a sweet treat, fresh produce, or handmade goods while browsing through the colorful and eclectic displays. 

Good to Know: For those not wanting to spend much money, simply take in the sights and munch on free samples.

Visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial John F. Kennedy Memorial
Credit: John F. Kennedy Memorial by jfk.org

Visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial

What Is It? History buffs on a budget need to visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial.

Why Do It? The memorial is actually located near Dealey Plaza, the spot where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The memorial plaza features a large, high open tomb and a structure made of 72 concrete columns. 

Good to Know: The memorial has now become an iconic part of Dallas’ urban space.

Go to the Dallas Museum of Art Dallas Museum of Art
Credit: Dallas Museum of Art by Dallas Museum of Art

Go to the Dallas Museum of Art

What Is It? Don’t miss out on this large museum full of different types of unique art projects. 

Why Do It? Both adults and kids will enjoy visiting this museum as there is a kid’s club to keep the little ones occupied with programs like storytelling and arts and craft activities. 

Good to Know: The art here varies from classical paintings to modern art installations. There is sure to be a piece of art here to inspire all types of art lovers.

Discover Thanks-Giving Square Thanks-Giving Square
Credit: Thanks-Giving Square by Thanks-Giving Square

Discover Thanks-Giving Square

What Is It? This unique square located in the middle of Dallas’ commercial district features a small park and chapel. 

Why Do It? Thanks-Giving Square was created to encourage the concept of thanksgiving. Therefore Thanks-Giving Square’s chapel sees a variety of travelers. 

Good to Know: For those seeking solace, peace, and a place for reflection, a visit to this square and chapel is free.

Jam Out at Good Records Good Records
Credit: Good Records by Good Records

Jam Out at Good Records

What Is It? Music lovers looking for a free show should check out the event schedule at Good Records

Why Do It? This Dallas record shop is one of the most popular record stores in the city. There is not only an eclectic collection of vinyl records but also free live music concerts that regularly occur here. 

Good to Know: Even if you visit Good Records on a day where live music isn’t happening, it’s still a fun place to browse new music releases and old classics.

Window Shop in the Bishop Arts District Bishop Arts District
Credit: Bishop Arts District by bishopartsdistrict.com

Window Shop in the Bishop Arts District

What Is It? The Bishop Arts District is located in North Oak Cliff. 

Why Do It? It’s home to a unique mix of independently-owned shops, coffee houses, restaurants, and art galleries.

Good to Know: If you don’t have much money to spare for shopping, the Bishops Arts District is still a great place to window shop and snag a great cup of coffee.

Explore the Crow Collection of Asian Art Crow Collection of Asian Art
Credit: Crow Collection of Asian Art by Crow Collection of Asian Art

Explore the Crow Collection of Asian Art

What Is It? Admission is free at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, which features over 500 different pieces of art from Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. 

Why Do It? With two levels, the Crow Collection can easily fill a budget-friendly afternoon in Dallas. Don’t miss out on the outdoor sculpture display too. 

Good to Know: Art pieces here range from paintings to architecture to beautifully carved Chinese jades. 

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