Free Things To Do & See In Dallas

John F. Kennedy Memorial

John F. Kennedy Memorial and Dealey Plaza

Designed by architect Philip Johnson and dedicated in 1970. The “open tomb” style symbolizes the freedom of JFK’s spirit, and gives visitors a space for reflection and remembrance. Within walking distance is Dealey Plaza, the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. 

John F. Kennedy Memorial and Dealey Plaza 

Dealey Plaza: 411 Elm St.

John F. Kennedy Memorial: 646 Main St.

Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players

Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players

The mission of the DFACP is to enrich and enhance the quality of life for North Texas area residents, especially families and children, through FREE concerts of classical music and educational activities.

Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players

3630 Harry Hines Blvd.

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive

Featuring 70 bronze steers and three bronze trail riders by artist Robert Summers, this larger-than-life cattle drive sculpture is situated on the actual Shawnee Trail drive of the 1850s, located in front of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive

Downtown, Young & Griffin streets.

Thanks-Giving Square

Thanks-Giving Square

Visitors can spot this square easily in downtown by the beautiful, white spiral Chapel that breaks up the angular lines of the office buildings around it. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, the Thanks-Giving Foundation promotes the unifying spirit of giving thanks to communities near and far, and welcomes people of all nations, cultures and religions.

Thanks-Giving Square

1627 Pacific Ave.

City Hall

Dallas City Hall is one of the most distinctive and iconic structures in town. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, the inverted wedge shape is a site to see and also features a 7-acre plaza with sculptures by Henry Moore.

City Hall

1500 Marilla St.

Public Artwalk Dallas

Public Artwalk Dallas

This free, self-guided tour is a 3.3-mile route highlighting 30 pieces of art and architecture in the Arts District and downtown. See classic architecture, contemporary sculptures, Dallas icons and everything in between.

Public Artwalk Dallas

Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum

Of Dallas’ many different neighborhoods, none are quite as intriguing as Deep Ellum, the city’s music epicenter. More than 100 years ago, this area was where jazz and blues musicians cut their teeth, and where gamblers and rabble-rousers danced the night away and attended minstrel shows. Now, it is home to much of the city’s avant-garde culture, where art galleries, music venues, restaurants and theaters line the streets, just as they did in the early 1900s.

Deep Ellum

Between Good-Latimar and Exposition Ave., Main, Elm and Commerce streets

Founder’s Plaza

Founder's Plaza

This open park area in the center of downtown next to the Old Red Courthouse houses the replica of John Neely Bryan’s log cabin—the home of the city’s founder. The site also includes a fountain, terrazzo map of Dallas County in the 1800s and the John F. Kennedy Memorial.

Founder’s Plaza

600 Elm St.

M-Line Trolley

M-Line Trolley

To get around Uptown and the Arts District for free and in style, hop on the M-Line Trolley—restored, vintage trolleys that run the length of McKinney Avenue between Blackburn and St. Paul streets. The trolleys stop at several points of interest, including West Village, Hotel Zaza, Shops at The Crescent, Dallas Museum of Art and more. 

M-Line Trolley

McKinney Ave.

D-Link

D-Link

Another free transportation service provided by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the D-Link is a shuttle that runs throughout all of downtown and into the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. The buses run every 15 minutes, Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Stops include Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Omni Dallas Hotel, The West End, The Sixth Floor Museum, Main Street Garden, Arts District, Victory Park and the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff.

D-Link

Free Admission Museums

Museums Dallas

Free Admission Museums—Who says one needs money to get cultured? The Dallas Museum of Art is completely free and features more than 22,000 works of art spanning all mediums and time-periods, from ancient civilization to modern art. Other must-see museums include The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Crow Collection of Asian Art, African American Museum and the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art. The Meadows Museum of Art, with one of the largest Spanish art collections outside of Spain, at Southern Methodist University is free on Thursdays after 5 p.m.

Arts District

Dallas Arts District

Spanning 68 acres and 19 contiguous blocks, the Dallas Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the country. The area showcases more than a dozen different attractions and world-renowned venues, such as the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Museum of Art (free admission), Nasher Sculpture Center, Crow Collection of Asian Art (free admission), Klyde Warren Park and much more. 

Arts District

2301 Ross Ave.

Sculpture Garden - Crow Collection

Sculpture Garden - Crow Collection

On the bottom floor of the free Crow Collection of Asian Art in the Arts District sits a shaded sculpture garden with a serene atmosphere, featuring 15 historical and contemporary Asian sculptures as well as vegetation, manicured trees and more.

Sculpture Garden - Crow Collection

2001 Ross Ave.

The Samurai Collection

The Samurai Collection

At The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum—Nestled in a unique location on the second floor of the Saint Ann restaurant and bar, this collection includes Japanese armor, artwork, helmets, masks, horse armor, weaponry and accessories. It’s one of the largest collections of its type in the world. Then afterward, pull up to the bar downstairs for craft beer and charcuterie.

The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum

2501 North Harwood St.


Southern Methodist University

SMU

This nationally ranked private university is situated in the heart of central Dallas. Opened in 1915, the school is rich in Dallas history and architecture, and the campus is gorgeous. Stroll the tree-lined boulevard and beautifully manicured landscape, and visit the school’s libraries or the classic Dallas Hall—built in 1915 with a three-story rotunda.

Southern Methodist University 

6425 Boaz Ln.


Meyerson Symphony Center

Meyerson Symphony Center

Tour the Symphony Center—Located in the Arts District, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, I. M. Pei, and it has impressive architectural features, open spaces, unsurpassed acoustics and is surrounded by stunning sculptures and works of art. It’s visually spectacular, and seeing it with your own two eyes does not require a concert ticket.

Meyerson Symphony Center

2301 Flora


Jonsson Central Library

Jonsson Central Library

Dallas’ first public library opened in 1901 with help from Andrew Carnegie. The current locale, named after a former mayor, opened in 1982. Visitors can view not only the extensive book collection, but an original print of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), and William Shakespeare’s first folio, compiled in 1623.

Jonsson Central Library

1515 Young St.

Mary Kay Cosmetics

Mary Kay Cosmetics

Take a walk through history and experience a dream that began more than four decades ago, when Mary Kay Ash set out to build a company that would give women unlimited opportunity. The cosmetics headquarters offers a free museum that showcases the accomplishments and business ideas of Mary Kay Ash, and includes a theater and Hall of Honor. Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Mary Kay Cosmetics

16251 Dallas Parkway, Addison

Neighborhood Sightseeing

Swiss Avenue

Neighborhood sightseeing—Dallas is home to several scenic and historically rich neighborhoods and communities. Check out the luxury homes and greenspaces in Turtle Creek and Highland Park. See the largest collection of Prairie-Style homes in the country in the Munger Place Historic District and breathtaking mansions and historical landmarks on Swiss Avenue.

Old East Dallas, Swiss Ave.


Uptown and West Village

Uptown and West Village

Dallas’ popular Uptown district is exploding with new residential, retail and entertainment centers with a variety of elements coming together for an experience that will appeal to all types and tastes. Hop on the free M-Line Trolley and explore the sights of one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods. The West Village shopping center is the unofficial epicenter; start there, or sight-see historic homes off McKinney Avenue.

3699 McKinney Ave.

Historic West End

Historic West End

This historic neighborhood offers a glimpse to Dallas’ past with masterfully restored buildings. Visitors can stroll the cobblestone streets, people watch and experience street festivals. A myriad of shops, restaurants and entertainment abound, including The Sixth Floor Museum and Wild Bill’s Western Store.

Historic West End

603 Munger Ave.

Lower Greenville Avenue

Lower Greenville Avenue

This area of Greenville Avenue, south of Mockingbird Lane and north of Ross Avenue, is one of the city’s liveliest nightlife spots. Lower Greenville is bar, after café, after live music venue, jam-packed on the weekends and decently populated during the week. One of Dallas’ biggest yearly festivals happens on Lower Greenville, too. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches each year down this street, and culminates in a green-beer-flowing block party with local and national acts and fun costumes.

Greenville Avenue between Mockingbird Lane and Ross Avenue

Flagship Neiman Marcus

Flagship Neiman Marcus

Originally opened in 1907 and permanently moved to its current location on the corner of Main and Ervay streets in 1914, the Neiman Marcus flagship store is a must-see for any sartorialist. Stroll the street and window shop, or venture inside for luxury goodies. 

Flagship Neiman Marcus

1618 Main St.

NorthPark Center’s Art Collection

NorthPark Center’s Art Collection

1.4-acre CenterPark—NorthPark Center is Dallas’ premier shopping and dining favorite and a not-to-be missed destination for art enthusiasts. The art collection features major works by renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Joel Shapiro, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist, Antony Gormley, Barry Flanagan and Beverly Pepper, among others. NorthPark’s 1.4-acre landscaped garden, CenterPark, doubles as a serene urban retreat and an exciting venue for free community events. Relax and dine amid world-class sculpture, canopies of trees and a lush green space. A complimentary map of the NorthPark Art Tour with descriptions of each piece on display is available from the NorthPark Center Concierge.      

NorthPark Center’s Art Collection   

8687 North Central Expwy

Galleria Dallas

Galleria Dallas

Inspired by Italy’s famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Galleria Dallas is touted by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Places to Shop.” Featuring an impressive international collection of more than 200 shops and boutiques, Galleria Dallas sets the standard for world-class shopping. It even has a full-sized ice-skating rink, and during the holiday season it boasts the largest indoor Christmas tree in the United States.

Galleria Dallas

13350 Dallas Pkwy.


Dallas Pioneer Park Cemetery

Dallas Pioneer Park Cemetery

The area now known as Pioneer Park Cemetery is composed of the remnants of early graveyards. The last burials in what is now called Pioneer Cemetery took place in the latter part of the 1920s. 

Dallas Pioneer Park Cemetery near Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

1184 Young St.

Founders Plaza Observation Station

Founders Plaza Observation Station

At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—From the observation area known as Founders Plaza, visitors will see some of the 2,300 daily takeoffs and landings of the world’s fourth busiest airport. The area features long-distance binoculars, parking, a graph board to help identify different aircrafts, speaker systems featuring audio straight from the Control Tower and four picnic areas.

Founders Plaza Observation Station 

1700 Airfield Dr., DFW Airport

Model Trains

Model Trains at Childrens

Housed in the lobby of the hospital, this is the largest permanent model train display in the country. Eight trains run simultaneously at the free exhibit that’s open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas

1935 Medical District Dr.

Fantasy Landing at Kiest Park

Fantasy Landing at Kiest Park

This playground seamlessly incorporates kid- and handicap-friendly structures, and earned an A” on Dallas Child's Safety Report Card. The slides are vented, there are customized ramps, tennis courts and pull-tunnels with bars for children in wheelchairs. Brightly colored brick paths help visually impaired children find their way through the play area.

Kiest Park

3080 S. Hampton Rd.

Dallas Farmers Market

Dallas Farmers Market

Seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., local farmers display and sell a mouth-watering selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs, locally purveyed honey and nuts, and plants at the Dallas Farmers Market. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll. Also check out Shed 2, where specialty products are offered, or watch a cooking demonstration.

Dallas Farmers Market

1010 S. Pearl Expy.

Free Annual Festivals

Dallas Festivals

The weather in Dallas is mostly mild, which makes for great festival weather, and there are plenty free events throughout the year, including: Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Earth Day Texas, Oak Cliff Earth Day, Texas Veggie FairSt. Patrick’s Day Parade, Easter in Lee Park and Pooch Parade, Dallas Cinco de Mayo, Cottonwood Art FestivalAsian Festival, Chinese New Year in Dallas Arts District.

Community Concert Series

Memorial Day Concert at Flagpole Hill

For more than 20 years, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has presented the Community Concerts Series throughout Dallas in the spring. These free outdoor performances include the popular Memorial Day Concert at Flagpole Hill, which is topped off by a stirring fireworks show. Other locations are selected on a rotating basis. 

Fountain Place

Fountain Place Dallas

Water dances and leaps skyward at Downtown’s Fountain Place. At the base of this dramatically sculpted, 1.2-million-square-foot office tower of green reflective glass lies an oasis of colorful flowers, waterfalls, 172 bubbler fountains and a central fountain. The latter is one of the world’s most complex and consists of 217 water jets. Designed by the acclaimed architectural firm of I.M. Pei & Partners, Fountain Place has received international recognition.

Fountain Place

1445 Ross Avenue at Field Street

Hand Collection

Hand Collection Baylor Medical

The Adrian E. Flatt, M.D. Hand Collection at Baylor University Medical Center—Named after one of the foremost hand surgeons in the world, The Adrian E. Flatt, M.D. Hand Collection is an extraordinary private collection of more than 100 cast, bronze-coated hands. The contrast of sizes, and sense of personal capability, when simply viewing life-size hands is intriguing. Personalities include Katherine Hepburn, Walt Disney, Louis Armstrong and Winston Churchill, just to name a few. 

Baylor University Medical Center 

Truett Building 

1st floor, 3500 Gaston Ave.

Perot Museum

Perot Museum

While admission to the renowned Perot Museum of Nature and Science is certainly not free, its outdoor plaza, lobby and café are, and it also offers free Wi-Fi. The plaza features a one-acre urban forest filled with native plants and a hands-on musical forest with oversized xylophones and chimes. The main lobby has an iconic, 35-foot Malawisaurus fossil on display, and there is a roof deck nearby that overlooks the museum’s sustainable features. 

Perot Museum 

2201 N. Field St.

Pegasus Plaza

The Pegasus has long been recognized as the symbol of Dallas and her indomitable spirit. Located in the heart of downtown in Dallas City Center, Pegasus Plaza at City Center features a limestone fountain and winding stream that anchor the design of the plaza. 

Pegasus Plaza

Main at Akard Streets in Downtown Dallas

Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park

This 5.2-acre urban deck-park is a popular, lush green space in the heart of downtown that connects Uptown with the Arts District and is a favorite among locals. Built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in 2012, the park features a large children’s playground area, a concert stage, free lawn games, an outdoor library, free Wi-Fi, footpaths, a dog park, free exercise classes, water fountains, food trucks and two restaurants. The area teems with people when the weather is nice, and block parties and events happen frequently.

Klyde Warren Park

2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy

White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake

Located in the middle of central Dallas off Mockingbird Lane, White Rock Lake is a man-made water and park area built in 1911. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, and features several points of interest including Winfrey Point, Bath House Cultural Center, Big Thicket, White Rock Boat Club, White Rock Dog Park and more. A 9.3-mile paved path around the lake is perfect for running and biking, and scenic views lend themselves to picturesque picnics. For those looking to get onto the water, paddle boarding, canoeing, rowing and sailing are great options for a fun day at the lake.

White Rock Lake

8300 East Lawther Dr.

Haunted Dallas

Haunted Dallas

Every city has supposed haunted places, and armed with a little historical knowledge and a good camera, visitors may just find something unexpected at these places around town (please note: these venues are only allegedly haunted, and may not be free admission to enter), including: Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum, Historic West End, Millermore Mansion at Old City Park, The Adolphus Hotel, Majestic Theatre, White Rock Lake, Lizard Lounge and Hotel Lawrence.


Federal Reserve Bank

Federal Reserve Bank

Through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays, learn about the Federal Reserve, money and the economy. Visitors will see exhibits about historical money, the founding of the FED, monetary policy, moving money and more.

Federal Reserve Bank 

2200 N. Pearl St.

Latino Cultural Center

Latino Cultural Center

Promoting, preserving and developing Latino and Hispanic arts and culture, the Latino Cultural Center showcases local and national talent via live entertainment, film, performances, arts & crafts for kids, exhibitions and more. Most of the events are free. Please check its site for the latest happenings.

Latino Cultural Center

2600 Live Oak St.

Bath House Cultural Center

Bath House Cultural Center

Located on the shores of White Rock Lake, the Art Deco-style Bath House is a welcoming venue for visual and performing artists from an array of backgrounds, and houses a 116-seat black-box theater, three gallery spaces, the White Rock Lake Museum and a number of multipurpose spaces. 

Bath House Cultural Center

521 E. Lawther Dr.