The Dallas, Texas Fifty Free
50 Great Things - Yours "Free to Enjoy"
Having fun doesn't have to be expensive! The many things to see and do in Dallas include those that can be enjoyed absolutely free. Consider these offerings:
Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive
A growing number of bronze, larger-than-life-size steers and their cowboy escorts moo've along Pioneer Plaza - adjacent to the Dallas Convention Center. This bronze cattle drive is located on the actual Shawnee Trail drive of the 1850s - and is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world.
Downtown, Young & Griffin Streets
Outdoor Sculpture Tour
Discover over 30 distinctive sculptures on the sidewalks of Downtown. Along with pieces from the 19th century, there are contemporary works, including a painter capturing magnificent Dallas on canvas - Can you find him?
Enjoy the Sculpture Garden at the base of the statuesque Trammell Crow Center in Downtown. More than 20 statues from the French masters, including Rodin, reside in this peaceful setting with cascading waters and beautiful gardens.
Tues. - Sun. 10 am - 5 pm
Thurs. 10 am - 9 pm
Downtown, 2010 Flora Street, 214-979-6430
Uptown and West Village
Dallas' popular Uptown District is exploding with new residential and retail centers with a variety of elements coming together for a shopping, dining, and entertainment experience that will appeal to all types of tastes. The West Village focal point is the new Magnolia Theater that supports independent film and arts.
Uptown, McKinney Avenue and Routh Street, 214-922-9622
Mustangs Sculpture in Las Colinas
Nine mustangs, bronze, beautiful and larger-than-life, splash their way across a stream cut through the stone and granite plaza of Williams Square. Stroll across the plaza and visit the Mustangs of Las Colinas Sculpture & Exhibit, which includes an informative 20 minute film about mustangs and the making of this breathtaking sculpture.
Exhibit Center Open: Wed. - Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. www.mustangsoflascolinas.com
In nearby Irving, O'Connor Road, North of Highway 114, 972-869-9047
Tour the Morton H. Meyerson
The acoustically renowned Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by I.M. Pei, is yours to tour on selected Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. (please call in advance for monthly tour schedule as tours are subject to change with rehearsals and performances) Discover the 4,535 pipes on the Herman W. Lay Family Organ - this $1.36 million organ, crafted by C.B. Fisk Inc., is truly an acoustical wonder!
Enthusiastic and experienced volunteer docents are available to welcome visitors, school groups, conventions, families, and others for a one-hour tour detailing points of interest throughout the Meyerson. Once a month, schedule permitting, a thirty-minute organ demonstration of the Lay Family Concert Organ is presented, followed by a tour of the Center.
Free one hour tours at 1 pm. Events hosted at the center are by admission only.
Downtown, 2301 Flora Street, 214-670-3600
Dallas Central Library
Read all about it at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. This public library includes one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1776 - also on permanent display, is William Shakespeare's First Folio of Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. The library's Children Center is one of the largest in the country.
Mon. - Thurs. 9 am - 9 pm
Fri. - Sat 9 am - 5 pm
Sun. 9 am - 1 pm
Downtown, 1515 Young Street, 214-670-1700
Spanish Art at the Meadows Museum
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University has the most comprehensive collection from the Spanish masters outside of Spain. There are also special exhibitions, a sculpture garden, and the tree-lined SMU campus is an eye-catcher itself. Call about special exhibits.
Free on Thursdays after 5 p.m.
Wed. - Fri. 11 am - 8 pm
Sat. - Sun. 11 am - 5 pm
5900 Bishop Blvd, 214-768-2516
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Take a walk through history and experience a dream that began more than three decades ago - when Mary Kay set out to build a company that would give women unlimited opportunities to achieve success in every aspect of their lives. During your visit, you'll relive the rich heritage of our Company and see how it progressed from a tiny storefront to the amazing success that it is today. Celebrate each step in the fulfillment of one woman's dream and the marvelous achievements of women who believe in it.
Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 9am-4:30 pm
16251 N. Dallas Parkway, 972-687-5720
Location, Location, Location
Dallas is home to some scenic and captivating, beautiful and breathtaking neighborhood communities. Walk, ride or drive around Turtle Creek and adjoining Highland Park, and don't miss the historic homes of Swiss Avenue (including the Wilson Block Historic District), Munger Place and other lovely locales! Featured: gorgeous parks, lakes and landscapes. Ask a native!
Dallas features more than 20,000 park acres including 18 lakes with 4,400 surface acres of water at 17 park sites and 17,196 acres of greenbelt/park land. To learn more about the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, call 214-670-4100 and be sure to ask about .The Ultimate Adventure. - a free booklet highlighting the details of all the leisure and recreational services Dallas offers.
Thanks-Giving Square - private, interfaith and educational - welcomes people of all nations, cultures and religious traditions. A unique chapel and museum honoring Thanksgiving - meditation garden, bells and fountains make this the "Home of American Thanksgiving."
Open: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Years Day.
Downtown, Pacific, Bryan and Ervay Streets, 214-969-1977
Free Admission Museums
Theeight museums of Fair Park offer an exceptional variety all in one location near Downtown. Admission is charged at some but quite a few are Free! Donations are accepted. Those that offer free admission:
- The African American Museum (exception - special exhibitions) 214-565-9026.
Tues. - Fri. noon - 5 pm
Sat. 10 am - 5 pm
Sun. 1 pm - 5 pm
- The Hall of State (exception - special exhibitions) 214-421-4500.
Mon - Sat 9 am - 5 pm
Sun 1 pm - 5 pm
City Hall of Fame
Dallas' City Hall is a site to see. Famed architect I.M. Pei designed the inverted wedge shaped building, one of the most distinctive structures in all of Dallas. The plaza is home to one of Henry Moore's largest bronze sculptures.
Downtown, 1500 Marilla Street, 214-670-3687
1A Retail Renaissance
The looking is free, but with more shopping centers per capita than any other major U.S. city, the buying may be hard to resist! Visit many of the cities fine centers and stores such as the renowned Galleria, modeled after Milan's fashion forward masterpiece; NorthPark Center, where you will enjoy over 235 world-class specialty stores; and Highland Park Village, the first planned shopping center in the United States.
- Allen Premium Outlets 972-678-7000
- Galleria 972-702-7100
- Grapevine Mills 972-724-4900
- Highland Park Village 214-521-0050
- Irving Mall 972-255-0571
- NorthPark Center 214-363-7441
- Stonebriar Center 972-668-6255
- Town East Mall 972-270-2363
- Valley View Center 972-661-2424
- Vista Ridge Mall 972-315-3641
Dallas Tourist Information Center
Relive the city's past with a visit to the Old Red Courthouse, site of the Dallas Tourist Information Center in the Downtown Historic District. The Center features touch screen information stations, Internet access stations, viewing room to see Dallas videos, and a full staff available every day of the week. Just around the corner you will find John Neely Bryan's Cabin, reconstructed home of Dallas. founder - just a stroll away, is the popular West End, Dealey Plaza and the DART Light Rail.
The Downtown Historic District is located in the block enclosed by Market, Elm, Commerce and Houston Streets, 24-Hour Hotline 214-571-1301
A Nation Remembers JFK
Dallas pays homage to one of its darkest times, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during his 1963 visit. Designed by Kennedy family friend, Philip Johnson, the John F. Kennedy Memorial is an open-roofed, concrete walled monument symbolic of an open tomb. It is not unusual to find flowers and notes placed here. Nearby, the infamous School Book Depository and Grassy Knoll have changed little since that devastating day in our Nation's history.
Downtown, Main and Houston Streets
Take to the water and leave your worries in your wake. Dallas offers many area lakes - 63 within a 100-mile radius. Dallas' largest and most popular lakes offer endless recreational opportunities including fishing, sailing and canoing, trails for hiking and biking, playgrounds and facilities for picnicking.
(Some parks charge a small entrance fee.) 214-670-4100
Of Dallas' many different parts, possibly none is quite so intriguing as Deep Ellum. This former industrial neighborhood and cradle of Dallas' jazz scene is now home to much of the city's avant-garde culture. Discover an eclectic variety of restaurants, nightclubs, galleries and shops.
Just east of Downtown, 214-747-DEEP
M-Line All Around
The historic M-Line Streetcar meets the modern new M-Line Trolley Bus to create the M-Line service. Ride the streetcar down McKinney Avenue connecting to the Trolley Bus to St. Paul and Ross, within walking distance of the Dallas Museum of Art. Ride down Main Street to the famous West End to have lunch, shop, or just browse the shops. Whatever your interest maybe the M-Line can get you there for free!
Mon - Fri 7 am - 10 pm
Sat - Sun 10 am - 10 pm
Service 7 days a week. Call for schedule, 214-855-0006
Farmers Branch Historical Park
The Farmers Branch Historical Park is home to several historic structures that range in time from the 1840's to the 1940's. Structures include log cabins, the oldest stone structure on its original foundation in North Texas, and a 1930's gas station. Tours free, interactive programs available.
Mon - Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Sat - Sun 12 pm - 6 pm
Call 972-406-0184 for information.
West End Story
What once was a warehouse and an old candy and cracker factory has been reborn into a tourist's delight. Downtown's West End Historic District, great for browsers, features over 50 specialty shops at the West End MarketPlace plus a variety of restaurants and clubs. Summertime nights in the MarketPlace are often filled with the sound of free concerts.
Downtown/Market and Munger Streets: 214-748-4801
West End Association Event Hotline: 214-741-7185
From the observation area known as Founders Plaza at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, you'll see some of the 2,300 daily takeoffs and landings from one of the world's busiest airports. Witness winged wonders in this area featuring 20 parking spaces, long-distance binoculars, graph board to help you identify the different aircraft, speaker system featuring audio straight from the Control Tower, plus four picnic areas.
Open daily - 6:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
2829 30th St. (Carbon Road) at DFW International Airport, 972-574-6000
Super Model Train
The U.S.' largest permanent model train display is in Dallas, and happily, it.s in the lobby of Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Eight trains run simultaneously at this free exhibit. Children's Medical Center has a small fee for parking.
1935 Motor Street, between Stemmons Fwy. and Harry Hines Blvd., 214-640-2000
A unique and special highlight of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department is Fantasy Landing, Dallas' first public playground where able-bodied children and those with disabilities can play together. The playground features 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 in Oak Cliff, 214-939-2746
Dallas Farmers Market
Seven days a week from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. (with the exception of special holidays), local farmers display and sell a mouth watering and eye pleasing selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and floral plants at the Dallas Farmers Market. A perfect place to leisurely stroll and take in the colorful, glorious sights at this open-air market.
Open Daily 7 am - 6 pm
1010 South Pearl Street, 214-939-2808
With teams in every major sports league, Dallas loves its hometown sports, and many Dallas Cowboys football, Texas Rangers baseball, Dallas Mavericks basketball, Dallas Stars hockey and Dallas Burn soccer games are televised. So cheer on your winning team at home, hotel or at one of Dallas' many Sports Bars.
- Dallas Cowboys 972-785-5000
- Dallas Stars 214-467-8277
- Dallas Mavericks 214-747-6287
- Texas Rangers 817-273-5100
- FC Dallas 214-979-0303
- Dallas Desperados 972-785-4900
Celebrate Good Times
Numerous festivals and parades are held each year in the great Dallas outdoors, and a good many are absolutely free. Many are holiday related, and nearly all have food, music, art and/or live entertainment. Use entertainment publications as your guide. (See "Want More")
Call the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau's 24-Hour Special Events Hotline at 214-571-1301, or visit Dallas on the World Wide Web at: www.visitdallas.com
Hiking, biking, walking or running - Dallas offers happy trails for you. The Dallas Parks & Recreation Department maintains a number of bike/hike trails such as the 9.33 mile trail at White Rock Lake, 8300 Garland Rd, which connects with the 7.3 mile trail at White Rock Creek Park.
Call 214-670-4100 to locate a trail or 214-670-4039 for bike route maps.
Dallas Symphony Summer Concerts
Dallas' outdoors beckons lovers of nature and music. During the Spring and early Summer months, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs in area parks and you can also hear "Jazz under the Stars" at the Dallas Museum of Art on Thursday evenings.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra: 214-692-0203
Dallas Museum of Art: 214-922-1200
Freedman's Cemetery Memorial
Located less than one mile north of Downtown Dallas, is Freedman's Cemetery, a pre-Civil War African-American burial ground in what was once the Freedman's Town Area - a small Dallas community formed by Blacks freed from slavery in the mid-1860s. This historic and state landmark memorial features larger-than-life-size figures cast in bronze by African American artist, David Newton.
North Central Expressway between Lemmon Avenue and Hall Street, 214-670-3284
Waters dance and leap skyward at Downtown's Fountain Place. At the base of this dramatically sculpted 1.2 million sq. ft. office tower of green reflective glass lies an oasis of colorful flowers, waterfalls, 172 bubbler fountains and central fountain. The latter is one of the world's most complex and consists of 360 computer driven water jets. Designed by the acclaimed architectural firm of I.M. Pei & Partners, Fountain Place has received international recognition.
Downtown, 1445 Ross Avenue at Field Street, 214-855-7766
Named after one of the foremost hand surgeons in the world, The Adrian E. Flatt, M.D. Hand Exhibit is an extraordinary private collection of over 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 - to name a few.
Mon - Fri 8 am - 9 pm
Baylor University Medical Center - Truett Building - 1st floor
3500 Gaston Ave., 214-820-6684
Discover how Dallas' outstanding shopping reputation began with the opening of Neiman Marcus in the early 1900's. Over 95 years later, the Flagship Neiman Marcus in Downtown Dallas remains a ready-to-wear couture legend. Store tours available by appointment only.
Neiman Marcus is Open: Mon. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Thurs. 10:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.
1618 Main Street, 214-741-6911
Lower Greenville Avenue
Greenville Avenue is one of the oldest entertainment areas in Dallas and is home to many boutique and eclectic shops as well as live entertainment clubs, great bars and restaurants. Greenville Avenue has one of the oldest bars in Dallas, the Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill, and hosts the ever popular Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Greenville Avenue between Mockingbird & Ross Avenue
Greenville Avenue Business Association 214-368-6722
Crow Collection of Asian Art
The Crow Collection of Asian Art contains more than 600 paintings, objects of metal and stone, and large architectural pieces from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Over 300 works are on display in the galleries including precious jade ornaments from China, delicate Japanese scrolls and a rarely seen 28-foot by 12-foot sandstone facade of an 18th century Indian residence.
Open: Tues. - Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursdays 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
2010 Flora Street, 214-979-6430
Dallas Nature Center
To nature, that is. Just a short drive from Downtown is the Dallas Nature Center - 633 acres of preserved wilderness and mesquite prairie, with 10 miles of hiking trails, native-plant nurseries, picnic area, nature programs and visitors center. Small donation is recommended.
7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, 972-296-1955
NorthPark Center - World-Class Art Collection and 1.4 Acre CenterPark
NorthPark Center is Dallas' premier shopping and dining favorite and a not-to-be missed destination for art enthusiasts. Ad Astra, 2005, by Mark di Suvero, Corridor Pin, Blue, 1999, by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, and 20 elements, 2005, by Joel Shapiro are the newest additions to the NorthPark Center Art Collection and carry on NorthPark's tradition of showcasing major works by world-renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist and 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 green expanses of lawn. For a schedule of events, visit northparkcenter.com.
Open 10 am to 9 pm Monday-Saturday and noon to 6 pm Sunday. Department store, restaurant, theatre, spa and holiday hours vary. North Central Expressway at Northwest Highway. Complimentary shuttle to/from Park Lane DART Light Rail Station. 214-363-7441.
It is no wonder The Guide Section of the Dallas Morning News votes the Galleria as "Best Place to People Watch" - or shall we say "Star Watch." Such well-known faces as: Janet Jackson, Oliver Stone, Kevin Costner and Tom Cruise have been seen touring the Galleria - to name a few! Ice skaters are also fun to watch on the indoor rink Olympians Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano and Scott Hamilton once performed on this glimmering ice. Rink open year-round.
LBJ at Dallas Parkway North, 972-702-7164
The Art of Sports
The Sports Legacy. The Gallery of Sports Art at Ameriquest Field in nearby Arlington is the nation's largest art gallery devoted to sports and features original art, limited edition lithographs and bronze statues representing a variety of sports including baseball, basketball, fishing, hunting and soccer. Children supervised by parents are welcome.
Open: Mon. - Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and on game nights open until the game is over.
1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, 817-461-1994
Hot Time Hotline
Get instant up-to-date information by calling The Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau's regularly updated Special Events Hotline. To access the 24-hour hotline in English or Spanish call: 214-571-1301.
Tap into Dallas
Pay a visit to Dallas, the internet way. For Dallas CVB information: www.visitdallas.com. For general Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex information: www.tourtexas.com/dfw. To order our FREE brochures, Click Here.
Pick Up On These
The Dallas Observer, and The Met, weekly entertainment publications, are available for free at hundreds of area retailers. Each month find a myriad of fun activities for children and families in Dallas Child Magazine, also available throughout the city.
More Free Discoveries?
This list is by no means complete. Do you have a special cost-free treat we might add to our list? We'd love to hear from you; mail your idea to the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Communications Division at the address below.