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The Dallas/Fort Worth area is FULL of fun activities, whether you are traveling solo or with a large group. Luckily, many of those activities are absolutely free! Since Dallas and Fort Worth are only about 30 minutes apart, you can easily fit in several activities from both. Each city has its own unique feel, and you really should experience both while in the area. Here are a few of my favorite free things to do in Dallas/Fort Worth!
Pssst… if you have a little bit of money to spend when visiting, you could also consider taking a day trip from Dallas to San Antonio for an affordable rate!
Here are the best free things to do in the Dallas and Fort Worth area!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Where to Stay in Dallas
Don’t forget to book your Dallas hotel! Here are some great places to stay in Dallas and the surrounding area.
Free Things To Do In Dallas
Ronald Kirk Bridge
The Ronald Kirk Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that runs parallel to the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge (the cool white twisty bridge). You can walk from downtown Dallas to the Trinity Groves area (which has tons of restaurants).
On the bridge itself, there are many spots to relax, places for kids to play, and it’s the perfect place to get some awesome picture of the Dallas skyline.
Under the bridge is a walking trail & park that run alongside the river. Tip – there isn’t much shade available, so be prepared.
Occasionally, there are special activities on the bridge for kids. Check the website under “Things To Do” to see the schedule of events.
The M-Line Trolley is also known as the McKinney Avenue Trolley. This trolley system is a great way to get around in Dallas. These historic streetcars run all around Uptown, the art district, and downtown Dallas. The trolley runs every day, all year long!
There are 42 stops you can choose from or you can ride the entire route (about 45 minutes round trip).
Klyde Warren Park
Get outside in the big city at Klyde Warren Park (one of the stops on the M-Line Trolley). This unique city park is 5-acres and is placed OVER the freeway!
There is plenty of open lawn space perfect for picnics. The park is typically surrounded by a bunch of food trucks as well. There are plenty of places for kids to play, including the Children’s Park.
The park also hosts a number of events and activities including free exercise classes (registration required), evening movies in the park, and much more!
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is free and is one of the largest museums in America. While the majority of the museum is free, some exhibits cost to enter. The art ranges from 5,000 years ago up to modern day.
Plan to spend several hours to really take it all in and enjoy everything this museum has to offer, and don’t forget to check out the Sculpture Garden outside.
The Katy Trail is a great way to get in a bit of exercise while enjoying the outdoors. You are welcome to walk, run, bike, or skate. Dogs on leash are welcomed as well.
The trail offers a unique mix of city and nature. There are several parks, shops, and restaurants just off the trail. The trail is 3.5 miles out and back. It is easiest to park at Riverchon Park then walk the ramp-up to the trail.
The trail has a paved portion and a new cushioned path specifically for walkers. Please note: This trail is extremely popular on the weekends.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
While you will have to pay to enter The Sixth Floor Museum, the memorial is free in John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. The memorial is simple, yet powerful and was intended as a place for remembrance and reflection. The open tomb design is a symbol of John F. Kennedy’s free spirit.
Free Things To Do In Fort Worth
Stockyards Daily Cattle Drive (aka Fort Worth Herd)
You can’t visit Texas without seeing some longhorn cattle. Every day (with just a few exceptions) at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm, the trail boss and his cowhands (yes, actual cowboys – complete with horses, chaps & the like) herd the longhorns down East Exchange Avenue.
The cowhands are available before and after to answer questions, and the longhorn cattle can be viewed before and after in the pens behind the Livestock Exchange Building.
The Stockyards will take you back in time to the Wild West. The area is great for just taking some time to stroll around. There are tons of restaurants, bars, and all the Texas or western-themed souvenirs you could ever ask for! You definitely won’t want to miss the Stockyards Daily Cattle Drive!
Fort Worth Water Gardens
The Fort Worth Water Gardens are a unique & beautiful water feature with a modern flare located in downtown Fort Worth. There are three “pools” to enjoy: The Aerating pool, the Quiet pool, and the Active pool. If you love the sound of water, you must check it out!
Please note: Although the area is full of “steps,” climbing is not allowed. Swimming is also prohibited. The Water Gardens are a visual and auditory treat only.
Open to visitors from 7:00am – 11:30pm. At night, the fountains are lit and lovely!
Bureau of Engraving & Printing
Want to see money being made? Stand on a walkway that overlooks the production floor. Over half of all U.S. currency is printed at this location. The tour is self-guided, but there is also an interesting & informative film.
There are displays that will walk you through currency history and you can learn more about the intricate process they use when designing bills and coins. There are also many interactive exhibits to enjoy. And of course, you’ll probably want to visit the gift shop for some unique souvenirs!
The Bureau of Engraving & Printing is one of the best free things to do in Fort Worth!
Free Things To Do Around The Dallas/Fort Worth Area:
North Shore Trail – Flower Mound
If you’d like to do some hiking through the woods, it’s hard to find a better trail in North Texas than North Shore Trail. There are several places you can park and enter the trail for a fee, but Murrell Park is free. The trail is a total of 18 miles, but you can just start and then turn around at any point. It winds around the north shore of Grapevine Lake and through the woods. The trail difficulty is rated as moderate.
This trail is popular with mountain bikers, so if you are on foot, just be aware. As bikers approach, they will typically call out “on your left,” so just scoot to the right and that will be able to pass. There is not a lot of elevation change in the area, but this trail will give you more ups and downs than most other trails in the area. Also, most of it is shaded, so it’s a great way to spend the day!
DFW Founder’s Plaza – Grapevine
This is a great spot next to DFW international Airport to sit and watch airplanes take off and land. Kids, especially, love this experience! There is a free parking lot very conveniently located right next to the Plaza, picnic tables, telescopes, and you can hear air traffic control on the radio!
Murals – all over DFW
There are many gorgeous murals all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Some are perfect for that Instagram photo & some stand on their own.
They can be found around downtown Fort Worth, all around the Deep Ellum area of Dallas, and in several of the suburbs in the surrounding areas. Here are just a few of my favorites!
– Colorful boxes wall (great for posing in front of)
– A Space To Be Yourself (great for posing)
– The Yellow Wall (just a bright yellow wall – great for posing)
– Inspiration Alley (a collection of fun & funky murals)
With so many options of free things to do in Dallas/Fort Worth, you are sure to stay busy and have a great (budget-friendly) time. If you are looking for a place to stay in the area, be sure to check out Top 10 Family Friendly Airbnbs in Dallas. Looking for a great place to eat in the area? Check out Grapevine, Texas – The BEST Places To Eat.
Meet The Author: Jody
Jody is a happily married mom of one awesome 12-year-old. She was born and raised in Texas and has lived in the Dallas area for the last 14 years. After growing up in a small town, she loves all this metropolitan area has to offer. Going on vacations with her family is her favorite way to spend her downtime. On her blog, My Travel Obsession, Jody shares her passion for family travel by providing time-saving vacation planning tips & tools, family travel hacks, itineraries, and more.