I grew up in a small town of around 11,000 people at the time. Moving to Texas was a bit of culture shock for me. The cities here are so much larger than anything Ohio has so I was more than a bit out of my element. Over the years, I have learned to love living in a larger area. I don’t want to be right in the city, but I don’t want to be so far I can’t get there if I need to either. Dallas has become one of my favorite places to be. Why, you ask? Because there are so many budget friendly things to do in Dallas Texas that I could never list them all!
Whether you’re looking to add a bit of culture to your day or you’re looking for family friendly things to do in Dallas, these ideas are perfect for you and your family. If you’re a homeschooling family, you could easily make these a great homeschool field trip idea. If you’re just looking for a fun day out with the family, these will work great for that as well!
Budget Friendly Things to Do in Dallas, Texas
One of the best ways to save on Dallas attractions is by using the Dallas CityPASS. If you’re not familiar with CityPASS, it is an amazing savings program that allows you to pay one price for admission to several attractions. When you buy the Dallas CityPASS, you’ll save 38% on admission to four different attractions. We have included the four attractions here in our list of budget friendly things to do in Dallas since the savings with CityPASS makes them extremely budget friendly.
Plus, when you buy a Dallas CityPASS, your tickets are good for 9 days from the day you use the first one. This means you won’t have to rush through to see the attractions you want! You can check out the Dallas CityPASS HERE on the CityPass website.
Family Friendly Things to Do in Dallas Texas
If you are flying into Dallas, be sure to check Airfare Watchdog right HERE before you book your flights. I always do and they typically help me save money on airfare by quite a bit.
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas is full of museums and the majority of them have free or cheap admission. The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest in the country, which makes it a must see attraction in Dallas. Most days, general admission is free – special exhibits excepted – which makes it an extremely budget friendly thing to do in Dallas.
Sixth Floor Museum
History buffs will love visiting the Six Floor Museum. The museum is held on the sixth floor of the old Dallas Book Depository building and is where Oswald shot Kennedy. The museum includes guided or non-guided audio tours and costs less than $15.00 per adult. It is almost always busy so it can help to buy your tickets online. The Sixth Floor Museum is included in the Dallas CityPASS attractions which means you can buy your CityPASS and skip the lines as well!
Forest Park Miniature Railroad
Since 1959, the Forest Park Miniature Railroad in Ft. Worth has offered this 40-minute train ride for under $5.00 per person. The train covers over 5-miles of terrain and crosses six bridges with one of them being 350 feet high! This is one of my favorite things for families to do in Dallas. I haven’t met a child yet who doesn’t love a train!
Chestnut Square Historic Village
Our family are all very big into historical sites so this is one of my top budget friendly things to do in Dallas. It is pure history and that doesn’t get much better for us. If you love history as much as us, head over to the Chestnut Square Historic Village and step back in time to the 1850’s! There are seven historic building and houses with free tours given weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 11:00 am. Each tour lasts about an hour. Want something a bit more daring? Ask about their ghost tours!
Free Things to Do in Dallas
Walk with Dinosaurs
Most kids love dinosaurs so while you’re visiting Dallas, make sure you don’t miss the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. They have several actual dinosaur skeletons on display! These are the real fossils, not casts or molds of original making them even cooler! Not only that, but they also have a hands on dinosaur dig for kids, a 5-foot gem, an earthquake experience and so much more!
Grapevine Botanical Gardens
Dallas is filled with beautiful botanical gardens and one of the most beautiful is the Grapevine Botanical Gardens. Admission is totally free all year long! If you prefer to tour the gardens by yourself, you are more than welcome to do that. If, however, you prefer a tour with a garden docent, simply call ahead before you go.
Ft. Worth Stockyards National Historic District
You can not visit the DFW area without taking in this budget friendly Dallas attraction! While you’re visiting, grab the family and mosey on over to the Ft. Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District. Twice a day they hold a true Texan cattle drive that showcases the western heritage that Texas was built on. You will also want to stop by the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze. For $5.00 per person, you can even see how you do in a friendly competition of maze running. Be sure to check their website before you visit too because they offer other events too such as a Wild West show occasionally too!
Things to Do in Dallas Texas
Cedar Ridge Preserve
The Cedar Ridge Preserve – otherwise known as the Dallas Nature Center – is a great place to escape into nature. Spread over 633 acres of natural habitat it has a beautiful butterfly garden, native plant garden and over 10 miles of hiking trails. On this list of budget friendly things to do in Dallas, it is the one that is perfect for a budget date idea anytime of the year.
Dallas Theater Center
When you’re visiting Dallas, hover to the Dallas Theater Center if you’re in the mood for the theater. You can watch a world class play for as little as $1.00 per ticket! The DTC runs a “pay what you can” program that allows patrons to pay whatever they can afford to see specific plays they are showing. There is a limit of 4 tickets per person. Pay what you can tickets must be purchased on the DTC website. If you show up for your play early, you’ll also receive a free informative meeting on how to enhance your play-watching experience. If you stay after the show you’ll get a quick rundown with the show’s cast and more! If you are not watching a pay what you can play, be sure to check the Groupon website to see if there are discounted tickets available.
Dallas Area Festivals
The DFW area is huge and is full of amazing festivals that happen all year long. These festivals are some of my favorite things to do in Dallas for a reason! They’re all super fun, usually family friendly and there is no need to spend a dime unless you want to! To find a few local festivals near where you will be visiting, simply do a google search for the name of the city you will be in combined with the word festival.
Dallas CityPASS Locations
Reunion Tower Geo-Deck
When you’re trying to figure out what to do in Dallas this weekend, take a look at visiting the Reunion Tower Geo-Deck! It’s the perfect way to see Dallas from the sky! On a clear day, you can use their free high definition telescopes to see as much as 32 miles away! That is all the way to Ft. Worth! Once you’ve had your fill of looking outward, use the “Halo” to create your own light show! Reunion Tower is also a CityPass location. When you purchase the Dallas CityPass, you can also spend an extra $5.00 to upgrade to an extra visit to Reunion Tower.
George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum
If you like museums, you will love visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum. Learn the history of our 43rd president, from his birth to his road to the White House, his time leading the country, and where he is now. There is a nice section on 9/11 and even a replica Oval Office for you to experience. Like many of the budget friendly things to do in Dallas on our list, the George W. Bush Presidential Library is a Dallas CityPASS attraction.
Take a break from the city and head to the Dallas Zoo. See their elephant heard, take the Giants of the Savanah safari and more. Again, the Dallas Zoo is a CityPASS location so if you’re looking to save money on your admission, be sure to buy your Dallas CityPASS before you go.
Dallas Arboretum and Gardens
For those looking to get outside with nature a bit but don’t want to leave the city, taking the time to visit the Dallas Arboretum and Gardens is just the There are 19 different gardens to visit as well as different festivals and events throughout the year. For rose lovers, the Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden has over 200 Hybrid Tea Roses with more than 16 different varieties!
Dallas Trolley Tour
Sightseeing can be exhausting which makes one of our favorite budget friendly things to in Dallas is to take a trolley tour! Most trolley tours, such as what Dallas Super Tours offers, are hop on, hop off tours that stop at all major Dallas attractions. Pricing varies for each tour company so you’ll want to do you research so you stay within your travel budget. The trolleys can also be a great way to get out of the heat for a little while if you’re visiting Dallas in the summer.