31 Fun Things to Do in Dallas, Texas

This is not just any ordinary Top Ten list of  things to do in Dallas. First of all, we include 31 things to do, one for every day of the month. Secondly, we painstakingly put these recommendations through the ringer, and this list highlights all the good stuff that squeezed out on the other side. You'll often find lists of what to do in Dallas categorized by month or by season.  This list required a tad more research and followed strict criteria. Most of the things to do in Dallas listed below are a) strictly in Dallas b) FREE or cost less than $50 c) year-round or available most of the year.  In line with the theme of this website, many of these are arts-oriented and encourage patronizing local businesses. Most are are suitable activities with kids or as a couple.

1. Go on an Uptown Food Tour - Enjoy local food, and a VIP rate (promo: DALLAS), while soaking up Dallas history on a five-star rated food tasting walking tour. Foods Tours of America gives you an insiders' view into Dallas' trendy Uptown neighborhood, while you experience generous food tastings from casual restaurants. All tours are fully-narrated and led by expert guides. This is Dallas' best, and only, year-round foodie tour.  All food is included, with alcohol upgrades available. ***Use the promo code DALLAS when you sign-up to get our VIP rate.*** Schedule your tour here.  Cost: from $49

2. Take the Trolley Tour - The M-Line's air-conditioned and heated trolleys run 365 days a year, providing local transit service to Dallas' vibrant Uptown Neighborhood. All rides, except charters, are free. There is a voluntary fare box, and I'm sure contributions are welcomed. Mr. Rogers and San Francisco don't get to have all the fun. Get the trolley schedule. Cost: Free (donations accepted)

3. Digitally Tee Off - This isn't your grandpa's driving range. Top Golf  is a revolutionary sports entertainment complex combining games with great food and an environment you can enjoy year-round with friends and family of all skill levels. Top Golf features computerized microchips in every golf ball that track your shots’ accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets ranging from 20 - 250 yards away. The food isn't half bad either. Find your inner digital caddy shack. Cost: $3.80 a game 9am-3pm, $5.80 a game 3pm-close

4. Attend a Burlesque Show - at the Lakewood Theater. The theater’s  opening-day event in October 1938 started with "Love Finds Andy Hardy" with the irrepressible Mickey Rooney and the fast-rising singing sensation Judy Garland.  Over the last 60+ years the Lakewood Theater has stood as a beacon -- both literally and figuratively -- in the East Dallas landscape. Get the latest show info at The Lakewood Theater's website. Cost: Varies, Free - $15 avg. per ticket

5. Eat your way through the Farmer's Market - The Dallas Farmers Market has been a fixture in downtown Dallas for six decades. It has grown into a true Texas treasure as one of the largest public markets of its type in the country. Often you can make a meal out of all the free samples. Support your local growers. Cost: Free

6. Join Free Spirited Yogis -  There are several yoga classes and dojos that provide instruction on ancient ways to de-stress, release pent-up energy, as well as opportunities to meet others. Karmany is a completely free Dallas yoga house (except for donations)! Dirt Cheap Yoga, and Sunstone are inexpensive, with package deals for first-time yogis. Cost: Free (donations accepted) & $10-a-day packages

7. Bike on the Katie Trail - Rent a bike for free on Thursdays after 7:00pm at Fleetwood KitKat's near SMU, the only self-proclaimed Dallas Cruiser Bike Boutique. The Katy Trail is a 12-foot-wide concrete bike trail and an 8-foot-wide parallel, soft-surface running path, with several entrances and plazas linking the Trail to other area parks. It extends 3.5 miles from Airline Road to the American Airlines Center. Once completed, the bike and pedestrian path will link the Mockingbird DART station near SMU to the West End in downtown Dallas.  Take a joy ride on the Katy Trail.Cost: Free


8. Be a Conspiracy Theorist - Since 1989, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza has welcomed more than 6 million visitors from around the world—people of all ages seeking information and understanding about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Did you know that the infamous window from which Oswald shot Kennedy sold on eBay for more than a million dollars? I've heard that the "X" on the street moves every year. How's that for a conspiracy? Check out the plaza and the museum and judge for yourself. Cost: $13.50 per person

9. Admire the Dallas Skyline – The Belmont Hotel, Bryan Street Tavern, The Whiskey Bar, The W, and many other city-side locations have the best views of the Dallas skyline. Take a date, and you'll be sure to impress. Cost: Free

10. Go Mural & Statue Gazing - Deep Ellum is a hotbed for graffiti. Many of the music venues use graffiti artists to advertise music shows. In the late 1980s, the city allowed a number of local artists to paint the walls of the Good Latimer Expressway tunnel.  The tunnel was demolished in spring 2007 to make way for the DART Green Line train. Since then, more projects have been developed to restore the area’s longstanding artistic legacy such as the Traveling Man series (pictured above). Read more about the new murals or go to Deep Ellum and see them for yourself. Cost: Free

11. Commune with Dog Lovers - Check out Deep Ellum’s Bark Park or Unleashed, the indoor dog park, and meet other dog lovers. Some dog parks are more popular than others, but they can be found  all over the city. These places are ideal for  meeting like-minded  people who share your love for furry friends. Cost: Free, and $7.50 a dog

12. Jam out to Jazz & Blues - Oak Cliff is the home of the late blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughn, and it wouldn't be right not to mention getting your fill of blues as something to do in Dallas. Amsterdam Bar on Tuesdays, The Goat on Mondays, and Brooklyn's have blues bands or open mic opportunities nearly every night. Check out these weekly Dallas Blues listings. Cost: Mostly Free (cover varies)

13. Partition a patio - The Gingerman, Idle Rich, Amsterdam Bar, Lee Harvey's, Bryan Street Tavern. Align your quest for the perfect patio with the  Happy Hours in Dallas. Here are 15 more great Dallas patio places, according to D Magazine. Cost: Free


14. Catch an Indie Show at Good Records - This local indie music store has withstood the test of time and the advent of MP3s. Apparently people still like physical CDs, box sets,  and vinyl.  Speaking to the owner, I found out that they had their best year to date in sales in their nine years of existence. See their upcoming in-store concerts. Cost: Free

15. Appreciate art at Nasher Sculpture Center - The birth and growth of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection started more than fifty years ago. In 1950, Raymond and Patsy traveled to Mexico, where they became interested in pre-Columbian art and bought the first works in what would become a sizable collection of objects from ancient Latin America. Old classic movies based on American novels are regularly shown at the Center on Thursday nights. Free. For more info, check out their schedulesCost: Regularly $10, Movie nights are free

16. Be a Dallas Hipster - Try on vintage clothes at the Buffalo Exchange, Dolly Python, House of Dang, and Emeralds to Coconuts. Cost: Free to browse

17. Get a Bird's Eye View of the City - Reunion Tower, or the "Big Ball," is synonymous with the Dallas skyline, appearing on tee shirts, coffee cups, and shot glasses. It offers a view from 500 feet above the ground. There is a restaurant at the top, but you don't have to eat dinner.  Just have a Shirley Temple at the bar and enjoy the view. Cost: Free

18. Acquire Bow Hunting Skills - Texins* Archery Club (*correct spelling) offers group lessons and yearly memberships to their archery range. They'll hook you up with a compound bow or, if you're feeling medieval, a classic straight bow. Classes are held each Wednesday 6-7pm (except holidays), no reservations needed for groups under 10 people, minimum age 8 years. Go Robin Hood. Cost: $10 for gen. public, $5 for members

19. Plan a Picnic at the Arboretum -  Created in the 1930s and incorporated as a nonprofit in 1987, this nationally recognized 66-acre garden of mass proportion offers classes on home floral, horticulture and other educational opportunities for seniors, adults, and children.   You can attend a class held monthly or just observe and enjoy the gardens by taking a picnic lunch surrounded by the natural beauty of nature. Get more info. Cost: $10 for adults

20. Be a Swinger - Dallas Swing Dallas Society maintains a calendar of swing dance lessons they teach around the city: the Sons of Herman Hall, ACME Swing Company, Southside. Put on your zoot suit. Cost: $5

21. People Watch - See the flamboyant and stylish on Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn, the beautiful and rich in West Village, and the artistic and hip in Deep Ellum and Exposition Park. Cost: Free


22. Play at White Rock Lake - Run, bike, sail, drive around and look at houses-- you won't get escorted out like you would in Highland Village. Learn more history and what White Rock Lake has to offer. Cost: Free

23. Attend Late Nights at the DMA- On the third Friday of each month, the Dallas Museum of Art remains open until midnight. Each Late Night offers hundreds of experiences for visitors of all ages, with performances, concerts, readings, film screenings, tours, family programs, and more. Get the latest lineup. Cost: $10

24. Hang with World Travelers - Every Tuesday night a group of world travelers who travel through an exchange program meet on the back patio of Amsterdam Bar in Exposition Park. Join this Dallas sub-community after signing up for an account on CouchSurfing.org. Hang out with this group of bohemian travelers and hear a lot of interesting stories. Cost: Free

25. Feel nostalgic at the Majestic Theater - Located on the edge of downtown Dallas, The Majestic Theater is convenient to downtown hotels and entertainment areas. The 1704-seat theater opened in April 1921 during the Vaudeville era and hosted a variety of acts from Houdini to Mae West and Bob Hope.  In 2009 there are still regular musical productions, dramatic plays, national pageants, dances and concerts. Get the latest events & shows coming to  The Majestic Theater. Cost: Varies, Free - $30 avg. per ticket

26. Go Ice Skating-  at the Galleria. I'm tempted to mention several other places you can ice skate, but they are not in Dallas proper. Cost: $7.50 a person for groups of 10-25 skaters

27. Attend a Town Hall Meeting - Be politically active locally. This is not on the top of my list of things to do in Dallas, but many local folks people are interested in Dallas politics.  Do your civic duty by representing your area. Cost: Free

28. Take a hike at the Trinity River - The brand new Trinity River Audubon Center offers outdoor fun like camping, paddling, archery, fishing, nature photography, birding, nature journaling, classes and more.  Classes are held one Saturday of each month.  Located by the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest, it is the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States.  The land supports a diverse community of plant and animal species and contains a unique mixture of bottomland hardwoods, wetlands and grasslands. Third Thursday of each month are free. Get back to nature. Cost: $4 -6, group rates & tours available

29. Work or Surf Online Remotely - Check out the top ten best free wifi spots in Dallas, and take a day out of the office. Cost: Free

30. Rock an '80s Roller Rink - Bring back the nostalgia of hair bands blaring on the juke box while circling the rink. Take a group or your family to White Rock Skate Center. Cost: $5.50 afternoons, $7.50 evenings

31. Play 2ft Jenga -  Barcadia on Henderson has several nostalgic videos games as well as ski ball, all for 50 cents a game. They also have three or four sets of homespun Jenga style games made from two-by-fours. Find out the drink specials at Barcadia. Cost: Free

After the success of this article published Jan. 15th, 2010 (219,204 views), I decided to add more fun things to do in Dallas. Here are some bonus activities added April 1st, 2014.

32. Join the YapClub -  What does YAP stand for? Young Active Professionals. With its beginnings in Dallas, this website for young professionals in their 20s, 30s & early 40s is run by volunteers from all over the U.S. and features monthly events, nightlife and entertainment, with regular local events and travel vacations for members. Sign up and see the latest events in Dallas on their community website YapClub.comCost: Free to join

33.  Go Ape at the Dallas Zoo -Why go to Fort Worth, when the Dallas Zoo is located 3 miles south of Downtown Dallas by Oak Cliff ? The zoo was originally founded in 1888 and now covers 106 acres , making it the largest zoological park in Texas (bigger than Fort Worth's Zoo). The Dallas Zoo is home to 406 species and 1,800 animals (6,800 counting invertebrates). There are another 375 species of marine and freshwater animals in The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park, which it also manages. Check out their latest attractions. Cost: $1-12 depending on the day or event.

The Dallas Zoo 51 Fun Things to do in Dallas Texas34. Tour Oak Cliff - The Bishop Arts District, Davis Street Corridor, The Tyler Davis Art District, food, culture, quirky bike riders. Get the Insider's Guide to Dallas's Oak Cliff. Cost: Free

35. Become a Cinefile - See an independent or foreign movie at The Magnolia, Angelika Film Center or Inwood Theater. Cost: $10 - 12

36.  Enjoy the Museums at Fair Park -  African American Museum, Museum of American Railroad, Museum of Nature and Science, The Women's Museum Cost: Donations

 

37.  Grow Your Own Produce - Plant your own eats at one of Dallas's community gardens: Kalachandji's, Oak Cliff Community Gardens, here's a list to reference. Cost: Call for details.

 

38. Tour the Design District - Shop in the antique junkyards.  Check out LowerOakLawn.com for all things Dallas Design District including gallery openings, showcases, and events. Cost: Free

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44 Responses to “31 Fun Things to Do in Dallas, Texas”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post...

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by iliveindallas: 31 Fun Things to Do in Dallas http://bit.ly/6gx4Wc...

  2. This is an awesome post, thank you!! Always looking for new fun, low-cost or free things to do in Dallas. The only thing I would add is the Cedar Ridge Preserve, but it's about 15 minutes outside Dallas off 67. It's AMAZING. It has all levels of hiking trails (with actual hills!), a butterfly garden where you can just sit and enjoy nature, huge tall trees, and a scenic overlook of Joe Pool Lake. When I discovered it, I couldn't believe how long I'd lived here now knowing about such a gem. The trails are completely mulched and wooded with tons of wildlife. It's lovely.

    1. Thanks Christine. I will check out the Cedar Ridge Preserve. It sounds amazing.

  3. Good Records has given me the opportunity to expose my tweenager to the greatest indie music live for free. We always hit thier shows when we can and bring lots of friends. I don't know what Dallas would do without this institution! Thanks Good Records!

    1. Opalina - I'm very happy for Good Records' success. It gives me more faith in humanity. : )

  4. Great list!

    I do have one small correction. Karmany isn't completely free, it's donation based. The teachers make a percentage of what the students pay each class, the rest goes to maintaining the space. They are flexible with the donation amount, and it's still an amazing deal. I love their space, location and especially their teachers!

    1. Thanks Mandy. Correction noted and updated.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Suhd.com Downloads, Jonathan D. Blundell, Dani Shaw, Neil Lemons, Neil Lemons and others. Neil Lemons said: RT @danishaw RT @iliveindallas: 31 Fun Things to Do in #Dallas http://bit.ly/6gx4Wc [...]

  6. [...] 31 Things to Do in Dallas – helpful to have in your back pocket, no? [...]

  7. [...] the whole article and get 29 More Free Things to Do in Dallas. January 15, 2010 Post Under Dallas, Things to Do - Read [...]

  8. I love the postings that are not your typical, find in the yellow pages sites. You mention the best kept secrets in dallas which makes it unique to each person reading. Thanks for posting!

  9. Thanks Debbie - I tried to find some real jewels and just the typical ones you may see.

  10. [...] Blog Posts 31 Free Things to Do in Dallas Posted in Texas Travel, couchsurfing | Leave a [...]

  11. What a GREAT list of fun/free things to do in Dallas! As a Native Dallasite, here are a few of my favorite things to do in Dallas (although some cost more than $15):

    * Make wine at Swirll in Downtown Dallas
    * Tour the Mozzarella Cheese Factory in Deep Ellum
    * Experience Wine & Chocolate Parings at Chocolate Secrets
    * Catch a Flick at the Inwood Theatre, Magnolia or Angelica
    * Check out Events at the Winspear Opera House
    * Take a Cooking Class at Central Market
    * Movies on the roof in the Summer at SoCo Lofts

    Maybe you need to do a new list of things to do in Dallas Under $100? =)

    1. Great stuff! I'll start working on this list of things to do in Dallas under $100. There are several I left off just because they cost more than $15 or could not be done year-round. Thanks for the tips. I'll let you know when the next article comes out.

  12. Thanks Neil for the great list of things to do in dallas. As a recent newbie to this great city, I plan on putting several of your top things to do in dallas under $15 on my list. :)

    1. Thanks Alisha. As a newbie to the city of Dallas, what other types of articles would you be interested in reading?

  13. Not to get off topic again but visiting Joe Pool Lake is a real nice escape from the city (and again sorry since the post is about Dallas proper). The preserve Christine mentioned is just one a number of interesting natural areas around and near the lake. There is a state park, city parks and a few conservation organization properties.

    Regardless of that - thanks for the great list of Dallas things-to-do. Makes me want to make some plans for next weekend!

  14. David -

    Do you have an in-depth knowledge of the different reserves? Depending on the interest-level of ILiveinDallas.com's audience, a nature-based article detailing all the preserves, parks, and the like in and around Dallas might be of value. Contact Jennifer or I with an outline and synopsis if you'd like to write an article. That goes for anyone reading this comment. If you have a unique idea for an article in theme with the idea of this website, and has not been published online anywhere, contact Jennifer about guest posting. Get exposure for your ideas. Whether it be fun things to do in Dallas, art or culture-related, or something which has not been covered.

    Neil

  15. [...] also many Fun things to do in Dallas that I’d like to check out.  Many are free, or close to it!  Wanna [...]

  16. Thanks for mentioning the Dirt Cheap Yoga, Neil! You've certainly done your research... Who knew there was an archery club in town? Hello - Zombie Team skills. ;)

    1. You're welcome Gina, I'm honored to be commenting with the Founder of Dirt Cheap Yoga! I used to work with Alice Noyes, who used to talk about it and may have even been an instructor. I think it's an awesome idea and makes yoga accessible to everyone. Thank you for your kind words, and you should definitely check out the archery club. PS, I just followed you on Twitter.

  17. There is actually a second ice skating rink within Dallas - downtown even!

    Plaza of the Americas:http://www.icesk8aig.com/

    1. Thanks Brian. Is it year-round?

  18. Awesome list - thanks so much. In about a month I'm taking my first trip to Dallas (from Canada) - and it'll be my first time ever to Texas too! Anything I absolutely shouldn't miss? Thanks again!

    1. Welcome Rebeccah! We'll be glad to host you in our city. Keep an eye on this site for any actual events coming closer to that date. Also, another popular attraction is Southfork Ranch. It cost a little more than $15 and is not actually IN Dallas, which is why it wasn't listed.

      This is where they filmed a majority of the scenes of the hit TV show from the late 80s to early 90s titled Dallas. Let me know if you any other questions.

  19. it costs like five bucks to go up in the ball

    1. Everything here is under $15, not free. If you go up during HH you can go for free.

  20. Great list! Thanks for sharing! If anyone wants to enjoy a great cup of coffee or a good meal AND help out local Dallas charities, check out Global Peace Factory. We are dedicated to making a difference in the world. With every cup of coffee, or every meal that we serve we donate a percentage of every sale to a local charity.

  21. dude that is awsome i can't wait to go.

  22. Extraordinary ! It is alwaystotally beneficial, thank you so much.

  23. Sorry to break it to yas, but the Reunion Tower is far from free. First, you have to pay to park: $10 valet on site, or $5 nearby. The cheapest parking is by the Book Repository ($4 all day), a six minute walk. But what the valet told me, is that Wolfgang Puck closed the observatory deck when they took over the area, so you can only go up if you're buying some of their ridiculously overpriced food ($96 steak? Get real, not even Kobe beef is that good).

  24. I thought the ball was closed to the public

    1. Nope! It was for a about a year, but it's not anymore.

    2. See the reply below to Deb.

  25. The Reunion Tower observation deck is closed btw :)

    1. I appreciate the correction. You mean Wolfgang Puck's restaurant? I never said anything about the observation tower. Just go to the restaurant and have a Shirley Temple, as it said in the list. This article was written a year and half ago, but I was there a month ago. Check it out for yourself. It's still one of the great things to do in Dallas. Also, if you're willing to spend a little bit, they have great sushi. Wolfgang's is definitely open. I plan on updating this article very soon and I will clarify. I do remember the observation deck when I was five and I don't doubt you're correct about that.

  26. Such a great post! I love it and will promptly re-post it too:) Plus, love the photo of the Traveling Man; I'm totally steeling it! My friend Brad Oldham made this project happen, so it's extra fun for me!

  27. You can ride DART trains all over Dallas all day long for $4 including getting off and on at as many stations as you want. Its a good way to explore the city

  28. This is a cool and awesome read. The blog is published in such a way that it is so easily readable and understand. I AM a lover of your blog. Thank you giving this info.

  29. I'm totally steeling it! My friend Brad Oldham made this project happen, so it's extra fun for me!

  30. This site has made my life SO much easier when it comes to finding fun activities. Thanks, Neil!

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