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PSJD: A NALP Initiative

Having Fun on the Cheap - Dallas

Use PSJD's "Having Fun on the Cheap" pages, which are compiled by locals, to learn how to stretch your paycheck and maximize your fun while completing an internship or working in a big city. Contact us at if you have resources to contribute. Thanks.

Free Things to Do:Licensed under Creative Commons by Driss & Marionn.

  • Visit The Dallas Arts District: The Dallas Arts District is the largest arts district in the nation, spanning 68 acres and 19 continuous blocks. The district is home to a variety of festivals, performances, museums and local arts organizations. A 90-minute architecture walking tour is led by a trained tour guide and will examine buildings from the 1890’s to the present day.

  • Go For an Art Walk: Discover fabulous art in Dallas by taking a self-guided tour with Public ArtWalk Dallas. The 3.3-mile journey through downtown highlights city favorites like the floating sculpture at Dallas City Hall, Fountain Place and the spiral-shaped tower at Thanks-Giving Square.

  • Visit The Dallas Museum of Art: The Dallas Museum of Art has a stunning collection with more than 22,000 pieces. The DMA also has a Paintings Conservation Studio, where visitors can watch conservators preserve and restore the museum’s extensive collection with the latest technology, treatments and cutting-edge techniques. The museum currently offers free general admission and includes the DMA collections and most exhibitions.

  • Enjoy history with Samurai masterpieces: The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection brings ten centuries of craftsmanship as one of the world’s only museums directed to samurai art with suits of armor, helmets, masks, and weaponry. What makes this fine collection of Japanese armor a Dallas must-see if its location of the museums sitting in a historic 1920s elementary school building, now transformed into a museum and Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar.

  • Travel back in time: Dallas is home to some captivating and breathtaking neighborhood communities. Walk, ride or drive through historic Dallas neighborhoods such as Highland Park, Swiss Avenue, Kessler Park and Munger Place, just to name a few.

  • Visit the African American Museum of Dallas: Visit one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the nation at the African American Museum. Located in Fair Park, the museum hosts several traveling exhibits including an ongoing display of objects and photographs.

  • Visit the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art: This collection is a display of sculptures, artifacts and paintings dedicated to the arts of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. Its centerpiece is a serene sculpture garden that housed 15 contemporary and historical works nestled amongst bamboo, maples, azaleas and pine trees. Inside, the museum features permanent and rotating exhibitions, lectures and gallery talks.

  • Get an Economy Education: The Economy in Action is a free exhibit as the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Through interactive exhibit and multimedia displays, learn about the Federal Reserve, money and the economy. 

  • Go on a wilderness retreat: Just a short drive from downtown the Cedar Ridge Preserve featuring 600 acres of preserved wilderness with 9 miles of hiking trails, native-plant nurseries and a picnic area.

  • Take a walk in one of Dallas’ parks:Dallas has numerous green spaces perfect for soaking up sun or reading a good book. With more than 21,000 park acres throughout the city there are plenty of options from which to choose. If you’re near downtown try Belo Garden, Main Street Garden Park or Klyde Warren Park.

  • Blaze a trail:Dallas has a number of bike/hike trails for the outdoor/athletic type. For an invigorating run or walk do a lap at White Rock Lake or hit the Katy Trail. There’s also the Sante Fe Trail, a unique trail that extends from White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum.

  • Hike the Trinity River Forest:The Trinity River Audubon Center is the perfect place to enjoy nature. Enjoy hiking trails, and hands-on exhibits. While you’re there, check out more than 50 species of birds or hike the largest urban bottomland hardwood forest in the county. Free only on third Thursday of each month.

  • Browse the Dallas Farmers Market: Go for a stroll and take in the delicious sights of the Dallas Farmers Market where local farmers display mouth-watering fruits and vegetables and on occasion offer free samples.

Cheap Things to Do

  • Play Digital Golf: 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. Enjoy great food while playing. Cost- $3.80 a game 9am-3pm, $5.80 a game 3pm-close.

  • Attend a Burlesque Show:Go to a show at the Lakewood Theater. Over the last 60+ years the Lakewood Theater has stood as a beacon in the East Dallas landscape. Get the latest show info at the Lakewood Theater website. Cost-Varies, Free- $15 avg. per ticket.

  • Take a Yoga Class: 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 completely free 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.

  • 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. Check out the plaza and museum and judge for yourself. Cost- $13.50 per person.

  • Acquire Bow Hunting Skills: Texins Archery Club 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. Cost- $10 for gen. public, $5 for members.

  • Go Ice Skating: Skating at the Galleria. Cost- $7.50 a person for groups of 10-25 skaters.

  • Go to the Dallas Zoo: The zoo covers 160 acres, making it the largest zoological park in Texas. 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. Cost- $1-12 depending on the day or event.