Give your wallet a break with our picks for the best free activities for kids around Dallas and Fort Worth! We've gathered our favorite places where you can enjoy family fun together - all without spending a penny. From beaches to trolley rides, stargazing to parkour, you might be surprised by what you can do for free around Dallas! Bookmark our lists of places where Kids Eat Free and Free Museum Days around DFW, too.
Rowlett Creek Preserve
Sarah D.: The trails at Rowlet Creek Perserve traverse an incredible 97-acres of woods and prairie running along the Rowlett Creek. The preserve is generally flat land making it a leisurely hiking area, though the trails are not paved. If the kids like to fish, Rowlett Creek is known for the Sand Bass spawning in April. In addition to hiking, the preserve has been adapted for challenging biking, so some children might enjoy off-road biking while the others hike, picnic, or grill. A lovely place to spend the day with kids!
Texas Astronomical Society
Lisa R: In addition to regular member-only meetups, this astronomical society hosts public star gazing parties at different locations in the DFW area.
Interurban Railway Museum
Stephanie W.: The Interurban Railway Museum in Plano features fascinating exhibits about the history of the railroad in Dallas. Some are seasonal, such as the Holidays on the Texas Electric Railway, in which a mini railroad is set up that shows how the holidays have been celebrated on trains in our past. Tours of the museum's historic train car, Car 360, are available as well. A must-see for history and train-loving kids!
White Rock Lake
Stephanie W.: This popular lake in Dallas is an urban oasis, with a 9-mile running and biking trail around the lake, as well as several playgrounds, picnic areas, bird-watching areas, and kayaks available for rent. Added features include the Dallas Arboretum which sits on the lake! You and your kids will love getting fresh air, some exercise, and checking out wildlife around the lake.
Best Buy Teen Tech Center
Lisa R: Dallas Park and Recreation Department's Best Buy Teen Tech Center is an innovative, creative, out-of-school learning space where young people can work with adult mentors to pursue their interests in programming, graphic design, robotics, engineering and more!
Jim Montgomery Swim School
christadiserio: Jim Montgomery Swim School, owned by an Olympic gold swimmer, is aimed at helping kids at all ages become comfortable & confident in the water. Young ones are welcome to participate in parent/child swim classes, in which they'll learn everything from gentle submersion underwater to back float. Additionally, private/semi-private/group classes are offered for kids ages 3-12 and are divided up by level of experience.
Ages: 3-6 months+
Cost: $88+/month & up. 15% Sibling Discounts available. Baby Splash lessons with a parent (Baby Basics) are free until your baby turns 6 months!
McKinney Avenue Trolley
Stephanie W.: The McKinney Avenue Trolley is a fun, historic way to travel around Dallas for free! These vintage trolley cars were all built between 1909 and 1926 and were all in service through the 1950s. The lines reopened in 1989 as a tribute to the old transit system, and they are now in service 365 days a year throughout Uptown! Your family can even book a trolley for a special occasion if you'd like to have a car all to yourselves.
Parkour in the Park
Sarah D.: Parkour in the Park is a free clinic offered on Saturdays from 11am-1pm at various parks in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area! The point of these clinics is to bring people together and promote free running and the art of parkour while being out-and-about in nature. Parkour in the Park is designed to bring mind and body together in a community of mindful people. This is a great chance to try out parkour for your little ones.
Dallas Museum Of Art
christadiserio: Within this incredible art museum, there are two areas for kids that will stimulate their artistic side. Arturo's nest (for ages 0-4) is an interactive space for children to experience art. The kids can participate in activities such as looking at nature in works of art and playing with tree blocks. The Young Learners Gallery (for ages 5-8) offers hands-on activities, such as connecting infinity blocks and creating a story line based on information the kids extract from works of art in the museum's collection.
Klyde Warren Park
Stephanie W.: Klyde Warren Park is Dallas's downtown park, complete with cafes, water features, and lush green space! There are always plenty of fun events going on, like yoga classes, live music in spring, summer and fall, a putting green, plus ping pong tables and croquet. All events and activities are free! Be sure to check out the Children's Park, which has a child-size amphitheatre and a story time tree. On hot summer days, your little ones will love the park's caterpillar water fountain with jets that spray outward to turn this caterpillar in to a beautiful butterfly!
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
Stephanie W.: The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is the most iconic bridge in Dallas! Located near Trinity Groves, it provides the city with a beautiful addition to its skyline, and helps connect the north and south parts of the city. It can be used as a pedestrian bridge though many cars use it daily, and events are held on it throughout the year, making exploring it a great addition to any staycation!
Cost: Free to walk across
Farmers Branch Historical Park - Family Star Parties
Sunset-9pm, weather permitting
Stephanie W.: Spend the day at Farmers Branch Historic Park! You can picnic with your family during the day, and when the moon and stars come out, the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will be there to provide awesome telescopes to view deep space objects. If you have your own telescope at home, you are encouraged to bring it as well!
Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park
Stephanie W.: Grapevine's Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park is a hidden gem right between Dallas and Fort Worth. You'll find a butterfly garden, ponds, a large fountain at the Great Lawn, and so much more. This is such a great spot for families to enjoy the fresh outdoors and see beautiful flowers and wildlife!
Always free admission
Lisa R: Nash Farm always offers free admission. Grapevine’s agrarian traditions are preserved at Nash Farm, which includes the original 1869 farmhouse, historic barn and other structures. The farm grounds, petting zoo, historic structures and exhibits are open for self-guided tours during regular business hours, and also offer fun and educational family-friendly events throughout the year.
River Legacy Parks
Sarah D.: River Legacy Parks is described as the "crown jewel of Arlington's park system." The park itself is over 1,000 acres with extraordinary park amenities including playgrounds, a world class nature center, and a life size skeleton of a T-Rex. The two options for a stroll in nature - River Legacy nature walk and River Legacy hiking trail - account for 8 miles of easy or easy/intermediate, paved excursions into a real urban escape. River Legacy is the perfect way to enjoy a day in nature with the family!
The Molly Hollar Wildscape
Sarah D.: The Molly Hollar Wildscape in Arlington, TX offers the combined enjoyment of walking trails and natural gardens! The wildscape stretches across 4 acres of the park and contains an array of wildflowers native to north Texas. Volunteers preserve and maintain the park. Volunteers also provide educational talks about native plants and habitats. It's a wonderful way to show children how volunteers can come to together to maintain a beautiful garden and enrich our communities!
Fort Worth Water Gardens
Stephanie W.: Located in the heart of Forth Worth, the Water Gardens are a perfect way to cool off from the heat and enjoy beautiful scenery at the same time! This urban park was designed by Philip Johnson, and a variety of water features are available for visitors to discover and experience!
Kimbell Art Museum - Drop-In Studio
christadiserio: On select Saturdays every month, the Kimbell Art Museums offers some great drop-in art classes for kids. They'll enjoy making everything from wearable art to clay figurines. Each class allows them to have some art gallery time as well. And let me tell you - there sure is some beautiful work in that museum. Space is limited to 20 children, plus adults.
Primary photo: Grapevine CVB
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