Welcome to the ultimate guide to experiencing Dallas-Fort Worth, without breaking the bank! Whether you're a local looking for budget-friendly fun or a traveler seeking cost-effective adventures, we've curated a list of the best cheap and free activities in DFW. Let's dive in and uncover the hidden gems that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a fuller wallet!
1. airfield falls trailhead
These hidden waterfalls in Fort Worth sit a bit off the beaten path, but once you find them, you’ll be glad you took the trip! Airfield Falls Trailhead is home to this beautiful site, but you will need a good pair of walking shoes to reach it! You can start by parking in the lot on the right-hand side of the road, right before you reach the Airforce base! Once there, walk straight ahead to find the trail! About a half mile up the trail, you will find the falls. The path is paved, so if you have a stroller, no worries! The waterfalls are so peaceful and honestly a nice site that you don’t see often Fort Worth!
2. frisco rough riders
Float the only Lazy River at a professional baseball ballpark on your next date night at a Frisco Rough Riders game! The Lazy River tickets are just $25 apiece and once you get inside, you'll want to check out the $2 drink specials, too! It's 21-and-over only on Thursday nights, and it's kid-friendly during Sunday games.
3. national cutting horse association
Switch up your weekend routine and hit the National Cutting Horse Association Great American Insurance Group Summer Cutting Spectacular! Although events run through August 5, we recommend attending July 29 and 30 as well! Those days will be jam-packed with fun things to do as well!
4. fort worth water garden
This architectural oasis is a calming escape from the mundane, tucked away in Downtown Fort Worth! We love a multipurpose hangout spot.Whether you’re strolling through on a first date, soaking up some alone time, or taking the scenic route as an out-of-towner, the Fort Worth Water Gardens ARE A MAJOR VIBE.
This super-affordable and massive family-friendly gaming complex in Rockwall has it all! If there’s one great way to escape the Texas heat, it’s definitely spending the day at a massive indoor entertainment center! Shenaniganz is not only the best spot to keep your kiddos occupied for hours, but it also has some of the best deals of the summer! You can score a $5 Unlimited Fun Pass on the first Monday of the month from 5 p.m. until closing and get access to bowling, laser tag, virtual reality, flip n’ spin cars and more!
6. plano super bowl
Girls bowl for free on Tuesdays at this 24-hour Bowlarama in Plano! Seriously, Plano Super Bowl has some of the BEST bowling deals in town. Each game is only $2 during select hours, which include late night Sundays from 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.! This is the perfect place for all your deep-night bowling party needs.
7. nasher sculpture Center
See works by modern and contemporary masters in the Nasher's light-filled galleries and serene outdoor sculpture garden. Try a visit on Free First Saturdays to look and learn at the Nasher every first Saturday of the month with no admission. Bring the whole crew to create, discover and make new memories together. Each month features a rotating schedule of things to see and do.
8. harry myers park
The massive and ADA-friendly new playground at Harry Myers Park is the kid-friendly hit of the summer! When we were driving around Rockwall, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to stop by Harry Myers Park! And, honestly, KidZone might be the coolest playground we’ve EVER seen! This playground is ADA accessible with ramps, rockers, and plenty of open space, so playtime is inclusive of ALL kids visiting! You’ll find playground classics like slides, swings, and spinners. But, we were HYPED to also find a Ninja Warrior style climbing wall, zip lines, and unique jungle gyms that make this playground a 10/10!
9. dallas zoo
Destination: Dinosaurs at the Dallas Zoo is one of the LARGEST immersive exhibits of animatronic and static dinosaurs in the country, with more than 100 dinosaurs for the kiddos to "ooh" and "ahh" over! Destination: Dinosaurs presented by Reliant Energy is also a wonderful way to experience dinosaurs while also learning about the importance of wildlife conservation, and it is NOW OPEN through September 30!
10. fort worth zoo
At the Fort Worth Zoo, the heart of the park is about conservation, education, and recreation for the 542 species that call the zoo home! There is a LOT to see and do across the 64 acres at the zoo with plenty of interesting exhibits and animal encounters, along with shopping, dining, games, and interactive experiences. Head to the Outdoor Learning Theater for educational shows, hop on the Yellow Rose Express Train for a tour of the park, or let your kids run wild in the Safari Splash water play area open in the late spring and summer months. PRO TIP: As quite possibly the BEST thing to do at the Fort Worth Zoo, guests can purchase lettuce and hand-feed giraffes, who are more than happy to greet everyone offering them a treat!
11. frisco library
We had seen the brand new Frisco Library all over our feed and had to go see what the hype was all about and let us just say, it far exceeded whatever we thought we were expecting. Let’s start with the fact this library is HUGE! Like, big enough for a T-Rex to fit inside! While you may think libraries are for kids — and yes — there’s plenty for kids to do — adults can have just as much fun here! With a library membership you get access to free wifi, the ability to reserve study and conference rooms, access to audiobooks and ebooks, classes, printers and MORE!
12. Inspiration Alley
The most Instagrammable spot in all of Fort Worth is this hidden alley covered in murals, and we couldn't love it any more! When your feed needs a face lift, this hidden alleyway covered in murals is THE spot to hit! 📸 We love this spot in the Foundry District because almost every single inch is covered in a unique design or mural. The colors, patterns and pictures give you a million photo ops in one!
13. studio movie grill
Did you know that easing back into one of Studio Movie Grills' recliners for the latest blockbuster release is just $6 if you go on a Tuesday? Well now you do! You still get access to the full food and drink menu at regular prices, but the ticket into the refreshingly cool theater for any and all releases is slashed nearly in half! It's the perfect start to a really affordable date night.