Do you live here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (or the DFW Metroplex as we call it)? Or, are you visiting this area sometime soon? If so, and you strive to live frugal like me, you’re probably on the lookout for some frugal things to do. I’ve put together a listing of some of the more interesting things to do here in the DFW Metroplex. Most are free or $10 and under a person.
Just a quick note to say that if you’re visiting Dallas, know that you’ll need a car while you’re here. Everything is just too spread out and public transportation wouldn’t have a chance at covering it all. There are a few train lines if you’re dead set on using public transport. The TRE runs between Fort Worth to Dallas (DFW Airport is a stop), and then there is the DART which runs from downtown Dallas up Interstate 75 to the suburb of Plano. Prices are very reasonable (under $10) and the rides themselves are fun and somewhat scenic.
- Fort Worth Stock Yards (Free). Watch an actual cattle drive run through the streets.
- The historic Dealey Plaza (Free). The highly recommended Sixth Floor Museum is also there which includes a view from Oswald’s supposed shooting location ($13.50 Adults).
Sports and Recreation
- The Ball Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers ($6 Adults / $3 Kids). Yes, baseball is still affordable here. Take that, Yankee fans!
- Dr. Pepper Stadium, home of the Frisco Rough Riders minor league baseball team ($7). Beautiful park.
- Six Flags Over Texas While very fun, it’s not very frugal (tickets start at $29 a person). Still, if you make a whole day of it and bring your own food it can we reasonable.
- Lone Star Park Horse Racing ($3 Adult)
- DORBA Mountain Bike Trails (Free, with your own bike). There are some great trails in this area. My favorite is the Lake Grapevine Trail.
Parks and Scenery
There aren’t many scenic views in Dallas. There are, however, plenty of lakes and parks (all free). Here are some of my favorites. But first, stop by the Reunion Tower Observation Deck ($2 Adults / $1 Kids) to get a good look at downtown Dallas.
- White Rock Lake. Close to the city.
- The City of Grapevine (yes, there are wineries there) and Grapevine Lake. Close to a major shopping mall and Bass Pro Shops.
- Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Has actual hills and scenic views. Nice park.
- River Legacy Park. An old favorite of mine tucked away in the mid cities.
Museums and Things
- Kimball Art Museum (Free). Beautiful building in Fort Worth.
- Amon Carter Museum (Free). Also in Fort Worth.
- Two aquariums to choose from:
- Dallas Aquarium ($4 Adults / $3 Kids)
- The Dallas World Aquarium (more expensive, look for a coupon)
- Fort Worth Zoo ($10.50 / $8 Kids). Best of the two zoo’s in the area.
- Dallas Museum of Art ($10 Adults / Kids Free)
- Fort Worth Botanical Gardens (Free)
- Dallas Museum of Natural History ($8.75 Adults / $5.50 Kids)
- The Texas Museum of Automotive History ($10 / less for kids)- located in Fair Park, Dallas TX. Inside the museum you will find a large collection of Antique, Classic, Muscle and Race cars including Babe Ruth’s last Lincoln, Spiderman’s Viper, a jet powered Dragster and many more vehicles.
- Visit Southfork Ranch (Free to drive up and see. Tour $9.50 Adults / $7 Kids). This is where the 80′s TV show Dallas was filmed.
- See Big Tex (Free). The tallest paper-maché cowboy in captivity.
- McKinney Ave. Trolley (Free)
- The biggest Honky Tonk in the world, Billy Bob’s ($1-$4 during non-concert times).
- Mrs. Baird’s Bakery Tour (Free)
There are so many restaurants here in town that you could literally eat at a different place every day and never run out of choices. Some good resources for you to discover good food at a fair price are: DallasFood.org, CitySearch Cheap Eats, and GuideLive. Some of my favorites: Sol’s Taco Lounge (TexMex), Texadelphia (cheese steaks), and The Lakewood Landing (burgers). Please add you’re own frugal eats in the comments below.
Wow. I like my town. There’s so much to do here and most of it is pretty reasonable as long as you have a fuel-efficient car to get you there. There’s so much more that I left off. I’ll try and update this page as new things come to mind and as you add your comments.
For more information on the DFW area, check out my favorite guide, GuideLive, and their Top 100 list.