The Best Things in Life Are Free

I’m always on the lookout for unique things to do in Dallas, and it’s even better if they’re low-cost or free, right? Especially in a city known for its shopping – hey, it’s not like we have beaches or mountains here. Or even rolling hills. Or decent camping without driving a few hours. And for whatever reason, big D continues to tear down its few remaining historical buildings, favoring a concrete jungle instead. Don’t even get me started on my issue against the city’s actionable stance on historical preservation – finding new things to do is FUN to me.

I get excited about children’s parades and Chinese New Year celebrations and international festivals and local performing arts and outdoor moving screenings. So when I saw an article in the DMN highlighting free things to do in Dallas this summer, I knew I had to share:

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Allen USA Celebration – For more than a decade, Allen USA Celebration has always been held the final weekend of June – a great way to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! a week early. Entertainment includes: regional/national acts, including Smash Mouth (a California rock band) and children’s entertainers. Other highlights include a children’s area with bounce houses, festival food and a fireworks finale. TIP: free shuttle service is offered to/from the event. Cost: FREE.

Celebrate Freedom – A huge (and when I say “huge,” I mean HUGE) outdoor musicfest, featuring Christian musicians Kirk Franklin, Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Selah, and more. Other highlights include children’s area, festival food, fireworks. Cost: FREE (tickets required, get info here)


Dallas Museum of Art – Admission to the museum will be free each Wednesday in July from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. That’s in addition to the usual free days: each Thursday evening from 5 to 9 and the first Tuesday of each month. Cost: FREE. Also, it’s worth noting my favorite DMA event: Late Nights. On the third Friday of each month, the DMA stays open until midnight. Highlights include: art scavenger hunts (so fun!), karaoke and dancing, tours, performances, and more. Cost: $10.

Belmont Hotel Poolside Movie Nights – Every other Wednesday night, the Belmont screens a poolside movie at sundown, with the Dallas skyline as a backdrop. The last movie of the summer, Airplane!, is on Wednesday, July 1st. Bring a blanket, no lawn chairs or coolers permitted. Cost: FREE.

Grapevine’s Friday Fireworks – Not just for Fourth of July, every Friday the city of Grapevine hosts weekly fireworks shows at Grapevine Lake through September 4th. Cost: FREE. (Be sure to visit the link to view all the fun summer events in Grapevine – there’s tons to do!)

Summers at the Nasher Sculpture Center – The Nasher sculpture garden in downtown Dallas is worth checking out, if you haven’t been there already. But rather than pay the admission fee, go for free on Thursday evenings (usually 5 to 9, but they’re open ’til 10 p.m. through July 30th). You can even do yoga in the garden at 6pm on Thursdays, and watch films on first Thursdays of each month the center (with pre- and post-film chats, if you’re so inclined). Plus, now through July 17th the Nasher is showing films on Friday nights, too (think: Sleepless in Seattle, Top Gun, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, etc.). If you’re thinking about bringing the whole family, head to the Nasher on the first Saturdays (through August) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for children’s activities and more. Cost: FREE, FREE, FREE!

And, of course, don’t forget to check out – Dallas’ best resource for events, restaurants, films and more. It’s my go-to site when I’m looking for something new to do. Which is almost always.


Jes Ferris, the blogger behind, fervently believes that the best things in life are free: like puppies (well, some of them anyway), and Saturday samples at Costco, and kissing babies’ heads (especially when they smell so goooooodddddd!), and those tiny little hotel bottles of peppermint shampoo (though I suppose I *technically* pay for those, but whatever, I’m totally claiming it anyway).   And then there’s all the best things in life that AREN’T free, but that’s not the point, is it?

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