If you’re planning a trip to The Big D and wonder if there are some fun, budget-friendly activities in the area, you’re in luck!

The Dallas Fort Worth area has tons of great, inexpensive or free things to do that are great for both family trips or if you’re just here for a business trip and looking for something to do.

Founders Plaza

You don’t even have to leave the airport for this one! Founders Plaza is an observation area at the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. Pack a basket or grab some takeout and spend a few hours at a picnic table listening to air traffic control communications from the FAA tower and watching the planes overhead. My little one loves racing the planes as they take off! Founders Plaza is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is free to enter.

The Mary Kay Museum

If makeup is your thing, why not check out where Mary Kay Ash started her empire?! The museum features the many accomplishments of this Dallas businesswoman, as well as a theatre. Museum hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and entry is free.

Kimbell Art Museum

The Kimbell, located in Ft. Worth, is a world-renowned museum that has an amazing permanent collection of art and is always free to the public. Docent-guided tours are free on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. If you’re interested in seeing one of the special exhibits, you can get these tickets for half price on Tuesdays and on Friday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. The museum is open every day except Mondays.

The Fort Worth Stockyards

While visiting the Kimbell, make sure to include enough time for a stop at The Stockyards. This popular destination is filled with family-friendly activities, including stables, a petting zoo, an old fashioned photo parlor, and The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. There are also plenty of places to stop and grab a bite to eat. You can even take a vintage railroad train to The Stockyards! Many of the attractions are free or very inexpensive.

SeaLife and LegoLand

SeaLife and LegoLand are great family activities, and they are just a stone’s throw away from the airport! While neither attraction is free, there are several ways to get a discounted rate. Purchase tickets online and get 25% off! Another option is to make SeaLife a weekday evening attraction (after 5 p.m.), when tickets are discounted. If you plan to attend both SeaLife and LegoLand, purchase the package tickets online and save up to $9 per person.

Dallas Farmers Market

The Farmers Market here in Dallas has a lot more to offer than just produce! Their many events include festivals, book signings, cooking classes and live music. They also have an area dedicated to specialty goods such as pastries, cheese, spices and more. The Farmers Market is open 362 days a year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check out The Dallas Farmers Market site for the latest happenings.

Outlet Shopping

What girl doesn’t love to shop while on vacation? If shopping is on the itinerary, then outlets are the best way to go.Two great ones to check out are The Paragon Outlets in Grand Prairie and The Allen Premium Outlets. Both centers have some great designer outlet stores including Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, Joe Jeans, Bloomingdales and much more! Last time I went to these two outlet centers I found a Kate Spade bag 70% off and a Coach wristlet for $29! Both of these centers offer coupon books to visitors for free so make sure to stop by the customer service desk before starting that shopping extravaganza!

This is a guest post by Natasha from Dallas, TX
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