If the holidays have you loathe to spend another dime, there's plenty of ways to ring in 2016 here for free.
It's that magical time of year when guests flock to Dallas to make holiday memories with friends and family. While these trips no doubt leave hearts and stomachs full, the same cannot always be said about our bank accounts. With New Year's Eve just around the corner, sometimes the thought of spending another dollar to celebrate the start of 2016 is enough to send people into a panic. Worry not, traveling friends: here's a list of totally free things to do while visiting that may or may not have already been on your Dallas bucket list.
Spend the day exploring more than 23,000 works of art from around the world at the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum is offering two additional free programs on New Year's Eve. The C3 Art Spot allows visitors to create take-home treasures based on inspiration gathered during their tour. The International Pop Cinema screens the self-titled film daily, which showcases a variety of works from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s that are rarely compared side by side. More information can be found here.
You can also explore one of the country's largest collections of African American folk art at the African American Museum of Dallas. Exhibitions include Facing the Rising Sun: Freedman's Cemetery, which explores what's left of the formerly thriving North Dallas Community; The Souls of Black Folk, a series of pieces from the collection of Billy R. Allen; a focus on Bayou Sculptors; and works by Caroll Harris Simms and Walter Cotton. Still hankering for art? The Crow Collection of Asian Art displays works from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Make sure to check out the special exhibitions by Jean Shin and Alexander Gorlizki. Keep in mind that the museum is closing at 4 p.m. over the holiday.
You don't have to wait until January 1 to kick off your new fitness routine. Grab your group and burn off those extra holiday calories together at the Katy Trail, which connects Uptown and Knox Henderson which are both home to some of Dallas' most happening restaurants and bars. You could also head to the JFK Memorial & Dealey Plaza, to stroll the Grassy Knoll and absorb this part of American history. Check out the John F. Kennedy Memorial monument on Main Street, which is an open tomb that symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy's spirit.
The 5.2 acre urban oasis known as Klyde Warren Park above Woodall Rodgers Freeway is the perfect place to bring the whole family (dog included) for a picnic, walk, or to simply enjoy the entertainment that is bound to surround you. There is a children's park, dog park, and game area to help occupy the kiddos and four legged friends. And while the only thing that is on the calendar on New Year's Eve are the food trucks, this park is always packed.
Yet another great place to get your 2016 fitness regime started is White Rock Lake. Whether you are walking around the lake, kayaking, or simply hanging out, this is one of Dallas' true treasures that has you feeling miles away from the city lights. The White Rock Lake Dog Park is coming off of a near one-million-dollar renovation and features a dog launch, multiple water fountains, six shade structures, and a pavillion.
Window Shopping, and More
While the Highland Park Village luxury shopping center houses some of the most exclusive (and expensive) designers in Dallas, lucky for you that window shopping doesn't cost a thing. The real reason to visit during this time of year, however, is because of the beautifully lit trees boasting thousands of lights. It's equal parts romantic and festive.
It's no secret that the NorthPark Center mall is one of the most impressive shopping centers in the country. With that said, it is about so much more than clothes and accessories. View major works by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Joel Shapiro, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, and more. Don't miss the 48-foot Ad Astra by Mark di Suvero. This twelve-ton masterpiece is the only indoor public display of the artist's work in the world. Score a free NorthPark Art Tour map at the concierge desk on Level One.
Sure, going to the Cotton Bowl may cost you a pretty penny, but some argue that tailgating beforehand is more fun anyway. Whip up creative appetizers using all of your favorite Christmas leftovers, and find a place to congregate with other Alabama or Michigan State fans that are in town. Don't forget that the game is at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and not at the actual Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
The 15-acre restaurant and entertainment destination Trinity Groves is nestled at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and is always bustling with locals enjoying the weather and atmosphere. Boasting one of the best views of the downtown Dallas skyline, this would be the perfect place to round the troops for one last family photo before everyone hits the road.
Whatever you decide to do this New Year's Eve in Dallas, keep in mind that everyone can ride for free on Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), courtesy of Miller Lite's Free Rides program starting at 6 p.m.