Every Free Museum in Dallas-Fort Worth
Embrace the art of saving money.
Long before TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, people used to chronicle their daily activities through paintings and sculptures, which took a lot longer to create but gives us all a glimpse into one particular moment in history. Even some of the earliest food porn can be found hanging on white gallery walls. Fortunately, for all the ancient to modern masterpieces artists have gifted humanity over the centuries, we’re extremely lucky to have so many world-class museums and super-niche art collections in Dallas-Fort Worth. And even luckier that a lot of them are free to visit. We’ve compiled a list of every free (and sometimes-free) museum in the DFW metroplex, but remember—if you like what you see, donations are always accepted.
Free Hours: Thursdays 5 - 9 pm
The Meadows Museum is a division of the SMU Meadows School of the Arts and the on-campus facility focuses on the art and culture of Spain through the collection and exhibition of important works. Current and upcoming exhibitions include works from Salvador Dalí, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, and José Guerrero. And for four hours each week, you can experience the art for free.
Madi Museum & Gallery
Hours: Tue - Sat, 11 am - 5 pm; Sundays 1 - 5 pm
Tucked away on a corner lot in Dallas’ uptown neighborhood, The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art can be easily overlooked, even with its dramatic outdoor sculpture. But once inside, you can experience the unique world of MADI (or Madí) art, which was born from a movement in Buenos Aires in the mid-1940’s with a focus on nonrepresentative interpretations and shapes that often spill out of the frame.
Latino Cultural Center
Hours: Tue - Sat, 10 am - 5 pm (some special events are ticketed)
The vibrantly colored Latino Cultural Center (LCC) rises above Good-Latimer Expressway like a modern interpretation of an ancient Aztec pyramid. Inside, a vast array of experiences surrounding Latino art and culture can be found, from art exhibits and live music to plays and educational workshops.
The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum
Hours: Wed - Sun, 11 am - 5 pm
Grab lunch at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar then discover one of the city’s little-known secrets—a museum dedicated to Samurai culture upstairs. On display are astounding displays centered around exquisitely crafted Japanese warrior armor. Not exactly what you’d expect in a former Catholic school building but pretty darn impressive.
Dallas Museum of Art
Hours: Tue - Sun, 11 am - 5 pm
The hub of the Dallas Arts District (the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation), the Dallas Museum of Art (or DMA) is the biggest museum in the city with permanent collections ranging from African folk art to modern masters. The museum is always free, but certain visiting exhibitions have a price. Its Late Nights programming every third Friday centers around a theme and features art and entertainment inside and out until 11 pm.
Kimbell Art Museum
Hours: Tues - Thurs, 10 am - 5 pm; Fridays, noon - 8 pm; Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm; Sundays noon - 5 pm
Home to an incredible permanent collection of paintings from the likes of Monet, Picasso, and Miro, the Kimbell celebrates 50 years of bringing art to the people in 2022. In addition to the free exhibits, the museum also regularly hosts some of the most high-profile exhibitions in the country. The exhibitions are generally not free unless you are looking at the postcards in the gift shop.
Hours: Tues - Sat, 11 am - 6 pm; Sundays, noon - 5 pm
Always different, always free. That’s the tagline and driving mantra for the art space in the Design District, which is also home to several other free galleries. But The Dallas Contemporary’s appreciation for pop art and other modern works makes it one of the best in the business and more like an ever-changing museum than a traditional gallery.
Crow Museum Of Asian Art
Hours: Tues - Thurs, 10 am - 9 pm; Fri - Sat, 10 am - 6 pm; Sundays noon - 6 pm
The Crow Museum of Asian Art is now under the care of The University of Texas at Dallas and it continues to be the standard bearer for American museums featuring works from Japan, China, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia. The sculpture garden is one of our favorite places to visit, especially when a moment of Zen is in order.
African American Museum
Hours: Tues - Fri, 11 am - 5 pm; Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm
The AAM finds a refreshing balance of African American history through folk art and rotating exhibitions featuring current African American artists. It’s the only museum of its type in the Southwest region and a wonderful place to visit for Lunch & Learn programs and other educational events. The museum is free year-round, except during the State Fair of Texas when a ticket to the fair must be purchased to access buildings on the property.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 am - 5 pm; Sundays, noon - 5 pm
What exactly is “American Art,” you ask? Well, it’s everything from quaint nature scenes to pure abstraction, and Amon Carter showcases some of the best. Artists in the permanent collection include Ansel Adams, Charles M. Russell, and Federico Castellon. Grab a cocktail and experience the museum in a completely adult way with the institution’s Second Thursdays program.
Sid Richardson Museum
Hours: Mon - Thurs, 10 am - 5 pm; Fridays, 10 - 8 pm; Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm; Sundays, noon - 5 pm
If you enjoy scenes of the Old West (c’mon you’re in Texas, of course you do), then the Sid Richardson Museum is a must. Cowboys, Indigenous peoples, prairie landscape, and all combinations of them as depicted by two greats of American art, Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. It’s also the rare museum to be open seven days a week.
Irving Arts Center
Hours: Tue - Sat, noon - 5 pm
Operated as a department of the City of Irving, the Irving Arts Center features four galleries and a sculpture garden on 10 acres. A variety of stage plays and musical events throughout the year round out the offerings, but it’s important to note that the special events are not free.
Hours: Mon - Sat, 10 am - 9 pm; Sundays, noon - 6 pm
Not only is NorthPark one of the best shopping malls ever created (and still thriving), the museum-like facility looks that way for a reason—it has some truly spectacular art on display for the retail-minded public to enjoy. Original Roy Lichtenstein, KAWS, and Jonathan Borofsky works await, along with rotating exhibitions inside the center, as well as in its lush courtyard and lawns.
Nasher Sculpture Center
Free hours: During ‘Til Midnight events
The founding family of NorthPark Center has so much fine art that they needed to build their own museum to house it all. The well-noted Dallas skyline stands as a backdrop for the city’s most impressive collection of sculptures. Pound for pound, the Nasher might be the most impressive museum in Dallas. Look out for its free ‘Til Midnight events for free admission and live outdoor concerts, film screenings, food, and wine in addition to the everyday collection of sculptural masterpieces.