Friday, August 1, 2014

Totally Texas -- Dog days, meet dollar days

Sometime in August, my daughter and her husband start to think about school starting again, and more clothes and shoes and backpacks and supplies, and can everything last until tax-free weekend, August 8-10 this year?

Luckily for jaded budgets, many Dallas attractions slash admission prices in August, sometimes as low as $1. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorites. Some are a little more than a dollar. But some are lower¾ even free!

August 1-31 ¾ The Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, has hosted August dollar days for years. This year, the Arboretum also cuts the cost of its fabulous (and believe me, our family’s tested it) Children’s Adventure Garden to $1. That’s $1 for Arboretum entry + $1 for children’s garden entry = $2, leaving the parking fee still to pay. Five dollar discounted parking is available for purchase online. However, discounted admission tickets, including dollar days entries, must be purchased at the gate. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. See for details, hours and directions.

August 1-31 ¾ Trinity River Audubon, 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way (formerly 6500 S. Loop 12) in Dallas, also offers $1 admission through the end of the month. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays. And on the third Thursday of each month (August 21), the admission is free. Free parking or take DART. Walk the five miles of trails, including boardwalks, picnic or check out the indoor, interactive exhibit hall. See for details.

August 1-31 ¾ The revamped GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower, 300 Reunion Blvd. East, offers $5 off admission through August 31. Use promo code SUMMERDC14 to knock a $16 adult admission down to $11. All right, that’s still more than a dollar, but the view is amazing, and the interactive computer programs on the enclosed deck kept both my adult daughter and eight-year-old grandkids enthralled. Adjacent parking is $6 per vehicle, or take DART to nearby Union Station. The deck is open Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Some advertisements ask for Texas ID to get this promotion. When I contacted Reunion Tower, I was told I could buy up to six discounted tickets with a Texas ID, to be used as I wished. So taking out of state visitors up for the view of their lives is no problem. See for details.

August 2 ¾ First Saturday at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora Street. The Nasher has enough outdoor and indoor exhibits to justify paid visits, but the first Saturday of each month it adds children’s art activities, yoga, creative writing, storytelling and more, all for free. First Saturday hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Cost of nearby parking varies, or catch one of the pink D-Link buses from DART stations. While you're there, step across the street to visit the Crow Asian Art Collection or the Dallas Museum of Art, both also free. For first Saturdays details, see

August 19 ¾ Dallas Zoo, 650 South R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35E), offers a dollar day do-over August 19 to make up to all the people who couldn’t come out in the rain last month. Get in for a $1 per person (kids under three still free), pay $8 for parking, or take DART (kids under five ride free with paying adult). Regular hours apply, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. For details and daily events, see .

(Next Friday¾ ideas for last minute weekend vacations, starting with Austin.)

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