The Kimbell and Dallas Museum of Art

Beat the summer heat with an outing to one of the area’s free art museums — the Kimbell in Fort Worth and Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas.

Kimbell Art Museum

The Kimbell is now better than ever. The Renzo Piano Pavilion, added in November 2013, allows the museum to organize and more fully display its permanent collection. If European art is your thing, then you’ll enjoy wandering the Louis Kahn building (the main building). The museum’s eclectic collection contains a smattering of works from European artists from Bernini (terra cotta angels) to Rembrandt (Bust of a Young Jew). And its European collection includes Impressionist masters like Sisley, Monet, and Manet.

North Texas Ramblings Kimbell Art Museum in Fort WorthThe Kimbell gives guided tours of its permanent collection Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Visiting families can obtain an audio guide tailored to children ages 7 – 12.

The museums Buffet Restaurant is a great place for lunch. It uniquely offers a selection of soups, salads, quiche and dessert — the unique part — the cost is based on the plate size. Small plates are $9.50 and large are $12.

Details: The Kimbell is at 3333 Camp Bowie Blouvard, Fort Worth. The museum is closed Mondays. Onsite parking is free.

Dallas Museum of Art (DMA)

The DMA houses an extensive collection of over 24,000 pieces of art. In the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the innovative museum offers visitors an eclectic art experience far beyond just gazing at masterpieces. The innovative Center for Creative Connections (C3) lets you experience art from different perspectives. And it’s in the C3 gallery that you can make and take home your own piece of art. DMA supplies the materials; you the creativity.

Embracing technology, DMA has several self-guided tours accessible via your smart phone and the DMA mobi site. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can borrow an iPod Touch from guest services to take the web-enabled tour.

Details: DMA is located at 1717 North Harwood in Dallas. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thursdays (open until 9 p.m.). On the third Friday of each month, the museum offers special programming until midnight. Onsite parking is available for $10.