The events surrounding the first-ever College Football Playoff championship game dominate the landscape this weekend — and they appeal even to those who don't like sports. Before Oregon faces off against Ohio State at AT&T Stadium on Monday night, you can get in the mood with a wide variety of activities.
Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, January 8
Undermain Theatre presents The Flick
A play about three workers at a movie theater may seem bland on the surface, but it won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, so it's a must-see. Undermain Theatre presents the regional premiere of The Flick, featuring three people whose battles and heartbreaks are more compelling than any movie at their theater. The play runs through January 31.
Luke Wade in concert with Mark Allan Attwood
It was a surprise that Luke Wade didn't make the finals during the latest season of The Voice, but as he told us at the beginning of his ride, his goal wasn't to win the show, but to win over America. You can be witness to the next phase of his career at this concert at Trees, which also features Mark Allan Attwood as opening act.
Friday, January 9
College Football Playoff presents Playoff Fan Central
Just as it did last year for the Men's Final Four, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas plays host to a festival featuring a slew of family-friendly activities surrounding the College Football Playoff. Think mini pep rallies featuring the bands, cheerleaders and mascots from both Oregon and Ohio State; interactive games; autograph sessions; exhibits and more. The festival runs every day through Sunday.
CMT Ultimate Kickoff Party Live from the College Football Playoff National Championship
If you need another reason to go to Playoff Fan Central on Friday, attendees are the only people with access to this all-star country concert. It's strictly first-come, first served in Hall B to see acts like Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich, Brett Eldredge and others. Plus, it doesn't cost extra, as it's free for anyone already at Playoff Fan Central.
Saturday, January 10
College Football Playoff presents Extra Yard 5k
If you haven't already secured your tickets for the championship game on Monday and consider yourself a skilled runner, you might want to try the Extra Yard 5k at Fair Park. The overall male and female winners win one pair of tickets each, as does the winner of a drawing to which every runner receives one entry.
Shen Yun 2015
The 2015 season at AT&T Performing Arts Center begins with a return visit from this Chinese dance and music troupe. The production that features nearly 100 artists, 400 costumes, and the only orchestra in the world featuring both classical Western and Chinese instruments brings 5,000 years of Chinese history to life. It plays at Winspear Opera House Thursday through Sunday.
AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! with Lenny Kravitz
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen more of Lenny Kravitz in Hunger Games movies than onstage lately, but the rocker makes his first local appearance in nearly three years as part of the College Football Playoff festivities. He headlines this concert at American Airlines Center, with Keri Hilson and Vintage Trouble as opening acts.
Scotty McCreery in concert
It hasn't exactly been a booming three years for Scotty McCreery since he won American Idol back in 2011, but he's carved out a nice career in the friendly world of country music. He plays a late-night show at Billy Bob's Texas in support of his 2013 album, See You Tonight.
Sunday, January 11
Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers watch party
The Dallas Cowboys are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009 thanks to
the help of the refs the stellar play of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray and others. Now they head to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, and you can support them with a few hundred of your fellow fans at this free watch party at the Granada Theater.
AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! with Sting
If the smooth stylings of Sting are more your speed, you can catch the former Police frontman as the headliner of the second College Football Playoff concert at American Airlines Center, with Echosmith, known for their hit "Cool Kids," as the opening act. If you want to attend both concerts, you can buy a two-day pass right here.