Weekend Event Planner

Final Four and Dallas International Film Festival headline packed weekend of events

Final Four and DIFF headline packed weekend of Dallas events

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is the undisputed headliner at the headliner-heavy March Madness Music Festival, taking place April 4-6 at Reunion Park. Photo by Jo Lopez
Juliette Binoche in Words and Pictures
Words and Pictures, co-starring Juliette Binoche, kicks off the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival at Dallas City Performance Hall on April 3. Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions
AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium is ready to host the 2014 Men's Final Four, taking place April 5 and 7. Courtesy photo
The World's Largest Dinosaurs
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science presents "The World's Largest Dinosaurs" through September 1. Photo courtesy of AMNH/D. Finnin
Karmin plays at House of Blues Dallas on April 6 in support of the debut album, Pulses. Karmin/Facebook
Bruce Springsteen
Juliette Binoche in Words and Pictures
AT&T Stadium
The World's Largest Dinosaurs

There are some weekends where you have to search far and wide for things to do. This is not one of those weekends. Pretty much all you have to do is take one step out your front door and you will be inundated with major events happening all over Dallas-Fort Worth.

Below are your 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, April 3

Yo-Yo Ma: A Fort Worth Symphony Gala
It's the rare list of top classical music performers that doesn't have cellist Yo-Yo Ma at or near the top. The in-demand musician, making his first appearance with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Performance Hall, is the headliner for the orchestra's annual gala, during which he helps them play an all-Dvorák program.

2014 Dallas International Film Festival: Words and Pictures
The 2014 edition of the Dallas International Film Festival kicks off with this centerpiece screening of Words and Pictures, a romantic drama starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche, at Dallas City Performance Hall. The festival goes on to feature more than 170 movies through April 13, with most of the screenings taking place at Angelika Film Center Dallas.

Friday, April 4

2014 Deep Ellum Arts Festival
The Deep Ellum Arts Festival is arguably third on the list when it comes to this weekend's major events, but with its focus on music and art, it definitely serves a different kind of audience than the other two. Hundreds of artists hawk their works in booths lining Main Street in Deep Ellum, while bands and other performers put on shows on five different stages Friday through Sunday.

2014 NCAA March Madness Music Festival
One of many ancillary events associated with the Final Four, this is definitely the biggest, as the three-day festival at Reunion Park features some of the biggest names in music, including Jason Aldean on Friday, Tim McGraw and The Killers on Saturday, and Fun and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band on Sunday. Just be prepared for massive crowds — a free event this big will bring out everybody and their mothers.

2014 ARTsPARK After Dark
A prelude to the main ARTsPARK at NorthPark Center on Saturday, ARTsPARK After Dark is a new event featuring a night full of entertainment and interactive arts activities. Among the performers are the SMU Southern Gentlemen, SMU Belle Tones, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Maguire School of Irish Dance and Rudy Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers.

Saturday, April 5

George W. Bush Presidential Center presents The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy
Former President George W. Bush has gained notoriety in recent months for his previously unknown artistic skills, painting everything from his dogs to Jay Leno. Now some portraits of various world leaders he did go on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Center as part of this new exhibit, going on through June 3, detailing Bush's time on the foreign stage during his presidency.

2014 NCAA Men's Final Four
Probably 65,000 of the 80,000 fans expected to attend the NCAA Men's Final Four at AT&T Stadium won't have great seats, but when you have one of the world's largest HDTVs right in front of you, the experience is just about being there. In the Saturday semi-finals, Florida plays Connecticut and Wisconsin goes up against Kentucky. The winners face off in the national championship game on Monday.

Sunday, April 6

Perot Museum presents The World's Largest Dinosaurs
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science already has a world-class dinosaur exhibit on display on its fourth floor, so bringing in "The World's Largest Dinosaurs" feels a little like showing off — but in the best possible way. The traveling exhibit, staying at the Perot through September 1, features multiple activities involving sauropods, including a life-size, 60-foot-long Mamenchisaurus.

Karmin in concert
The biggest concert on Sunday happens a few blocks away at Reunion Park, but if you don't feel like braving the masses, seeing Karmin at the House of Blues Dallas is a good alternative. The pop duo have been making waves for a few years thanks to their addictive YouTube videos, and they just released their debut album, Pulses.