Weekend Event Planner

These are the 10 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

These are the 10 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Fred Rogers in Won't You Be My Neighbor
Won't You Be My Neighbor is one of over 110 films showing during the Dallas International Film Festival, taking place at Magnolia Theatre through May 10. Photo by Jim Judkis/Focus Features
J. Cole
J. Cole is one of the headliners at JMBLYA, taking place at Fair Park on May 4. Photo courtesy of Universal Music Group
Ron Perlman
Ron Perlman will be one of a slew of celebrities on hand during Texas Frightmare Weekend, taking place May 4-6 at Hyatt Regency DFW Airport. Ron Perlman/Facebook
Two little girls at Cottonwood Art Festival
The Cottonwood Art Festival takes place on May 5 and 6 at Cottonwood Park in Richardson. Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Art Festival
Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno will speak at Winspear Opera House on May 6. Photo courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center
Fred Rogers in Won't You Be My Neighbor
J. Cole
Ron Perlman
Two little girls at Cottonwood Art Festival
Rita Moreno

Festivals of all shapes and sizes are the focus this weekend in and around Dallas. They include ones involving movies, musicians both national and local, horror movie stars, and visual artists. You can also check out a whimsical theater production, another one that delves into local history, a celebrated actress-turned-author, and stories from one of the finest performers of all time.

Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, May 3

Off Broadway on Flora: Air Play
Ride the wind and dream with Air Play, a modern spectacle that features flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen. The production, running through Friday at Wyly Theatre, is a circus-style adventure of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty.

Dallas International Film Festival
Following last week's USA Film Festival, movie season in Dallas continues with the 2018 edition of the Dallas International Film Festival, taking place through May 10 at Magnolia Theatre and other venues. Highlights of the festival, which will feature over 110 films from 25 countries, include opening night film Shock and Awe, the Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, anniversary screenings of Jurassic Park and Animal House, and more.

Soul Rep presents The Freedmans
Written by members of Soul Rep’s writing consortium, The Freedmans, part of AT&T Performing Arts Center's Elevator Project, ​is a signature production created to commemorate the opening of Dallas' Freedman's Memorial 20 years ago and to pay homage to the city's black pioneers and early Freedman's community of the late 19th and early 20th Century. The production, composed of compelling and colorful true and imagined stories told through poetry, monologue, song, and dance, will play at Wyly Theatre through May 13.

Friday, May 4

JMBLYA
JMBLYA is a music festival that will make a quick tour of Texas this weekend, stopping in Austin on Saturday and Houston on Sunday. The festival, taking place at Fair Park, lost Cardi B when she became pregnant, but it will still feature a killer lineup on two stages, including J.Cole, Migos, Young Thug, T.I., Playboi Carti, and many more.

Texas Frightmare Weekend
The annual Texas Frightmare Weekend, the Southwest’s premier horror convention, aims to provide fans with an unrivaled experience by celebrating all aspects of genre films. Among the celebrities who will on hand at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport will be Clive Barker, Billy Zane, Matthew Lillard, Tobin Bell, Ron Perlman, Mischa Barton, the cast of Chucky, and many more. The convention goes on through Sunday.

DMA Arts & Letters Live: Marcia Gay Harden
Academy and Tony Award-winning actress and author Marcia Gay Harden will discuss her new book, The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers. In the book, Harden takes on her most important role to date: gatekeeper of memories. She talks about her own life and that of her mother Beverly, an accomplished practitioner of ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement, who struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. This event will be at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Saturday, May 5

Cottonwood Art Festival
Cottonwood Art Festival is a semi-annual event that features works from the nation's top visual artists. Over 240 artists will exhibit their museum-quality work at Cottonwood Park in Richardson on Saturday and Sunday, competing in 14 different categories including mixed media, ceramics, glass, metalwork, painting, photography, and more. The festival also features local bands who perform the best in rock, country, jazz, blues, swing, and folk.

Dallas Fest in the West End
Dallas Fest in the West End will showcase some of Dallas-Fort Worth's most talented musicians, including Jessie Frye, Northern National, Ronnie Heart, BLAYR, The JD Scott Band, Heart of the City, Shadows of Jets, Matt Tedder, The Wild Frontiers, Droo’s Peace Crush, and Tin & Tonic. The festival, taking place at the corner of Record and Ross Streets, will also feature performance art, booths with creators and innovators, a kids zone, food trucks, and more.

Sunday, May 6

2018 SOLUNA Festival presents Sebastien Leon: "The Diffracted Symphony"
The annual SOLUNA Festival kicks into high gear next weekend, but it'll start off with L.A.-based sculptor and recording artist Sebastien Leon, who has created a site-specific sound sculpture that remodels the texture of music. Utilizing source material from classical recordings, Leon’s newly commissioned sound work will be on display in the SouthCourt at NorthPark Center throughout the SOLUNA festival, ending on May 28.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents #hearhere: Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno remains one of the busiest stars in show business, most recently starring on the Netflix show One Day at a Time. Moreno is one of 12 performers — and the first Latina — to have won all four major American entertainment awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony. For one night only at the Winspear Opera House, Moreno will take the stage to share fascinating stories from her celebrated career.