For anyone not taking a vacation right about now, the middle of July in Dallas offers a few interesting pleasures, including boat shopping, outside movie-watching and celebrating the anniversary of the first moon landing.
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, July 18
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks in concert
The name The Jayhawks sounds like an early rock band from the 1950s, but they're in fact an alt-country group that came to fame in the 1980s. Gary Louris was one of the founding members, whom many consider responsible for the sound for which the group would come to be known. He'll play at The Kessler with Greg Schroeder as opening act.
2013 DFW Boat Expo
Owning a boat may not be for everybody, but summer is primetime boating season, so what better time for a boat expo? Whether you're in the market or not, ogling the hundreds of boats and other watercraft that will be on display during the four-day event at Dallas Market Hall is still fun. Hey, we can dream, can't we?
Friday, July 19
Rodrigo y Gabriela in concert with Zach Heckendorf
Rodrigo y Gabriela are unlike any musical duo you're likely to encounter. They're heavily influenced by heavy metal bands, yet they're mostly acoustic and their Mexican heritage plays a big part in their output as well. Any way you slice it, they've gotten big enough to play a venue like Winspear Opera House, where they'll be joined by Zach Heckendorf.
Downtown Dallas Summer Movie Series: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Alamo Drafthouse isn't the only place you can see classic movies in outdoor setting this summer. Downtown Dallas is taking advantage of its various open spaces to show one free movie a week for four weeks. This week's offering is Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, taking place in Browder Plaza at the corner of Browder and Commerce Streets.
Dallas Arts District Late Night Parties
It won't be quite the fest that last month's Summer Block Party was, but the three Dallas Art District museums will each put on their monthly late night celebrations - Late Nights at the DMA, 'til Midnight at Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Collection After Dark. Come to get an after-hours peek at their exhibits, listen to music, watch movies or any number of other activities.
Saturday, July 20
Frontiers of Flight Museum presents 2013 Moon Day
Even though the Frontiers of Flight Museum celebrates Moon Day, or the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, every year, the event is more about looking forward than looking back. They're interested in the future of space exploration, and hope to inspire kids to share that same passion. A variety of exhibits and activities will show off the wonders of astronomy.
Kid Rock in concert with Uncle Kracker
Ticket prices for concerts continue to skyrocket, so it's pretty refreshing to see a big name like Kid Rock offer tickets on the cheap. Every ticket, from the front row to the lawn seats at Gexa Energy Pavilion, was available for $20. The concert, featuring longtime collaborator Uncle Kracker, will also have discounted parking, food and merchandise.
Sunday, July 21
Dallas Opera presents Jack and the Beanstalk
The Dallas Opera isn't in season right now, but that doesn't mean they're not still busy putting on events. This kid-friendly offering, taking place at Dallas Children's Theater, is an operatic take on the classic fairy tale, complete with music from Sir Arthur Sullivan. Early exposure to the arts is always a good thing, and the price - $5 per person - is just right.
Amphibian Stage Productions presents The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)
As people in the Bible Belt will tell you, "Sunday is God's day," so why not take them at their word and see the newest play from Amphibian Stage Productions? Of course, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) may not be what they had in mind, as it is a satirical look at theological questions that have puzzled through the years. The play will run through August 11.