There's one obvious choice when it comes to events this weekend, and that is the State Fair of Texas. The annual three-week event dominates the scene every year, but that doesn't mean there's nothing else to do. Among other things, you can watch champion gymnasts in action, see one of the stars of The Daily Show, or view some great art in the great outdoors.
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, September 29
Coaches vs. Cancer: Texas Tip-Off
The American Cancer Society’s inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer Texas Tip-off, taking place at House of Blues Dallas, features Texas sports personalities and Division I men’s basketball coaches from around the state as they come together to join the fight against cancer at a cocktail reception/pep rally. Participating coaches include Baylor's Scott Drew, Texas A&M's Billy Kennedy, UNT's Tony Benford, SMU's Tim Jankovich, TCU's Jamie Dixon, and Texas' Shaka Smart.
2016 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions
It was a blast watching the U.S. women's gymnastics team dominate at the 2016 Olympics, and now is your chance to see them in person at American Airlines Center. Among the gymnasts performing are 2016 Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles, 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas, 2012 Olympic floor exercise champion Aly Raisman, 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin, and 2012 Olympic team gold-medalist Jordyn Wieber.
Friday, September 30
2016 State Fair of Texas
The day has finally arrived — the State Fair of Texas is back in town. It's time once again to check out kitschy exhibits, see free concerts, play midway games, jump on a bunch of fun rides, and, of course, gorge yourself with food you'll only find at the fair. Among the new options this year are fried Jell-O, Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Pecan Pie Poppers, and more. The State Fair is at Fair Park through October 23.
State Fair of Texas presents "Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel - The Exhibition"
This unique exhibition re-creates one of the world’s greatest artistic achievements, Michelangelo’s renowned ceiling frescoes from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, reproduced photographically and artfully displayed in their original size. The exhibition is open every day during the State Fair of Texas in the Women’s Museum building.
Hasan Minhaj in concert
Anyone who didn't give up on The Daily Show when Jon Stewart left has been watching the hilarity that correspondent Hasan Minhaj brings to the program on a consistent basis. Minhaj comes to Texas Theatre to perform his one-man show, Homecoming King, based on true events from Minhaj’s first-generation Indian-American experience.
Saturday, October 1
One Day University presents The American Presidency: Past, Present, Future
The presidential race of 2016 has been unlike any other in our nation's history. In a period where issues are overshadowed by personalities, understanding the importance of democracy and the power of your vote is more important than ever. This One Day University event at the Omni Dallas Hotel explores the foundation, legacy, and current state of the presidency.
2016 Cottonwood Art Festival
Twice a year, Cottonwood Park in Richardson comes alive with art, music, and more. The fall edition of Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried art show featuring 240 artists exhibiting museum-quality work. The festival, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, also features top local bands, children's events, food and drink, and much more.
2016 Lake Highlands Oktoberfest
Lake Highlands Oktoberfest is family-friendly event featuring good food, good beer, and good times. This year's event, taking place at Flag Pole Hill Park, features restaurant row, a kids entertainment section, and music from Bowling for Soup, Rhymin' N' Stealin', The O's, and Calhoun.
Sunday, October 2
Encore Park presents Warner Brothers Does Dallas Film Series, Part 3
For the last three weeks, venues around Dallas have been hosting screenings of films distributed by Warner Bros. in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s to honor the company's history in Dallas. The third and final screening, Captain Blood starring Errol Flynn, takes place at Encore Park, which sits next to the old Warner Bros. building in downtown Dallas.
Monday, October 3
CultureMap Social: Top Texans Under 30 Edition
True, this isn't the weekend, but any time we throw one of our patented socials, it's bound to be a good time. This one celebrates our recent list of the Top Texans Under 30, especially the five Dallasites included on the inaugural list of the twentysomething trailblazers. You can eat, drink, and rub elbows with a couple hundred hot young professionals at Fearing's. Also expect our usual party tricks and swag bags.