This weekend around Dallas has so many different types of events going on that there's something for everybody. Choices include the opening of a virtual reality venue, a film festival, two local theater events, a precursor to the State Fair of Texas, three concerts, great magic, a different kind of basketball, and more.
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, August 15
Dreamscape Opening Day
Dreamscape, located on the second level of NorthPark Center, lets adventurers of all ages experience the magic of immersive and full sensory storytelling as they are transported to fantastic new worlds via virtual reality. The venue opens with three separate experiences — Alien Zoo, The Curse of the Lost Pearl: A Magic Projector Adventure, and The Blu: Deep Rescue — with different ones to come in the future.
Women Texas Film Festival
Women Texas Film Festival focuses solely on the work of female filmmakers. This year’s edition will showcase 17 feature-length films and 29 short films, including opening night film, CRSHD, and closing night film, Emmett (Boy Genius). The festival, going on through Sunday, will take place at multiple locations, including Texas Theatre, Alamo Drafthouse Cedars, Methodist Dallas, and Wild Detectives.
Star Wars screenings
If you're a fan of the original Star Wars trilogy, you won't have any trouble finding screenings of each of the three films this weekend. Episode IV: A New Hope (aka just Star Wars) will screen outside at Toyota Music Factory on Thursday as the start of a three-week series of all three films, while The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi will screen at the Majestic Theatre on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.
Cara Mia Theatre Co. presents Latinidades: A Festival of Solo Shows
Latinidades is a unique festival of solo shows featuring performers, stories, and experiences from around the United States. Taking place over four weekends at Latino Cultural Center, it will showcase three different shows, including Evolution of a Sonero (August 15-18), Your Healing is Killing Me (August 22-25); and Ursula, part of last season’s Teatro En Fuga: A Festival of New Works (August 29-September 8).
Friday, August 16
North Texas Fair & Rodeo
The North Texas Fair & Rodeo is an annual nine-day event that offers activities for all ages, including live concerts, horse and livestock shows, contests, cook-offs, food, fun, games, and more. Headlining performers will include Tracy Lawrence, Pat Green, Easton Corbin, Kody West, and more. The fair will take place at the North Texas Fairgrounds in Denton through August 24.
Anomaly: The Magic of Robby Bennett and Other Curiosities
Magician Robby Bennett will perform spellbinding routines with gripping stories and hilarious anecdotes as narration in this event at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson. He will even take someone from the audience and turn them into a genuine magician in a matter of minutes. Bennett's blend of fantasy and comedy makes it a unique kind of performance.
Dallas Theater Center presents Public Works Dallas’ As You Like It
Dallas Theater Center, in collaboration with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts and AT&T Performing Arts Center, presents Public Works Dallas’ As You Like It, a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. As You Like It is an immersive dream-like tale of faithful friends, feuding families, and lovers in disguise. The production will have five performances through Sunday.
Grace VanderWaal in concert
Grace VanderWaal wowed legions of viewers with her voice and ukulele skills when she won the 11th season of America's Got Talent in 2016. Now the ripe old age of 15, she has released one EP, Perfectly Imperfect, and one album, Just the Beginning, and comes to Dallas in support of her latest single, "Ur So Beautiful." She'll play at Granada Theater.
Saturday, August 17
Big3: 3-on-3 Basketball League
Created in part by rapper/actor Ice Cube, the BIG3 is a three-on-three professional basketball league, which combines superstar players and fan interaction before and after the games to make for an exciting live experience. The games feature half-court play and rules designed for competition and intensity. Each of the 12 teams is full of former NBA players like former Dallas Maverick Jason Terry, DeShawn Stevenson, Drew Gooden, Greg Oden, and more. There will be six total games played at American Airlines Center.
Sunday, August 18
Nasher Sculpture Center presents "Sheila Hicks" Closing Day
Nasher Sculpture Center will close "Sheila Hicks," an eponymous exhibition of new and recent work by the American-born, Paris-based artist. For her exhibition at the Nasher, Hicks created a new, site-specific installation in the garden, a sweeping gesture spanning portions of the outdoor space, and installed recent fiber sculptures in the Lower Level Gallery.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band in concert
A singer, composer, and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums over three decades. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of Americana, swing, jazz, folk, gospel, and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. He'll perform at Winspear Opera House.
Vampire Weekend in concert
Since their debut in 2008, Vampire Weekend has evolved into one of the most popular rock bands around. They've scored three No. 1 albums in a row, including 2019's Father of the Bride, on the strength of songs like "A-Punk," "Horchata," and "Harmony Hall." They'll play at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, with support from opening act Christone "Kingfish" Ingram.