Weekend Event Planner

These are the 9 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

These are the 9 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Big Tex and State Fair of Texas at sunset
The State Fair of Texas starts its 24-day run at Fair Park on September 27. Photo courtesy of the State Fair of Texas
Alfre Woodard in Clemency
Clemency, starring Alfre Woodard, is one of several Oscar hopefuls screening at the North Texas Film Festival, taking place September 26-29 at Cinemark West Plano. Photo courtesy of Neon
Michelle Obama
Former first lady Michelle Obama will appear at Winspear Opera House on September 26. Photo courtesy of Live Nation
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend from The Who
The Who will play at American Airlines Center on September 27. Photo by William Synder Trinifold
Red Bull Soapbox Race DFW
The Redbull Soapbox Race will take place at Austin Ranch in The Colony on September 28. Photo courtesy of Red Bull Soapbox Race DFW
Big Tex and State Fair of Texas at sunset
Alfre Woodard in Clemency
Michelle Obama
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend from The Who
Red Bull Soapbox Race DFW

The smaller number of events on this week's list doesn't do justice to the vast entertainment quality that they collectively contain. You have big-time movies, a former first lady, a renowned violinist, music from an Emmy-winning TV show, the start of the Halloween season, a classic rock band, a showcase of luxury cars, a crazy car race, and, to top it off, the start of biggest event of the year in Dallas.

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, September 26

North Texas Film Festival
The inaugural North Texas Film Festival is absolutely packed with Oscar-worthy films, classic movies, and intriguing documentaries. Selections for the festival, running through Sunday at Cinemark West Plano and The Star in Frisco, include Oscar hopefuls The Laundromat, Clemency, Marriage Story, Dolemite is My Name, and The Two Popes, and retrospective screenings of Poltergeist, The Blind Side, and Friday Night Lights.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents #HearHere: An Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama
As a transformative U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama launched a number of initiatives, including Let’s Move!, Joining Forces, Reach Higher, and Let Girls Learn. An accomplished lawyer prior to her husband's election, she has long dedicated her life to public institutions. And her 2018 memoir, Becoming, sold more copies than any other book published in the United States in 2018. She'll talk about all of that and more in this special event at Winspear Opera House.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Joshua Bell
For this concert, violinist Joshua Bell solos in and conducts Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto and the composer’s popular “Italian” Symphony. The concert, taking place on Thursday and Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center, also includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 and Adagio for Violin and Orchestra. Bell will also be the headline performer at the DSO's annual gala on September 28.

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience
In a bit of serendipitous timing, coming just four days after Game of Thrones' final win at the Emmy Awards, this concert will feature the excitement, terror, heartbreak, and history of composer Ramin Djawadi's music. Audiences can relive the greatest musical pieces and footage from all eight seasons at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, as Djawadi reworked the musical and visual elements of the concert to create a brand-new live experience that encompasses fan-favorite pieces from the entire series.

Friday, September 27

State Fair of Texas
What more can you say about the State Fair of Texas? The 24-day, four-weekend extravaganza at Fair Park is predictably great, from the butter sculptures to the pig races to the oodles of fried food. You can try all the new concoctions, check out the midway, enjoy free concerts every day (starting with Rick Springfield on Friday), and more. And since it's silly to actually pay full price for admission, make sure to check out the full list of discounts available.

Haunted houses
While some got an earlier start, the last weekend of September is when haunted houses begin in earnest, kicking the Halloween season into high gear. Among the best haunted experiences in the Dallas area are Dark Hour Haunted House in Plano, The Parker House in DentonSix Flags over Texas presents Fright Fest: Fright by Night in Arlington, and Reindeer Manor Halloween Park in Red Oak.

The Who in concert
Despite being one of the most acclaimed bands in history, The Who have become known by many in the 21st century as the group that provided the theme songs for the entire CSI franchise. But the legendary rockers, still led by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, are way more than just those handful of hits. They're even releasing a new album, their first in 13 years, in November. They will play at American Airlines Center. (UPDATE: Due to illness, this concert has been postponed. Ticketholders should hold on to their tickets, as the date will be rescheduled.)

Saturday, September 28

Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase
The 3rd Annual Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase features some of the most coveted car brands in the world, including Rolls-Royce, Maserati, McLaren, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Volvo, Land Rover, and Jaguar. The event, taking place at Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, will also feature a fashion show and hat contest, bites from top local restaurants, and pop-up shops, as well as music performances and a kids' area.

Red Bull Soapbox Race
Red Bull Soapbox Race features some of the wildest legal street racing around, with over 50 teams competing for soapbox supremacy by careening through a treacherous downhill course featuring jumps, bumps, curves, and swerves. The creativity in car designs will astound, ranging from a Barbie jeep to a Mavs ManiAAC-manned basketball shoe. The free event takes place at Austin Ranch in The Colony.