Weekend Event Planner
These are the 13 best things to do in Dallas this New Year's weekend
With New Year's Eve falling on Sunday this year, that means there will be lots of celebrations happening in and around Dallas. But parties aren't the only order of the day, as there will also be a bunch of comedy, a big college football game, a cultural dance experience, theater, concerts, and more.
Below are more best ways to spend your precious free time this New Year's weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events. For the best New Year's Eve celebrations, check out the list here. New Year's Eve feasts can be found here, and New Year's Day brunch is here.
Thursday, December 28
Improv Arlington presents Tony Rock
The first of many comedy events in the Dallas area this weekend features Tony Rock, perhaps better known as Chris Rock's brother. But he's been able to successfully elude the shadows of his older sibling and step into his own limelight by proving himself as a skillful comedian, actor, and executive producer. He'll perform seven times through Sunday at Improv Arlington.
Improv Addison presents Ralph Barbosa
Ralph Barbosa was named the Funniest Comic in Texas in 2019, was the winner of the New York Latino Film Festival Stand Up Comedy competition in 2021, and recently made his HBO debut on the HA Festival Comedy Special. He also sold out six shows in Dallas in August for an upcoming Netflix special. He'll perform seven times through Sunday at Improv Addison.
Friday, December 29
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Missouri vs. Ohio State
The Cotton Bowl Classic may not mean as much this college football bowl season, as other bowls are hosting the College Football Playoffs, but the Ohio State Buckeyes and Missouri Tigers still proved themselves as two of the best teams in the nation, finishing at No. 7 and No. 9, respectively. They'll face off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Shen Yun’s unique artistic vision expands theatrical experience into a multi-dimensional, deeply moving journey. Featuring one of the world’s most ancient and richest dance systems - classical Chinese dance - along with dynamic animated backdrops and all-original orchestral works, Shen Yun opens a portal to a civilization of enchanting beauty and enlightening wisdom. The troupe will perform eight times through January 7 at Winspear Opera House.
Pegasus Theatre presents Death Express!
Pegasus Theatre will present the Living Black & White™ Harry Hunsacker adventure, Death Express! The action occurs on the Trans-Continental Express from Los Angeles to New York, where inept but endearing detective Harry Hunsacker and his paid-by-the-hour friend and assistant, Nigel Grouse (along with Lt. Foster of the real police) find themselves trapped on a train headed for murder. Who is the vicious killer determined to slay everyone on board the train? Murder and mayhem abound in the delightful tribute to old black-and-white movies. The production runs through January 21 at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson.
Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts presents Nochebuena: A Christmas Spectacular
In Mexico, Christmas is not just a single day, but a whole season of Christmas-related celebrations. Today, the Christmas traditions in Mexico are a blend of indigenous culture, Spanish heritage, and many influences. This event at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts features a performance by Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuellar.
Saturday, December 30
Lights All Night
The annual two-day music festival known as Lights All Night features over 40 top electronic dance music acts from around the world. Each day will have a different lineup of performers, including Skrillex, AC Slater, Marsh, Champagne Drip, Westend, Jody Wisternoff, and more. The festival takes place at Dallas Market Hall on Saturday and Sunday.
Kevin Fowler in concert
Texas country music singer Kevin Fowler has been trying to make his way in the industry for over 20 years, releasing nine albums since 2000. He's slowly but surely made his way up the charts, including with his well-received 2019 album, Barstool Stories. He'll play at Longhorn Ballroom as part of his Deck the Dancehalls Tour.
Toadies in concert
It's always a good day when Fort Worth originals Toadies take the stage again. While the band has only had a minimal impact on the national music stage, they've been beloved locally ever since their 1994 debut album, Rubberneck. They've gone on to release six more albums in their career, most recently 2017's The Lower Side of Uptown. They'll play at The Factory in Deep Ellum.
Gary Owen's DFW NYE Takeover VII
Comedian Gary Owen will present his seventh annual New Year's Eve comedy show, featuring performances by Deon Cole, Bruce Bruce, Luenell, Shawn Larkins, and T-Robe on December 30, and Kountry Wayne, Donnell Rawlings, Melanie Comarcho, JJ Williams, and T-Robe on December 31. The event takes place at Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie.
Sunday, December 31
Last call for holiday events
While a few holiday events extend beyond this weekend, many of them will wrap up their runs on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. This weekend is your last chance to see ICE! featuring Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" at Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Vitruvian Lights in Addison, The Light Park in both Frisco and Arlington, and Dallas Zoo Lights.
Little Feat in concert
As a band, Little Feat has been recording for over 50 years, debuting in 1971. They had their heyday from 1974-1990, with No. 1 songs like "Hate to Lose Your Lovin'" and "Texas Twister," among other hits. While they haven't put out any new music since the 2012 album Rooster Rag, they still feature original members Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, and Kenny Gradney, who will take fans through their long career. They'll play at Longhorn Ballroom, joined by Miko Marks.
Hyena's presents Samuel Comroe
Comedian Samuel Comroe will bring in the New Year with two special shows at Hyena's Comedy Club in Dallas. Comroe made his TV debut on Conan, and went on to appear BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood with Kevin Hart and as a contestant on America’s Got Talent. His comedy is made up of the trials and tribulations of living with Tourette Syndrome and observational material based on his life experiences.