Weekend Event Planner
The third weekend in September means a lot of things around Dallas, including the official start of fall, the beginning of Halloween events, and the one-week countdown to the State Fair of Texas. But this year it also means visits from a music superstar, a couple of big comedians, a major LGBTQ event, a new production of a favorite musical, and more.
Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, September 21
HEB | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival
The annual Plano Balloon Festival is a multi-day event that features balloon glows, skydivers, hot air balloons, concerts, fireworks, a huge kid’s fun zone, merchandise vendors, corporate exhibitors, and variety of foods. There will also be a half marathon, relay, 5K run/walk, and 1-mile Fun Run. The festival takes place daily through Sunday at Red Tail Pavilion.
Haunted houses/Halloween events
Halloween is over a month a way, but you can get in the spirit now by going to one of the handful of big haunted houses/Halloween events in the Dallas area. They include Pumpkin Nights at Howell Farms in Arlington, featuring over 5,000 hand-carved real and artificial pumpkins; Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texasin Arlington, featuring seven different haunted houses, a variety of scare zones with zombies, witches, and more, and chilling rides in the dark; J&F House of Terror, featuring an indoor haunted house and an outdoor haunted maze; and Dark Hour Haunted Housein Plano, with a witch-themed storyline. All will take place through at least October 31.
Beyoncé in concert
It's taken a long time, but R&B/pop superstar Beyoncé has finally arrived in Arlington in one of the last stops on her Renaissance World Tour. The tour, which is in support of her 2022 album, Renaissance, has been met with rapturous reviews at every stop, featuring a variety of big special guests and the production value that only Queen Bey can deliver. If you're lucky enough to have a ticket, you can see her perform at AT&T Stadium.
Ilana Glazer Live!
Comedian llana Glazer co-created and co-starred in the critically acclaimed series Broad City. Since that series ended in 2019, she's debuted her first stand-up comedy special, The Planet Is Burning, on Amazon Prime, and put out a film, False Positive, on Hulu. She can most recently be seen in The Afterparty on Apple TV+. She'll perform at Majestic Theatre.
Friday, September 22
Unleashed LGBTQ is a first-of-its-kind conference and entertainment festival creating a space for brands, artists, and LGBTQ+ professionals to connect. The lineup will include some of the most prominent names in the LGBTQ+ community, including Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye, Dyllón Burnside and Indya Moore of Pose, Billy Eichner of Bros, former Penn State Rep. Brian Sims, and more. It takes place at Gilley's Dallas through Sunday. While not part of that event, another big name in the LGBTQ community, Chasten Buttigieg, will be in town signing copies of his new book at Oak Lawn Branch Library on Saturday.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents "Great American Songbook Selections"
Music Director Fabio Luisi makes his first appearance on the Pops Series with "Great American Songbook Selections," featuring influential American popular songs, jazz standards, and other pieces. Highlighted by soprano Karen Slack and tenor Issachah Savage, the concert will have three performances through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.
The Mavericks in concert
For more than 30 years, The Mavericks have made their own way in the music industry, along the way becoming masters of country-Latin rock ’n’ roll. The band, born in the rich cultural mix of Miami, found their biggest success during their Nashville days in the 1990s, with hits like "O What a Thrill" and "Here Comes the Rain." Their most recent album was 2020's En Español. They'll play at Majestic Theatre.
TITAS/Dance Unbound presents MOMIX: Alice
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, choreographer Moses Pendleton’s newest work explores Alice’s adventures with the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, and more. Having enchanted audiences for over 40 years, internationally renowned dance company MOMIX blends creativity and visual illusions to reveal nothing is as it seems. They'll perform three times through Saturday at Moody Performance Hall.
Saturday, September 23
Nasher Sculpture Center presents "Groundswell: Women of Land Art" opening day
For many years, art historical narratives of land art have been dominated by men. "Groundswell: Women of Land Art" intends to shift that focus to shed new light on the vast number of land works by women artists, whose careers ran parallel to their better-known male counterparts, yet have received less recognition and representation in museum presentations. The exhibition will be on display through January 7, 2024.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Latinidad Festival
The annual Latinidad Festival is a celebration of dance, music, food, local vendors, family crafts, art, and culture. The one-day event at Strauss Square on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus will bring the color and diversity of Latin America while also supporting and spotlighting local businesses, organizations, and artists.
Bert Kreischer: Tops Off World Tour
Comedian Bert Kreischer’s career has evolved from earning Rolling Stone’s 1997 Number One Partier in the Nation, to one of the top grossing stand-up comics in the business. Shameless and shirtless as ever, Bert spills on bodily emissions, being bullied by his kids, and the explosive end to his family's escape room outing. He'll perform at American Airlines Center.
Jelly Roll in concert
Rap and country music aren't usually two things that go well together, but Jason DeFord (aka Jelly Roll) has been carving his own unique path. The prolific artist has released 18 albums in just 13 years, including four Waylon & Willie albums, on which he's collaborated with Struggle Jennings, Waylon's step-grandson. The recently-released Whitsitt Chapelis his biggest success to date, coming in at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. He'll play at Dos Equis Pavilion.
Dallas Theater Center presents The Rocky Horror Show
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.” The production runs through October 29 at Kalita Humphreys Theater.
Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts presents Manual Cinema: Frankenstein
Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways as Manual Cinema presents its version of the classic Gothic tale, Frankenstein. The Chicago-based performance collective imaginatively combines shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, sound effects, and live music for a haunting show. The performance will be at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson.
Sunday, September 24
Dallas Children's Theater presents Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
In the Zimbabwe-based Cinderella tale Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, an African villager named Mufaro has two daughters whom everyone agrees are beautiful. Manyara possesses a bad temper and is self-centered, and Nyasha is kind and considerate to people and to animals. When Mufaro learns that the King is in the process of meeting all of the most worthy and beautiful women in order to choose a wife, he decides that both of his daughters should go. The production will have five performances through October 14 at Dallas Children's Theater.
Ann Wilson of Heart in concert
For over 40 years, Ann Wilson was best known as the lead singer of the rock band Heart. She and her sister, Nancy, crafted indelible hits like "Crazy on You," "Barracuda," "Alone," and more. Since 2016, though, both Ann and Nancy have been pursuing side projects, with Ann and her new band Tripsitter recording two albums, including the new Another Door, set for release on September 29. They'll play at Majestic Theatre.