Things To Do Around DFW: Heart Walk, NASCAR racing, Haunted Houses and more

Haunted House
Photo credit Ralf Nau/GettyImages

Another busy weekend across DFW. Don't just sit inside, find something great to do Around Town with John Liddle.

20 Years in 20 Minutes

An immersive projection experience, 20 Years in 20 Minutes seeks to highlight the 20 years of the Eisemann Center during its 20th Anniversary Celebration. The experience will explore the Eisemann Center’s immense impact on the art landscape of Richardson and the greater North Texas area as a whole.

Where: Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, 2351 Performance Dr., Richardson

When: September 21-25, 28-30

Cost: $20

More info:

AT&T Performing Arts Center: Family Weekend

Kick off your weekends at Sammons Park with these free outdoor events perfect for the entire family. Enjoy complimentary activities for children like face painting, balloon artists, temporary arm tattoos, a petting zoo and more. Gather the family to play lawn games and a round of mini golf at the Reliant Putting Green. Cool off and splash around the Donor Pool. Bring your own picnic or grab lunch at the Center Café to wrap up an ideal family outing! On September 24, come see the amazing birds from Window to the Wild soar and learn all about them during this educational flight program starting at 11am.

Where: Sammons Park, 2403 Flora St., Dallas

When: Saturday, September 24 at 10 a.m.

Cost: Free

More info:

American Heart Association Heart Walks in Dallas and Fort Worth

More than 70,000 area residents are expected to lace up their shoes and take steps in the fight against heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the world. The Dallas and Fort Worth Heart Walks will take place simultaneously: in Dallas at the Base of Reunion Tower and in Fort Worth at the Shops at Clearfork. The Heart Walk is a 5K and 1-mile non-competitive walk that promotes walking as part of a healthy lifestyle and raises funds to support cardiovascular research and educational programs throughout North Texas.

Where: Dallas - Reunion Tower / Fort Worth - Shops at Clearfork

When: September 24 at 9 a.m.

Cost: Free

More info: /

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 NASCAR Cup Series Race Weekend

NASCAR returns to Texas Motor Speedway Sept. 24-25 for the NASCAR Playoffs race weekend. Both the NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series will compete on the 1.5 mile speedway with drivers looking to advance in NASCAR's Playoffs. Daughtry will perform a pre-race concert before the race on Sunday.

Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth

When: September 20 - 25

Cost: Various price points ($10 and up)

More info:

Billy Bob’s: DRAKE MILLIGAN (Fri) / COLE SWINDELL (Saturday)

Where: Billy Bob’s, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Ft Worth

When: Friday at 10 p.m., Saturday at 10 p.m.

Cost: $18 - $65

More info:

Carnival! From Garland Civic Theatre

Carnival! opens at Garland Civic Theatre this Friday, September 9th. One of the original Broadway cast members of Carnival!, Buff Shurr, is consulting on this show. Buff started out as a roustabout and dance captain in the 1961 Broadway production of Carnival! then took over as Marco. Buff lives in Garland now and helped Carnival! Director Patty Granville start Garland Summer Musicals in the 1980s. Buff turns 95 this week and Garland Civic is dedicating the show to him. They’re also hosting a reception to honor him after the show on opening night so people can visit with him about his Broadway days.

Where: Granville Arts Center, 300 N. 5th St., Garland

When: September 23-25

Cost: $15 and up

More info:

Cirque du Soleil: OVO

The show plunges the audience into the hidden universe alive at our feet; an ecosystem teeming with life and unseen beings - insects that work, eat, crawl, flutter, feast, fight and court among each other in an ongoing explosion of energy and movement. The arena will be filled with unstoppable energy for five shows.

Where: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth

When: September 22 - 24 at 7:30 p.m.; September 24 at 3:30 p.m; September 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $58 and up

More info:


Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce meets-murder mystery that will leave both cult-fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out…WHO did it, WHERE, and with WHAT! The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects.

Where: Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., Dallas

When: September 8-25

Cost: $20 and up

More info:

DFW Fiber Fest

DFW Fiber Fest was first held in 2006 with the goal to support the knitting, crochet and spinning craft community in the DFW Metroplex. DFW Fiber Fest has been built on a dual foundation — providing an educational venue and producing a well-curated vendor hall for fiber enthusiasts of all skill levels. The vendor hall is a juried show with a great variety of fiber vendors.

Where: Irving Convention Center, Irving

When: September 22 - 25

Cost: Varies

More info:

DSO: Symphonic Dances

America from three distinct viewpoints is on display in this stirring concert. The fantasy world of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft inspired Connesson’s “Celephais.” James Agee’s poem depicting a summer evening in a sleepy southern town personally resonated with Barber — the combination of Agee’s words and Barber’s music is pure magic. Rachmaninoff blends his love of his new American home with nostalgia for his native Russia in his Symphonic Dances.

The three pieces come together to emulate America’s melting pot origins, with lush and energetic works starting off the program and leading to Rachmaninoff’s last major composition, the Symphonic Dances. Traverse the breadth and depth of each experience in this deeply moving program.

Where: Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., Dallas

When: September 22 - 24

Cost: $18 and up

More info:

DSO: Cherry Rhodes | Gould Family Organ Recital Series

Cherry Rhodes is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). She has toured extensively through major music capitals of America, Europe and Asia with recitals in world-renowned cathedrals, churches concert and concert halls including Notre Dame, Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center. She returns to the Meyerson Symphony Center after having last performed here in 1993.

Where: Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., Dallas

When: September 25 at 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $24 and up

More info:

Dallas Arboretum: Autumn at the Arboretum

The 17th annual Autumn at the Arboretum features 100,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, hailing from THE pumpkin capital of Texas, Floydada, throughout the garden. This year’s theme ‘A Fall Fairy Tale’ features the return of Cinderella’s Carriage, along with themed pumpkin houses that make up the acclaimed Pumpkin Village, and of course, a maze for younger visitors. Other gourd-eous displays reimagine classic tales of Jack & The Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, The Sword in the Stone and One Thousand and One Nights.

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas

When: September 17 - October 31

Cost: $12 and up

More info:

Dallas Arboretum: "#IfThenSheCan" Pop-Up Exhibit

Lyda Hill Philanthropies' IF/THEN Initiative presents #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit. This monumental exhibit of 120 3-D printed statues celebrates contemporary women innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and features the most statues of real women ever assembled together. The Exhibit will be on display at the Dallas Arboretum from September 9th through December 31st. The statues will be in one of four locations within the Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Garden.

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas

When: Saturday, September 10 through December 31

Cost: Free with garden admission

More info:

Dinosaurs Live

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney will be able to let their imagination run wild as they travel back in time along a half-mile nature trail with eleven life-size animatronic dinosaurs. During the 17th Annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-Size Animatronic Dinosaurs exhibit, these animatronic dinosaurs will move and roar, providing an experience sure to captivate visitors. This exhibit will also offer interesting facts about both herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs.

Children and the young at heart will also have the opportunity to play on stationary baby dinosaurs, a photo-op Tyrannosaurus rex and a photo op Pachyrhinosaurus. This year’s exhibit will also feature an outdoor hadrosaur fossil dig to inspire future paleontologists.

Where: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, 1 Nature Pl., McKinney

When: Daily September 3 through February 20, 2023

Cost: $12

More info:

Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic

Returning after a three-year break, the beloved NBA champ and Dallas Maverick favorite will host the fifth-annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic on Sunday. The round-robin tournament concludes around 3 p.m. Joining Dirk for the charity pro-am competition will be Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Dončić, plus former tennis pro Andy Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open championship. He is the last American man to finish No. 1 in the ATP World Tour Rankings. Proceeds benefit The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which awards grants annually to organizations focusing on children’s wellbeing, health and education.

Where: SMU Tennis Center, 5669 N. Central Expy., Dallas

When: Sunday, September 25 at 11 a.m.

Cost: $41

More info:

Fort Worth Oktoberfest

It’s time to lace up your lederhosen and dust off your dirndl for a 3-day authentic German fest with all your favorites in German bier, food, live music, shopping und more! This year’s lineup includes Alex Meixner Band, Das Ist Lustig, Chardon Polka Band, Alpenmusikanten and Walburg Boys, just to name a few. Whether you want to kick back in the biergarten, shop in the marktstrass or test your skills at stein hoisting and bier barrel rolling, there is fun for everyone. Fort Worth Oktoberfest also hosts a 5k Run, 20-mile urban bike ride and carnival rides and games.

Where: Trinity Park, 2401 University Dr., Fort Worth

When: September 22 - 24

Cost: $10-$20

More info:


Young Hamlet returns home to discover the world-shattering news that his father is dead, and his mother has married his father's brother. A ghostly encounter leads to madness, revenge, death, and the downfall of the kingdom.

Where: Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, 1500 Tenison Pkwy., Dallas

When: September 22-25, September 29 - October 3, October 7-9, 13-15

Cost: $15 and up

More info:

HEB/Central Market Plano Balloon Festival

The major draw for this Balloon Festival will be the 30 magnificent, colorful, hot air balloons.

But there’s also food, a Cornhole Tournament, incredible Main Stage performances with the

Plano Symphony Orchestra (Thursday), Party Machine (Friday), Moving Colors Band (Saturday), and Saturday and Sunday local bands and dance groups will perform throughout the day.

All Parking, Admission Gates, and Kids Fun Zone Ticket Booths will ONLY accept Credit, Debit, and Apple Pay.

Where: Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, 2801 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano

When: September 23-25

Cost: $10 - Adults / $5 - Kids 3-12 years old / $5 - Seniors 65 and older / Free - Kids under 36”

More info:

Immersive King Tut: Magic Journey to the Light

100 years ago the boy king’s tomb was discovered. Now, celebrate the anniversary by venturing into the Valley of the Kings at Immersive King Tut!

The ground-breaking Immersive King Tut experience takes you on a mythical journey through the Egyptian afterlife! As Pharaoh, Tutankhamun is the sun of his nation. In this immersive experience, you will follow him on his journey through the underworld. Will he triumph and bring his people eternal light and prosperity?

Where: Lighthouse Dallas, 507 S. Harwood St., Dallas

When: Daily through November 13 (could last longer)

Cost: $25 and up

More info:

J&F House of Terror

The Haunted House Maze is back for the 2022 season. The haunted maze is recommended for those 14 and older. Patrons under 14 can come with a parent or guardian. You must purchase tickets online.

Where: Firewheel Town Center, 245 Cedar Sage Dr., Garland (East of Barnes & Noble and Dillards)

When: Most nights through October 31

Cost: $20 +

More info:

Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School

Listen up, I tell you! Junie B. Jones is back, and she's got some advice to give...eventually. It was her brilliant idea to put together a survival guide for next year's students, but now she's at a total loss for what to add to it! It doesn’t help that all her friends are full of cool ideas and dance numbers. How's a girl supposed to deal with all this competition? Hilariously, of course! In this musical extravaganza great for back-to-school time, Junie B. Jones learns some important lessons about school, patience, and personal growth. This play is perfect for fans of Junie B. and newcomers alike!

Where: Dallas Children's Theater, 5938 Skillman St., Dallas

When: Saturdays and Sundays through October 30

Cost: $18 and up

More info:

KC & The Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band are still as widely popular today as they were when they first danced into the music scene 40 years ago. GET DOWN TONIGHT”, “THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT)” and “SHAKE YOUR BOOTY” are just some of the great jams you’ll hear on Saturday night.

Where: Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington

When: Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $48 and up

More info:

Klyde Warren Park: Rich Girls and The Beautiful Ones

Klyde Warren Park and The Sound at Cypress Waters are teaming up to present some of your favorite local tribute bands. Rich Girls & The Beautiful Ones bring Hall & Oates music to the first hour and Prince songs to life in the second hour! Be sure to get there early to reserve your seat since admission is free and spots will fill up fast. Bring your lawn chair or blankets.

The bands will also play Saturday night at the Sound at Cypress Waters in Coppell.

Where: Klyde Warren Park, Dallas

When: Friday, September 23 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

More info:

“Liberty & Laughter: The Lighter Side of the White House”

The George W. Bush Presidential Center's special exhibit glimpses behind-the-scenes into the lighter side of life in the White House. Entertaining first family anecdotes, interactive multimedia, and amusing artifacts unveil presidential pranks, inside jokes, and more. Revealing how humor has evolved from our Founding Fathers to the present day makes one thing readily apparent – laughter remains vital to a thriving democracy.

Where: George W. Bush Presidential Center, 2943 SMU Blvd., Dallas

When: Through December 31

Cost: $26

More info:

McKinney Oktoberfest

Put on your lederhosen for a full weekend of German-themed fun in Historic Downtown McKinney. Enjoy the tradition of authentic German food with a feast fit for King Ludwig himself! Featuring brats, sausages, schnitzel, strudel, funnel cakes, roasted almonds and much more. McKinney Oktoberfest features an array of types and flavors of beer. Make sure to catch the Keg Tapping Meet the Brewmaster events.

Where: Downtown McKinney

When: Friday, Sept. 23, 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday, Sept 24, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 25, noon - 5 p.m.

Cost: Free; also a ticketless event. Concessions - are cashless.

More info:

Oktoberfeast at Legacy Hall, Plano

Come feast on this event packed with live music, German brats, and Sam Adams Octoberfest beer at Legacy Hall’s 5th Annual Oktoberfeast! They’re promising a “wunderbar” of a time with live polka music all day long featuring The Dogensteins! There will be German-themed competitions and games. Enjoy delicious handmade German brats and pretzels at the Brisket Love Pop-Up right in the Box Garden.

Where: Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano

When: Saturday, September 24 from Noon - 10 p.m.

Cost: Free. Some features are for a charge, including VIP tickets for $60

More info:

PNC Patio Sessions

Every Thursday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m., guests can come out to enjoy a happy hour – live music, beautiful scenery, fun games, putt-putt golf, and of course beverages. The free concerts featuring local artists are held on the patio outside the Center Café. Featured performers include La Pompe (September 22), Ceci Ceci (September 29), Trevor Tyrrell (October 6), Aurora Bleu (October 13), Strange Girl (October 20), Texas Jury Jam (October 27).

Where: Sammons Park, 2403 Flora St., Dallas

When: Thursdays through October 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m

Cost: Free

More info:

Pumpkin Nights at Howell Family Farms

Explore fantastical lands, built using over 3,000 hand-carved real (and synthetic) pumpkins. There’s magic around every corner, including a 40-foot long dragon, a ghostly pirate ship, and an undersea wonderland. It’s a family-friendly event that also includes the Pumpkin Village, the main festival area, with food and beverages, photo-ops, The Spirit of Pumpkins fire show and more.

Where: Howell Farms, 4016 W. Division, Arlington

When: Now - October 30, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. nightly

Cost: $26 for adults (13+), $16 for kids (4-12), Free for 3 and under

More info:

Shaking the Shadow at Amon Carter American Museum of Art

Over the course of the summer, Texas–based artist Justin Ginsberg will create a glass sculptural work inspired in part by the Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass exhibition. Ginsberg will work with a glass kiln set up on the Museum’s lawn each weekend, pulling glass threads measuring up to 30 feet in length. At the end of each glassmaking session, Ginsberg will install the threads he has created in the Carter’s Main Gallery, resulting in a large-scale glass “waterfall” sculpture. The public will be able to watch Ginsberg at work during his weekend sessions as well as witness the multi-month realization of his site-specific installation.

Where: Amon Carter American Museum of Art, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Ft Worth

When: June 11–September 25 (closed Mondays)

Cost: Free

More info:

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