21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week

Aurora isn't officially back 'til 2017, but you can catch a sneak peek of next year's installations at Prelude on Friday.
Aurora isn't officially back 'til 2017, but you can catch a sneak peek of next year's installations at Prelude on Friday.
Melissa Hennings

Wed 10/19

If there’s something that’s truly necessary when watching the presidential debates of this election season, it’s food and drink. Food that will satisfy instincts to eat emotionally, while preventing yelling. Possibly several stiff drinks to numb the pain. Camaraderie also helps, so both the Dallas and Richardson locations of Alamo Drafthouse are hosting free watch parties for the third and final debate, mediated by Fox News Sunday anchor, Chris Wallace. There doesn’t appear to be a sanctioned drinking game based on interruptions, but there is a themed menu featuring Trump’s “Build a Wall Around It” Taco Salad, Hillary’s Leak Pizza, and more. The party is free, but you can reserve seats by purchasing a $5 food and beverage voucher. Alamo Drafthouse (100 S. Central Expressway, Richardson; 1005 S. Lamar St., Dallas), 8 p.m., free, 214-914-4443, drafthouse.com. — Merritt Martin

Come hump day, do you find yourself needing a lot of alcohol and adorable cat videos? Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. has the perfect event: Their mid-week CatFest 2016 tasting event offers actual adorable kitties (available to adopt from Good Neighbors Animal Rescue), raffle items from the Creepy Cat Club (proceeds benefit GNAR), take-home memes via “How do you like meow?” pint glasses, and of course, purrfect beer. And if anyone randomly thought, “Hey, I wonder if Rahr could make catnip-infused pale ale?” The answer is yes. That’s right, yes to catnip beer. Based on actual cats, this may be cause for drool and rolling on the floor. Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.; 701 Galveston Ave., Fort Worth; 5 to 7:30 p.m., free, 817-810-9266, rahrbrewing.com. — Merritt Martin

Thu 10/20

The Grape's latest iteration of their Come As You Are wine dinner features special guest Eric Swindle of Crimson Wine Group. We’re pretty sure the dinner doesn't have anything to do with Kurt Cobain. Unless, that is, the grunge rocker was a fan of bistro fare and casual, unpretentious wine tastings, in which case this all makes perfect sense. Come As You Are will feature three courses accompanied by wine. The Grape, 2808 Greenville Ave., 5:30 to 10 p.m., $55, 214-828-1981, thegraperestaurant.com. — Kathryn DeBruler

It’s gigantic and overwhelming, while at the same time being overwhelmed itself. It’s toy-like, but entirely too large to be any human’s plaything. It carries a sweetness, but also an air of mystery. It seems soft and inflated, while being solid and strong. It’s a cartoon, but not quite Mickey Mouse or Michelin Man. The “it” is the sculpture “Companion (Passing Through)” by Brooklyn artist KAWS, and from Thursday through Jan. 22, it will live outside the Modern in Fort Worth as part of the KAWS: Where the End Starts exhibition. It’s not all giant figures (although after seeing “Companion” float through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, it’s certainly a huge draw — pun fully intended); the show also features paintings, drawings, sculptures and even toys from the artist’s prolific last two decades spent making statements on society and pop culture. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St.,  $10, 817-738-9215, themodern.org. — Merritt Martin

Polish those boots and practice your two-step: It’s just about time for the Dallas Farmers Market Friends 21st Annual Dallas Downtown Hoedown. The Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market will bring together culinary creations, spirited libations, live music and tapping toes for a charity event benefiting the Farmers Market educational programs and community building projects. Celebrate the farmers and food that gives the southeastern corner of downtown a downhome feel with bites and beverages from Oddfellows, Café Momentum, Mudhen, Café Izmir, Texas Honeybee  Guild, Four Corners Brewing, Noble Rey Brewing, Doc Popcorn, Peckish Pies and more. The Shed at Dallas Farmers Market, 920 S. Harwood St., 6:30 p.m., $50, 214-664-9110, dallasfarmersmarket.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm 

Samuel Beckett’s gift was prose — a lyrical but bleak cascade of words that takes readers into a place where black humor feeds tenacity and minimalism says it all. The Kitchen Dog Theater has a special affinity for that prose, taking their name from a line in his masterpiece Waiting for Godot, and kicking off their 26th season with a tribute to Beckett’s later, starker pieces in A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett’s Bequest. Director Tim Johnson packages four short pieces inspired by the legacy of Beckett with two of the playwrights own monologues: The performance starts with Rockaby, then fades into Sam Shepard’s Tongues and Will Eno’s black comedy Behold the Coach, in a Blazer, Uninsured. Following an intermission, Beckett’s A Piece of a Monologue sets the stage for Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pickling. The evening is concluded with a performance by local actress/playwright Janielle Kastner of Abe Koogler’s Lisa, My Friend. Trinity River Arts Center, 2800 N. Stemmons Freeway, 8 p.m. Thursday through Oct. 29, $15 to $30, 214-953-1055, kitchendogtheater.org. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Fri 10/21

Show your appreciation for Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, the 120-acre public park recently hailed as best hiking by a highly respected alt-weekly publication which shall remain unnamed. The Texas Land Conservancy will host Toasting Texas Lands, an evening of local beer and local tunes in an effort to raise money for conservancy efforts across this beautiful state. The first 50 people will receive a complimentary drink ticket. God bless Texas.The Foundry, 2303 Pittman St., 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., free, 214-749-1112, see the event on Facebook. — Kathryn DeBruler

This will be the second to last weekend of Sundown at Granada's ode to Oktoberfest. Every weekend this month they have turned their rooftop patio into the place to sehen and be sehen. Friday and Saturday, don your finest lederhosen and enjoy specially priced German beer, house-made brats, German potato salad and beer-braised red cabbage. And jawohl, there will be plenty of sauerkraut, too. Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave, free, (214) 823-8305, sundownatgranada.com.— Kathryn Debruler

Dallas’ most bright and shiny event, Aurora — a massive collection of light, art and sound installations — is sadly only a biennial throw down. So some of us are still reflecting on 2015, while we wait for 2017 to hurry on up and light up the night. Enter Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017. All around the AT&T Performing Arts Campus, 10 large installations of light, video and sound from 11 international artists will whet everyone’s Aurora appetite. Live music begins at 6:30 p.m. both nights in Strauss Square. The event is free, but RSVPs are requested. Those RSVPs can be exchanged for a limited collectible; so don’t even think of being apathetic. AT&T Performing Arts Campus, 2403 Flora St., 6:30 p.m. to midnight, free, 214-880-0202, dallasaurora.com— Merritt Martin

Park & Palate's Grand Taste event from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday is slated to be a veritable foodie orgy with over 30 chefs and 30 wineries participating. Guests will enjoy mixing with chefs — including Nilton Borges Jr., John Tesar and Kent Rathbun — as well as sommeliers, mixologists and brewers, as they sip and sample their way through the park. Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, 2 to 6 p.m., $75, 214-716-4500, eventbrite.com. — Kathryn DeBruler

Jason Voorhees has had more chances than Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions. The hockey masked machete slasher has gone on killing sprees in more than 10 movies, and nothing can stop him. The world's deadliest momma's boy has been disemboweled, vivisected, exploded, drowned in water and toxic waste, electrocuted, burned alive in the Earth’s atmosphere and literally pulled into the gaping maw of Hell’s fiery furnace. Somehow, he still comes back. Either the forces of death aren’t as powerful as we imagine and fear them to be or America’s health care options are working against us even worse than we thought. Now the Dallas Comedy House is resurrecting Jason’s hulking frame once again for its newest comedy musical, Jason: A Campy Musical, which explores the true emotional nature and personality of one of cinema’s most notorious serial killers. Dallas Comedy House, 3025 Main St., 10 p.m., $12 to $18, 214-741-4448, dallascomedyhouse.com. — Danny Gallagher

Vegetarians and vegans will show Big Tex who's boss when they offer up their own, meat-free versions of fair food at the Texas Veggie Fair Saturday.
Vegetarians and vegans will show Big Tex who's boss when they offer up their own, meat-free versions of fair food at the Texas Veggie Fair Saturday.
courtesy Texas Veggie Fair

Sat 10/22

Dallas is nary in short supply of meat-based celebrations. If it used to be slowly moving and has since been brought to an internal temperature of 150 degrees, then the great citizens of DFW have no doubt booked a venue, reserved a cover band and thrown a party in its honor. But there will be one festival where the only meat you are likely to see is on the front of someone's "Meat is Murder" T-shirt. The annual Texas Veggie Fair aims to promote the veg-lifestyle by featuring vegetarian and vegan food vendors, chef demonstrations, a beer garden and yoga. So go, hippies, go. Tempeh samples await. Bring cash to purchase food and beverages. Reverchon Park, 3505 Maple Ave., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free, texasveggiefair.com. — Kathryn DeBruler

If you’re having trouble narrowing down your Halloween entertainment options to just one activity and you haven’t been able to perfect your transubstantiation machine, the Dragons Ball Society’s Wunderland Costume Ball may be the best solution. The evening that bills itself as the “Ultimate Halloween costume ball” will feature live music from Marquis of Vaudeville and DJ DopeKiti, body artists who’ve starred on Syfy’s Skin Wars, live circus and burlesque dancers and a chance to show off your costume making skills in their $1,000 cash contest. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 9 p.m., 21 and up, $28, 214-932-6501,  thebombfactory.com. — Danny Gallagher

When Donnie Darko was released in 2001, it became an instant classic. The surreal psychological drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jenna Malone, Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze centers on a young man (Gyllenhaal) who is suffering under the weight of massive existential angst in his suburban hometown, which comes to mean hallucinations of a threatening figure in a bunny suit who warns him of the end of the world, mysterious plane crashes and more. Donnie Darko grossed $7.3 million — nearly twice its small budget — and if the dark themes about the dire state of the world we live in hit home 15 years ago, they’re only going to have more of an impact today. Watch the film with its director and writer, Richard Kelly. Alamo Drafthouse; 100 S. Central Expressway, Richardson; 9:30 p.m.; $15; 972-534-2120; drafthouse.com. — Caroline North

North Texas has produced its share of comedic talent. Linda Stogner, Paul Varghese, Grant Redmond and Ken Paxton are some of the hilarious minds who have left us in stitches over the years. Ken Paxton, we said. He's the Texas attorney general. Hello? Is this thing on? Ah, well, there's a good reason yours truly won't be taking part in the 2016 Funniest Comedian in Texas, in which stand-ups go bit-to-bit to see who brings the laughs. But hopefully no stitches, because thanks to guys like Paxton, health care ... oh, never mind. Looks like we won't be getting that $1,500 grand prize plus a booking in L.A. See some funny people who might during the second round of FCIT 2016. Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, 11:30 p.m., $7, 972-404-8501, improvaddison.com. — Patrick Williams

You there. Yeah, you. Like boobs? Of course you like boobs. Boobs illicit universal adoration from people in the same way that puppies and carbohydrates do. So of course you want to go to Brews 4 Boobs and help raise money for the Save the Ta-tas Foundation. All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit Save the Ta-tas, and specialty beers will be on tap to help commemorate the occasion. Try The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness, 512’s Cabernet Barrel Aged Three and Oak Highlands’ White Wine Freaky Deaky, and maybe even buy some specialty (boob related) glassware while you're at it. The Flying Saucer; 4821 Bass Pro Drive, Garland; 2 to 11 p.m.; free; 972-226-0725; beerknurd.com. — Kathryn DeBruler

Sun 10/23

A quick Google search about Polish contributions to civilization uncovers several forums displaying a lot of pride and a little touchiness. Pope John Paul, Nicolaus Copernicus, Frederick Chopin, a host of mathematicians et al and a little thing like being Christendom's bulwark against Ottoman expansion fall into the pride column. Things get a little touchy, however, if some clown suggests "kielbasa." So, let's tread lightly here as we suggest, while in no way diminishing Poland's many contributions, that if that great people gave us nothing else BUT kielbasa, it would still be one of the top three nations in history. (We really, really dig kielbasa.) Celebrate Polish dance, music and culture — and snack on some great sausage, along with pierogi (dumplings), bigos (stew) and paczki (doughnuts) — at the first Dallas Polish American Heritage Festival. Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, noon to 9 p.m., free, 214-716-4500, eventbrite.com. — Patrick Williams

Wired Magazine called Hari Kondabolu “the best political comedian you don’t know about” and that's a shame. He may talk about controversial topics like race, inequality and immigration but he’s not doing it to divide his audience or start a riot. He seems to earnestly wants everyone to laugh and have a good time, even if you don’t agree with him. Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St., 8 p.m., $15 to $18, 214-747-4422,  ticketfly.com. — Danny Gallagher

If one were to buy enough delicious treats at the British Emporium — and oh, there are plenty — and eat them in consecutive sittings, one could begin to skew well, a bit Adiposian. But, hey, with a much better temperament than those one-toothed freaks and their Miss Foster. If one is a fan of timey wimey things, then destination one is Doctor Who Day Fan Meet. Channel Rose and see if your Bad Wolf persona can exterminate the on-site Dalek … or just take a photo with it. Check out the TARDIS, and browse a selection of Whovian merch. British Emporium; 140 N. Main St., Grapevine; noon to 4 p.m.; free; 817-421-2311; british-emporium.com. — Merritt Martin

Mon 10/24

When you think of chamber music, your mind wanders back in time a little — or perhaps a lot. Chamber music has roots back in the 17th century or so, when it started as the precursor to modern living room shows, with music written for small groups of instruments that could fit within the confines of a palace chamber, drawing room or reception hall. Today, chamber musicians keep the energy of the tiny orchestra alive with performances in churches, private residences and smaller venues — and Voices of Change fills an even smaller niche in the little world of chamber music. This local ensemble of first-rate musicians takes on contemporary classical compositions, including 20th century classics and pieces by still-living composers. On Monday, see them present a performance with special guest composer Shih-Hui Chen. In their “Nanguan Concert,” Voices of Change will combine traditional ensembles with Chinese instruments for a night that’s billed to be eclectic, classical and very much alive. Caruth Auditorium, 3101 Bishop Blvd., 7:30 p.m., $30, voicesofchange.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Tue 10/25

What do we do on our lunch hour but eat and maybe gossip a little? It’s even worse if we’re the folks who just stay at our desk and work with a sandwich in one hand and a mouse in the other, slogging through what could be a perfectly enjoyable, cultural, fresh-air experience. This Tuesday, take a real break and discover some new artists via the Sammons Lunch Jam. Brown bag it or hit up the food trucks before you witness the fresh talent of students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Sammons Park, 2403 Flora St., noon,  free, 214-880-0202, attpac.org. — Merritt Martin

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