13 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas this Weekend, October 17 to 20

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Aurora lights up the Arts District on Friday and Nasher Xchange puts the city on display Saturday, but beginning Thursday night the above-shown collection of house cats perform circus tricks in Fort Worth. There really is something for everyone.

There's more. Lot's more. Like TEDxSMU, our local thinker salon; an all-horror film festival at Texas Theatre; and your very favorite SNL dudes on one stage.

So make a plan, share this list with your crew and click on the event titles for more information. I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one climbing public art like King Kong.)

Thursday 10.17 Acro-Cats -- We live under the assumption that cats defy training, or at the very least are ambivalent to our desires. But that isn't true, and I should know: I've seen the Acro-Cats. They ride skateboards, walk tight ropes and even play loose jazz.

Fire and Blood -- "So vampires are attacking necks in Post-Katrina New Orleans and..." Too soon? Maybe. But that's actually the premise of this new piece of theater, coming out of Richland College. It opens this weekend, and just to make things weirder: it's a musical.

The Affordable Health Care Act Information Session -- This chat/workshop/ Q&A session is geared directly at artists, freelance creatives and people who operate small arts non-profits. It's happening from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at the Latino Cultural Center, so go learn the new healthcare coverage and how use it to your advantage.

Mean Streets with a Wise Guys Dance Party -- Texas Theatre exhumes this early Scorsese crime flick through Saturday, and adds on a themed dance party tonight. A Twitter birdie says they've brought in a pool table for the thing, so show up, drink, maybe run some numbers and act tougher than you are.

Friday 10.18 Aurora -- Basically, this is what you're doing Friday. The Arts District transforms into glowing, bending art installations where buildings come alive, dancing erupts around you and music wafts through the 68 acres of reclaimed art space. And if you don't go, you'll see it on Instagram and wish desperately that you had. It ties in with Late Night at the Nasher and the DMA and the Fall Street Festival, so you'll find a million things to do. All for free.

TEDxKIDS at SMU -- In addition to being a big ol' arts weekend, it's also TED talk weekend, and this year youths are included. While TEDxKIDS has sold-out, there's a livefeed, which is waaaaaay cooler than those episodes of Mathnet we grew up on.

The Dirty Planet Exotic Ball -- Is that sexy grumpy cat outfit not quite sexy enough? Need help making this holiday more scandalous? Try out the Dirty Planet Exotic Ball at 42nd Floor Loft at Cityplace Weddings, 2711 North Haskell Ave. In addition to being a fetish expo, it's also a dance party, a costume bash and a burlesque show. Tickets start at $50. Call: 855-553-3450.

Saturday 10.19 Nasher Xchange Begins -- Our local sculpture center has done something huge: It's commissioned ten pieces of public art for ten spots around the city. On Saturday morning you'll download the free guide app off iTunes and start exploring the things. Here's everything you need to know about it.

TEDxSMU -- The locally licensed version of TED global happens this Saturday and yes, it's sold out. There's a watch party at Union and a livefeed, so you can catch all of that TED time from the comfort of your couch or in the company of other curious people.

Urban Street Bazaar -- Head over to Bishop Arts to scout out the best of handmade, vintage and local goods and knock out your holiday shopping early.

Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon and Dennis Miller -- Man, the '80s were magic. We had all three of these guys on SNL, paired up against Phil Hartman's straight man. [Pours out some coffee. Sheds tear.] Well on Saturday night you can see the comedic holy trinity of Carvey, Nealon and Miller together on one stage. Oh, to be a fly on that tour bus. Sunday 10.20 Industry Giants -- This weekend festival is a must-do for anyone interested in animation, game development and computer graphics. All of the biggest names will be there, so go ahead: get your geek on.

Blood Bath Film Festival -- This celebration of all things horror runs on Saturday and Sunday at Texas Theatre. Watch reel after reel of terrifying new genre works, all for one low ticket price.

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