Things To Do

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

'Merica. Melissa Hennings


There is truly something for everyone on the Fourth of July. That includes the maniacs who want to exercise on the one day of the year when it's acceptable to stuff your face with hot dogs made from unknown animal parts. But if you're one of those who would rather exercise, then head to Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, where YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas is hosting Five on the 4th. Starting at 8 a.m., you can choose from a 5-mile run, a 5-mile family bike ride, a 2-mile walk, a 2-mile dog walk or races for kids. To make it less exercise-y, there will also be face painting, balloon artists and music. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Couldn't make it to Kaboom Town? Want to celebrate Independence Day on the day our Founding Fathers intended? Can't get enough of professional fireworks? You're in luck. Fair Park Fourth gives explosives fans a chance to get their fill of midway games and rides, live music and food. (There will be corny dogs. Why wait for the state fair?) Fair Park, 1121 First Ave., opens its gates beginning at noon Wednesday, bringing patriots all of the above plus a massive fireworks show sponsored by Oncor at dusk. (You can watch the fireworks from the Cotton Bowl if you're inclined. Admission to the fairgrounds is free, but parking there is $10. Try DART. Admission to the midway is $8 at the gate or $5 in advance at, where you can also find more details. Patrick Williams

It's Fourth of July and you need a pool. ASAP. You don't have one because you're not rich, and your neighbor with the pool is annoying. But you need a pool. And you would like that pool to be big and nice. God is smiling down on you because the Texas Pool is hosting an Independence Day party at its giant Texas-shaped pool (168,000 gallons) at 901 Springbrook Drive in Plano. From noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday, there will be food, pool games and fun. Veterans and active duty military get in free with military ID. Texas pool members also get in free, and everyone else pays $10 per person or $30 per family. For more information, go to or call 972-881-8392. Paige Skinner

If staying indoors is more your speed for a Fourth of July in Texas, then A Star-Spangled Spectacular at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., is for you. The Meyerson hosts an afternoon of classical music — this year led by Jerry Junkin, the conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony. At noon, before the concert begins at 1 p.m., there will be hot dogs, ice cream, cookies and chips in the lobby. Tickets start at $23 at For more information, call 214-428-2263. Paige Skinner


In their new documentary work, Babel, Cry Havoc Theater Company and the teens of Cry Havoc examine gun violence in America and attempt to answer the question: What if we sat down and actually listened to people on opposite sides of the debate? Research for the play took the actors and writers across America as they tuned in to the voices of gun lovers and haters. The play is a follow-up to Shots Fired, the Cry Havoc documentary about the 2016 Dallas police shootings downtown. Babel debuts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and runs through July 15 in Hamon Hall at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora St. Theater company founder Mara Richards Bim, adjunct faculty member at Eastfield College, directs. Call 214-880-0202 for tickets, $25. For more information, visit or Reba Liner

Raising a kid who’s interested in science can be a challenge for those of us who aren’t, especially during the summer, when you can’t reply, “Ask your teacher,” when asked how sunscreen works or how ice cream or fireworks are made. Fortunately, Summer Nights: Summer Science at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St., will answer those questions and more from 5-9 p.m. Thursday. As a bonus, the museum is celebrating the first LGBT+ STEM day to increase representation and visibility of LGBT+ scientists and engineers. Along with samples of liquid nitrogen ice cream, food and drinks are available to purchase. It’s free with general admission, which is $13-$20 for nonmembers, $21-$30 when packaged with admission to the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition or $27-$38 for the Total Experience, which includes film admission. Call 214-428-5555 or visit for the full schedule, tickets or more information. Jesse Hughey

Bane's World is the creation of Shane Blanchard, a chilled-out Californian who makes what he calls "dreamy, jazzy pop" songs. He writes his own material and records using GarageBand, a process that gives his hangdog songs a rustic and authentic feel. Listening feels like stumbling upon a band rehearsing in a backyard and deciding to eavesdrop through the fence. His methods and sharp writing caught the ears of Tyler, the Creator, who quickly signed Blanchard to his record label while offering loads of public support and fanfare. In a live setting, Blanchard expands Bane's World to a full band lineup, which should provide additional muscle and heft to the proceedings. Catch him while you can in a smaller environment like Club Dada. He may be moving into larger venues soon. With Michael Seyer and Inner Wave, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 5, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $15. Jeff Strowe

EDM — or electronic dance music for those asleep the last half-decade — is all but on the way out. After several feverish summers of megaton festivals and figureheads like Deadmau5, the genre is more or less teetering on its last legs. But don’t tell that to EDM duo Louis the Child, whose subtle variations on the EDM formula suggest the euphoric dance style isn’t dying but finally maturing, evolving. Trading anthemic builds for pop-savvy, hip-hop percussion and fluttering, neon-drenched synths, Louis the Child’s singles more so float than erupt. Amid glassy keys and sensual, party-ready moods, the duo show what a sea change might look like for EDM — and how much fun surfing those waves could be. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 5, South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St.,, $37 and up. Jonathan Patrick

Sam Johnston released his debut album, Longing, earlier this year. The Nashville resident, who was born and raised in Dallas, spends his time creating a sound that mixes blues, psychedelia, Neo soul and classic rock. He draws influences from John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr. and Jimi Hendrix. Johnston also lends a hand as lead guitarist and vocalist for local blues rock band Canvas. With Carter Gardner and M'Lynn, 7 p.m., Thursday, July 5, Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St.,, $7. Diamond Victoria


It’s hard for most people to come up with the appropriate thing to say in most conversations, and a civilized exchange on social media can be unheard of even when participants have hours to ponder responses. So imagine the talent required to be a successful improv performer. Actually, don’t think about it — get fully immersed in improv during The Alternative Comedy Theatre’s 10th Big Weekend of Improv, Friday and Saturday at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre’s Studio Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, and Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. There’s no way to know what’s coming for each show except that every seating offers at least two troupes — many from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and a few out-of-towners from the likes of Austin (Parallelogramophonograph, TylerCo); Norman, Oklahoma (Red Dirt Improv); and Chicago (After Party). The Addison venue hosts the bulk of the fest, with shows at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday and 5:30, 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Pocket Sandwich hosts a 1 p.m. Saturday show. Individual show tickets are $5-$10, day passes are $18-$22.50 and a Big Weekend Pass is $40. Visit to purchase tickets and check out the full lineup. Merritt Martin

"She" is a turquoise-haired animated character projected onto a special glass screen. Her voice is created by software. Her songs are collaborative works plugged into a Vocaloid synthesizer — just type in melody and lyrics, and Hatsune Miku stands onstage and regurgitates them in a synthetic, electronically processed voice. In other words, Hatsune Miku is the corporate music world's ideal teen female pop star, an endlessly programmable and replicable nonentity creating something not-quite music. Only she doesn't suffer from eating disorders, drug addiction or bizarre episodes of uncontrolled twerking. See the future of pop (and dread it, if you have taste) as the Hatsune Miku Expo comes to The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets, $55-$153, can be found at Patrick Williams

It’s the end of an era. After close to a quarter of a century, one of the most iconic traveling punk-rock tours will be screaming its swan song in Dallas this year. Love it or hate it, the tour broke the bands that were big in high school (at least mine). Acts such as Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Blink-182 gained massive exposure thanks to the tour. It should be noted that none of those bands will be showing up in Dallas or on any Warped Tour stage in this final year. But while bigger names may be few and far between on the Dallas portion of the bill, tour veterans 3OH!3, Senses Fail, Simple Plan and Bowling for Soup, hometown act, will all be on hand. These names and more than 50 others are the lucky few who’ll get to say they closed out 24 years of history. That is, of course, until the nostalgia wheel comes full circle and the tour inevitably gets rebooted. Wishful thinking aside, the occasion is still bittersweet for some, so be ready to doff your trilbies and lower your Anti-Flags to half-mast as Warped Tour 2018 makes its final stop. 11 a.m. Friday, July 6, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave, 214-421-1111 or, $45 and up. Nicholas Bostick

With roots in Texas and Louisiana, Marcia Ball has been a part of the blues scene for decades. The pianist and singer has been described as sensational, saucy and irresistible from the likes of USA Today and Boston Globe. Swamp blues, boogie woogie and swamp rock are just a few genres describing Ball's unique sound. Her latest album, The Tattoed Lady and the Alligator Man, playfully embraces all of these descriptions. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 6, Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington,, free. Diamond Victoria

For three days, get to know some great local bands as Last Chance Records hosts its Summer Hangout concert series at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton. Featuring some of the best bands to come out of North Texas, including Slobberbone and Danny Diamonds, the weekend promises plenty of "beer, sun and live screen printing." Tickets are $30 for a day or $75 for the weekend. 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 6-8, Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton,, $30. Diamond Victoria


If only John Waters’ world was reality. If all it took to eradicate racism was a spirited dance-off, then we’d all be practicing our moves right now. Things are a bit more complex and depressing than that, but the musical adaptation of Waters’ inspiring, hopeful dance party, Hairspray, offers a sweet fairy tale escape from the real world. Heroine Tracy Turnblad takes on social change and equality, high school bullies, first loves and big dreams, all without so much as a hair out of place on her fabulous 'do in the exuberant production that opens the 2018-19 Broadway Series at 8 p.m. Saturday at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora St. It’ll run through July 15 with several matinee and evening performances. Tickets are $24-$156 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

An expert in texture, improvisation and restraint, visual artist Lisa Reed builds fascinating paintings from wax and oil. Layer after layer of wax is stacked atop another in Reed’s works, which she then completes with a process she calls “unpainting.” This finishing stage of scraping away at the wax to create negative space is what makes her work so unique. The artist has invited patrons to come watch this process firsthand, to see her abstract landscapes come to life in the flesh … or wax, whatever. This free demonstration starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at Dutch Art Gallery, 10233 Northwest Highway. For more information, visit Jonathan Patrick

Get ready to declare, "Give me all the eggs and bacon you have," and "Everything hurts and I'm dying." Brush up on your knowledge of Entertainment 720, Ice Town, Li'l Sebastian and Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry. Don your best Leslie Knope pantsuit or Ron Swanson mustache while jamming out to "The Pit." Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 119, is hosting Parks and Recreation Trivia Night from 11:15 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for non-Pawnee residents or $5 for those in costume. Eagletonians need not attend. For more information, find the event on Facebook. Emily Goldstein

Any longtime ska fan eventually encounters Dicky Barrett’s unforgettable gravely vocals as the frontman of influential third-wave ska act The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. And thanks to his attention-grabbing vocals and the nine-member band’s brassy horn section on catchy singles "The Impression That I Get," “Someday I Suppose" and "Where'd You Go?" the Boston-bred act continues to attract new fans 25 years after forming. The always sharply dressed band was one of the first to find success merging high-energy ska with elements of punk and hardcore, triggering a surge in ska punk’s popularity and inspiring many other acts to follow suit in the late ’90s. Speaking of sharp suits, expect to see a well-dressed crowd mirroring the band because this show’s sure to bring out lots of ready-to-skank rudeboys and rudegirls from around North Texas donning tight-fitted dark suits, narrow ties, and pork pie hats or thin-brimmed trilbies. After forming in 1983, the Bosstones went on a hiatus from 2003-07. This will be Dallas’ first chance to skank along live since the band reactivated. The Bosstones are on tour supporting the band’s 10th studio album, While We’re at It. 7 p.m. Saturday, July 7, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $25. Daniel Rodrigue

Country music artist Gary Allan has had more chart-topping hits than a lot of others in his field of work. But it's not just Allan's accolades that highlight his talent. With a career spanning two decades, his music is on par with his electric live performances. Allan's latest album, Hard Way, saw its first single hit air waves in 2015, but its release date is still unclear. 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 7, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117 or, $20 and up. Diamond Victoria

Mozez tha Great returned to Dallas about a year ago after working with Bun B, Paul Wall, and Rakim & Eric B. His latest project is slated to help other up-and-coming local hip-hop artists garner recognition through the I Am Dallas Hip-Hop night at Trees and features FL Loud, Previs The Best, Jui$e Leroy, IqMuzic, Contrabandz, Hyperfenton, Alex the Great, Amber Bee and Shoose McGee. 9 p.m., Saturday, July 7, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122,, $16-$21. Diamond Victoria


If you've been wanting to scratch the itch of seeing a car show and you just can't wait until the State Fair of Texas, then please be patient and wait until Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sandy Lake Amusement Park, 1800 Sandy Lake Road in Carrollton, is hosting DubSplash 2018, a family-friendly all-Volkswagen car show. It's one of the biggest in the country. The event is free, but park general admission and amusement prices apply. Also, slug Bug, you're it. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page. Paige Skinner
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner