Things To Do

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Blue October is coming to town.
Blue October is coming to town. Chris Barber


It’s the spoooooookiest time of the year, and we aren’t talking about the midterm elections. It’s Halloween, and you’re tired of telling your kids you’ll take them to a haunted house. So instead you take them to Fright Fest, 2201 E. Road to Six Flags, Arlington, which is Six Flags’ take on scary. The kids can go through all the haunted houses by themselves because that’s what good parenting is and you can sit on a bench somewhere and drink a cold beer. When they’ve had enough of the ghosts and scary men dressed up as Michael Jackson dancing to “Thriller,” you can ride Judge Roy Scream until the park closes. Holidays, amirite. Tickets start at $49.19. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Mitch Albom broke through on the national literary scene in 1997 when Tuesdays With Morrie earned him an Oprah appearance. He followed up the nonfiction book about his terminally ill former professor with 2003’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven, a novel about the afterlife of an elderly maintenance man, Eddie, who dies in a gruesome amusement park accident. Fifteen years later, Five People gets a sequel that catches up with Annie, the girl whose life Eddie saved before his own death, and reunites the two characters. Critics have called it “Shockingly Gory Heaven Porn” and, less creatively, compared reading it to the other place people go when they die. Fans of the first book will probably love it nonetheless. Dallas Jewish Bookfest: An Evening With Mitch Albom is at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road. Tickets are $30, and purchase includes one signed first-edition copy of the book. Register or find more information at Jesse Hughey

Ladies of the '80s brings together the women who ruled the roost of 1980s bubblegum pop. Debbie Gibson, Lisa Lisa and Tiffany had teenagers screaming with hits like "Only in My Dreams," "Head to Toe" and "I Think We're Alone Now," respectively. Gibson was recently a cast member on Dancing With the Stars and has appeared on Broadway since her chart-topping days. Lisa Lisa was one of the biggest Latin pop stars, and Tiffany set a record as the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts. With Debbie Gibson, Lisa Lisa and Tiffany, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Allen Event Center, 200 E. Stacy Rd., $35-$75. Diamond Victoria

Now that we're nearing the end of October, being outdoors isn't so miserable. Well, the Dallas Arboretum seems to be counting on that with its Cool Thursdays Fall Concert Series. (Though to be honest, the series has been running all summer. Cool is a relative term.) There’s your chance to relax by White Rock Lake with beverages and a picnic or buy food from Ruthie’s, Bellatrino and Yim Yam trucks. This Thursday’s performance is by Le Freak, a disco band. The concert starts at 7 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road. Tickets are $30 for nonmembers and $20 for members, with discounts for seniors and children. For more information, call 214-515-6500 or visit Paige Skinner


Everybody’s a fan of something, and that means you’ll find something worthy of your fan love at the annual Dallas Fan Days convention at the Irving Convention Center. The annual, three-day convention celebrates everything that the modern fan loves and can’t get enough of, from television, movies, music, video games, comic books and more. The scores of fan who have already bought their tickets for the con will get to meet some of their favorite celebrity faces like actors Matt Smith from Doctor Who, wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart and film star Karl Urban. They’ll get to talk with some of their favorite comic book creators, including artists like Pat Broderick and Dave Dorman. They can buy everything their fan hearts desire, like T-shirts, books, games and other trinkets from hundreds of local stores and exhibitors. They can even try their hand at using their fan knowledge to escape from two specially made escape rooms based on the Harry Potter canon. Dallas Fan Days runs from Friday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 21. Hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd. Single-day passes start at $20 per person. Three-day passes start at $60 person. Child passes start at $5 for children 6-12. Family passes start at $45 per person. Visit Danny Gallagher

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, The Del McCoury Band, The Seldom Scene and Rhonda Vincent & The Rage — fans of the high-lonesome sound of bluegrass and fast picking are in store for an early Christmas present at the Bloomin’ Blue Grass Festival in Farmers Branch. It’s a cheap one too, as $10 in advance will score a weekend pass for a lineup that includes those bluegrass stars among a host of others. Single-day and discount passes for kids are also available at, where you can find the full schedule.The pickin’ and fiddlin’ kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday and lasts all day Saturday at Farmers Branch Historical Park, 2540 Farmers Branch Lane. Patrick Williams

A seductive Gypsy, a besotted soldier, the sexy toreador, a violent love triangle and two of the arias that most people, even those who aren’t opera fans, can recognize. This is Carmen, the 1875 opera by French composer Georges Bizet. Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Stephen Costello and Alexander Vinogradov are the three corners of the triangle in this story of how she done him wrong, produced by the Dallas Opera and opening 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $21-$229, available at Other performances are scheduled for Oct. 21, 24, 27 and Nov. 2 and 4 at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Patrick Williams

Fort Worth’s Cocktail Week wraps up Friday with a battle royale. Gin vs. Vodka is a competition for the soul of the martini –– and an opportunity to showcase some of the world’s best clear liquors. 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at 2624 Weisenberger St., Fort Worth. Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 day-of. Taylor Adams

Chef Anastacia Quinones hosts one of her pop-up events in Expo Park this weekend. You won’t want to miss these creations from one of our city’s best chefs. The menu includes menudo, a machete de chicharron pensado with Oaxaca cheese and chicken mole tacos. 9 p.m.-midnight Friday, Oct. 19 at Las Almas Rotas, 3615 Parry Ave. (Expo Park). Taylor Adams


Following their theme of focusing on alternative lifestyles and celebrating LGBT History Month, Uptown Players are presenting two smaller-scale shows. The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne stars Terry Martin, playing more than a dozen characters. Straight deals with two men trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Ben likes beer (he’s a banker, not a judge), sports, Emily — and Chris. Josh Bangle, Olivia Grace Murphy and Evan Michael Woods star. Playwrights are Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola. Curtain times are 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at Bryant Hall Stage at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Box office for tickets ($20 each play) is 214-219-2718. For information: Reba Liner

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, faithful from around the DFW area will descend upon what will be, for one night only, dance church. The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., has been anointed as ground zero for the revelations contained within Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. Kinetic deity Michael Flatley’s theatrical creation pits good against evil in a production that’s all allegory and footwork: sort of like if the Bible got blended with Mad Max, My Little Pony and Footloose. And this sermon goes a little out of the way to make its point — expect fog machines, Flatley’s brand of technically brilliant but tradition-bucking Irish dance, skin-baring costumes, unicorns and rainbows. Interested in joining the congregation? Tickets are $29 to $79 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Last November, when Mariachi los Camperos played their debut Plano Symphony Orchestra performance, they received nearly an hour of encore demands. And that was after playing for only the second half of the night. This time, with a program titled “The Best of the Best,” the band, known to many for recording and touring with singer Linda Ronstadt, is taking over the entire show at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. They’ll knock out solos, duets, orchestral arrangements — all the songs that fans of their Grammy Award-winning and -nominated albums will be craving live. A Mariachi los Camperos show is nothing short of a celebration, and it’s safe to say the energy of the encore will add even more to the experience. Tickets are $19-$85 and are very limited, so purchase quickly. Visit Merritt Martin

This Will Destroy You creates music that was originally pegged as too similar to Explosions in the Sky. Since their third LP, Tunnel Blanket, they've made their own sound, mixing Animal Collective influences and others that don't make you say Texas Forever. With a new rhythm section in hand, the four-piece have a brand new album out called New Others Part One. They will return to the Granada, a place that has been a perfect fit for them. You have to let their music slowly seep into your bones, and it creates a feeling you can't really get with another band out there. With Steve Hauschildt. 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at Granada Theater. $20-$30. Eric Grubbs

Alt 103.7 FM is presenting a performance by alternative rock band Blue October. With a bevy of Top 40 singles and eight albums to its credit, the band has been a huge force on the indie-alternative scene since forming in the late '90s. 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 316 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $20-$70. Jeff Strowe

With 80+ breweries, wineries and distilleries on the deck, the Best Little Brewfest in Texas feels anything but little. Food trucks will be on-site, as will local bands on two stages. Nab tickets and sample to your heart's content. 1:30-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at Old Town Lewisville, 151 W. Church St., Lewisville Tickets: $10-$70. Taylor Adams

The annual Dallas PorchFest is a celebration of food, art and music in the historic Peak’s Addition neighborhood. Catch local bands performing on "historic front porches" with beer and wine tastings and food from local chefs. The deadline for advance purchase of glasses for tastings has passed, but you can get them that day. 1-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at 4300 block of Junius Street (East Dallas) Tickets: $20. Taylor Adams


Legacy Grace Project, the largest conference in the world benefiting women with HIV and AIDS, is hosting its PositiviTEA Legacy Brunch on Sunday with special guest LeeAnne Locken at The Mack Grand Ballroom at SMU, 3300 Dyer St. The brunch will be a morning full of inspiration and celebration. Locken is one of the Real Housewives of Dallas, who regularly cusses out the other women on the show and brags about all the wonderful charity work she does. Hopefully, at PositiviTEA, there will be no cussing or Champagne glass breaking, but who knows? Tickets for the event start at $75. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Look, plenty of dogs enjoy wearing clothes. There’s probably no hard research to back this up, but based on casual, real-time observation, it seems as good as fact. Another thing: Pugs are clearly the breed that most enjoys Halloween costumes. Otherwise, there’s no way the DFW Pug Rescue Club would be hosting the 22nd Annual Pug-O-Ween noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 S. Main St. Yes, that’s right — there have been 22 of these things complete with parade and costume contest. Plus, all the things one would expect from a pug celebration, from nail-trimming station (this is heaven sent), a kissing booth, prize wheel, bake sale, raffle and vendors selling all kinds of pug-tastic wares. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Costume contest and float parade participants are requested to sign up in advance via, and pre-order tickets ($8 adults, $4 kids) are available online through Friday, Oct. 19 at Merritt Martin

The Blow isn't just an electronic music duo. Khaela Maricich started it as her solo project in 2002, and Jona Bechtolt, formerly of Yacht, joined later. The Blow now consists of Maricich and Melissa Dyne, who incorporate performance art and monologues into their sets. The Blow has released 10 albums since its conception. with Francine Thirteen, 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St., $15. Diamond Victoria

Billy Joe Shaver is a mainstay in the outlaw country scene. He hangs out with Willie Nelson and Robert Duvall and even shot a man outside a saloon in Waco if that tells you anything about how much of a badass he is. The 79-year-old Corsicana native is a real honky tonk hero and his latest album, Long in the Tooth, came out in 2014. 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., $24 and up. Diamond Victoria

Alice in Chains just put out a new LP called Rainier Fog, so they're fresh and ready to play again. Co-frontman William DuVall has proved to be a reliable member of the band, replacing mythic original vocalist Layne Staley over 10 years ago. The rest of the band remains solid, with fellow co-frontman Jerry Cantrell harmonizing perfectly with DuVall. Though they could play things safe and play only the old stuff, the band plays material from all their albums. Lately, they've played a lot of songs from their biggest album, Dirt, so it serves as a way of embracing the past and present. 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Choctaw Casino Resort, 4216 S. Highway 69/75, Durant, Okla., $55-$70. Eric Grubbs
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner