Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Beto O'Rourke will be at the Buffalo Tree Festival on Sunday.
Beto O'Rourke will be at the Buffalo Tree Festival on Sunday. Melissa Hennings


Mockingbird Station just added music to its list of things to do there. It already has shopping and eating, and at 5 p.m. Oct. 5, it will also be home to the Mockingbird Station Music Festival. Friday Night Fights, a power pop group, will headline the festival, while guests can continue to shop or eat. Best of all? Admission is free. Be there at 5307 E. Mockingbird Lane. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

It’s October, which means it’s officially time to fork over your hard-earned money for someone to scare you. No, we don’t mean buying Tesla stock. Dark Hour Haunted House has a new house each month related to a coven of witches. Not sure if you need any more explanation, but a coven of witches seems like enough to frighten us, though way less than Elon Musk. Be there at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Dark Hour Haunted House, 701 Taylor Drive, Plano. Tickets start at $28. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Today through Sunday, Carlos Mencia will set down his well-traveled luggage and make the Arlington Improv his home. Whether known for his Comedy Central Show, Mind of Mencia, his public arguments with fellow comedian Joe Rogan or from the last time you saw him live, Mencia coming to town is always an event. Even years after Mind of Mencia played its last new episode, fans still come out en masse to see him walk up on stage and grab the mic — the demand often being so great that extra shows are added to accommodate. Mencia’s brand of aggressive, booming, racially fearless comedy is sure to please fans. See it all at Improv Arlington, 309 Curtis Mathes Way, No. 147, Arlington. Tickets begin at $25. For more information, visit Brad LaCour

Even after the modern flourishes of Swift’s last release, Reputation, the artist’s sound pales in comparison to her touring mates here. Camila Cabello’s Cuban-reared radio pop, propped up by salsa and reggaeton, is several degrees more interesting and danceable than anything Taylor Swift has released in years. And then there’s Charli XCX, whose avant pop sweeps listeners headlong into a sci-fi metropolis of drugged-up clubs, drugged-down feels and sumptuous glitz. Dripping with liquid metal synths and bolted together with trap scaffolding, Charli’s songs map a uniquely millennial poignancy in the glittery aesthetics and raw euphoria of contemporary club culture. This bill is thrilling precisely because of these stark variations in style, because it offers a flight of modern pop flavors, glimpsed from three very different perspectives. With Camila Cabello and Charli XCX, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, $49 and up at Jonathan Patrick

Quiet Riot released what's considered the first metal album. In 1983, Metal Health gave us "Cum On Feel the Noize," which is arguably the band's biggest hit. The lineup these days resembles little of the original, but expect to hear all the band's best hits during its electric live performances. 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Boulevard E., $35 and up. Diamond Victoria

French indie rock group Phoenix is touring this fall behind last year's release, Ti Amo. The chart-topper has sold out venues on its last few national tours and seems poised to pack houses again this year. It'll appear Friday at South Side Ballroom in Dallas along with Julian Casablancas' band The Voidz. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S Lamar St., $40. Jeff Strowe


If you missed the former Talking Heads frontman at the Winspear in April, here's your second chance. As big as Winspear is, the formerly named Verizon Theatre can hold more and should be easier for a larger crowd. On his American Utopia tour, Byrne will perform a number of solo and Talking Heads songs, all through an elaborate stage and light show. David Byrne works in his own lane, making performance art while still making listenable music. His vision has led him to create one of the finest shows people have seen this year. He's playing some of the most familiar Talking Heads songs here, from "Once in a Lifetime" to "Burning Down the House," so if your love of Byrne's work stops with the Heads, you've got a lifeline. He’s even playing a tune from his excellent collaboration with St. Vincent. Well worth your time to head out to Grand Prairie. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at The Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, $54-$145 at Eric Grubbs

More than 15 years into a career that recently saw them release their seventh studio album, Sleep Well Beast, The National have reached that rarefied air of rock 'n' roll heights occupied by only a certain few. Like Wilco, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, the five-piece has grown into an arena behemoth, moving from side stages at festivals and midsize clubs into headlining marquees at palatial theaters. Friday night, they've got the coveted main stage time slot ahead of Sir Paul McCartney at Austin City Limits Festival, and 24 hours later, they'll be welcomed locally by what promises to be an adoring crowd at South Side Ballroom. With a plethora of songs in their catalog from which to choose, and a penchant for playing lengthy and intense live shows, it's a safe bet that the band's signature "hits" — "Mr. November," "Bloodbuzz Ohio," "Fake Empire," "Don't Swallow the Cap" — will fit in nicely among the slinky, moody and epic new tracks. Frontman Matt Berninger's droll, dour between-song banter has also morphed into an essential element of any National performance. 8 p.m Saturday, Oct. 6 at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., $50 and up at Jeff Strowe

Give a kid a fish, and they’ll complain until it’s battered and smothered in ketchup. Teach them how to fish and then you’ll get a true adventure starring slippery bait, multiple trips to the bathroom where you juggle a fishing pole whilst pulling up toddler pants and a haul that won’t even amount to a fish stick. It’s a parenting bucket-list item with memories that can’t be beat and the gold standard of parent-child bonding. Give your little ones the opportunity to get all wide-eyed when they get a nibble on their line at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Mike Lewis Park, 2410 North Carrier Parkway for Kids Fishing Day. Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation will stock the lagoon with plenty of catfish, so there’s a pretty good chance they’ll even reel one in. Admission is free, and a limited number of rods and reels will be available onsite; registration begins at 9 a.m. See for more. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

With all the polarizing news every day, some could say we’re living in a circus. But that’s an even better reason to get away from it all and enjoy some time at White Rock Lake, maybe taking in a sunset and definitely enjoying a real circus. Like, an actual big-top circus. The Laughter League and the Petite Palace have collaborated to present a fascinating show inside a tent on the grounds of the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, Thursdays-Sundays through Oct. 21. Each Petite Palace show combines elaborate cirque-style theatrics and stunts with old-school clowning and tricks as well as both family-friendly and cabaret-style humor (depending on show time). The shows are to a limited audience of 150. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 7 p.m. Fridays, 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 5 p.m. Sundays, with late-night cabaret performances 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $20-$30, available on For more information, visit Merritt Martin


The Homegrown Festival presents the inaugural Buffalo Tree Festival, a family-friendly music festival and political rally offering voter registration, political speeches and concerts from both local and international talents. Figures such as Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and governor hopeful Lupe Valdez will join bands including The Polyphonic Spree, Bobby Sessions, Sarah Jaffe and Spoon. Buffalo Tree Festival takes place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at Main Street Garden, 1902 Main St. Tickets are $10. More info at Jonathan Patrick
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner