Things To Do

20 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Luke Bryan is in town this week. Yee-haw!
Luke Bryan is in town this week. Yee-haw! Keith Hinkle/Wikimedia Commons

A dark musical about the life of a toy: think Toy Story but Mr. Potato Head has gone into a crisis. Ochre House Theater presents the world premiere of Mousey, in which Mrs. Mousey begins to think that life is more than just being a toy. When she launches into a journey to figure out the truth, chaos erupts and the toys begin to turn on one another. See it all unfold through Sept. 8 at The Ochre House Theater, 825 Exposition Ave. Tickets are $12 and up at Paige Skinner


If you’re feeling hungry and adventurous, you could always go to a restaurant and say, “I’ll have one of everything.” But what if you’re craving so much variety that the entire menu of a single restaurant just won’t do? What if you wanted to eat something from 10 different restaurants — pizza, sushi, doughnuts, Mexican, you name it? And you wanted some souvenir trinkets out of the deal too? In that case, your best bet is Bite Nite at CityLine. Bite Nite is 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday at CityLine Plaza, 1201 State St., Richardson. Tickets are $32 and include a swag bag and at least two sample-size entrees and one drink from each of the 10 participating restaurants, plus a performance by Fort Worth indie-pop harmonizing lady duo Danni & Kris. Visit for tickets, the list of restaurants and more information. Jesse Hughey

Hopefully with the start of September, being outdoors won’t be so miserable. 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 the appropriately named The Wildflowers, a Tom Petty tribute 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

Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle has long been considered one of the best storytellers in modern rock. Hell, fans even tried to get him named U.S. Poet Laureate back in 2012. His voice and lyrics have helped to garner the band a devoted fan base as well as 16 studio albums and more than 20 EPs. He's confronted such topics as drug addiction on “Dilaudid” to his own temperamental upbringing on “This Year,” and The Mountain Goats even put out a full album concerning professional wrestling of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Their eclectic themes all come from the through line that is Darnielle. Their latest album, Goths, focuses on exactly that, inspired by bands of Darnielle’s youth such as The Cure, Bauhaus and Joy Division. And for the first time in Mountain Goats history, Goths excludes Darnielle’s and everyone else's guitars. They opted instead for the less intrusive and warm sounds of keyboards and choirs, which allows the story and verse to take the center-stage spot. The album is part love letter, part cautionary tale, but it more than lives up to the Mountain Goats' illustrious reputation. Catch them if you can at Canton Hall. 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., $26 at Nicholas Bostick


Just because you missed the boat on spring cleaning and landscaping doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to cultivate the home of your dreams. You can definitely still dig in and get going this autumn, and the 2018 Annual Fall Texas Home & Garden Show will help you get a leg up (and a trowel in) on your dreams. From Friday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 9, at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 N. Stemmons Freeway, you’ll find vendors that can address all your home improvement needs, including lawn gurus, paving experts, roof and gutter peeps and contractors galore. Don’t fear: If you need to bring the kids, it’s not all specs and blueprints. They can get their wiggles out in a kids zone and find plenty of treats from onsite food vendors. Admission to the event, which runs 2-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, is $10 for adults, $8 for military and seniors, and free for kids 14 and under. Visit for more information. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Dale Watson was a staple in the Austin country, swing and rockabilly scene for years, playing regular gigs at nightclubs like The Continental Club with his backing band. But recently he moved to Memphis, just a mile from Graceland, where his music is sure to impress the locals. The singer, guitarist, songwriter and author penned the genre Ameripolitan, which consists of contemporary Western swing, honky-tonk, rockabilly and outlaw country. with Summer Dean, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Mama Tried Deep Ellum, 215 Henry St., 214-258-5573, free Diamond Victoria

You likely remember Shawn Colvin's single "Sunny Came Home," but her 30-year career as a singer-songwriter boasts more than the Grammy Award-winning 1997 hit. After a steady string of albums since then, Colvin's latest, this year's The Starlighter, is a collection of children's songs taken from the book Lullabies and Night Songs. This unique canon of music comes after a collaboration in 2016 with Steve Earle and a subsequent tour. Tonight's show at The Kessler sees Colvin by herself, though, and perhaps without lullabies. 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346,, $32 and up DV

Austin-based Shane Smith & The Saints blend country, Americana, folk and rock together for a rootsy sound inspired by the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons, to name a few. They're a country band for folks who don't like country, and the band's latest album, 2015's Geronimo, has gone over tremendously well with critics and fans. 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117,, $16-$22 DV

Hankering for a glimpse of farm life back in the day? Drag the kids away from the video games and let them see how youngsters once upon a time built paper kites or cared for farm animals. Let the little apes know just how lucky they are. On the first Friday of each month, from 10 a.m. to noon, Nash Farm, 626 Ball St., Grapevine, a 5.2-acre historical landmark, focuses on a theme appealing to ages 3 and up. Subjects range from cowboy cooking and making pickles to keeping cool without air conditioning. September’s theme is frontier travel, and you can bet it’s not via Uber or jet. For more information or $3 tickets, call the Nash Farm, 817-410-3558 or email [email protected] Reba Liner

Beer and puppies, what more could you want? Well, good health, lots of money and sex, we suppose. Tons of other stuff, come to think of it. We can’t help you there, but Dallas Pets Alive Brew Launch has you covered on the beer and puppies angle. They’re launching a beer that will also benefit the animal charity. The beer is called Dixon’s Pale Ale, and 50 cents of every pint sold will benefit Dallas Pets Alive and its mission to make Dallas a no-kill city. Never have you had a better reason to get totally ’faced. Well, divorce, a death in the family ... look, this is a good reason, OK? Be there at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 at Grapevine Craft Brewery, 924 Jean St., Grapevine. Admission is free. For more information, call 682-651-5797 or visit Paige Skinner


We’re nearing the end of the dog days of summer, but that doesn’t mean Dog Day Afternoon has to end. Operation Kindness, DFW’s biggest no-kill shelter, presents this one-of-a-kind festival, where you can bring your dogs for a costume contest, get them microchipped (the first 100 get it for free) and vaccinated for cheap. There’ll even be a puppy kissing booth. Just remember that only one of you should be using tongue, and it’s not you. Be there at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 at Operation Kindness, 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrollton. Admission is free. For more information, call 972-418-7297 or visit Paige Skinner

If you wanted to see The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ newer training facility, now is your perfect chance. The Cowboys are hosting Market at The Star x Fleastyle, where you can shop from 30 vendors. The outdoor market will include fashion, jewelry, home decor and other goods. There will also be live entertainment, food specials and activities for the kids. Be there at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 at Ford Center at The Star, 9 Cowboys Way, Frisco. Admission is free. For more information, visit call 972-497-4060. Paige Skinner

On Saturday night, sample from a selection of more than 400 local, national and international beers at the 8th annual Dallas Observer BrewFest. General admission tickets will net you a commemorative tasting glass and 12, 2-ounce beer tastings (with the option to buy more sample cards). With a VIP ticket, you’ll get into the event an hour early and have access to a VIP area with line-free bathrooms and access to VIP brews. Advance tickets are $42 for general admission and $75 for VIP; prices increase the day of the event. The event takes over Dallas Farmers Market from 7 to 10 p.m. — or 6 p.m. for VIPs — Saturday, Sept. 8. Snag tickets at Beth Rankin

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 of 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. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 316 West Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, $25 and up at Eric Grubbs

Luke Bryan is considered the King of Bro Country, a title he seems to embrace while also hoping to be treated as a serious artist. Count all the lyrical references to alcohol, trucks, gurrls (not just girls), rural settings and catfish you like. Thing is, the thousands of people who will come to AT&T Stadium want to have a good time, pure and simple. This four-act blockbuster show is what country music sold to a mass audience looks like these days, but it gets some real credibility from openers like Little Big Town and country’s latest ordained savior, Chris Stapleton. Most mainstream country music is for people who grew up on Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Tim McGraw and Def Leppard, and weren’t afraid of hip-hop, either. Plus, it’s family entertainment. As easily mocked as the bro country genre is, it sure isn’t losing any steam by snark from those who don’t get it. 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111, $45 and up at Eric Grubbs

The Rich Girls remain one of the best local cover bands. After forming as a New Year’s dare in 2010, the Hall & Oates tribute band quickly gained a local fan base, and the unforgettable group won a Dallas Observer Music Award for best cover band in 2014. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at The Rustic, 3656 Howell St., 214-730-0596,, free Daniel Rodrigue

An immersive performance art piece featuring large-scale puppets, shadow puppetry, video and sound installation, Dirty Turk is a theatrical production that examines cultural assimilation, racism and identity of central character Ozlem through her daydreams, nightmares and memories. Testimony from local immigrants and refugees are woven into the script. It sounds like just the kind of thought-provoking conversation-starter your MAGA-hat-wearing stepdad could’ve used if he didn’t reply “Hell no” immediately after the phrase “immersive performance art.” Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 29 (and possibly extending into October) at Artstillery’s West Dallas performance space, 723 Fort Worth Ave. Tickets are $10 for students with ID and people from La Bajada and $25 for everyone else. There’s also a two-hour “Talkback!” fundraiser, with cocktails and mingling for $20 for those who want a VIP look into how the production came to be, on the 29th. Call 512-994-8832 or visit Jesse Hughey


With the help of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and the Rwandan American Community of DFW, the Dallas Holocaust Museum presents the Summer Survivor Speaker Series. The museum invites patrons to experience the profound and poignant, as Holocaust survivors and refugees from other mass killings share their stories of perseverance and genocide. At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, Rwandan emigre Emmanuel Sebagado will talk about ethnic violence in Central and East Africa at the museum, 211 N. Record St. Tickets start at $8. Seating is first-come, first-served. Find more info at Jonathan Patrick

The veteran art-rocker, most famous for his 1979 hit, "Cars," is back out on the road at age 60. Though he'll forever be associated with "Cars," Gary Numan has, in fact, been consistently making music for decades. With elements of synth-pop, industrial rock and new wave all filtered through his minimalist delivery and arrangements, Numan has been a cult favorite around the globe. He's also written a memoir, worked on film and video game soundtracks, and received a celebrated innovation award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. The cozy confines and dimly lit corners of Canton Hall will be a unique and intimate setting to take in his expertly crafted live show. And, yeah, he'll probably play "Cars," too. 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., $27.50 at Jeff Strowe

German band Scorpions were a heavy metal mainstay from the late '70s to the early '90s with hits like "Rock You Like a Hurricane." After releasing almost 20 albums throughout their career with the band, members announced in 2010 that they'd be retiring from the game. But Klaus Meine and company released the album Return to Forever a few years later in 2015, and tonight's appearance is the rescheduled show from a year ago when Meine came down with laryngitis. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $35 and up at DV
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