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Fun things to do in October in Dallas-Fort Worth — online, outdoors and more

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 10/8/2020 By Shannon Sutlief, The Dallas Morning News
a group of people sitting at a fruit stand: Alanna Zingano takes a photo of her seven-month old daughter Valencia at the Dallas Arboretum's Pumpkin Village. © Juan Figueroa/Staff Photographer/The Dallas Morning News/TNS Alanna Zingano takes a photo of her seven-month old daughter Valencia at the Dallas Arboretum's Pumpkin Village.

See all Editors Picks' of the best events in Dallas-Fort Worth

Compiled by Shannon Sutlief, from staff reports

Big Tex Fair Food Drive-Through

Even though the State Fair of Texas is canceled this year, you can still visit Big Tex and enjoy some of your fair food favorites. The fair is hosting a drive-through event that runs through Oct. 18. Those who’ve purchased tickets online can have a professional photo taken with Big Tex — who will be wearing a giant mask that measures 7 feet wide and nearly 4 feet tall — before picking up Fletcher’s corny dogs, Stiffler’s fried Oreos, cotton candy and other goodies. Attendees can then drive to a designated parking lot and enjoy the food in their cars or as a picnic, as long as the groups socially distance. Those who snag a ticket will have a designated day and a specific window of time to line up for the drive-through. Up to eight people are allowed per vehicle, but no limos, buses or trailers will be admitted. Patrons can get out of their cars to pose in front of Big Tex and then receive a text with a downloadable photo on the spot. When visitors interact with anyone on State Fair grounds, they will be asked to wear masks, even while in their cars. Be sure to pack your patience and have a full tank of gas. On Sept. 26, ticket holders waited in parking lot lines as long as five or six hours. State Fair spokeswoman Karissa Condoianis says that Sept. 27 1/4 u2032s visitors had shorter wait times and that changes will continue to be made to shorten the wait time to one to two hours.

a close up of a flower: The Native Butterfly House & Garden at the Heard Museum features chances to view the winged creatures. © Juan Figueroa/Staff Photographer/The Dallas Morning News/TNS The Native Butterfly House & Garden at the Heard Museum features chances to view the winged creatures.

Through Oct. 18 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (except Oct. 10), plus Oct. 12 and Oct. 15. Enter Fair Park through Gate 11, at South Fitzhugh Avenue and Lagow Street. Food-and-photo package prices range from $65 to $99; add-ons such as turkey legs and corn on the cob are available for an additional charge. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

The Boho Market

FREE Expect more than a dozen local Etsy-style small businesses set up in the Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market. They’ll be selling handmade, vintage and artisan goods such as jewelry, clothing, home decor, macrame, woodwork, candles and more. The regular Shed vendors will also be selling their wares, including regionally grown produce, herbs, local honey and other gourmet ingredients. And don’t forget to get a gourd. Farm-fresh pumpkins will be on display and for sale in the Shed. For Boho Market, booths will be spaced 10 feet apart and hand sanitizer will be available. The Dallas Farmers Market requires all sellers and shoppers to wear masks.

Oct. 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dallas Farmers Market, 902 S. Harwood St., Dallas. Free.

Turtle Creek Association’s Virtual Tour of Homes

Chances are the rooms you spy in Zoom business meetings are not as fancy as these. Indulge your prying eyes when the Turtle Creek Association offers pre-recorded tours of five Uptown homes for $40. See a two-story penthouse with a floating staircase; a 5,000-square-foot Italian villa on a half-acre of terraced gardens; one of the Regency Row brownstone homes at the Ritz-Carlton; a corner loft with views of the downtown skyline and Klyde Warren Park; and a Turtle Creek Boulevard house with an international art collection. There’s also a premiere event package featuring a sixth house: a Spanish colonial residence called Casa de Sueños. The $125 price tag includes a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board from Salum Restaurant and an online art auction.

Available starting Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. $40-$125.

International Gem and Jewelry Show

FREE If your eyes glitter at the sight of rubies, sapphires and diamonds, you’ll take a shine to this three-day, direct-to-consumer shopping experience. Touted as the “largest exhibition of gems, minerals and jewelry in the world,” the convention produces shows in more than 35 U.S. cities each year. Shop for gemstones, pearls, engagement rings and watches in a “competitive atmosphere [that] drives prices to rock bottom,” organizers say. Face masks and social distancing will be required, and the show will feature reduced capacity and wider aisles.

Oct. 9 from noon to 6 p.m., Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas. $6 online or $8 cash only at the door, free admission for military members with ID and their families, free for pre-registered teachers and wholesalers. No children under 9.

Modern Home Show

FREE If you’ve spent part or all of the last six months sheltering in place, working remotely and schooling from home, you likely have some ideas on how to improve your surroundings. Modern Home Show, a nationally touring home improvement expo, wants to make dreams come true. See product displays, get design tips and meet local vendors who will give free quotes on remodeling kitchens, organizing closets, adding security, increasing energy efficiency and more. Masks and social distancing are required. Hand sanitizing stations will be available.

Oct. 9-10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Oct. 11 from noon to 6 p.m. at Grapevine Mills mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine. Free admission and parking.

Plano Food and Wine Walk

This third annual wine-tasting event at Plano’s upscale Shops at Willow Bend will be a walk this year instead of a festival to help spread out crowds and encourage social distancing. To partake in the pours, purchase a $30 package that includes a souvenir taster and map to the 20 indoor locations providing wine samples. Add a snack platter from Terra Mediterranean for $25. There will also be live music, culinary demonstrations by local experts and a photo booth. Masks are required except when eating and drinking. Hand sanitizer will be provided.

Oct. 10 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano. Free admission. $30 for wine-tasting packages for those 21 and older. Timed-entry tickets must be purchased in advance.

Butterfly Flutterby

FREE This year, the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau’s monarch migration merriment will be mostly virtual. The annual festival celebrates the orange and black butterflies making their autumn trek from Canada to Mexico. Log on Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. for a live butterfly release and information about conservation and the insect’s life cycle. On Oct. 17 at 11 a.m., tune in for the final butterfly release, more insect education, a talk by the mayor and announcements of contest winners. There is also an in-person element: Visit the free “Spirit of the Monarch” exhibit in the Tower Gallery inside the Grapevine Visitor Information Center, 636 S. Main St. It’s open daily through Oct. 17 with informational displays, hands-on activities and photo ops. And you can see butterflies on-site Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 14-16.


‘Circo Metropolis’ at Samuell-Grand Park

Clown around with Slappy and Monday and others during this pop-up circus-style show at Samuell-Grand Park’s outdoor amphitheater. Families can take blankets, lawn chairs and picnics to claim a space on the grass and stay at least 6 feet from other parties. Joining comedic couple Slappy and Monday, who are also known as Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday, will be high-speed juggler Dario Vasquez, illusionist Magic Mike Williams, aerialist duo Circus2Wins and Kelli and Julio Ramazini, who will combine acrobatics and comedy with other circus skills. The show is also a family affair; Slappy and Monday’s children will perform. See Chet Monday walk the slack wire and hear Lily Monday sing. Circo Metropolis is presented by Shakespeare Dallas, whose Shakespeare in the Park usually calls the amphitheater home, and Slappy and Monday’s Laughter League, a nonprofit that produces shows for the public to raise funds to support their performances at children’s hospitals, schools and public libraries. Ticket holders will be required to wear masks, and hand sanitizing stations will be available.

Oct. 10-11 and 17-18 at 1:30 and 5 p.m. at Samuell-Grand Park’s amphitheater, 1500 Tenison Parkway, Dallas. $15 per person, $50 for a family four-pack.

DriveBoo Halloween

DriveBoo is offering a contact-free, family-friendly drive-through event in American Airlines Center’s Silver Parking Garage. Enjoy a spooky night from the comfort of your vehicle. Four levels of the garage have themes such as carnivals, nostalgic Halloween scares and movie characters. Those looking for a more frightening time can purchase an upgrade to Post Apocalyptic Chaos on the fifth floor. The scares will be more intense and may have you double- checking that the car doors are locked. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance.

Through Oct. 31, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 11 p.m. at American Airlines Center’s Silver Parking Garage, 2503 Victory Ave., Dallas. $30 per car. $40 for Apocalypse upgrade.

Art Park

The Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center organization, which supports visual and performing arts programs at the lakeside venue, will host an outdoor art gallery near the center. The Bath House remains closed for renovation. For Art Park, works from more than 90 artists will be displayed on 15 8-foot-wide fence panels installed among live oak trees. Check out the art, which was inspired by White Rock Lake, while viewing the water, the park and the Dallas skyline. The participating artists are associated with the Bath House, the White Rock Lake Artists' Studio Tour and Goldmark Cultural Center, which will host the outdoor exhibit after it leaves the lake.

Through Oct. 18 on the north side of the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, Dallas. Free; donations accepted for Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center.


Six Flags Over Texas is trading its usual Fright Fest of indoor haunted houses and stage shows for Hallowfest, a two-part outdoor Halloween celebration. During daylight hours, there will be family-friendly fall favorites such as spooky photo ops and a Trick-or-Treat Trail. At dark, creepy fog and sinister music are switched on to create a scarier atmosphere. Some of the theme park’s roller coasters, including Superman: Tower of Power, Titan and Shock Wave, will run in darkness. The park will operate at a limited capacity as part of its coronavirus safety guidelines, so tickets and parking must be purchased in advance. Those 3 and older will be required to wear protective masks. Social distancing will be enforced, and there will be hand-washing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the grounds.

Through Nov. 1 on Fridays from 6 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m., Sundays from 2 to 9 p.m., plus Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington. $29.99 to $39.99, free for children 2 and younger. Fast passes range from $50 to $120. Parking is $27.78 to $37.04.

Aurora: ‘Area 3’

Aurora, which produces the large-scale, biennial light art festival, will present a drive-by music, dance and visual experience called “Area 3.” The DalPark parking garage in downtown Dallas will house 100,000 square feet of site-specific creations from 11 artists and creative groups. Works on display will range from towering neon light installations by Denton-based artist Alicia Eggert to the quirky choreography of the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. There will be new video art installations from artists including Dallas-based Tramaine Townsend and duo Melanie Clemmons and Zack Lloyd. And it’s impossible to predict what musician Francine Thirteen will do.

Through Jan. 1, daily from 7 p.m. to midnight in the DalPark parking garage, 1600 Commerce St., Dallas. $30 per vehicle.

Shakespeare Dallas’ Movies in the Park

Although Shakespeare Dallas' live stage productions won’t happen this autumn, the company is offering films in its outdoor amphitheater at Samuell-Grand Park. On the first four Thursdays in October, the company will screen a Shakespeare- related film, starting Oct. 1 with Shakespeare in Love. On Fridays, it will be classic films, starting Oct. 2 with Singin' in the Rain, while Saturdays will feature family-friendly movies, starting Oct. 3 with Jurassic Park. Gates open at 7 p.m. for first-come, first-served seating on the lawn in socially distanced pods. Masks must be worn except when seated inside a pod. Picnics, blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Food trucks will have items for purchase. Ticket holders 21 and older can take beer and wine.

Through Oct. 24 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. at Samuell-Grand Park’s amphitheater, 1500 Tenison Parkway, Dallas. $15, free for ages 10 and younger. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Free parking.

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden and Autumn at the Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum’s 8-acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden has reopened to the public. Families can explore the garden’s exhibits and features like the Walk on the Wild Side discovery trail and the Amazing Secret Garden. Hundreds of exhibits are spread across a dozen themed areas. Spend time in the treetops on an elevated skywalk, trek a 500-foot trail through a woodland habitat that includes an adventure bridge, explore a cave’s stalactites and stalagmites and wend your way through a caterpillar maze. Check out two giant kaleidoscopes, 16-foot-tall plant models, fossils, a hedge maze and more at this garden that was designed with state and national curriculum standards for life and earth sciences in mind. The children’s garden also offers daily programs and activities.

And don’t forget it’s pumpkin time. Through Nov. 1, Autumn at the Arboretum features thousands of colorful, fall-blooming flowers and spectacular displays in Pumpkin Village with more than 90,000 pumpkins, squash and gourds from Floydada, the Pumpkin Capital of Texas. Stroll the gardens, navigate a hay bale maze, take photos in front of the 20-foot-tall pumpkin houses and thump away until you find the perfect gourd to take home from the pumpkin patch.

With the safety of visitors and staff in mind, COVID-19 rules will be in effect, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks for ages 5 and older at all times except when eating and drinking. Safety measures in the children’s garden include limiting entry to ages 5 and older and requiring children to wear provided disposable gloves while in the garden.

The Dallas Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for ages 65 and older, $12 for ages 2-12, free for children under 2. Parking is $10. Additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. Under the arboretum’s COVID-19 protocols, tickets and parking must be purchased in advance; see the website for details.

Sci-Tech Discovery Center reopens

This interactive children’s museum focuses on science, math and technology with hands-on experiences for pre-K through sixth grade. Kids can learn while participating in activities such as designing games, flying a drone simulator, experiencing building challenges, creating giant bubbles and exploring how bodies work.

The museum, which is located inside the Frisco Discovery Center, has reopened with limited capacity. Some exhibits and activities remain closed, but additional social distancing-friendly tabletop experiments have been added. Other coronavirus safety measures include temperature checks before entry, face masks for ages 3 and older and sanitizing stations throughout the exhibits. Timed-entry tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Those who are not ready to visit Sci-Tech in person may enjoy the museum’s free virtual programming. There are online classes, how-to guides for experiments to do at home, entertaining science videos and more.

Sci-Tech Discovery Center is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sundays from noon to 5:30 p.m. at 8004 Dallas Parkway, Frisco. $10 for ages 3 and older; $8.50 for seniors, military and teachers; free for those 2 and younger.

State Fair of Texas From Home

FREE The State Fair is offering virtual events and digital programs to help fair fans stay connected to their fall traditions. Visitors to can watch videos simulating rides on the Texas Star Ferris wheel and the Top O' Texas Tower. On Sept. 21, Big Tex Cooking School — a weekly video series of concessionaires demonstrating their dishes— starts with Tom Grace making funnel cakes. Also on Sept. 21, registration opens for virtual creative arts contests and the Blue Ribbon Selection Tasting Series. Then on Sept. 24, the History of Fair Park video series launches. Additional online events and activities will be available Sept. 25-Oct. 23.

For more info, visit

Community Wednesdays at Texas Discovery Gardens

Every Wednesday, this Fair Park attraction offers pay-what-you-wish admission for those 3 and older. Children 2 and younger are always admitted for free. Families can explore the 7.5 acres of the certified organic gardens, which feature native and adapted plants. Or go inside to enjoy the two-story Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium, which contains hundreds of free-flying butterflies in a tropical rainforest-like environment. There’s also the renovated Snake Shack, which now includes reptiles other than snakes. Visitors are required to wear masks to enter buildings, including the Butterfly House and Snake Shack. Masks may be removed when spending time outside in the gardens. Limited capacity, signage and one-way walkways are being used to encourage social distancing.

Open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Regular admission is $10, $8 for ages 60 and older, $5 for children 3-11. Wednesday admission is pay-what-you-wish. Enter Fair Park at Gate 5, Robert B. Cullum Boulevard and Grand Avenue. Park in the lot near Gate 6.

Crow Museum reopens

The Crow Museum of Asian Art, which has been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, reopens Sept. 18. The Dallas Arts District museum will operate at 25% occupancy with enhanced cleaning measures, hand sanitizer and appropriate wayfinding and instructional signage in place. Masks will be required. The special exhibition “Beili Liu: One and Another” has been extended through Jan. 3. For it, the Austin-based artist created two site-responsive installations, Lure/Dallas and Each and Every/Dallas, in two of the museum’s galleries. Together they touch on the theme of human connection. It’s the first exhibition of the museum’s Texas Asian Women Artists Series. Exhibits from the permanent collection, “The Art of Lacquer” and “Immortal Landscapes: Jade From the Collection,” will also be on view.

Starting Sept. 18, the Crow Museum of Asian Art will be open Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2010 Flora St., Dallas. Free admission.

Friday Night Movie Series

FREE Irving’s Parks and Recreation Department is turning its rec center parking lots into drive-in movie sites on Fridays at dusk through Oct. 9. Admission is free, but registration is required because of the limited number of parking spots. Moviegoers can take their own snacks and drinks, but alcohol and smoking are prohibited. Restrooms will be available inside the recreation centers, but masks are required wheninside. Parking lots will be open one hour before showtime, and attendees must remain in their vehicles. The Sept. 11 movie is Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and the rest of the weekly lineup includes Jumanji: The Next Level, Remember the Titans, Toy Story 4 and The Good Dinosaur.

Fridays through Oct. 9 at 8:30 p.m. at Lee Park Recreation Center, 3000 Pamela Drive, Irving. Free admission; registration required.

The Drive-In at the Central

Rooftop Cinema Club’s drive-in-style event at Central Expressway and Carroll Avenue shows one to two popular movies nightly. Viewers must watch the 52-foot screen from inside their vehicles (truck beds and hatchbacks count). Audio can be heard via FM radio (take a portable one if your vehicle doesn’t have a radio tuner or if you want to preserve the battery). Moviegoers are required to wear masks when outside. Visitors can take their own food and drinks, but concessions will be available for purchase. Restrooms are also available. Pricing is by the vehicle, and most films cost $22 to $35, with the higher prices for the parking spaces closest to the screen.

Nightly at 2999 N. Carroll Ave., Dallas.

Heritage Farmstead Museum reopens in Plano

This family-friendly, 4-acre landmark in central Plano has reopened to the public. Times, days and capacity are limited to encourage safe distancing. A few other changes: The chickens are now free-roaming, and there are 10 new lambs and a new pig to visit.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., admission is $5 (free for children 2 and younger). Families can tour the grounds, feed the chickens and check out the educational displays around the farmstead such as the working blacksmith shop. Picnics and play time are welcome on this Blackland Prairie historic site.

On Fridays, folks can enjoy all of those activities, plus tours of the farm’s buildings followed by a hayride through the property. The Ammie Wilson House, a Victorian home, has a current exhibit showcasing Roaring ’20s fashion and decor. The Young House, which was built in 1880, depicts a rural home without electricity or plumbing. Admission on Fridays is $10 (free for children 2 and younger). Tours, which take about 75 minutes, begin at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance. Masks are required inside all buildings and anytime visitors are interacting with people not in their group. Hand sanitizer stations will be available.

Open Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1900 W. 15th St., Plano.

Southfork Ranch Fall Concert Series

Concertgoers will drive into Southfork Ranch, but they’ll take their seats on the lawn in 13-by-25-foot pods marked like parking spaces. Each pod holds up to six people from one party, and each person’s ticket costs $20. Or pay $30 per person to get a pod with table seating, a meet-and- greet and photo with the band, a $5 coupon to the Southfork Ranch gift shop and a coupon toward a future tour of Southfork Ranch. Beatlemania ’64: A Tribute to the Beatles will open the series on Sept. 4, followed by Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band Texas Flood on Sept. 18, Shameless: A Tribute to Garth Brooks on Sept. 25 and Texas Bluesmen: Texas’ Ultimate Blues Brothers Experience on Oct. 2. Restrooms and concessions will be available. Masks are required except when seated in pods.

Sept. 4, 18 and 25 and Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. at Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Drive, Parker. $20-$30.

‘Dinosaurs Live!’ at the Heard

Walk the half-mile nature trail at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney to visit 10 life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The 15th annual display includes a 46-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex and nine other moving, roaring prehistoric creatures. An outdoor fossil dig, a play area and photo op are also featured. The trail is jogging-stroller-friendly but is not paved. The 289-acre wildlife sanctuary is also home to hundreds of birds, reptiles and other wild critters. In addition, the Native Texas Butterfly House and Garden is open through Oct. 4. Stroll through an enclosure of free-flying butterflies and pollinators such as honey bees. Coronavirus safety precautions include the ability to purchase tickets online in advance to minimize contact. Masks are required for visitors and employees. (For more on the Heard, see listing on Page 19.)

Through Feb. 15, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. $12, $9 for seniors 60 and up and children 3-12, free for children 2 and under.

Mesquite Arts Center’s Family Activities

FREE While the Mesquite Arts Center’s gallery and theater remain closed, families can learn new art skills and make crafts with the center’s virtual and take-home programs. On the first and third Thursday of each month at noon, a new MAC Doodles video is posted on YouTube showing how to create a new drawing. Sept. 3 1/4 u2032s doodle is about pizza. Every Monday at 10 a.m., families can pick up free Tote-and-Go kits that contain craft projects to complete at home. On Aug. 31, the kit contains a color-in canvas craft with a hero theme. Every other Wednesday at noon, children 12 and older and adults can watch workshops on YouTube. The next one, on rock art, is Sept. 2.

Visit for links to online programming. Pick up Tote-and-Go kits Mondays at 10 a.m. at the Mesquite Arts Center, 1527 N. Galloway Ave., Mesquite, while supplies last.

Dallas and Fort Worth Zoos

The Dallas and Fort Worth zoos are having a summer baby boom. Both have new giraffe calves: a girl named Tana in Dallas and a boy named Nakuru in Fort Worth. Dallas also has a zebra foal named Sukari, and Fort Worth has a young lesser kudu. Both zoos also have safety modifications, including masks for ages 10 and older, advance tickets required for timed entry, limited capacity and some indoor areas that are closed. The Dallas Zoo has recently reopened the giraffe feeding platform, the herpetarium, the gorilla viewing area, the carousel and the mini train. The zoo also announced last week that the Adventure Safari Monorail and the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park will remain closed permanently. The Fort Worth Zoo was recently named the top zoo in USA Today’s 10 Best Zoos contest. A panel of judges selected the top 10, then popular vote determined the ranking. Visitors have access to most areas, including the outdoor penguin exhibit, the Toyota Children’s Ranch and Petting Corral, Stingray Cove, the train and the carousel. Safari Splash, a 14,000-square-foot water play area, is open with limited capacity from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Dallas Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas. $17 for adults, $14 for ages 3-11 and 65 and older, free for ages 2 and younger. Parking is $10.

The Fort Worth Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 30 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Aug. 31 at 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth. $16 for adults, $12 for ages 3-12 and 65 and older, free for ages 2 and younger. Admission is half-price on Wednesdays. $5 for Safari Splash tickets, $4 for Stingray Cove. Parking is $5.

FWO Green Room

FREE The Fort Worth Opera had to cancel its spring festival, and now for its 75th anniversary season, it has reimagined the fall programming to be online only. Called FWO Green Room, the project includes performances, discussions, seminars and masterclasses with Metropolitan Opera soprano Jennifer Rowley. There will be a premiere of a virtual choral piece featuring the Fort Worth Opera Chorus’ 42 singers and Frontiers featuring Pulitzer Prize- winning librettist Mark Campbell.

Visit Free.

National Videogame Museum reopens

Families who have spent the last few months exploring islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons might enjoy learning about the history of video games and playing some, too. This attraction, which topped Buzzfeed’s list of 21 quirky museums, includes a 1980s-themed bedroom, living room and arcade with games like Asteroids and Donkey Kong that guests can play with tokens (four are included with admission; more can be purchased). You’ll also find the world’s largest Pong console, set up on a 15-foot TV replica from the 1970s, and the Head-to-Head Hall filled with gaming stations where attendees can compete against one another. The museum is open with coronavirus safety measures. Masks are required for ages 3 and older. Since many exhibits are hands-on, latex gloves are recommended and available upon request at the museum. Game controllers and other interactive elements are regularly sanitized. And some exhibits have been modified to encourage social distancing.

The National Videogame Museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. at 8004 Dallas Parkway, Frisco. $12 for adults, $10 for ages 4-10 and seniors, free for ages 3 and younger. Tickets must be purchased on-site.

Billy Bob’s Texas Reopens

To open, the Fort Worth Stockyards landmark had to be recertified as a restaurant — though it is one with a concert hall, a dance floor and a retail store. So instead of being the world’s largest honky-tonk, it’s the world’s largest honky-tonk-themed restaurant. Live music resumes Aug. 14 with the Bellamy Brothers. Flatland Cavalry takes the stage Aug. 15. Tickets are $16 to $32 and limited to 1,200 per show. Those who buy a ticket will have a seat inside the venue, but they won’t be required to sit in it. A $20,000 thermal camera will check guests’ temperatures when they walk into the venue. All have to wear masks and will be asked to socially distance.

Billy Bob’s Texas is at 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Reopens

The family-friendly Fort Worth museum has reopened, and the photography exhibit “Laura Wilson: Looking West” will remain on display through August. Masks are required for ages 11 and older, and some interactive stations will be closed. Check out “It’s Never Just a Horse” on the second floor. The exhibition looks at the bond between women and horses and at the women who shaped the American West.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1720 Gendy St., Fort Worth. $4-$10. Half-price admission ($2-$5) on Fridays and Saturdays. Free for ages 3 and younger. Parking is free.

KidZania Reopens

This Stonebriar Centre attraction for kids 6-14 is reopening July 31 with coronavirus precautions in place, including decreased hours and capacity to ensure proper social distancing. When visitors check in at the airport-like entrance, they will have their temperatures taken, must answer COVID-19 questions and are required to wear face coverings. Inside the museum, where kids try out jobs such as news anchor, optometrist and pilot, guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer before and after each activity.

Starting July 31, KidZania will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. at 2601 Preston Road, Frisco. $39.95 for ages 6-14, $14.95 for ages 4-5 and 15 and older.

Epic Waters in Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie’s 800,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor water park complex has a UV-protected retractable roof, a 600-foot lazy river, a FlowRider surfing simulator and Epic Waves, a 10,000-square-foot outdoor pool that surges 4-foot waves at 10-minute intervals throughout the day. Other attractions include the Lasso Loop body slide, the Aquanaut inner tube ride and Rascal’s Roundup, a special area for little ones. There’s also a cafe, a bar and lounge, and an arcade with classic and modern games. The park is open with a decreased capacity and signs to encourage safe social distancing, enhanced cleaning procedures and additional hand sanitizer stations. Visitors 10 and older are required to wear face coverings except when swimming, eating, drinking, changing clothes and showering.

Other changes this summer include a series of discounts. A twilight special features $20 tickets for ages 4 and older on Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Fridays and Sundays from 5 to 9 p.m. Additional discounts include $10-$22 admission for Monday Madness, buy-one-get-one free on Tuesdays through Sept. 1 and $17 tickets for Throwback Thursdays. Check the website for discount codes and package deals. Regular admission for ages 4 and older is $29-$34 on Sundays through Fridays and $39-$44 on Saturdays. There’s a $12 discount for Grand Prairie residents; ID is required when presenting tickets. Children 3 and younger are admitted free at all times.

Open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 2970 Epic Place, Grand Prairie.

Medieval Times Reopening

The replica 11th-century castle off Stemmons Freeway has reopened to visitors. The attraction north of downtown Dallas features two-hour shows with Queen Maria Isabella presiding over a jousting tournament, hand-to-hand combat and falconry demonstrations. Ticketholders get a knight to cheer on, paper crowns and a four-course dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables, tomato soup, garlic bread and dessert served with two drinks. (Vegetarian meals available.) Modern pandemic precautions include 50% capacity, extra space between seated parties and the requirement of masks and temperature checks before entry.

Medieval Times is open most days at 2021 N. Stemmons Freeway Dallas. $62.95, $36.95 for ages 12 and younger. Discounted admission available online.

Native Texas Butterfly House and Garden at the Heard

Stroll through an enclosure of free-flying butterflies and pollinators such as honey bees at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. The winged beauties flitter among their favorite native plants and delight spectators by lighting upon them. The butterfly house is open through Oct. 4 and is included in general admission. The garden, which is open all year, includes North Texas native plants that naturally attract free-roaming butterflies with their colorful blossoms. Kids will enjoy spying the gliding insects indoors and outside and learning about their origins as caterpillars and chrysalises, and adults may pick up some ideas for adding butterfly-friendly plants to their home gardens.

Through Oct. 4 at 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., plus July 20 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On the second Saturday of each month, the grounds open at 7:30 a.m. $10-$12 for adults, $7-$9 for children 3-12 and seniors 60 and up, free for children 2 and under.

Crayola Experience reopens

This Plano attraction inspired by colorful crayons has reopened. Kids can see how Crayola’s products are made and check out about two dozen other activities such as designing and naming a crayon to take home. Some parts of the play space have been modified, including having fewer stations per activity to ensure social distancing. Playground spaces are closed for now, and costumed characters will not be making appearances.

But the gift shop and cafe are open. Other coronavirus precautions include requiring masks for ages 3 and older and checking temperatures of employees and visitors. Personal belongings must be in clear bags to allow contactless security checks. Capacity is limited to 50%, so entry is via timed tickets and reservations are encouraged. There will be hand sanitizer stations, and the attraction has implemented additional cleaning and sanitation protocols.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano. $24.99, which includes unlimited visits for the rest of 2020; discounted single-day tickets available online. Free for children 2 and younger.

Meadows Museum Reopens

The Southern Methodist University museum known for its world-renowned collection of Spanish art will reopen July 7 with regular hours but at no more than 25% capacity. Timed tickets, which are available for advance purchase through the Meadows’ website, will help manage the flow of visitors. When it reopens, the museum will display Madrid native Secundino Hernández’s painting Untitled (2019), which is on loan through the summer. The exhibit “Berruguete Through the Lens: Photographs From a Barcelona Archive” will also open July 7. The photography exhibit was planned as a companion to the special exhibition “Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain.” Both were supposed to open in March. “Alonso Berruguete” will now open in the fall.

The Meadows Museum reopens July 7 at 5900 Bishop Blvd., Dallas, on the SMU campus. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Thursdays till 9 p.m.) and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. $12, $10 for seniors 65 and older, $4 for non-SMU students, free for children 12 and younger and SMU students, faculty and staff. Free admission Thursdays after 5 p.m.

Fun Movie Grill’s Drive-In Theatre

Irving’s Fun Movie Grill has transformed its vast parking lot into an old-fashioned drive-in. There’s a 40-foot screen and space to accommodate about 250 cars. The regular cinema building will be open for access to restrooms and the concession stand. Carhops will deliver food and drinks, including pizza, hamburgers and Indian fusion dishes, to customers in their cars. If the drive-in proves popular, the theater may expand or make it a permanent fixture.

Open nightly at 9 at Fun Movie Grill, 8505 Walton Blvd., Irving. $20 per car. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.

Big Air Las Colinas

This new indoor adventure park in Irving is designed for all ages. It offers extreme trampoline dodgeball, a foam pit, a battle beam, a zip line, climbing walls, a ninja warrior obstacle course, a toddler area and a 2,000-square-foot parents-only mezzanine overlooking the park that serves adult beverages, coffee and small bites. Families can eat at the on-site Big Eats Cafe. This is the first Texas location for the California-based entertainment company. See the website for information on coronavirus precautions.

Big Air Las Colinas is open daily at 2000 Market Place Blvd., Irving. Admission starts at $16.

Fort Worth Museums Reopening

The city’s three big art museums — the Kimbell, the Modern and the Amon Carter — are set to welcome visitors back. The Carter is going first, reopening to the public on June 19 after allowing members only for three straight days. The Kimbell Art Museum will follow the Carter, reopening to the public June 20 after a member preview. And the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will reopen on July 1. The Carter and the Kimbell will limit capacity to 50%, and employees and visitors 2 and older must wear masks. The Carter will display “The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion,” “Looking In: Photography From the Outside,” and “Eliot Porter’s Birds” through July 5. At the Kimbell, the special exhibition “Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces From the Capodimonte Museum” has been extended through July.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art opens June 19 at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. Free admission.

The Kimbell Art Museum opens June 20 at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. Museum admission is free; “Flesh and Blood” is $18, $16 for seniors and students, $14 for kids 6-11, free for ages 5 and younger.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opens July 1 at 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth. $16, $12 for seniors, $10 for students, free for those under 18.

Dallas Heritage Village

The 20-acre outdoor history museum has reopened its grounds, but visitors won’t have access to the historic buildings’ interiors. However, there’s still plenty to do. The museum will have games, including horseshoes, bingo and hopscotch, plus there’ll be scavenger hunts, chalk for drawings, coloring sheets, word searches and more. Meet Waylon and Willie, a pair of mammoth jack donkeys who call the village home. There’s also a new walking tour of the park’s trees. Coronavirus precautions include contactless tickets, hand sanitizer stations and 6-foot markers to ensure social distancing.

Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. plus Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at 1515 S. Harwood St., Dallas. $8, free for ages 12 and under.

Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor reopen

After a roller coaster-like start to 2020 with quarantine, closure and stay-at-home orders, Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington and its accompanying water park, Hurricane Harbor, will reopen to the public on June 22. Both will initially operate at reduced attendance levels, gradually increasing crowd size throughout the month. The parks are open this weekend for loyalty program members only.

There have been several new changes to how people experience both parks. A new online reservation system for admission lets customers choose both a time and day to visit a park and requires advance payment for admission and parking. If all options for the requested date are taken, customers can be placed on a waitlist.

All employees and visitors will have their temperatures taken before entering the park, and everyone over the age of 2 will be required to wear a face mask while at either park. Masks won’t be required on waterslides, water attractions or in pools. Social distancing markers will be placed throughout the parks.

Rides, restraints and handrails will be cleaned throughout the day, and there will be hand-washing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks. Customers also will be separated by empty rows or seats on all roller coasters, rides and attractions. Water park patrons will be allowed to ride on a tube with their group members, but will not be allowed to share a tube with people not in their party.

Six Flags Over Texas will open to the public June 22; see website for hours. 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington. $64.99 for ages 3 and older. Fast passes are $45-$100. $27.78 for parking.

Hurricane Harbor will open to the public June 22; see website for hours. 1800 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington. $34.99 for ages 3 and older. $30 for parking.

Movie Theaters Reopening

On June 19, Cinemark will open Cinemark 17 and Imax on Webb Chapel in Dallas, Cinemark West Plano and XD and Cinemark North McKinney and XD as the beginning of a four-phase reopening. They’ll be showing previously released films for $5 for adults and $3 for children 11 and younger and seniors 62 and older. Selections include 2020 1/4 u2032s The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Sonic the Hedgehog. Concessions will also have welcome-back pricing. More theaters will reopen weekly, with all expected to be open in July. Also in July, Cinemark will transition to studio releases with regular pricing. Additionally, Studio Movie Grill will open its location in The Colony on June 19, and Strike+Reel in Garland is already open, offering $4 movies daily.

Visit, and for more information.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Wander more than 100 acres of grounds at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, including French Renaissance-inspired vistas, the Rose Garden with its reflection pond and the Japanese Garden with its pagoda and koi. The landmark reopened June 1 with new admission guidelines to make sure visitors can maintain safe distances. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and entry will be in timed 60-minute blocks and limited to 300 people per hour. Most indoor spaces will be closed, except for restrooms and the Trellis Gift Shop. While the cafe is closed, concessions will be available throughout the garden. Guests can bring water bottles, and face coverings are encouraged for those older than 2. Those entering the garden will be subject to having their temperatures taken and being asked coronavirus-related questions.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Admission closes daily at 4 p.m. $12, $10 for seniors 65 and up, $6 for ages 6-15, free for children 5 and under. Free parking.


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