It’s the second weekend of October, and the activities in DFW are really starting to heat up! The Red River Showdown highlights a weekend full of festivals, football, and free events for all to enjoy. This is the perfect weekend to enjoy rare fall weather in Texas with a DFW vacation (or staycation!). There are events happening everywhere, and we’re here to be your guide!
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Take a trip to The Cotton Bowl Stadium in Fair Park at the Texas State Fair to see the latest iteration in the famous Texas-Oklahoma college football rivalry. With both teams ranked in the Top 25, this game is sure to be intense and exciting. The Longhorns-Sooners rivalry is one of the oldest traditions in college athletics, and you won’t want to miss the latest chapter in its story!
EAT at Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum for some of the best BBQ the DFW area has to offer. With the pit burning 24 hours a day, every piece of meat coming from this Dallas staple is succulent and exactly what you would expect from good Texas BBQ. Every side is made from scratch, from the mac and cheese to the collard greens! At only an eight minute drive from the Cotton Bowl Stadium, Pecan Lodge is the place to go for some post-game authentic, Texas BBQ!
STAY at Canvas Hotel Dallas, a vibrant, industrial-chic hotel just ten minutes from the Cotton Bowl Stadium, perfect for anyone wanting to catch Texas vs. Oklahoma. This hotel is just a short ride-share or DART bus ride from the stadium, and visitors can enjoy its many amenities, including a rooftop infinity pool and a cocktail bar. Treat yourself to a room at one of the top ranked hotels in Dallas for less than $160/night!
CHECK OUT the all new ¡Fiestas de Marionetas! show at the State Fair of Texas. If you’re going to come to Fair Park, you might as well come to the State Fair too. This show features more than 85 handmade marionettes coming to life and dancing in a flash of color and festivities. Performances of this show happen daily at the McDonald’s Amphitheater on First Avenue. The State Fair has many iconic shows, but this might just be its best show yet.
If football’s not your thing, there’s also the largest international festival in DFW taking place this weekend at Haggard Park in Plano. Multicultural displays, entertainment, family fun, and food help showcase DFW’s diversity, and you won’t find more of it at any other event in the area!
FEAST at Urban Rio. With a name meaning “river of the city,” Urban Rio brings flavors to DFW from both sides of the Rio Grande. Just two minutes from the Haggard Park, you should be able to avoid the crowds and have some fantastic Mexican food on this restaurant’s signature rooftop patio.
Whether you’re a fan of Texas-Mexico fusion music or not, the Tejano Fall Festival at Traders Village in Grand Prairie is a one-of-a-kind experience for family-friendly fun. You can listen to the music from acts such as Ram Herrera or La Tropa F, and you can walk around Traders Village to experience various rides, shops, and food that you won’t find anywhere else!
EAT at Firehouse Gastro Park, the perfect place to dine before or after you attend the Tejano Music Festival. This Grand Prairie restaurant is HUGE, and sports both indoor and outdoor dining, its own coffee shop, and even a secret garden bar to sneak away to.
REST at the Cabins at Joe Pool Lake. Staying at these cabins in Grand Prairie’s own Loyd Park lets you experience another big attraction in the city: Joe Pool Lake. Rent a cabin (ranging from one to three bedrooms, so the whole family can come!), chill out at the lake’s beach and relax with a weekend by the lake — you deserve it!
HAVE SOME FUN at Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark, only five minutes away from Traders Village! This year-round indoor water park is a great place to cool down after visiting the Tejano Fall Festival. The largest indoor water park in Texas, Epic Waters has some unforgettable sights and experiences inside, including the nation’s tallest indoor Aqualoop.
For anyone who loves art, South Street Art Festival in Downtown Arlington is the place to be. This artsy event showcases work from over 100 artists in 14 different categories, and most of the art is for sale! If you’re looking jewelry, ceramics, drawings, or any other type of art imaginable, this is where you’ll want to be. The festival will be accompanied by live music, food, and many more attractions for everyone to enjoy.
GRAB A BITE at iCafe. This Japanese-style restaurant is just four minutes from Downtown Arlington, and their dishes are very large, so sharing plates is an option. They also offer boba, which you can bring back to the festival and have while you’re browsing the art!
STAY THE NIGHT at Live! By Loews, one of Arlington’s newest premier hotels. This hotel is not far from Downtown Arlington, and you are also close to AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park, which means there are photo opportunities galore! In the evenings, you can live it up at Texas Live! after you finish up at the art festival.
GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE at the River Legacy Foundation Fall Festival on Saturday and Sunday. It’s only ten minutes from Downtown Arlington and features a pumpkin patch, animal encounters, stargazing and activies everyone can enjoy. Head to this family-friendly festival to see how fast you can transition from an urban environment to a natural space in Arlington — It’s truly astounding!