9 Actually Fun Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend

A giant wine fest, a massive pool party, and more summer send-offs.

Well, here we are, folks: the final weekend of summer. How did it go by so fast? Rather than dwell on what’s gone, let’s look ahead to a weekend filled with activities that will help send the season out with a bang. Whether you’re planning to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day on Saturday or spend some quality time out and about with your pooch, it’s going to be a fantastic three days of urban adventuring across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Dive into summer’s last big pool party, drink up barrels of wine at GrapeFest, scream your head off at Six Flags for multiple reasons, and go hiking in the dark for a spooky cardio workout. With nine unique and interesting things to do, you can pack an entire summer’s worth of fun into a single weekend. (Just remember to space out your social media posts so people won’t think you’re humble bragging.)

Eat all the meats while helping hungry kids

Friday, September 17 - Sunday, September 19
Uptown, Plano, & Addison
There’s never a bad time to check out Fogo de Chão’s new fall menu (including a fire-roasted Porterhouse Steak served tableside along with all the other all-you-can-eat carnivorous enticements), but you should definitely try to get there this weekend when a $5 donation to No Kid Hungry gets you a $25 gift card to use toward two full Churrasco dinners on your next visit.
Cost: No cover; menu prices vary

Experience the joys of purple teeth at Grapevine’s GrapeFest

Friday, September 17 - Sunday, September 19
Grapevine
In addition to tons of vino tastings at the largest wine festival in the southwest, you can partake in a champagne cork shoot-off and grape stomping demo while enjoying tunes from classic 1980s bands Berlin and Asia. Make a weekend of it with a hotel package and you won’t have to worry about driving.
Cost: Passes start at $10 per person; additional event prices vary

Keep the fun alive at a Summer Never Ends pool party

Saturday, September 18
Design District
Virgin Hotels Dallas commemorates the final weekend of summer with one of their beloved, high-energy pool parties. James Hype will be coming all the way from the UK to remix his favorite tunes. Reservations are required unless you’re staying at the hotel (which is never a bad idea).
Cost: Admission is free for hotel guests or for those not wanting pool access; Pool day passes run $50 per person

Take part in a little cosplay

Friday, September 17 - Sunday, September 19
Downtown Dallas
Whether you’re passionate about superheroes, characters from graphic novels, horror movies, video games, or anime, you’ll find plenty to stan at this weekend’s Fan Expo Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Big-name celebrities and genre stars from Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Office, and even Saved By The Bell will be in attendance, too.
Cost: Passes start at $30 per person

Soak up some wardrobe inspo at Runway Dallas

Friday, September 17 - Saturday, September 18
Arlington
Runway Dallas, our local semi-annual fashion week, brings out top designers for a weekend of glamour on the catwalk. $150 VIP tickets get you a gift bag, as well as front-row seats to the event.
Cost: GA tickets start at $85 per person

Scream on roller coasters, scream at zombies, or both

Friday, September 17 - Sunday, September 19
Arlington
The Texas Giant has been taken over by evil clowns, the Runaway Mine Train is now haunted, and the usually tame merry-go-round has transformed into the Scarousel. These are just a few of the reasons to visit Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texas, which features haunted attractions, live shows, and seasonal food and drinks in addition to many of the thrill rides you enjoy during the summer.
Cost: Passes start at $39.99 per person

Shop 'til you drop at a neighborhood block party

Saturday, September 18
Lakewood
The Lakewood Shopping Center has undergone a refresh and they’re ready to debut their new look with a block party bash. Enjoy $5 unlimited yogurt all day, add your mark to the community mural, and take part in a variety of giveaways, samplings, and specials from area restaurants and retailers.
Cost: No cover; vendor prices vary

Get a buzz off cotton candy

Saturday, September 18
Design District
Just in time for the return of Big Tex to the State Fair, Texas Ale Project is releasing its limited edition, pink-hued, cotton-candy-inspired Pilsner. Bites from Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. and live music from Joshua Mather are also on tap.
Cost: No cover before 6:30 pm ($5 per person after); menu prices vary

Roam a wildlife sanctuary in the dark(ish)

Saturday, September 18
McKinney
This edition of the Heard Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s Night Hike series starts at 6 pm, well before it’s actually dark, so you’ll have time to get used to your surroundings as the sun sets. Trail guides will help you learn how to adjust to the changing environment as shadows creep in and the animals come out to play.
Cost: Non-member tickets run $14 per person

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Steven Lindsey is a Thrillist contributor.