To bring you into Spring, here’s a list of (mostly) family-friendly, free and worth knowing about DFW Area Festivals, now through May. We’ll be adding to this list as events are announced, so, check back often!
(Free) Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras Dog Parade and Festival
at Mitchell Park located one block west of Downtown McKinney
Sunday, February 7, 12:30-4pm, parade at 2 p.m.
We are off to the races during the Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras Dog Parade and Costume Contest as Downtown McKinney calls on all four-legged canine friends and their best buddies to share in the excitement. Embarking on its 14th annual successful run, Krewe of Barkus promises to be a howling hoot. In past years, more than 250 dogs participated in the parade alongside more than 4,500 spectators in awe of costumes, creatures and creativity. Patterned after the Mystic Krewe of Barkus in New Orleans, which was established to help abused and abandoned canines, Krewe of Barkus will feature a parade, vendor booths, interactive activities and more.
(Free) Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade
at Bishop Arts District, Oak Cliff
Sunday,February 7, 2pm
The parade makes its way through Dallas’ Bishop Arts District on Feb. 7. The parade starts promptly at 2 p.m.! It lasts about 1 hour. The parade steps off at Davis Street and Windomere Avenue. This parade is family-friendly, all ages are welcome to enjoy the show!
(Free) Lake Dallas Mardi Gras
at Lake Dallas City Hall
Tuesday,February 9, 5-9pm
Celebrate all that is Mardi Gras – Music, Parades and Food! Wear your festive greens, purples and golds and collect all the beads you can as the amazing floats pass by during the parade. Visit with your neighbors and stroll the vendor market. Be sure to check out all the entries in the Mask Contest. If you don’t participate in the crawfish eating contest, make sure you are there to watch it! Returning this year, playing the FIRST CHOICE EMERGENCY ROOM Stage, are favorites The N’awlins Gumbo Kings. They will headline the entertainment and have you dancing in the streets. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez… Let the Good Times Roll!
(Free) Chinese New Year Festival
at Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas
Saturday,February 13, 11am-7:30pm
Say goodbye to the Year of the Ram and celebrate the Year of the Monkey at the Crow Collection’s signature Chinese New Year Festival. Highlights include must-see performances every hour, traditional Chinese New Year art making activities, calligraphy demonstrations, face painting, fortune telling, and much more. Come early to enjoy the food trucks and lion dances, and stay late for our grand finale fireworks display in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Plus, for the third year in a row, there will be an exclusive VIP hospitality lounge available for members of the Friends of the Crow Collection.
(Free) Hearts in the Park
at Klyde Warren Park, Dallas
Saturday,February 13, 3pm-9pm
Join us for our annual Valentine’s Day celebration! Klyde Warren Park’s Valentine’s Day festival will have a Roaring ’20s theme this year. Family-friendly activities, crafts, dancing, photo booth and more. The movie The Great Gatsby will be shown at 6:30pm.
Thin Line Festival: Film | Music | Photography (some Free activities)
at multiple locations in Denton
February 17 at 11am – Feb 21 at 5pm
Thin Line is a film, music, and photography festival held over 5 days in Denton, Texas – just north of Dallas / Fort Worth. The 9th annual festival is February 17-21, 2016. For five days, Thin Line will deliver an engaging program of high quality documentary films, world-class music, and a diverse selection of photography. Event passes and tickets are for individual shows and can be purchased in advance. Tickets will be available ‘at the door’ until venue capacity is reached. All events are all ages, however, please check the program to ensure the event content is suitable for children.
Feb 17 & 18: Thin Line Festival: Photography and Gallery Experience
Feb 20: Instant Film Workshop & Walk
Feb 20: Denton Steps Together – A Dance Workshop
Feb 20: Documentary Cinematography Workshop
Feb 20: Our Town Denton Documentary Workshop
Feb 21: Community Drum Walk
(Free) TicketStock 2016
at Irving Convention Center
Friday,February 19 at 12 noon & Sat Feb 20 at 10am
Meet former Cowboy Terrell Owens, current Maverick Center Zaza Pachulia and enjoy a FREE CONCERT from Pat Green Saturday Night. The Ticket Timewasters perform their free concert on Friday Night. Doors open at noon Friday, February 19th and 10am Saturday, February 20th . Admission, autographs and concerts are FREE. Meet all of your favorite Ticket Guys and watch as they perform during their famous roundtables all day Friday and Saturday.
(Free) The Dallas Festival of Ideas
at Fair Park, Dallas
Saturday,February 19 from 7pm-9pm
The Dallas Festival of Ideas is an annual harvesting of big, bold ideas with an eye toward action in helping to shape the city of the future. The theme for 2016 is The United City. All activities take place at Fair Park. The festival opens on Friday night with a panel discussion in the Music Hall and continues on Saturday with more panels in the Music Hall and Women’s Museum building.
Programming is for all ages, including music, art, performances, action stations and City “Zones,” featuring additional spoken-word content, small group discussions and introductions to local talent and community initiatives will take place in Women’s Museum building. Panels include: The Educated City, The Entrepreneurial City with keynote speaker Russell Simmons, The Healthy City, The Literary City and The Physical City. Admission is FREE and seating is guaranteed to the first 500 who pre-register. VIP festival passes are available for $195.
North Texas Irish Festival
at Fair Park, Dallas
March 4, 5 & 6
This annual festival typically features bagpipes, Irish dancing, beer and whiskey tastings, Irish draft horse demos, storytelling, Irish food, Scottish clans and a Celtic Village. The fest also includes: dog-friendly activities, DeLorean cars, chalk artists and more. This year’s theme is Legends and Legacy, highlighting some of the true legends of Irish music. Dates: Fri, Mar 4: 6-11pm, Sat, Mar 5: 10:30am-11:30pm, Sun Mar 6: 11:30am-7:30pm, Tickets will be sold here.
All Out Trinity Fitness Festival
at Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
Saturday, Mar 5 – All day activities starting at 8am
5k Run: Starting at $25 – Join us in celebrating 12 years with 5K, 10K, and 1 Mile runs benefitting West Dallas non-profits and the Dallas Running Club.Run on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and along the Trinity River as you take in unmatched views of the Dallas skyline!
This approximately one-hour open level yoga class is designed for adults who are new to yoga as well as for experienced practitioners. Instructors and assistants will ensure you have a satisfying experience.
Yoga: $10 Donation – Be a part of a the City of Dallas’ largest outdoor yoga practice. This year we look to top 1,000 participants, from first-time-ever to experts. The yoga session is open to all levels and will take place below the center white arch of Dallas’ iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. This approximately one-hour open level yoga class is designed for adults who are new to yoga as well as for experienced practitioners. Instructors and assistants will ensure you have a satisfying experience. We encourage family participation! We reserve the Western end of the class for adults with children. Adults may register online for a minimum $10 donation per person. Your tax-deductible donation supports the non-profit Trinity Commons Foundation and its goal to turn the Trinity River Corridor into Dallas’ Central Park. Children may participate for free but must be accompanied by an adult.
35 Denton Festival 2016
35 Denton is a 3-day music festival programmed in the burgeoning arts corridor of Denton, TX. Now entering its 7th year, 35 Denton is an award winning music festival situated in the burgeoning arts corridor in Downtown Denton, TX. We believe in an intimate exchange between artist and attendee that cultivates a bond within our community. Our programming is an eclectic mix of new artists on the cusp of the mainstream as well as larger legendary performers; a mix of local DFW as well as national touring acts. Biz Markie is headlining!
Spring Fling: Luck O’ the Irish
at Dallas Heritage village (Old City Park)
Tuesday, March 15 – Friday, Mar 18, 10:30am-3:30pm
$9 Adult, $7 Senior (65+), $5 Child (4 to 12 years)
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all week at Dallas Heritage Village this Spring Fling. Go on a leprechaun hunt at the Sullivan house and help us link rainbow chains around the Village. Play board games at the Saloon and lucky horseshoes behind Millermore. We will be spinning and twisting golden ropes at the Farmstead too. Put on some green, grab your lucky charms, and head to the Village for a little Irish fun!
Texas Pinball Festival
at Embassy Suites in Frisco
March 18 – 20
The 2016 Texas Pinball Festival is one of the largest pinball shows in the country featuring hundreds of pinball machines, classic video games and other game room goodies set up on free play for everyone to enjoy the entire weekend. Leave your quarters at home!
Weekend Pass Adult $60 – Child $35, Fri Mar 18 5pm-1am Adult $25 – Child $15, Sat, Mar 19 10am-midnight Adult $35 – Child $25, Sun, Mar 20, 9am – 2:30pm, Adult $20 – Child $10
(Free) Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival
at Greenville Avenue
Saturday, March 19, Parade begins at 11:00am
Step Off: Greenville @ Blackwell St.
Parade End: Yale Blvd/SMU Blvd @ 75 Central Expressway
The 37th annual parade and festival benefitting the GAABA Scholarship Fund. This is the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in the Southwest! With 125,000+ Attendance, 2 Mile Route, More than 90 Parade Float Entries, More than 1,700 Parade Participants & More than $72,500 in scholarship money has been awarded to Dallas ISD students.
(Free) Deep Ellum Arts Festival
2900-3400 Main Street, Dallas TX 75226
April 1 – 3
Six blocks of Main Street in the Deep Ellum entertainment district will be transformed into one enormous street festival. Featuring 200 top-notch decorative and visual artists, 100 original bands and singer/songwriters performing from four different stages, the renowned Pet Parade, and enticing foods and drinks. Festival attendees can stroll through displays of cutting-edge decorative arts and admire, commission, and purchase the works of sculptors, muralists, jewelers, painters, leather and wood crafters, and other specialized fine artists, some of whom will be creating pieces on the spot.
(Free) Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival
at Downtown Fort Worth
April 14 – 17
Prepare for Spring! What better way to celebrate one of the top Downtowns in the country than stretching your legs along a Magnificent Mile of Art, Music and Food. Great restaurants, superb shopping with additional retail stores and of course, the #1 Arts Festival in Texas!
(Free) Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
April 15 – 17
Live Entertainment, Arts & Crafts, Food, Kids Activities & more details to be announced. (Now accepting vendor applications.) Fri, April 15, 6 – 9pm, Sat, April 16, 9am-6pm & Sun, April 17, 9am-5pm
(Free) Earth Day Dallas
at Fair Park
April 22 – 24 10am-6pm
This three-day free event is held in April to celebrate progress, hope, and innovation and is the largest event in the world of its kind. Earth day Texas brings together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive progreamming, and subject matter experts. Attendees will also enjouy numerous outdoor experiences, including live music, sustainable beer and food pavilions, electric bike test tracks, and family activities. Earth Day Texas creates a fun and engaging atmospher for thought and experiential learning while encouraging attendees to be the change they wish to see in the world.
(Free) Grand Prairie Main Street Fest
at 200 W. Main Street
April 22 – 24
Friday- 5 pm-midnight, Saturday- 9:00 am-midnight, Sunday- 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
The festival will celebrate the fun, festive, family atmosphere of Grand Prairie with 4 stages of LIVE! music featuring headlining performances by Los Lobos, Cody Canada & the Departed and more! Novelty Entertainment, Stunt Shows, Carnival Rides, an Arts & Crafts Area, Business Expo, Food and Beer Gardens, a KIDZONE and so much more! Follow their facebook page for details as they become available.
(Free) Denton Art & Jazz Festival
at Quakertown Park
April 29 – May 1
The Denton Arts and Jazz Festival is a celebration of the arts in a community known for embracing and nurturing music, dance, choral, drama and the visual arts. The FREE event is produced by the Denton Festival Foundation, Inc. with the generous support of sponsors such as the Dallas/Fort Worth American Federation of Musicians Local 72-147 and the city of Denton. Held the last full weekend in April at Denton’s Quakertown Park, the event features seven stages of continuous music, fine art, crafts, and food, games and information booths in a beautiful, outdoor setting. Fri, April 29th, 5pm – 11pm; Sat, April 30th, 10am – 11pm; Sun, May 1st, 11am – 9pm
(Free) Cottonwood Arts Festival
at Cottownwood Park, Richardson
1321 W. Belt Line Road, one block east of Coit Road
May 7, 10am-7pm & May 8, 10am-5pm
Now in its 47th year, the semi-annual Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried show. Jurors have selected over 240 artists from 800 submissions to exhibit their museum-quality work at the festival. Cottonwood Art Festival is more than just the art. The festival also features top local bands performing the best in rock, country, jazz, blues, swing and folk. Check out the courtyard, sit in the shade by the lake, relax and enjoy the music. Spirits are also available in the courtyard.
Taste of Addison
at Addison Circle Park
Advance tickets (until May 13 at 5 pm): $15 adults / $10 kids (ages 4-12).
A celebration of food, music, and fun, Taste Addison, dishes out the best food and flavor with a healthy side of jam. A three-day menu of fun, May 13-15, 2016, Taste Addison delivers the tastiest eateries with the best music at Addison Circle Park.
Grapevine’s 32nd Annual Main Street Fest (Free until 5 p.m. Friday)
Main Street in Historic Downtown Grapevine
May 20 – 22
A Craft Brew Experience! Hear live music on five stages throughout the three day festival. Watch your kids experience the thrilling KidsWorld, a kid-friendly entertainment zone, featuring the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center’s Junior Builder Competition and the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium touch pool. Take a turn at the games and on the carnival rides along the Carnival Midway. Friday after 5 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday admission: Adults – $7, Children (6 – 12) – $5, Children (5 and under) – Free, Seniors – $5, Weekend passes – $15, Souvenir weekend passes – $20
50th Annual National Polka Festival (some Free activities)
at Downtown Ennis, I-45, Exit 253 or 251-B.
May 27 -29
Make plans now to experience authentic cuisine, sounds, and costumes of the Czech and Slovak heritage at the City’s largest festival — the long-running National Polka Festival taking place Memorial Day weekend in May. Join the fun starting with a dance on Friday evening from 7-11 pm: King/Queen Dance Contest is at 9 pm. On Saturday, enjoy the Rotary Club’s 5K and 10K Polkafest run at 7:00 am, and gala parade on Saturday at 10 am. The festival features 14 live polka bands, great Czech food, arts and crafts, and much more. Children 12 and under have free admission into the halls. One admission per day includes all three halls. Free shuttle buses carry enthusiastic visitors both to-and-from the various entertainment sites for polka music, lunch and dinners.
Parade, Street Dance & other Downtown Activities are Free, Children 12 and under are FREE. One daily admission includes all three participating halls: KJT, KC, and Sokol (Country admission is additional) Cash only at the door.
Fri, May 27: $8, Sat, May 28: $15, Sat, May 28: Country Concert TBA, Sun, May 29: $10,
Dallas Margarita Meltdown
at West End Market Place
Sunday, May 29, 4-10pm
Competitors will concoct their finest margarita and offer samples to you on May 29, 2016 4pm-7pm in the West End of Downtown Dallas, TX. The winner will be announced at 8pm. The event ends at 10pm. Your ticket includes a sampling card used to vote which allows you to sample, taste and vote for your favorite margarita from each establishment participating. DJ Regs will be playing your favorite top 40 favorites. Local vendors and sponsors will also be there.