14 Reasons to Get Out of the House Thursday–Monday
Words Elizabeth Smith
Published September 2019
Updated September 12, 2019
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This weekend set a paper lantern for sail on a journey of thanks and contemplation, gaze up at giant kites bobbing in the wind and at the full harvest moon after dark, or take part in family celebrations ahead of North Texas Giving Day.

GrapeFest, Downtown Grapevine
Thursday, September 12, 10am–10:30pm
Friday–Saturday, September 13–14, 10am–11:30pm
Sunday, September 15, 11am–6pm
Squeeze the most of out your weekend trip to Grapevine by signing up for the GrapeStomp challenge for a chance to earn the Purple Foot Award. Children ages 13 and younger stomp for free. Free festival admission all day Thursday and until 5pm on Friday. General admission: $8 adults; $5 children 6–12 years; free for 5 and younger. Includes admission to the KidsWorld where you’ll find Legoland builds and Sea Life Aquarium’s touch tank. $25 online for the unlimited carnival ride pass.

Pete – A New Dance Musical, Dallas
Thursday, September 12, 7:30pm
Friday–Saturday, September 13–14, 8pm
Sunday, September 15, 2pm
Dark Circles Contemporary Dance opens the new season with a playful, original show directly inspired by J.M. Barrie’s iconic story of Peter Pan. His adventures on the island of Neverland in this performance explore the themes of childhood, mortality and freedom and how they intersect with issues of race, gender, sexuality and privilege. On stage in Hamon Hall at Winspear Opera House. Tickets are $29.

How I Became a Pirate, Hurst
Opens Friday, September 13, 5pm
Saturday, September 14, 10am and noon
Learn how to sing sea chanteys and say “scurvy dog” when this swashbuckling musical based upon the children’s book by Melinda Long and David Shannon opens at Artisan Children’s Theater. Book your seats for showtimes on Fridays and Saturdays to see the band of comical pirates land at North Beach in search of a new crew member. Runs 55 minutes. $13 adults; $7 children.

Party on the Porch, Fort Worth
Saturday, September 14, 10am–10pm
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art debuts its newly renovated galleries with all-day entertainment at this annual music and arts festival. Come inside to check out the new Family Pop-up Space in The Lounge and see four all-new art exhibitions. The party continues through the evening with more art-making, food trucks and live music outdoors from The Band of Heathens and Fort Worth musician Abraham Alexander. FREE ADMISSION

Chalk Art Festival, Fort Worth
Saturday, September 14, noon–4pm
Encourage your kids to explore their own creativity in the children’s chalk art area outdoors at Crockett Row at West 7th. For inspiration, take a look out the elaborate art pieces created in real time—from start to finish all in one day—by professional street painting artists. The day also includes games, live music, a photo booth and an amateur artist contest. Vote for your favorite amateur artist by donating to The Art Station, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit organization that offers art therapy and programming to children and adults. FREE ADMISSION

Arts & Autos Extravaganza, Denton
Saturday, September 14, 9am–3pm
Register by September 10 for a guaranteed spot in the Chalk Fest, one of the highlights of Denton’s 20th annual car and art festival. Check out the hot rods and motorcycles around the square, then come to beautify the sidewalks with your chalk art creations. Registration from $15 for adults and $5 ages 7–17 (winners earn cash prizes); free for 6 and younger (winners earn ice cream from Beth Marie’s). Includes a box of 12 chalk colors. Free for general festival entry.

Ballet Folklorico Mayahuel, Irving
Saturday, September 14, 7:30pm
In celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day (September 16), the local dance company Dallas-Mexico Casa Guanajuato presents their annual concert event at Irving Arts Center. Experience this traditional dance form on stage at the arts center’s Carpenter Hall accompanied by a live mariachi trio. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 3–12 years.

North Texas Giving Day and Donation Stations, Dallas, Plano and McKinney
Saturday, September 14, times vary by location
If you have the means, donate your extra dollars online to your choice of 2,700 local nonprofits on the 11th annual North Texas Giving Day next week on Thursday, September 19. To make it a family affair, join the fanfare in person this Saturday at one of these donation celebrations at NorthPark Center, the Shops at Willow Bend and McKinney’s Finch Park. Free admission, but donations are encouraged.

Children’s Book Illustrator Jared Chapman, Dallas
Saturday, September 14, 1–2pm
Texas-based author/illustrator Jared Chapman reads and signs his new chapter book mystery series Didi Dodo Future Spy: Robo-Dodo Rumble at independent bookstore Interabang Books. Bring your young book lovers to hear the story of the spy-in-training Didi Dodo and his reluctant sidekick as they face off with an evil robotic dodo bird in an unlikely way: a cookie baking competition. FREE ADMISSION

Into the Spider-Verse Movie Night, Carrollton
Saturday, September 14, 8–10pm
For downtown Carrollton’s free Saturdays on the Square series, bring your lawn chair to the gazebo and settle in for an outdoor screening of the 2018 animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (rated PG), which introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales. Coolers welcome. FREE ADMISSION

Hometown Lights, McKinney
Saturday, September 14, 6–9pm
Drive out to the Trinity Falls community for a lighted lantern launch into the lake and live music by Corey Breedlove. Tickets are $20. Individual lanterns, where you’ll write the names of loved ones and words of contemplation, will be available for purchase on-site for $5. Proceeds go to The Warrior’s Keep, a McKinney-based nonprofit that provides outdoor therapy to veterans with difficulties reconnecting socially.

Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival, Frisco
Saturday, September 14, 6–9:30pm
One day after a spooky Friday the 13th, the Japan-America Society of DFW celebrates the full harvest moon with its annual moon viewing party at Frisco Square. Come learn about the legend of the Moon Rabbit as the guardian of the moon and take part in Japanese traditions such as calligraphy, ikebana and haiku poetry. FREE ADMISSION

Trinity River Kite Festival, Dallas
Saturday, September 14, 11am–5pm
Cross your fingers for a windy day and fan out over the floodway for this day of flying kites, big giant and small. Bring the kids to Dallas’ annual kite fest to get a free kite (while supplies last) or make their own. Also, get a load of stunt kite flyers, hang gliders on exhibit and let the kids bounce to their hearts content in the Kid’s Fun Zone bounce houses. FREE ADMISSION

W.A.T.E.R. Festival, Arlington
Saturday, September 14, 10am–2pm
It’s the most abundant resource on earth and fun to splash around in. Join the River Legacy Living Science Center’s annual W.A.T.E.R. (Water Awareness Through Education and Recreation) science fair for water color painting, a water obstacle course, animals explorations with turtles and more. FREE ADMISSION