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Evening Events in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

When Delkus is forecasting triple-digit temps, nighttime is the right time (sometimes the only time) to be out and about. Our heat-savvy city has plenty of options for family fun after the sun goes down. So skip the usual bedtime for just one night and turn on your flashlights for these evening adventures, from poolside films to sunset safaris.

Catch a double feature after dark any day of the week at one of the Coyote Drive-In locations in Fort Worth and Lewisville. The box office opens at 6pm Monday–Thursday and 5:30pm Friday–Sunday, so motor in early to claim a prime parking spot (it’s first come, first served). No outside food or drinks are allowed, but the Coyote Canteen serves a bevvy of typical theater eats — popcorn, hot dogs, Frito pie — as well as craft beers and wine for Mom and Dad. When it’s time for the feature presentation, watch through your windshield or set up lawn chairs to enjoy the cool(er) night air. $8 per ticket for ages 12 and up; $6 ages 5–11; free for ages 4 and younger. Pro tip: Plan your movie night for a Tuesday to get $5 tix.
223 NE 4th St., Fort Worth, 817/717-7767
1901 Midway Road, Lewisville, 214/222-9208

With light-up floors, balloons and family-friendly (read: clean) pop music and timeless tunes, Disco Kids beckons movers and shakers of all ages to boogie down on July 21, August 11 and August 25 from 6–9:30pm. Give your feet a rest — and your energy level some fuel with snacks from the food trucks outside, take fun family photos in the Photo Van and have a Silly String fight with friends. Kids age 13 and younger are $5; adults are free. Water is free; other drinks and alcoholic beverages for Mom and Dad are not.
4322 Elm St., Dallas, 214/695-5947

Even if you’ve already seen The Lego Batman Movie, you’ll still want to be at NRH2O on July 21 for the Dive-In Movie event. The movie doesn’t start until dusk, but rumor has it the Masked Crusader (ahem, Batman) will be in the park from 5–7pm. Snag photo ops, cruise the park’s slides and rides, then settle in the wave pool or on the beach for showtime. See Finding Dory on July 28 and Frozen on August 4. Coolers are allowed, but leave pool floats at home — inner tubes will be available on a first come, first served basis. Admission is $28.99 for guests 48 inches and taller and $21.99 for guests under 48 inches; print a coupon from the park’s website for $4 off adult tickets and $1 off child tickets.
9001 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, 817/427-6500
 
Spend the night with the Perot Museum’s dinosaurs (don’t worry — they won’t go all Night at the Museum on you) during the Emoji Sleepover on July 21–22 and the Eclipse Sleepover on August 11–12. Sleepover guests ages 6–14 and their adult chaperones will get to roam all the permanent exhibit halls sans crowds and be treated to temporary tattoos (at the Emoji event) and a 3-D showing of Walking with Dinosaurs (at the Eclipse event), plus a late-night snack and breakfast in the morning. Price per child is $45; adult chaperones are $30.
2201 N. Field St., Dallas, 214/428-5555
 
After close on August 5, Rowlett’s Wet Zone Waterpark will re-open at 8pm for Flick & Float. Lounge poolside or wade in the water while The Lego Movie (rated PG) plays on the big screen around 8:30pm. (Pro tip: The park doesn’t have inner tubes, so bring your own floats or noodles.) Before the feature presentation, take a spin on the water slides and splash in the park’s multiple pools, including shallow water play areas built for littles. Get the Chick-fil-A sandwich combo for dinner for $6. Free with daily admission or $6 per person for the movie only.
5304 Main St., Rowlett, 972/412-6266
 
Take a night off for Friday Movie Madness on July 28, when the Flower Mound Community Activity Center will be showing Ghostbusters (rated PG) at the indoor pool. (Hook (rated PG) will be playing August 11.) Come early to cool off in the outdoor water park, then head inside to grab a spot in or around the pool before the show starts at 7:30pm. Inner tubes and rafts are usually not allowed, but rules change for movie nights — feel free to bring floats, food (there is a $5 cooler fee) and drinks. The event is free with paid admission, which is $4 for youth and $6 for adults (residents) and $6 for youth and $8 for adults (nonresidents). 1200 Gerault Road, Flower Mound, 972/874-7275 
 
Remember Lite Brite? Friday Night Library: Nite Brite may have been inspired by the childhood toy. On July 28 from 7–10pm, the South Irving Library hosts an all-ages free nighttime story walk in the park with crafts, games, bubbles, sidewalk chalk art and culminating with a life-size lite brite after the sun sets.
601 Schulze Drive, Irving, 972/721-2606
 
Grab popcorn and pull up a car at Ennis’ Galaxy Drive-In for a double feature after sunset. The throwback theater, located about half an hour from downtown Dallas, shows new releases on seven screens, including two equipped for 3-D movies. Parking spaces are first come, first served, so arrive early — the box office opens at 6pm — to play a few rounds of mini golf and load up on munchies from the well-equipped snack bar (no outside food or drink is allowed). When the sun sets and the projectors light up, watch from the comfort of your car, or bring lawn chairs and sit under the stars. $7 per ticket for ages 12 and up; $3 for kids younger than 12. Mini golf is $3 per game or $4 for two games. Call or check the website for the latest showtimes.
5301 N. Interstate Highway 45, Ennis, 972/875-5505
 
Don’t miss the sight of a field full of hot air balloons lighting up the night during the Highland Village Balloon Festival August 18–20. The 30th annual event, put on at Unity Park by the Highland Village Lions Club, includes three days of tethered balloon rides, food trucks, a car show, races and more, but the festival’s highlight is the Balloon Glow around 8:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Find a spot around the field and help count down to the moment when the pilots turn on the burners to illuminate their balloons. Before dark, watch the Balloon Mass Ascension, a coordinated lift-off at 7:15pm, and stick around until 10pm for live music and the Kids Zone, with a petting zoo, bounce houses and train ride. Kids Zone wristbands are $15 for the entire weekend. Festival admission is free, but proceeds from rides, activities and parking benefit the Boy Scouts.
2200 Briarhill Blvd., Highland Village, 972/317-9073

Do good while you have fun after dark at the Lucky Duck Race and Free Family Splash Fest at Tom Muehlenbeck Center on July 22 from 6:45–9pm. Adopt a rubber duck — $5 for one, $20 for five or $100 for 30 — to help raise funds for This Side UP Family’s wellness programs. Then cheer on your bathtub toy in the race that starts at 8pm (the top 20 ducks win prizes). Pack your own picnic and treat the kids to snocones, popcorn and other snacks. Before and after, swim, slide, play games and more.
5801 W. Parker Road, Plano, 972/769-4404
 
Pack beach chairs or a blanket and the whole crew into the car (cost is $10 per vehicle) to watch family-friendly flicks on the shores of the lake at Lloyd Park in Grand Prairie. During the Movies on the Beach see Up on July 22, Finding Dory on July 29, The Karate Kid (the original from your youth!) on August 5 and Cars on August 12 starting at 8:30pm. Buy food and drinks from the on-site concession.
3401 Ragland Road, Grand Prairie, 972/237-8100
 
Bring lawn chairs, blankets and your most aca-mazing singing voice to historic downtown Carrollton for Movie on the Square on August 12. The city supplies lawn games for pre-show entertainment, so arrive before dark to challenge the kids to a hula hoop contest or a game of Jenga. Don’t forget to stock up on snacks from Bloom’s Candy and Soda Pop Shop, or grab a fried apple pie from The Bomb Fried Pies food truck. Then settle in at dusk around the gazebo to watch Beauty and the Beast (rated PG). Coolers welcome; bug spray encouraged. Free.
1106 S. Broadway St., Carrollton, 972/466-9135
 
 Keep your eyes and ears open for nighttime sights and sounds during two events at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) this month On July 21, bring a blanket or lawn chair to gaze at the night sky during Stars on the Prairie. From 8:30–10:30pm, you’ll use your unaided eyes (and maybe a telescope or binoculars provided by the guide) to spot constellations and planets from your perch in the prairie restoration area. Then on August 26, join the Night Hike from 8–10pm to listen for nocturnal animals roaming the forest, prairie or marshes near Lewisville Lake. The guide will point out any critters you encounter on the less than 2-mile walk; watch for fireflies and cross your fingers for an armadillo sighting. Come equipped with long pants, closed-toe shoes, water and bug spray. Both events cost $11.50 per person and are appropriate for ages 5 and up. Registration closes at 11am the day before; call or visit the website to book your spot.
201 E. Jones St., Lewisville, 972/219-3550

It doesn’t get more country than the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, returning August 18–26 for nine days of carnival rides, country music and the crowd-favorite mutton bustin’, taking place August 22 and 23 at 6pm. Register your 3-7-year-olds in advance ($30) to mount the lightning fast sheep or, for your less daring tots, compete in the nightly mini-tractor pulls for fun that’s more their speed. Adult admission from $15; $5 kids 7–12.
2217 N. Carroll Blvd., Denton, 940/387-2632
 
Commune with creatures of the night during an Owl Prowl at Trinity River Audubon Center on August 10 from 8–10pm. First, get a rundown on owl biology and behavior during a kid-friendly presentation in the classroom, then borrow binoculars and flashlights to find owls in the wild. The guide will teach you the difference between the great horned owl and barred owl calls, play sounds from a speaker to attract the birds, and stop to examine other nocturnal critters you meet along the way. Geared to ages 7 and up; registration required. Ten percent off for members; $15 nonmembers.
6500 Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, 214/398-8722
 
On August 12, brush up on your knowledge of constellations and critters at Tandy Hills Natural Area. The come-and-go monthly Prairie Sky Star Party kicks off at “dark-thirty” (half an hour before sunset). Members of the Fort Worth Astronomical Society will be on hand with 10–20 telescopes — some the size of cannons, some homemade — to satisfy your kids’ endless questions about all things cosmic, and Steel City Pops will be on-site to satisfy your sweet tooth. Free.
3400 View St., Fort Worth, 817/731-2787
 
Another Star Party is happening at the University of North Texas Rafes Urban Astronomy Center on August 5. The monthly event starts when it gets dark, but don’t bring flashlights — the darker, the better for seeing the stars. Get up-close views of celestial bodies through the university’s big telescopes, and gather around for star talks, when UNT astronomy students will show you the sky and tell stories about the constellations. $5 per person; free for children 4 and younger. Come early for the 8pm planetarium show at the Sky Theater (the current show, Star Stories, explores possible explores different cultures’ stories of the nighttime sky) and pay $9 for adults and $7 for children younger than 12 for both events. The star party is weather permitting; check the UNT Astronomy Twitter feed or Facebook page for updates.
2350 Tom Cole Road, Denton

Party it up Texas-style on Friday and Saturday nights during the Gaylord Texan’s SummerFest shenanigans. Make sure you stock up on the glow-in-the-dark accessories on sale; they’ll come in handy for the Rock Out Glow Party at 7pm, where there will be strolling characters, music and more. Then watch Legends of the Lone Star Wild Wild West Show, a live-action comedy that starts at 8pm. During the 20-minute rowdy, western gunfighters, saloon girls, a trick roper and a hero will entertain the whole family in the Lone Star Atrium. Both events are free; on-site parking starts at $17. 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, 817/778-1000
 
On August 4, wear comfortable shoes and use your night vision skills to see the Dallas Zoo from a new perspective during the Twilight Safari Night Hike from 7–10pm. Adults and kids ages 6 and older will get a behind-the-scenes peek at zoo exhibits, play games to explore how animals (including humans) use their senses, and meet one of the zoo’s education animals up close. $20 per person; register online at least a week in advance.
650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, 469/554-7300