Best Summer Events in Dallas

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School is out and the heat is on, which means it is finally summer. Whether it’s trying new foods, listening to great music, or enjoying a performance there are plenty of options all summer long. Here are a few ideas for things to do in Dallas:

Laugh, cry and cheer for your heroes at Shakespeare in the Park at the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre. This summer’s performances include “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Quixote.” The second performance is a special celebration of the anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Attributed to Shakespeare, “The History of Cardenio” is said to be based on an episode from Cervantes’ “Don Quixote.” The team from Shakespeare in the Park promises a Texas makeover for this summer’s performance, in celebration of the state’s cultural landscape. “The Merry Wives of Windsor” opens June 11, with “Quixote” following June 21. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are “pay what you can” nights, with a suggested donation of $10.

Bring out your best costumes for this year’s Tour de Fat by New Belgium Brewing Company. Festival organizers say to expect the unexpected with circus performers, magicians and comedians all together in one space. Events include a fashion show, and a slow ride where the slowest racer wins. Those who participate in the costume contest have the chance of winning a New Belgium Cruiser bike.This year’s headlining performance is the Texas-based rock band Jamestown Revival. Tickets are $25, and proceeds go toward the bicycle advocacy group Bike DFW.

Grab a large blanket and relax outdoors at the Reunion Lawn Party held the last Saturday of every month this summer. The first one of the summer is a FC Dallas takeover, featuring a live DJ and The High Definition Band. There are plenty of lawn games available on site if you forget to bring your own. A variety of food trucks and craft beer or wine options are also available for purchase. The event is free to attend and takes place in downtown Dallas at the base of Reunion Tower.

Celebrate joie de vivre during Bastille Days Dallas. The two-day festival is a celebration of French National Day on June 14. Originally named, Bastille on Bishop the festival has grown from a few hundred participants to the thousands in 2015. Look out for a street performance by the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, or the Circus Freaks performing ensemble. The family-friendly festival invites people to wear French-inspired costumes or their best fashion forward ensemble. Both Bastille days are free to attend, the only ticket needed is for adults who wish to drink wine.

Bust a move at the Dallas Hip-Hop Dance Festival July 28 and 29. Dancers from all over the U.S. come to compete in the festival, which falls on National Dance Day. The event includes a main competition and a variety of workshops by choreographers throughout the day at the convention. Past choreographers include Sean Bankhead, Keith Clark and Tricia Miranda. This year’s faculty include Nika Klujn, Lee Daniel and Trevor Takemoto. Look out for intense competition at the Krump vs Popping battle, which costs $20 to battle and $15 to spectate at the final round. Winners of the dance battles walk away with trophies and cash prizes.

Get a taste of Dallas at this year’s DFW Restaurant week. More than 125 restaurants in the area are participating with two-course and three-course options. There is also a special lunch option priced at $20 per person. The week starts with a Kick Off Festival August 3. The festival promises appearances by top restaurants, a variety of wines and a performance by Linda Elder. Participating restaurants donate 20 percent of the price of each meal to the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas. More information about the week will be available online at DFWRestaurantWeek.com.

Join in what’s called the “Woodstock of gaming” known as QuakeCon. The festival has taken place for the past 20 years and draws gamers from around the world. The video gaming convention features a Bring Your Own Computer area for people to playing against and with each other during a Local Area Network (LAN) party. While the main draw is the competition, people can check out various workshops, upcoming video games and video game exhibits at the free event taking place August 24-27.

Cool off from the summer Texas heat at the Deep Ellum Water Balloon Wars August 27. More than 2,000 people participate in throwing more than 60,000 water balloons. For the 18 and older crowd, the festival includes a Slip N Slide, Dunk Tanks and fun ducking and dodging from an onslaught of water balloons. There will also be food trucks, frozen treats and live music. Tickets range from $15 to $30 to attend. Hosted by the Deep Ellum Community Association, the event proceeds go toward the 45 Fund which aids in suicide prevention and awareness.