Friday, August 29, 2014

Totally Texas --Fall cools down, festivals heat up

No matter what the calendar says, Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. Out with the old season, in with the new! As summer’s temperatures drop, fall festivals heat up. Here’s a sampling of events in North Texas my family and I have enjoyed. Think I’ve forgotten about Halloween? No chance, boys and ghouls. The spooky season will get its own post later in October.

Now - September 1: It’s your last weekend to see Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s World’s Largest Dinosaurs exhibit. My family started summer vacation with a visit to the Perot, 2201 N. Field St., Dallas. The traveling exhibit of South American dinos boasts really big bones, a plethora of dino facts, and my twin grandsons’ favorite -- a chance to dig in the dirt. For this and other museum information, see

September 16, 2014 - February 15, 2015: Want more dinosaurs? The animatronic versions return to the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. See for a complete list as well as hours and ticket information.

September 18-21: Addison’s Oktoberfest, at Addison Circle Park, is the place to go for beer, sausage, music, and athletic events like the barrel rolling contest whose photo illustrates this post. Admission is free for all ages Thursday, September 18. Friday through Sunday general admission is $10 for ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 4-12. See for schedule of events and ticket packages.

September 19th-21st 2014: National Championship Indian Pow-Wow, Traders Village, 2602 Mayfield Road in Grand Prairie. The pow-wow includes tribal dance contests, arts, cultural heritage demonstrations, Indian food and more. There’s a $3 fee to park at the village, admission is free. See

September 20-November 26: Autumn at the Arboretum, Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. The photo-op perfect pumpkin village and Cinderella’s coach return along with thousands of pumpkins and acres of flowers. For schedule of events, tickets, and discounts, see

September 26-28: Greek Festival of Dallas, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 13555 Hillcrest Road at Alpha Road, Dallas. Food, music, dancing, a marketplace, and more. Half-price admission September 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Remaining days’ tickets are $6 for ages 13 and older, free for kids under 13. See for times and details.

September 26-October 19: State Fair of Texas, Fair Park, Dallas. As if the giant talking robot mascot, Big Tex, isn’t scary enough, our state fair is also the official Fried Food Capital of Texas®. This year’s fried finalists include such stupefying entries as chicken fried loaded baked potato and deep fried Texas bluebonnet. Adult members of my family may need a swig of the funnel cake ale --amazingly, not fried -- to wash it all down. Carnival, exhibits, lots of farm animals, music, and anything else you can think of. Tickets are currently available online at, and at local Kroger stores beginning September 1. General admission is $17, $13 for children (under 48 inches tall). Adults aged 60 and older also get in for $13, or for free every Thursday during the fair's run.

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