Bid Farewell to the Sweltering North Texas Summer with 13 Refreshing Labor Day Activities

Bid farewell to the scorching summer of North Texas by embracing 13 enjoyable Labor Day events. While the Labor Day holiday once marked the return to school and the start of somewhat cooler temperatures, most schools now commence in mid-August, and unfortunately, the record-breaking heat persists without signs of relenting.

Nevertheless, take heart! This three-day holiday also serves as a wonderful opportunity to unwind, regroup, and above all, engage in recreational activities. Here are a selection of events to help you commemorate the extended weekend and give summer one last affectionate farewell.

MUSEUMS Discover the Science Behind Pixar Location: Perot Museum – 2201 N. Field St., Dallas Duration: Ongoing until September 4 Admission: $25-$45

If your mind feels a bit fuzzy from excessive streaming this summer, swap Netflix and Disney+ for a trip to the Perot Museum. Immerse yourself in the intricacies of creating Pixar movies through an interactive exhibition that showcases the STEM principles harnessed by the artists and computer scientists responsible for bringing these award-winning films to life. Don’t hesitate—the exhibit concludes on Monday.

Avedon’s West Unveiled Location: Amon Carter Museum of American History – 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth Duration: Ongoing until October 1 (closed on Mondays) Admission: Free

Marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of renowned portrait photographer Richard Avedon, The Carter presents 13 artworks from his celebrated project “In the American West.” Originating from the Museum’s commission in 1979, this collection captures everyday individuals across the western United States.

Nasher’s Free First Saturdays Location: Nasher Sculpture Center – 2001 Flora St., Dallas Date: Saturday, September 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission: Free

While you soak up the sun’s rays this weekend, make the most of Nasher Sculpture Center’s Free First Saturday event. Explore the center’s garden-like ambiance, peruse the galleries, and engage in artistic activities with guest artists Shamsy Roomiani and Carlos Zerpa.

STARGAZING Starry Night at Rafes Urban Astronomy Center Location: 2350 Tom Cole Rd., Denton Date: Saturday, September 2, at sunset Fee: $5 (cash only)

Delve into the mysteries of galaxies far away at the Star Party hosted by Rafes Urban Astronomy Center in Denton. Enjoy space-related activities, informative talks about stars, and the opportunity to observe celestial objects through telescopes. Remember to bring cash as credit cards aren’t accepted.

FIREWORKS Fireworks Extravaganza at Lake Grapevine Locations:

  • Oak Grove Park – 2520 Oak Grove Loop South, Grapevine
  • Rockledge Park – 3600 Pilot Point, Grapevine
  • Lakeview Park – 2100 Lakeview Dr., Grapevine Date: Friday, September 1, at dusk Admission: Free – $10

Bid adieu to summer with a classic fireworks spectacle. Gather your loved ones and head to Lake Grapevine for the Friday Night Fireworks Show. Catch the display for an entrance fee at Rockledge and Lakeview Parks, or opt for the free viewing at Oak Grove Park.

GARDENS Celebrate Labor Day at the Dallas Arboretum Location: Dallas Arboretum – 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas Date: Saturday, September 2 – Monday, September 4 Admission: $12-$20

The Arboretum promises a weekend filled with activities. Revel in live piano melodies at Jeanne’s Pavilion or dance to the tunes of DFW’s finest party bands on the Rutchik Concert Stage & Lawn. Children can enjoy the Country Critters petting zoo and a captivating bird show by Window to the Wild.

Florigami: Nature’s Artistry Location: Fort Worth Botanic Gardens – 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth Duration: Ongoing until February 14, 2024 Admission: $6-$12

Labor Day weekend offers the perfect occasion to explore the Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s newest outdoor exhibit. Witness a creative twist on paper folding in the Florigami exhibition, featuring over a dozen large sculptures inspired by origami, including birds, butterflies, flowers, and deer, strategically placed throughout the garden.

MOVIES Irving’s Outdoor Cinema Location: Heritage Park – 217 South Main St., Irving Date: Friday, September 1, 7:30 p.m. Admission: Free

On Friday evening, the City of Irving presents the 1982 classic, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” at Heritage Park. This family-friendly film comes with Spanish subtitles. Arrive early to indulge in a meal at the Irving Heritage District or from one of the onsite food vendors.

Outdoor Film Night at Klyde Warren Park Location: Klyde Warren Park – 2012 Woodall Rodgers FWY & N. Olive St., Dallas Date: Saturday, September 2, 7 p.m. Admission: Free

Another opportunity for open-air cinema awaits in Dallas on Saturday night. Bring a blanket and a picnic from a food truck, and enjoy a movie under the stars at Klyde Warren Park. The feature presentation is the 2022 blockbuster, “Top Gun Maverick.”

Ernest and Célestine’s Cinematic Journey Location: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth – 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth Date: Friday, September 2 – Sunday, September 4 Admission: $10

For those who prefer films in a cool indoor setting, head to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for their Magnolia at the Modern series. This weekend’s film is the French animated feature “Ernest and Célestine: A Trip to Gibberitia.” Serving as a sequel to the Academy Award-nominated adventure, it continues the unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse. The film is presented in French with English subtitles.

FESTIVALS Riverfront Jazz Celebration Location: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center – 650 S. Griffin St. Dallas Date: Friday, September 1 – Sunday, September 3 Admission: Free

This year’s festival offers a musical homage to Tina Turner, showcasing an array of internationally acclaimed artists performing jazz, blues, R&B, soul, pop, and neo-soul melodies.

Bedford’s Beats and Eats Festival Location: Generations Park at Boys Ranch – 2801 Forest Ridge Dr., Bedford Date: Saturday, September 2, 2-11 p.m. Admission: Free

Experience musical magic from five distinct bands, including performances by the Josh Abbott Band and Stoney LaRue, at the inaugural Bedford Beats and Eats Festival. Beyond music, the festival offers food trucks, vendors, a kid’s zone, a vintage car exhibit, and more.

Indulge in Culinary Delights at Taste at Grandscape Location: 5732 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony Date: Sunday, September 3, 12-5 p.m. Admission: Free

Savor sample tastings from over 20 local restaurants and eateries at the Taste at Grandscape event. Enjoy live music, explore a pop-up market, and unwind in the beer and wine garden.