Arts & Culture

Texas-OU Weekend Itinerary

Come to Dallas for the Red River Showdown, stay for the arts, entertainment and fried food.

Jennifer Simonson
Posted on Oct 7, 2019

Every October hordes of football fans from north and south of the Red River descend on Dallas to watch the annual University of Texas versus University of Oklahoma football game known as the Red River Showdown. The big rivalry game kicks off this year on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. The fun does not end once fans file out of the Cotton Bowl. Stick around for the weekend and enjoy what Dallas has to offer.

Watch Parties

Tickets to the popular game sell out fast. If you were not able to score a pair, never fear. Sports bars and restaurants around town are hosting watch parties to ensure fans do not miss a minute of the action.

The bi-level Happiest Hour bar in the Harwood District is hosting a three-day, rivalry weekend palooza full of live music, dancing, food, drinks, games, and of course college football.

The Knox/Henderson neighborhood is always bustling with good-time activities, but the neighborhood turns it up a notch during Texas-OU weekend. For OU fans, join your fellow Sooners at Henderson Tap House as they host the OU Club of Dallas Official Watch Party.

With bars on every corner, Uptown is always a sea of burnt orange and crimson red during the big weekend. You won't miss the massive patio parties up and down McKinney Avenue, but serious football fans should head to Christie's Sports Bar. With 62 HD TVs, multiple projectors, and great bar food, the bar is a sports fan's dream. The Rustic's Red River Game Day Watch Party starts at 10 a.m. – festivities at the Texas-proud live music venue, bar and restaurant will carry on into the night and continue on Sunday when the bar opens for a hangover cure brunch.

Family Friendly

If you are visiting the Big D for the game with kids in tow, you are in luck. Dallas has a ton of family-friendly activities during the big weekend that parents will enjoy as much as their kids.

Every year the Texas-OU weekend takes place smack-dab in the middle of the State Fair of Texas. Stick around after the game to eat a corny dog, play carnival games, catch a concert and sample an eclectic mixture of fried foods. This year's highlights include deep fried chicken cordon bleu stuffed waffles, deep fried Nutella custard stuffed French toast and deep fried potato salad. Don't forget to wave hello to Big Tex while you are out there.

Enjoy the cooler temperatures and a pumpkin-spiced latte as you stroll through the 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash at the Dallas Arboretum's annual Autumn at the Arboretum. Fodor's calls it one of America's best pumpkin festivals. With the theme, "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," expect to see Linus in the pumpkin patch, Snoopy and Woodstock sitting atop his dog house and Lucy giving "garden advice" at her advice hut. Snap a family selfie with Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty and Marcy behind the infamous brick wall or in front of the marigold-filled Great Pumpkin. 

For more family-friendly theatrics, head to the circus tent at the Dallas Farmers Market. All weekend long Cirque Kerwich will feature the twisty contortion of Elia, the illusions of Trigg Watson, and comedy of Nick and Squid. Frank Chapman will be on hand to amazing crowds with breathtaking acrobatics and electrifying juggling. Arrive an hour before showtime to try your hand at circus skills.

Soak Up Some Culture

Who says football and culture don't mix? Not us.

Football loving fashionistas should make a bee-line to the Dallas Museum of Art after the big game to soak up all things French couture. The lavish Dior: From Paris to the World collection celebrates the House of Dior's 70 years of iconic fashion by showcasing nearly 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches and runway videos.

Art and history lovers will appreciate The Kinsey Collection of African American Art's use of  historical objects, paintings, sculptures, rare books, letters, and manuscripts to explore African American history and culture. The widely acclaimed exhibition is considered one of the most comprehensive surveys of African American history and culture outside the Smithsonian Institution.

To end the day with dazzling piano work and soaring melodies, grab tickets to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert that is reminiscent of Russian Orthodox Church music is a hit among piano-loving audiences.