It's been raining a lot. Trails are shut down. Events have been canceled. Look, droughts are bad and all, but the sky has been a real fartknocker lately.
Chill out. The best part of rain is that the grass is literally greener on the other side. Dallas hosts a number of ongoing picnic-style lawn parties and -- fingers crossed -- recent cloud tantrums mean cooler nights and funner times out of doors. Grab your calendar:
Reunion Lawn Party
The first of its kind, this inaugural series sets a neighborhood block party right under The Ball's watchful ... eye? It kicks off from 5-10 p.m. on May 30 and continues every last Saturday of the month through September 26.
It's free -- but bring cash for parking, food from these local food trucks, and craft beer, domestics, and wine from a different sponsor each month (May's is the Nodding Donkey). The O's headline the live music lineup this month, and lawn games reign supreme. There will be a ton for you to try or bring your own. Forget your picnic blanket? No biggie -- if you're there early, the first 30 are available for check out. Toss it down in the "dedicated blanket area" and line the lawn under the skyline.
Shakespeare in the Park
Bring your wine, cheese, and blankets for romance, intrigue, and treachery -- hey, it's Shakespeare, what did you expect? But, this year's summer lineup at Samuell Grand Amphitheater is also one of the troupe's most accessible in years. Consider yourself a novice when it comes to the Bard? Shakespeare Dallas has your back.
The season kicks off with nightly productions of The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged) [revised] (Thank heavens) from June 17-20. This comedic production takes three actors who blaze through all of Shakespeare's 37 works in 90 minutes. Additional productions are on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from July 1-24, each beginning at 8:15 p.m.
Next up, silently thank your 10th-grade English teacher as you spread upon your picnic blanket, finally appreciating Romeo and Juliet, nightly from June 24-28. This tribute to the love story of Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes -- kidding, kidding -- then continues on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 30-July 25, with each beginning at 8:15 p.m.
'til Midnight at the Nasher
The Nasher Sculpture Garden is a rare gem any old time of the year, but on the third Friday of every month it transforms into the city's most bucolic outdoor concert and film screening venue. Each event is a little different, with scavenger hunts, progressive museum tours, and special exhibitions.
Next month's show on June 19 falls concurrent with the Dallas Arts District's Summer Block Party. It kicks off at 6 p.m. with an acoustic singer-songwriter spotlight with a TBA artist chosen via social media suggestions. Then at 7, Austin-based rock band Quiet Company hits the stage loudly before a screening of a more family-friendly version of A Fish Called Wanda. (Which we didn't know was possible, but there you go.)
Admission is free, but reservations for picnic dining must be made in advance. Beat the deadline by requesting your space online.
Barefoot at the Belmont
There's one rule when it comes to this outdoor music series: Get tickets now. Ongoing on select Thursdays through July 30, shows are already sold-out through May 28. Don't fret over broken guitar strings (ICWYDT), there's still time to see heavy-hitters like singer-songwriters Rhett Miller and Salim Nourallah (together on July 2) and local-folkels The O's, with the bluesy Son Little (on July 16).
Tickets, if you can get 'em, are $30 and doors open at 6 with headliners taking stage at 8. Why get there early? Uh, opening acts, cocktails, and one of the most dramatic views of the Dallas skyline you'll ever see.
Cool Thursdays Concerts
It's hard to beat original live music, but sometimes a great cover band does just that. The Dallas Arboretum's spring/summer concert series brings the funk of legendary favorites every Thursday through October to the Martin Rutchick Concert Lawn among its stunning botanical gardens.
Want to see The Boss? Crosby Stills & Nash? How about Buddy Holly or the Beatles? Well... you can't. Probably. At least not for $10-27. But, you can see some of their very best imitators presenting the sincerest form of flattery right on the edge of White Rock Lake. Gates open at 6 p.m. with music from 7:30-9:30 during the summer.
What if it rains? Again? The show goes on, indoors, at Rosine Hall.