Lanterns in the Garden
Imagine gigantic peacocks, colossal butterflies and towering tulips lit up in kaleidoscopic colors, and you have an idea of what it's like to walk through the wonderland of a Chinese lantern festival. It's a beautiful sight that defies belief until experienced in person. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden presents an illuminated display, best seen at night, featuring more than 20 sets of lanterns crafted from silk, wire and steel. Organizers say the festival, in honor of an ancient tradition marking the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, is an opportunity to see an event rarely staged outside of Asia.
Through May 12, on select dates from 6 to 10 p.m., at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. $18 for general admission, $8 for ages 3-15, free for children 2 and younger. fwbg.org.
Late Nights at the DMA
Female fine artists take center stage during the upcoming meetup of this regular after-hours program at the Dallas Museum of Art, which coincides in March with Women's History Month. Hear writer and art historian Bridget Quinn explicate on the lives of 15 woman artists from 1600 to the present day; groove to tunes by Denton-based singer-songwriter Jessie Frye; learn about the hit blog Rejected Princesses by its creator Jason Porath; and stick around for a performance by Denton's all-female psych-rock band Pearl Earl.
March 15 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas. $10 for general admission, $5 for students with a valid ID, free for children 11 and younger. dma.org.
Wings of Freedom Tour
War-movie buffs can step inside five military aircraft they have only seen pictured in films such as Tora! Tora! Tora!, Memphis Belle, Red Tails, Pearl Harbor and Apocalypse Now and learn the real stories of these pieces of aviation history. There'll be three World War II bombers (Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American B-25 Mitchell), a WWII fighter (North American P-51 Mustang) and a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter. Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out; those with deep affection and even deeper pockets can take a 30-minute flight in one for $80-$3,400 per seat.
Through March 17, daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave., Dallas. $15 for general museum admission, $7 for children 12 and under. flightmuseum.com.
This convention is like the Baskin-Robbins of fandom: It has all the flavors. There are Star Wars, Star Trek, video games, board games, steampunk, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, burlesque, drag, arts and crafts, trivia, karaoke, casino games, and even more. The four-day festival includes more than 400 contests, workshops, competitions, tournaments, meet-and-greets and activities.
March 14-16 from 10 a.m. to midnight or later, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison. $30 in advance or $34.95 at the door, $15 in advance or $19.95 at the door for children 5-12, free for children 4 and younger. Parking is free. all-con.com.
It's a celebration of life, unity and renewal. The Hindu festival of Holi -- which most notably involves tossing colored powder onto friends and family members -- welcomes springtime blooms with joy and harmony. Why colored powder? It's symbolic of humanity overcoming that which divides us, organizers say. This vivid party by Mystic Mandala and FunAsia expects more than 8,000 participants for its eighth annual iteration in Parker. The first 500 people to arrive receive free white T-shirts and powder; additional colors will be released every hour. Between color throws, purchase Indian street food, groove to DJ music, watch traditional dance performances and shop for festive gear from vendor booths.
March 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Road, Parker. $10 online in advance, $15 at the door, $10 for parking. Free for children 5 and younger. dallasfestivalofcolors.com.
Hip Hop Cowboys Spring Rodeo
Rap and rodeo? That's right. This eighth annual springtime mashup mixes live music by Blues Hall of Fame icon Latimore and hip-hop duo YoungBloodZ alongside bull riding, team roping, barrel racing, mutton bustin' and more. "That's the core of Hip Hop Cowboys — breaking boundaries and doing something unexpected and memorable for the audience," says founder Damon Leffall. The family-friendly fun includes kid cowboy events such as a calf scramble for a cash prize, plus DJs spinning R&B, gospel, zydeco and blues. On top of that, rapping bull rider Craig Jackson — ranked No. 1 in championship bull riding — will compete among a host of high-octane extreme athletes.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra Day at Klyde Warren Park
If your young family isn't quite ready for a fancy evening at the Meyerson Symphony Center, conduct an outing to another spot in the Dallas Arts District — Klyde Warren Park — for this outdoor opportunity to introduce the next generation to musical elegance. Win prizes, play games and mingle with Dallas Symphony Orchestra staff members as youth and professional musicians fill the downtown air with melodies reverberating from violins, oboes and French horns. Foster a new obsession by taking children through an instrument petting zoo, where they will get a close-up and hands-on look at the tools of the musical trade. Live entertainment includes performances by the DSO Young Strings cello ensemble, as well as a DSO string quartet, woodwind quintet and brass quintet onstage at the Muse Family Performance Pavilion. Have a beloved, but unused, instrument lying around? Consider donating it to the DSO's new Southern Dallas Residency.
March 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas. Free. facebook.com/dallassymphony.
Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Fest
Alfresco dining: How soon can we start? Spring is on its way, which means supertasters eagerly awaiting verdant vegetables and other ingredients at their freshest can enjoy the beginning of the "food year" at this festival in Dallas. Sample bursting flavors among the arboretum's new blooms during one of three events: Grand Tasting, which will feature three hours of food and beverage samples from more than 40 award-winning chefs and restaurants on March 21; Vintners' Dinner, a five-course meal prepared by 10 local chefs expertly paired with exclusive wines on March 22; and an all-day conference, the Chef's Garden's Roots on the Road, with four 60- to 90-minute interactive panels by culinary influencers and industry professionals followed by a farm-to-table dinner on March 23.
March 21 from 7 to 10 p.m., March 22 at 6 p.m. and March 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. $125-$500 per event. dallasarboretum.org.
Graffiti and Street Art Festival
The Fort Worth Design District features a business park made from recycled shipping containers. This second annual celebration of outsider art celebrates that repurposed spirit with an art walk through the Box Office Warehouse Suites, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and chances to win prizes such as a one-hour drive in a Lamborghini Huracán and a $500 Ulta gift card. See festive pooches in a St. Paddy's Day dog costume contest or take part in an alien-themed survival game by Hangman's House of Horrors. All proceeds from the event benefit the SPCA of Texas.
March 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Box Office Warehouse Suites, 1953 Golden Heights Road, Fort Worth. Free, but R.S.V.P. requested. facebook.com/
Butcher isn't a stage name, but it is a source of self-deprecating amusement for nonbinary comedian Rhea Butcher, whose observational stage show often pokes fun at boththe comic's "butcher than everyone here" appearance and the irony of such a surname for a lifelong vegetarian. Butcher's eponymous first album debuted at No. 1 on iTunes, and the Los Angeles standup comedian has appeared on HBO's 2 Dope Queens and Conan. Local fans can laugh along with Butcher in person at this five-night stand in Fort Worth.
March 19-23 at 8 p.m. at Amphibian Stage Productions, 120 S. Main St., Fort Worth. $20-$25. amphibianstage.com.
Creating 'Serial:' An Evening with Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder
If you are among the 340 million people who have downloaded episodes of the engrossing investigative journalism podcast Serial, here's an opportunity to not only hear the voices of its creators, Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, but to actually see the pair speak, live in person. Dallas' #HearHere lecture season kicks off with Koenig and Snyder, whose series, now in its third season, has won every major broadcasting accolade, including the duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard and Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as the first-ever Peabody awarded to a podcast.