Weekend Event Planner
These are the 11 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend
The weekend before Thanksgiving is usually when holiday events kick into full gear, and Fort Worth will feature a big light display and a parade to join in the fun. Other choices include a special event with a renowned composer, a comedian, screenings of an acclaimed documentary, a symphony concert, and three country music concerts, including the King of Country himself.
Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, November 16
Gladney Center for Adoption presents Adoption Rocks
Gladney Center for Adoption's Adoption Rocks will be headlined by local musician Abraham Alexander, highlighting the harmonies of live music blending with a heartfelt tribute to adoption. But the evening is more than just a musical event; it's a gathering of a community who want to create bright futures through adoption and celebrate the impact adoption has on countless lives in Texas and beyond. The event takes place at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall.
The Cliburn presents Jake Heggie
Composer Jake Heggie is best known for the operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s a Wonderful Life, Three Decembers, Two Remain, and If I Were You. He is currently at work on his 10th full-length opera, Intelligence. Making his first Cliburn Concerts appearance in 15 years, Heggie will participate in an evening featuring performances of his works by local artists (as well as the composer himself) and a conversation with the Cliburn’s Buddy Bray. The event takes place at Kimbell Art Museum.
Improv Arlington presents Arnez J
Comedian Arnez J has a raw energy, talent, and comedic skill that quickly landed him the coveted hosting slot on BET’s longest-running comedy series, Comic View, for two seasons, joining the ranks of hosts such as D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer. His comedy special Racially Motivated is now available on Netflix. He'll perform eight times through Sunday at Improv Arlington.
Friday, November 17
Magnolia at the Modern: The Mission
In 2018 a young American missionary, John Chau, was killed by arrows while attempting to contact one of the world’s most isolated Indigenous peoples on remote North Sentinel Island. Through exclusive interviews and with unprecedented access to Chau’s secret plans, personal diaries, and video archives, this documentary examines the mythology of exploration that inspired him, the evangelical community that supported his quest, and reveals his own father’s heartbreak as Chau’s youthful thirst for adventure became a fatal obsession. There will be six screenings through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden presents Lightscape
Lightscape returns to Fort Worth for the second consecutive year, taking place within the 120-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden and set along an illuminated walking trail custom-designed for Fort Worth. This year's event will feature 80 percent newly designed displays, which promises an even more immersive experience where artistic installations come to life after dark with color, imagination, and sound. On Santa Nights, visitors can enjoy the all-new “Christmas Village,” complete with fire pits, s’more-roasting, hot cocoa, holiday music, and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. The lights will be on display through January 1. (Read about what to expect here. For a longer list of the best local Christmas lights, go here.)
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents "Mermaids from Zemlinsky and Brahms"
Zemlinsky’s The Mermaid was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale and the music bubbles along with cheer and pathos. The evening concludes with Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2. The concert, which will have three performances through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall, will be conducted by Kevin John Edusei and feature pianist Andreas Haefliger.
Wheeler Walker Jr. in concert
If you didn't know Wheeler Walker Jr. was a satirical country character created by comedian Ben Hoffman, you might think that he epitomizes the worst of country stereotypes. His albums, with names like Redneck Shit and Sex Drugs & Country Music, feature hilariously profane and raunchy songs. He'll play at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall in support of his new album, Ram.
George Strait in concert
Country legend George Strait officially retired from touring almost 10 years ago, but that doesn't mean he's not up for a few special concerts. After becoming one of the first to play at Dickies Arena back in 2019 (and returning again in 2022), he's starting to make an annual habit of playing at the venue in mid-November. He hasn't released any new music since 2019's Honky Tonk Time Machine, so his decades of hits will have to suffice. He'll play on both Friday and Saturday.
Gary Allan in concert
George Strait isn't the only country singer playing back-to-back nights in Fort Worth this weekend. Gary Allan may not have the same cachet as many of the top tier genre musicians, but he's had a big impact nonetheless, scoring 11 top 10 singles and six top 5 albums, including 2013's No. 1 album, Set You Free. Allan, whose most recent release was 2021's Ruthless, will play at Billy Bob's Texas on Friday and Saturday.
Saturday, November 18
14th Annual Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience
At the 14th Annual Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience, visitors can shop local for unique gifts, pet goods, gourmet small-batch foods, home decor, clothing, children's items, and more. Guests can also snap a photo with Santa Claus and participate in a charitable raffle, with proceeds supporting Saving Hope Animal Rescue and DFW Toys for Tots. The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
Sunday, November 19
41st Annual GM Financial Parade of Lights
It's not truly the holidays in Fort Worth until the annual Parade of Lights. With the theme of "Holiday Magic," Texas' largest illuminated holiday parade will feature TCU head football coach Sonny Dykes as Grand Marshal, 100+ professionally designed floats, marching bands, antique cars, equestrian units, horse-drawn carriages, carolers, and more along the 1.59-mile parade route. The night will conclude with Santa and Mrs. Claus appearing on the specially-designed, LED-lit, grand finale float. The parade takes place in downtown Fort Worth.