Top 10 Things to do in Dallas – May 2019

May 2019’s top 10 focuses on art, foreign influences, and performance events. Go out and explore the world without venturing far from home. These are perfect ways to feel a piece of abroad on your staycation or explore your own city deeper.

These Are Dallas’ Top 10 Things to do for May 2019

1. April 7 – June 9 Igor Samsonov

I’m sure everyone is sick of reading about Russian interference by now, but Samsonov’s paintings are a Russian influence everyone should be open to. Dubbed “the greatest show in North Texas for a living artist this decade” by prolific local art collector David Salomon, this is not a show you want to miss.

The exhibit features paintings from across his entire illustrious career highlighting his evolution as a painter and the increasingly complex worlds Samsonov brings to life in each of his paintings. Rich with symbolism and biblical allegory, every Samsonov painting offers an immersive experience. More than just depicting a scene or a subject, viewers are transfixed pondering the meaning of fanciful hand gestures or the gravity of a wistful gaze off-canvas.

Interview with Igor Samsonov at the Museum of Biblical Art

2. May 4-5 Cottonwood Art Festival

Celebrating its golden 50th anniversary, the Cottonwood Arts Festival is the premier art exhibit for North Texas artists. Showcasing work from over 240 museum-caliber artists from North Texas and all over the country, this arts festival is a feast of visual arts featuring sculpture, wood, glass, metalwork, 3D mixed media and pottery in addition to paintings and photography. 

Accompanied by live music, food vendors, a beer garden and plenty of souvenir shops, make sure you go with enough time to make a day out of it.

Cottonwood Art Festival 50th Anniversary

3. May 5 1 PM – 5 PM Dog Bowl

A rare sight not to be believed. The city’s largest public space transformed into one massive leash-free dog park. True to its name, Dog Bowl gives full liberty to our four-legged friends to roam the Cotton Bowl area of the State Fairgrounds. 

The park is decked out with dog-friendly features like splash pools, agility course, dog rescue groups, contests and local vendors selling food for dogs and humans.

Festival of the Week: Dog Bowl

4. May 10-12 Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

While there is no guarantee the Loch Ness monster will appear, there’s also no guarantee the Loch Ness monster will appear if you visit Scotland. Tickets are less than $3.50 so what do you have to lose?

Texas Scottish Festival 2017

5. May 10-12 Allen Arts Festival 

Honorable mention here for being the most vibrant art festival this month north of 635. 

More than 90 artists from around the region will be displaying works in printmaking, jewelry, paintings, drawings, ceramics, metal, and glass. 

Free parking and admission

On The Go Show - Allen Arts Festival

6. May 11 Frisco StrEATS Food Truck and Music Festival

Featuring some of DFW’s most popular food trucks, this event has lots more than just food to keep you busy between bites. There will be live music, four bands to be exact, a children’s area with ballon and face painters. 

Food truck lineup includes Sir Frank’s Truck, Name, Cajun Tailgators, BellaTrino, Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe, Tacos, Bites and Beats, Coolhaus, and Dough Box!

7. May 17-19 Main Street Fest

If you can’t wait for the Texas State Fair and want a bite-sized town scale fair to hold you over, this might just do the trick. With carnival rides, a midway, a beer fest featuring 35 breweries including Franconia, Deep Ellum, and Grapevine’s own Grapevine Craft Brewery and Outlaw Cider Company.

In a unique twist celebrating the festival’s 35th anniversary, the organizers have decided to go with a Back to the Future theme since the movie was released the same year the festival started (1985). 

So bust out your Marty McFly’s and head down to Grapevine for Main Street Fest.

8. May 17 – 19 Wildflower Arts and Music Festival

DFW’s consummate affordable music festival is back at Galatyn Park as always. This year’s lineup has a nice collection of bands from two to three decades ago such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Eve 6, Switchfoot, Lifehouse, and the Gin Blossoms. Austin’s Spoon will also be performing. 

In a rarity for concert venues, parking is free or ride DART red line to Galatyn Park station. 

9. May 17-19 Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival 

The creation of Oliver Peck, Ink Master judge, this festival packs the already packed streets of Deep Ellum to its capacity by shutting down the cars and opening up the streets to tattoo artists, live bands, art, motorcycles, classic cars and more. 

Live music includes local bands The Vandoliers and Old Heavy Hands.

10. May 24 – 26 National Polka Festival

Despite this event being in Ennis (is that even DFW?), you’ll actually feel like you didn’t go that far to be immersed in an entirely foreign culture. Much of Texas has deep Czech and German roots, preserving many of the traditions their ancestors brought with them from old country generations ago. 

Few of those traditions are richer than polka, and with world-class performers right here in North Texas, it’s safe to say this is the best polka on offer anywhere around here anytime soon. 

Header Image By David Nahas