When I was an undergrad, Thursday nights usually signified the start of the weekend for my friends and me. Most of us either had only one class on Friday or none at all. Naturally then, it’s welcoming (and a bit nostalgic) to see this night of the week so alive with activity again, while still being able to make it home by 10pm. If you’ve been thinking about spending your Thursday evenings in the Arts District, but are not really sure what it’s all about, here’s a little of what to expect. I started at the east end of the District and gradually worked my way west, toward the DMA.
Dinner at One Arts Plaza
First stop was a light dinner at Fedora Italian. Try to get there before the pre show rush, around 5:30-6:00, if you don’t have a reservation. We were one of maybe 4 other parties in the place, and, by time we left, it was packed. My friend and I split a pizza and each had our own salad. To our surprise the salads were better! I recommend the Insalata di Rucola (Arugula, Red wine Vinaigrette, goat Cheese, black Currants). Service was nice and quick, and we were out of there by 6:15. Before the tip, our tab was around $14 each. One Arts also has live, local music from 7-10, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, and from 8-10 on Saturdays. Check out local Booker T. Washington student, Tiger Darrow performing June 12, 19, and 25th.
Obvious suggestion: If you wanted to do dinner after Patio Sessions or any of the other events, definitely make reservations on nights when there are performances.
For a full schedule of local artists, check out One Arts Plaza’s event page.
Patio Sessions at Sammons Park 5:30-7:30
Logically, we headed for the Winspear next. First thing I noticed was a mix of ages. A lot of people brought their kids, who were playing in the little pool and running around the lawn, while the adults sipped drinks on the patio. There is a snack table set up outside with wine, beer, and soft drinks. They also have chips, crackers, and the like for sale. The live music comes from one of the patios above, which is nice, because it’s not right in your face while you are trying to unwind. Unless you are buying anything at the concessions, this event is completely free.
Only con: The solar canopy’s louvers do not provide much shade, so you may want to bring an umbrella.
Jazz in the Atrium 6-8
We got to the DMA around 6:45. It was crowded, but not in an obtrusive way. When you first walk in, you can hear jazz floating through the hallways of the museum. The musicians are set right in front of the big windows and the Chihuly installation in the atrium. The way light pours down and shines through the glass sculpture onto the artist and audience is really copasetic. There were lots of different people, mostly middle aged, and there were barely any open tables since we got there late. My friend and I each had a glass of wine for around $7, but the cafe is open as well.
Best part: If you get bored at any time, you are free to look around the museum’s collection until 9pm or partake in one of the museum’s interactive Thursday night specials, all included in the price of admission.
Jazz Under the Stars 8-9
Dallas residents really take advantage of these free concerts, as the lawn of the DMA was completely packed by the time it started. When we got to the museum around 6:45, people were already getting set with their blankets and coolers–come early if you want a decent seat. If you can save a spot and you get antsy before the show starts, head across the street to the Crow Collection for a quick look at their current and permanent exhibitions, it’s free. Once the show starts, concession tables are set up, but you needn’t spend a dime since you can bring your own stuff. It’s nice way to end the evening because you get to sit around outside, when the Texas heat finally starts to cool down.
Best part: The location is great to take in some inspiring views of the city as the sun sets, while jamming to some local jazz in a chilled out atmosphere.
To plan your own Thursday night in the District, visit our website.