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Dallas Arboretum & the Sounds of Summer

Looking at the Campt House from the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn at The Dallas Arboretum.
Looking at the Camp House from the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn at The Dallas Arboretum.


Have you been enjoying the sounds of summer? You know those great outdoor concerts that pop up all over the place. If you haven’t then shame on you.

Concerts on the Lawn at DABS

Take the Dallas Arboretum for instance. On a recent Tuesday night Bill and I were there for an UTD alumni event.  The band that evening was a Journey tribute band, cranking out memories from the eighties. But whatever your musical taste, from Brave Combo‘s electric polka to Le Freak’s disco, the Arboretum has a night for you.

Sunset over White Rock Lake.
Sunset over White Rock Lake

What’s more, the venue is superb.  Sure the grass covered amphitheater is a great place to have a picnic and listen to some live music, but you’re at one of the best arboretums in the world and you’re free to roam the grounds.  Here’s a tip.  The arboretum has become so popular that it’s hard to get the gardens to yourself.  With everyone else tapping their toes by the concert stage, Bill and I took a stroll.  Being alone in the gardens just before  dusk is a romantic experience.  Then we rejoined the revelers and caught the last moment of the sun.

Miro and music 'til midnight
Miro and music ’til midnight

Free Concerts

The concerts at the arboretum require purchasing a ticket (unless you’re a guest of your alma mater), but there’s a lot of free music outside elsewhere, too.  Throughout the summer and fall the Nasher Sculpture Center throws a bash called ’til Midnight at the Nasher.  What’s really cool about it is that you usually have to pay to see the Nasher collection, but on concert nights, not only is the concert free, but so is the museum.

The Nasher is next door to the Dallas Museum of Art who used to rock downtown with Jazz Under Stars during the summer months, but they’ve moved their concerts indoors. Every Thursday you can sit under the Chihuly and enjoy the Uptown skyline in air conditioned comfort to the sound of live jazz.  There’s also Late Night at the DMA on the third Friday of every month and they host some great concerts then.  The DMA concerts are free, but you might have to pay to get into some of the special exhibitions.  Oh, but we were talking about outdoor concerts weren’t we!

Insert band, bodies and boats.
Insert band, bodies and boats.

Then perhaps you should go out to The Harbor in Rockwall.  I have it on good authority that on Thursday evenings, boats on Lake Ray Hubbard gather just off shore and the multi-use complex is covered in barely covered bodies getting down to the music.  Bill and I were there for a Sunday afternoon recently and the place was hopping, so I have to assume that it’s a pretty wild scene with a free concert going on.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  I know Watters Creek has a Concerts by the Creek series. Their green is always a pleasure to visit, but we’ve happened upon one of their concerts before and it’s really something special.

For a do it yourself concert with fireworks, Summer Blast at Grapevine Towne Center.  You download the music, they provide the parking lot and Grapevine Lake has the fireworks.  Then in the fall, Grapevine Towne Center will have a Sunset Concert Series.

What about you?  What’s your favorite outdoor concert in the Metroplex?



1 thought on “Dallas Arboretum & the Sounds of Summer”

  1. The Nasher Sculpture Center is excited to introduce a new outdoor series, ‘Til Midnight at the Nasher, presented by Reliant Energy. The series will take place the third Friday of every month and will feature paired concerts and movies, al fresco dining, gallery tours, and exclusive late-night viewings of James Turrell’s skyspace, Tending, (Blue). June 18 will have a live performance by Havana NRG!, followed by the feature movie presentation of ‘West Side Story’.


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