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Things to Do in Dallas

8 Free Things To Do In Dallas This January

A movie premiere at the Death Star, art exhibitions, and more.
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The holidays can take a bite out of anyone’s wallet. If you’re feeling broke after enduring the expensive delights of the season, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Dallas on a budget this January.

The Dallas Cowboys season is mercifully over, but on Jan. 12, the massive screen at AT&T Stadium will be put to use with the world premiere of the new Michael Bay movie, an action-heavy dramatization of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya called 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Bay’s bombastic, effects-heavy action flicks — particularly those with a conservative political bent — were practically tailor-made to be screened at football stadiums. The director, cast, and members of the real-life security team whose story the movie is based on will be in attendance. Guests, who can snag free tickets and free parking here, will also be able to catch a performance by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame.

The No Pants Subway Ride on Jan. 10 is the Dallas edition of a national event started by a New York improv troupe. With no subterranean public transportation to choose from, participants in North Texas — who are asked only to “keep a straight face” and maintain a state of pants-lessness — will settle for the DART. Hilarity will allegedly ensue, assuming you can handle the cold and you never suffered from a recurring childhood nightmare of showing up at school without any pants. Riders are asked to meet, sans pants, at the fountain across from the Union Station stop at 2 pm.

Season two of Serial isn’t quite as engrossing as the season one saga of Adnan Syed, which gripped listeners and became a national phenomenon around this time last year. Regardless, it remains must-listen podcasting, and I’m tickled by the idea of a listening party for what essentially amounts to a 13-hour serialized This American Life episode. The Serial Listening Party at Sundown at Granada is free (and warm, with heaters on the Sundown’s upstairs deck), although it would only be polite to buy some drinks or grub while you’re there.

Chalet Dallas, a “luxurious gathering space” now occupying the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Corner Gallery, is a hip, tastefully furnished and designed temporary clubhouse that will host a 24 hour book swap on Jan. 8 through Jan. 9, when visitors can also take a free public tour of the space.

Black Sheep Feminism, an exhibition of radical work by feminist artists of the 1960s and ’70s, opens at the Dallas Contemporary on Jan. 17 alongside exhibitions from Dallas’ Jeff Zilm and Aura Satz.

A selection of 17th century Dutch paintings, including Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, feature in an exhibition opening Jan. 17 at the Dallas Museum of Art. Vermeer Suite runs through Aug. 21.

Dallas will host only one Martin Luther King Day parade this year, on Monday, Jan. 18. The parade begins at 10 am at MLK and Holmes Streets before winding to Fair Park, where a festival will be held in honor of the civil rights leader. Other related events that weekend include a candle lighting ceremony and fair at the MLK Center at 2901 Pennsylvania Ave.

Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions previously brought the most experimental, typically noisy, music in Dallas to the Crown and Harp every Monday. The weekly will continue to do so at its new home at the revamped RBC in Deep Ellum.

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