Worth the Drive is NBCDFW's look at the best quick getaways around Texas

Worth the Drive: Get Drunk, Get High, Get Schnitzled

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A weekend of festivals -- we just can't advise you leave town this weekend.

    Normally, articles that appear in Worth The Drive are designed to give you an idea of a great, quick getaway location somewhere relatively close to North Texas. However, there is simply so much fun stuff going on this weekend in Dallas-Fort Worth that we really can't recommend you leave the area.

    Time for a staycation.

    There are three big things going on this weekend and, counting Friday, you have three days of which to partake them should you feel so adventurous.

    First up, Grapefest. The 24th annual Grapevine festival is the largest wine festival in the southwest, and it officially kicked off on Thursday. Don't worry, you haven't missed much if you don't arrive until Saturday or Sunday as there is great stuff going on all weekend long. Head over to historic Grapevine where you can walk the drag along Main Street and sample loads of premium wine while listening to great live music ... and occasionally noshing on a little food. If you want to take a more active stance -- give grape-stomping a try. Yes, there is wine and drinking a'plenty, but this is a family event so try to stay relatively sober. There are plenty of things the kids will like as well, including a carnival and petting zoo. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids and those younger than 6 are admitted free. You'll need cash to buy tickets for wine and such, so don't come empty-handed.  See a full schedule and map here.

    Want to get high? Head over to Plano for their annual balloon festival to watch the dusk and dawn balloon launches.  To make the dawn launches, make sure you didn't have too much vino in Grapevine the night before and be in Plano by 6:30 to watch as they inflate the balloons for the 7 a.m. departure.  Feeling a littel daring?  See the view of North Texas from several hundred feet in the air while riding in a wicker basket (OK, it's a little more than a wicker basket) by taking one of the balloon rides.  Passengers must be age 10 or older and have 250 bucks on them to cover the ride cost.  It ain't cheap, but the view and experience are probably worth it. On Saturday night, there is even a fireworks show. It'll cost you $10 to park and $5 to get in to the festival.  Seniors are $4 and short children, of any age, apparently, less than 36 inches are admitted for free. Check out the deets here.

    Finally, strap on your lederhosen and get your schnitzel on at Addison's Oktoberfest. But it's September, you say. Right, it is, but the Germans have done it this way since the early 1800s and so this is how it must be done -- calendars be damned. Anyhow, it's going on this weekend and it is, sincerely, not to be missed if you've never been. Yes, there is a lot of beer drinking and eating of sausages on sticks. And it's fantastic. And who doesn't love chicken hats? On average, 60,000 people each year agree with me and partake in the food, folk dancing, sing-alongs and kids entertainment. And beer drinking. Seriously, be responsible people. Their web page needs A LOT of work, but there is a lot of information to be found there detailing events for the kids, stages, activities, etc. Thursday, admission is free, but it's Friday and we missed that already. Sorry. Admission Friday and Saturday night is $10; during the day it's $5. And they can be purchased at the event or online. (Albertson's has tickets for $5 that are good at any time).

    Enjoy yourself DFW and have a great weekend. Drive safe.