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I come from a long line of car enthusiasts. I grew up in the shop with my dad, and my dad grew up in the shop with his. Even my mother grew up wrenching on cars. When I married my husband, a fellow car enthusiast, we knew that we wanted our kids to grow up with the same love of cars.
It’s not always easy getting the kids packed up and on the road to attend events, but it is always worth it when we see their little faces light up!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you take your family to see some cool cars.
Car Meet vs. Car Show
One of the major points of confusion for a lot of people is the difference between a meet and a show.
A car meet is when a group of people gather, usually in an establishment’s parking lot, and hang out, look at cars together, support the host business, and invite other people to spectate. This is usually a certain car club that gets together, but some meets are also open to the public.
A car show is more specific. A lot of the times they are for specific years or models of cars. For example, there is an event in Deep Ellum called Invasion. It is only for cars older than 1967. These are usually paid entrance, either by the attendees, spectators, or both.
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Car shows and meets are great for kids. The only major difference is car meets are smaller than car shows, and car shows tend to have an admission.
No matter if it’s a car show or a meet, there are a few basic rules. It’s important to understand these, especially if you’re bringing your kids. Talk them over beforehand so everyone knows what behavior is expected.
- Follow event instructions. Instructions are usually posted on event pages. For the ones that don’t have pages, there are instructions or cones set up at the even to help guide.
- Look at the cars, but don’t touch.
- Park in the appropriate area.
- Stay close to the sides of the road when cars are moving so they can pass by.
- Keep pets on a leash and keep a close eye on their manners. I’ve seen too many unruly dogs distract from the car show or meet.
- Some vehicles can be loud when the ignition turns on, especially if they haven’t been on for a while. If you have little ones or kiddos with sensory issues, be sure to pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
- The people who own these cars and run these events put a lot of thought and money into them, so please be respectful, thoughtful, and most of all, enjoy yourselves!
Events in 2023
This year is going to be a big one for the car scene. Lots of things are changing due to the growing popularity of electronic vehicles and the easing of pandemic restrictions. While not a comprehensive list, here are some small, local events in the DFW area plus some large national events happening through May.
C10 Nationals :: Join the largest GM truck show in the world at C10 Nationals on May 12 and 13.
Cars R Us :: Held on the third Saturday of the month from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., this family-friendly event has a food truck and other vendors to enjoy a night outdoors.
Connor’s Car Show :: The 9th annual Down syndrome awareness fundraiser car show is held on April 22 at 11:00 a.m. With tons of vendors, silent and live auctions, and a crawfish crawl, this event is sure to be fun for the whole family.
DFW Food Festival and Car Show :: Come enjoy shaved ice and cars at Ka’Treats Shaved Ice on March 19 from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Duino Cars and Coffee :: Held on the first Saturday of the month from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., this free event in McKinney is for those who like to get a coffee and have fun on Saturday mornings. This is a great event for kids who wake up early and are full of energy!
Goodguys 13th CPP Spring Lone Star Nationals :: Held at Texas Motor Speedway March 10 – 12, this weekend will be packed full of autocross races, caricature painters, loads of cars, and fun for everyone!
North Texas Auto Show :: This paid-entry car show at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center is a must-attend for all car enthusiasts. Dates are February 16 – 19.
Nostalgia Nights :: Every Friday night starting at 6:00 p.m., the car club Classical Gas hosts this cool event. It features all kind of cars.
Texas Indy Car Race :: Texas Motor Speedway hosts the 27th annual Indy car race on April 2.
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There are tons of car events in Texas, so check often. I also like ParkUpFront, a social media network for car enthusiasts.
Whether you go to a car show or a car meet, snap lots of pictures and have lots of fun!