Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Best bets for Christmas events in Dallas-Fort Worth
Find holiday cheer with events naughty and nice.
See all Christmas events.
The halls have been decked, and the stockings have been hung by the chimney with care. But what can you do if the Christmas spirit still isn't there? Don't just sit around waiting for your Grinchy heart to grow three sizes. There are literally hundreds of events to help exterminate that Bah Humbug, including holiday concerts, craft and gift markets, and dining.
Dine with Santa: Do you know someone who needs to have a word with the Jolly Old Elf over a stack of flapjacks? Perhaps about how that whole melting Barbie's face incident was a science experiment and not worth a spot on the naughty list? Then make your reservations now for breakfast on December 10 at Cliff Nelson Recreation Center, Plymouth Park Baptist Church, Neiman Marcus NorthPark, and Dallas Zoo; December 16 at Huffhines Recreation Center; and December 17 at Denton Civic Center and Neiman Marcus Downtown. Or present your case at Brunch With Santa, Lunch With Santa, or Snacks With Santa.
Favorite flicks: Sure you can see most of these on cable this month, but movies on the big screen are just so much bigger -- and still practically free (OK, $5 or less). Palace Theatre Arts Center will show It's a Wonderful Life on December 10, 13, and 19; A Christmas Story on December 12 and 17; and a Frosty the Snowman / A Garfield Christmas Special double feature December 20-23. Mockingbird Station will also show A Christmas Story. The free outdoor screening is December 10. Old Bedford School will show It's a Wonderful Life on December 9. The UTA Planetarium's $2 Movie series is all-Christmas all December with A Christmas Carol December 7-10, The Polar Express December 14-17, and The Santa Clause 3 December 21 and 23, and A Christmas Story December 28-31.
Good deeds, good fun: For a $5 cash or toy donation, you can skate with Santa and the ladies of Assassination City Roller Derby during December 10's Toys for Tots Family Fun Skate. December 10's Coats, Cans, and Kicks Charity Event is a donation drive and holiday party at Incense and Peppermints in Oak Cliff. Treats of Christmas is a chance to buy goodies from local chefs and help out North Texas Food Bank's Cooking Matters. It's December 17 at NorthPark Center. Bring new, unwrapped toys for the kids at Dallas Life Foundation to the Libertine on December 19 for Chad D's 12th Annual Toy Drive. In exchange, hear The O's, RTB2, American Werewolf Academy, and several others. Strap some toys to the motorcycle, and join the parade during December 10's North Texas Toy Run and December 18's Big Texas Toy Run, which starts in Dallas and Fort Worth and meets at QuikTrip Park.
Festive events: Party like it's 1899 during Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park December 10-11. There will be pioneer and Victorian Texas activities and displays -- plus modern day food trucks! Find St. Nick and the missus among the decorated dwellings at Richardson's Santa's Village through December 18. Camp Bowie Christmas has "Reinsteer" and circus performers, as well as more traditional attractions such as caroling and visits with Santa on Saturdays, December 10 and 17. On the same days, Shops at Park Lane hosts Reindeer Sightings with live reindeer, a Reindeer Village, and other en-deer-ing activities. Don't let the parade pass you by. Head to Plano, Lancaster, or Burleson on December 10 or Balch Springs on December 17. Or join the procession December 18 for Posada Dallas, which ends at the Latino Cultural Center where there will be mariachis, Matachines dancers, storytelling, crafts, and more. The highlight of the Gaylord Texan's Lone Star Christmas is the ICE! exhibit, which has a Shrek the Halls theme this year. It's a pajama party aboard Grapevine's North Pole Express. Beforehand, enjoy music, ornament-making, and a Christmas tree maze. Six Flags Over Texas shuts down the Texas Giant and sets up the Frosty Snow Hill during Holiday in the Park, which also includes holiday stage shows and festive foods. Holiday at the Arboretum continues this year's theme of "It's a Fairy Tale World" with decorations in the gardens and in the DeGolyer Estate. NorthPark Center's Trains at NorthPark is a model train display featuring cityscapes from Dallas and beyond. Galleria Dallas has Illumination Celebration -- the nation's tallest indoor Christmas tree -- and Holiday Magic on Ice with performances by a skating Santa and celebrity skaters.
Lights: Bask in the glow without doing any of the work. See four million lights during the two-mile drive through Prairie Lights. Frisco's Christmas in the Square is a computerized light show that can be enjoyed from the street or on ice skates during Lights on Ice. Grapevine's Christmas Light Show Spectacular is synchronized with holiday music, some of which is performed by a a singing Christmas tree. Follow the candy cane signs to Farmers Branch's Christmas Tour of Lights's display of 300,000 lights. Gift of Lights is a new drive-through light display at Texas Motor Speedway. Enjoy The Colony Christmas Spectacular with holiday music when you tune your radio 99.9 FM. Walk through Frisco Fire Safety Town and see Santa during Holiday Lights. Visit Fort Worth Museum of Science and History after-hours for the free Caterpillar Light Walk display.
The Nutcracker: Do visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy dance in your head? It's no wonder with more than a dozen versions of The Nutcracker being staged in North Texas, including ones by Allen Civic Ballet, Colleyville Ballet, Collin County Ballet Theatre, Dallas Repertoire Ballet, Festival Ballet of North Central Texas, Royale Ballet Dance Academy, Texas Ballet Theater, and Tuzer Ballet. For a different take on the classic, try Dallas Children's Theater's The Nutcracker performed by Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts and Texas Youth Ballet Conservatory's E.T.A. Hoffmann's Krakatuk - A Nutcracker Prequel. For the adults, there are Nutcrackers more naughty than nice: The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker!, Broads and Panties' A Nearly Naked Nutcracker, and Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutty Nutcracker.
Theater: Leave the Christmas pageants to the professionals, and reserve seats for these holiday plays: Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol, Dallas Children's Theater's Madeline's Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Santa Claus: The Musical at Casa Manana Theatre, Black Nativity, Nuestra Pastorela, Theatre Arlington's It's a Wonderful Life, A Kodachrome Christmas, Jubilee Theatre's Auntee Explains X-mas, WaterTower Theatre's Rockin' Christmas Party, Sanders Family Christmas at Richardson Theatre Centre, Artisan Center Theater's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Scrooge the Musical, Scrooge: The Musical at Runway Theatre, The Farndale Avenue Christmas Carol, Babes in Toyland, Brookhaven College's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Eastfield College's Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas at the Movies, One Thirty Productions' Greetings!, Christmas Belles, Nuncrackers - The Nunsense Christmas Musical, Season's Greetings, Greater Cleburne Carnegie Players' Miracle on 34th Street, Claus: The Christmas Musical, The Colony Playhouse's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Littlest Wiseman, and another Best Christmas Pageant Ever. And don't forget Rocky Horror: Ohlook Performing Arts Center
and ArtCentre Theatre of Plano does a holiday version of the cross-dressing, sci-fi musical.
- New growler shop in East Dallas now open
- UPDATED: Former Top Chef contestant Danyele McPherson is moving south on Greenville Ave
- Lakewood Brewing Co. serves up tequila barrel-aged beers this weekend
- Check out the Dallas Arboretum's spring flowers for just $5
- Theater review: Come on into Echo Room, the temporary club in Bath House Cultural Center