Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Best bets for non-Christmas events in Dallas-Fort Worth
There's more to do this month than caroling and visiting Santa.
Just call me the Grinch, because I fear the next time I hear a Muzak-ed holiday song or see a stop motion animation Christmas program, I may be driven to sneak into Whoville and steal all the tinsel, trimmings, and trappings to try to stop Christmas. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the dancing Nutcrackers, Dickensian Carols, visits with Santa, and twinkling lights. This Christmas break if you need a break from Christmas -- or if your holiday cheer comes from a holiday other than Christmas -- here are some ideas on how to spend the rest of December.
Hanukkah: This year, the Festival of Lights begins at sunset December 20, and that's when Galleria Dallas will host its annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting and Celebration. An additional candle will be lit nightly through December 28. NorthPark Center and the West Village will host lighting celebrations on December 22.
Kwanzaa: Seven principles of African heritage are celebrated during the week of December 26 through January 1. Learn more about the history and traditions from storyteller Melody "Afi" Bell during Kwanzaa: A Harvest Celebration. The event is December 28 at Bookmarks Library in NorthPark. On Decembr 31, Soul Children's Theatre will introduce Kwanzaa's seven principles through the folktale Seven Spools of Thread at South Dallas Cultural Center.
Season of Light: This annual show at Planetarium at UT-Arlington shows winter traditions from several religions and cultures. Showtimes are 6 p.m. December 20 and December 27 and 5:30 p.m. December 31.
Sports: For some, the return of pro basketball probably feels like a Christmas miracle. Watch the Dallas Mavericks play Miami Heat on December 25, Denver Nuggets on December 26, and Toronto Raptors on December 30. Spend Christmas Eve with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, or take the field yourself on December 23 during Rally Days. A week of college football bowl games starts with Armed Forces Bowl featuring BYU and University of Tulsa on December 30.
Planet Shark: Predator or Prey: The Museum of Nature & Science is adding to this science exhibit that opened in early November. Live sharks from the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park have recently moved into a 515-gallon two-tank aquarium display. See them fed and talk to the aquarist every Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m. Watch a shark dissection every Saturday at 1 p.m. From December 26 through December 30, the museum will be open an hour later, closing at 6 p.m. There will be also be family-friendly exhibit tours December 26 through December 30 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.; December 31 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.; January 1 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and January 2 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Food Truck Fridays: What do you call a group of food trucks? A gaggle? A school? A pride? Whatever it is, that's what you'll find during Food Truck Fridays at Shops at Park Lane. Multiple food trucks will park at the shopping center Fridays in December to serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check the Facebook page to see each week's vendors.
Old 97's: Dallas natives Old 97's have been returning home to play end-of-the-year shows for more than half a decade. This year, it's a two-night stand at the Granada Theater. The O's open the December 28 show; Band of Heathens are on the bill December 29. Two-night passes are sold out, but single show tickets are still available.
The Ruby Revue Burlesque Show: Each of these monthly shows in House of Blues' Cambridge Room has a different theme. For December, it's Stripping Through the Ages. Get intellectually stimulated at this historical nudie show featuring performers Coco Lectric (2010 Queen of Burlesque), Ruby Joule, and Lula Houp-Garou. The December 28 performance is open to 18-and-up only.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: On the family's annual trip to the Dallas Museum of Art, ditch Granny and Grandpa upstairs with the old masters and impressionists and head to The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. This retrospective of the designer's work from 1976 to 2010 includes more than 140 "haute couture dresses and ready-to-wear pieces," sketches, photographs, and video -- some of which have never been exhibited before. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays (except for Christmas Day).
Les Miserables: Les Mis is about as far as you can get from tap-dancing reindeer and serenading snowmen. The name of Claude-Michel Schönberg's musical, which is based on Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, can be translated as "The Miserable Ones" or "The Wretched." Jolly it ain't. The 25th anniversary production opens December 20 at Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. Like the venue? You can take a free behind-the-scenes tour at 1 p.m. December 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, and January 1-3.
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