Monday, November 14, 2011
Best bets for Thanksgiving weekend in Dallas-Fort Worth
Trot off some calories or just kick off Christmas.
See all holiday events.
The Thanksgiving trifecta of food, football, and Black Friday sales is sacred. But there's more to do than chew, cheer, and charge. Turkey Day is also the official kick-off of the holiday season -- in case you've forgotten since halls have been decked for weeks and Santa's already occupying mall street. Here are some additional ways to spend the four-day weekend.
Turkey Trots: On Thanksgiving morning, you can raise money for charity while burning enough calories for that second slice of pie. The races in Dallas and Fort Worth benefit YMCA locations. The Arlington event helps out The Shoe Bank. And the beneficiary for the new North Texas Turkey Trot is Miracle League of Frisco.
Christmas lights: Bask in the glow without doing any of the work. The Fort Worth Parade of Lights will have a hundred entries with half a million lights. 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 Christmas Tour of Lights's display of 300,000 lights.
Shopping centers: If dueling for deals has sapped your holiday spirit, recharge with some mall merriment. NorthPark Center's A Season of Giving Kickoff Parade and The Salvation Army Angel Tree Celebration starts Friday at 10:30 a.m. Don't forget the Trains at NorthPark model train display. 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. Highland Park Village's A Village Holiday includes a family festival and tree lighting. The Arlington Highlands Holiday Celebration has free photos with Santa, the Mrs. Claus Bell Shows, and more music.
Carriage rides: Feel like you're in Central Park or Jackson Square when you're really just touring a suburban shopping district. Catch a ride at Southlake Town Square, Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, Firewheel Town Center, or Frisco Square.
Traditions: Fair Park Holiday is the official City of Dallas tree-lighting ceremony, plus there will be a "dancing water" show and a fireworks finale synchronized to holiday music -- all preceded by a family festival with crafts and live entertainment. The highlight of the Gaylord Texan's Lone Star Christmas is the ICE! exhibit, which has a Shrek the Halls theme this year. Experience an old-fashioned Christmas Friday through Sunday during McKinney's Dickens of a Christmas. It's a pajama party aboard Grapevine's North Pole Express. Beforehand, enjoy music, ornament-making, and a Christmas tree maze. At Symphony of Toys, the New Conservatory of Dallas' young musicians perform the music and the concert goers bring the toys (new, unwrapped ones for Santa's Helpers Toy Drive). 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.
Theater: Leave the Christmas pageants to the professionals, and reserve seats for these Christmas-themed plays: Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol, Dallas Children's Theater's Madeline's Christmas and The Nutcracker by Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts, Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker, Ebenezer Scrooge at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Santa Claus: The Musical at Casa Manana Theatre, Jubilee Theatre's Auntee Explains X-mas, WaterTower Theatre's Rockin' Christmas Party, Sanders Family Christmas at Richardson Theatre Centre, McKinney Repertory Theatre's A Christmas Carol, Artisan Center Theater's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Scrooge the Musical, and Scrooge: The Musical at Runway Theatre.
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