Ongoing Happenings, Santa Sightings, and Lights
Christmas Tour of Lights. Nov 28-Dec 30. Farmers Branch Historical Park, 2540 Farmers Branch Ln, Farmers Branch. 972-406-0184. www.fbhistoricalpark.com.
Dallas Children’s Parade. Now in its 27th year, this festive parade snakes its way through Downtown, ending between City Hall and the Convention Center. Otherwise known as “Miracle on Commerce Street,” the event has come to signify the unofficial beginning of the holiday season.
Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway, Nov 26-Jan 1. Drive through for more than 600 colorful LED displays. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots, and you’ll save five bucks. Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth. 80-276-6344. tsmgiftoflights.com.
Vitruvian Lights, Nov 28-Jan 1. This Dallas lights favorite is back with Christmas characters, food trucks, photos with Santa, retail booths, ticket giveaways, and more—all in the midst of millions of twinkling LED lights. Take a walk through the 12-acres of winter wonderland enjoy the many nightly events, plus free concerts scattered throughout the month. Vitruvian Park, 3850 Vitruvian Way, Addison. 866 298-3282. vitruvianlights.com.
Adventure to Santa, Nov 11-Dec 23. This interactive journey takes the traditional mall Santa visits to a new level. Let DreamWorks’ Shrek and friends guide you through the North Pole to the 2,000 square-foot holiday cottage where Santa awaits. If you’re worried about long lines, log in beforehand on their app and skip the wait. The Parks at Arlington, 3811 South Cooper St, Arlington.
Lights in Highland Park. Start at Preston Road and Armstrong Parkway and work your way around to Lomo Alto and Rheims Place. If you’re feeling especially fabulous, carriage rides through the area are available for a fee.
Downtown Grapevine. Okay, so technically it’s not an event so much as a city, but if there’s any place in Dallas that knows how to celebrate the holidays, it’s the Christmas capital of Texas. The lights along Main Street alone are worth the drive, and nearby, the Gaylord Texan has loads of holiday family fun.
Lights on Swiss Avenue, East Dallas. This Dallas spot is a longtime favorite. Park and walk for the best views of these beautiful, historic homes.
Lights in Kessler Park, Oak Cliff. There’s a display at West Colorado and Lausanne, but all around houses are aglow.
Lights in Deerfield, Plano. The main entrance is off Legacy on Colonade and Archgate, but Ohio or Preston Meadow may be less crowded. Runs 7-11 p.m. throughout December. deerfieldplano.org.
12 Days of Christmas at the Arboretum. This year, the Dallas Arboretum’s new holiday exhibit is open for visits day and night. A dozen towering gazebos will be adorned in the theme of the classic carol with the very “99 bottles of beer”-like lyrics you’ve been trying to get out of your head since you were a child. Of course, carolers will be on hand to make sure you never do. For an extra special visit, try the Holiday Tea at the historic DeGolyer Estate, or just drop in to check out the Victorian-inspired Carolers Collection inside. Nov 16-Jan 4. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Rd., 214-515-6615. www.dallasarboretum.org.
Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village. Ever wondered what Christmas was like before the days of glittering LED lights and over-the-top animated displays peppering every shop window? At Heritage Village’s 43rd Annual Candlelight, take a step back in time and enjoy strolling carolers, local dancers, carriage rides, and more, all along a traditional candlelit path. Grab tickets at the gate or log onto their website for discounted prices. Dec 13-14. Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S Harwood St. 214-421-5141. dallasheritagevillage.org.
Galleria Dallas. For tradition’s sake, skate a few laps around the Galleria’s colossal Christmas tree, then top it off by checking out an event or two. Visit the mall for Showtime Saturday and watch Santa’s number one elf, Elfish Presley, perform holiday ukulele tunes, or stop by the Chanukah Menorah celebration & lighting.
Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan. If 1.5 million lights sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. The Gaylord Texan proves that when we say everything is bigger in Texas, Christmas is no exception. If you grab tickets for ICE! featuring Frosty the Snowman, don’t miss the ice slides and ice bar along your journey through the hand-carved frozen display. Nov 13-Jan 3. Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine.
All Creatures Great and Small: Christmas at the White House 2002. Nov 22-Jan 13. George W. Bush Presidential Center. 2943 SMU Blvd. 214-346-1650. bushcenter.org.
NorthPark. It’s hard to visit NorthPark in December without stumbling onto a holiday event. There’s something for everyone, with everything from Menorah lightings to Christmas treat samplings to SPCA’s “Home for the Holidays” Custom Dog House display. As always, don’t miss the trains or your annual visit to Mr. Claus. 8687 N Central Expressway. 214-363-7441. northparkcenter.com.
Beautiful Baby of Dallas Christmas Pageant. Dec 20, 2:00-6:00 p.m. African American Museum, 3536 Grande Ave. 214-565-9026. www.aamdallas.org.
KwanzaaFest, Dec 13-14. Join over 50,000 people for the two-day event hosted by Dallas County Commissioner’s Court member John Wiley Price. Local singers, dancers, and steppers will showcase their talent, and free health screenings will be available for attendees. Talk about a little bit of everything. Fair Park’s Automobile Building, 1010 1st Ave. 214- 426-3400, johnwileyprice.com.
Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, Dec 12, 7:30 p.m. Multi-platinum selling artists, longtime friends, Grammy-winning music stars, some of the biggest gospel artists in the country- there’s a lot of things we could call Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. Bottom line, it’s a rare duo performance that you won’t want to miss. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 214-222-3867. americanairlinescenter.com.
Trans Siberian Orchestra: The Christmas Attic, Dec 21, 3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Follow a young girl’s magical and mischievous Christmas Eve adventure in this rock opera favorite. If you’re a big fan of the band’s, brace yourself: some songs from the album will be played live for the first time on this tour. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 214-222-3867. americanairlinescenter.com.
“Oh, Christmas Trees” Feat. DJ Roy Roc, Dec 19. In addition to the Official Chive DJ headlining, be on the lookout for the announcement of other surprise DJs. In true Christmas spirit, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Shriners Children’s Hospital. Trees. 2709 Elm St. 214-741-1122. treesdallas.com.
Celebrate The HoliDAZE! Dec 13, 7:00 p.m. Expect a new spin on your old holiday favorites at this musical performance by the Women’s Chorus of Dallas. Be sure to get there early for a special prelude concert in the lobby. Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 214-671-1450, dallasculture.org.
Turtle Creek Chorale Presents “Jangled.” Show-stopping talent aside, there’s something especially merry about 150 handsome men in their holiday best- fuzzy Santa hats and all- filling the stage. Also, did we mention the Christmas cocktails at intermission? Dec 18-21, Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 214-671-1450, dallasculture.org
DSO Christmas Pops. The Dallas Symphony’s beloved tradition returns with a mixture of your holiday favorites as well as some unexpected tunes. With such triumphant, spirited, renditions, it’s sometimes hard not to sing along. Luckily, chiming in is encouraged. Dec 5-21, Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 214-692-0203, mydso.com.
The Nutcracker Performance by Allen Civic Ballet. Dec 20-21. Allen High School Performing Arts Center, 300 Rivercrest Blvd, Allen. 972-727-0400. allencivicballet.org.
The Nutcracker by Texas Ballet Theater. If you’re looking for a traditional holiday show, it doesn’t get much more familiar than The Nutcracker. Still, the Texas Ballet Theater manages to keep it fresh with flying carpets, sensational costumes, and mega-talented dancers. No doubt that this sugary sweet journey through Clara’s dreams will be as enchanting as ever. Nov 28- Dec 7, AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora St. 214-880-0202. attpac.org; Dec 12-27, Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. 817-665-6000. basshall.com.
The Nutcracker by Tuzer Ballet. Dec 20-21. Eisemann Center. 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. 972-744-4650. eisemanncenter.com.
The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-less-Q Nutcracker. Nov 28-Dec 28. Stone Cottage Theatre. 15650 Addison Road, Addison. 214-477-4942. burlesquenutcracker.com.
The Nutty Nutcracker, Dec 19, 8:00 p.m. If the traditional Nutcracker isn’t quite your thing, there’s a good chance that it’s PG-13 cousin is. The one-night only performance is a laugh-packed performance, and every year features spinoffs from the year’s most memorable pop-culture moments. Texas Ballet Theater – Bass Performance Hall. 525 Commerce St, Fort Worth. 817-212-4280. basshall.com.
The Nutcracker by Collin County Ballet Theatre. Dec 22-23. Eisemann Center. 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. 972-744-4650. eisemanncenter.com.
The Nutcracker by Art Ballet Academy. Dec. 20, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts. 1110 W Debbie Ln, Mansfield. 817-299-1230.
The Nutcracker by Festival Ballet of North Central Texas. Dec 13-14. Margo Jones Performance Hall, TWU. 1322 Oakland St, Denton. festivalballet.net.
Plays and Dances
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical. Dec 16-21. Majestic Theatre. 1925 Elm St. 214-670-3687. dallasculture.org.
A Christmas Carol by Dallas Theater Center. Masterful special effects, a toe-tapping musical score, and masses of ghosts and performers alike surround the audience in this dazzlingly reimagined Dickens classic. Bonus: you’ll leave with snow flurries in your hair, something the real Texas Christmas forecast can’t always guarantee. Save yourself a “Bah, Humbug” and grab tickets early, because this show is quick to sell out every year. Nov 25-Dec 27. Wyly Theater, 2400 Flora St. 214-880-0202. dallastheatercenter.org.
A Christmas Story: The Musical. Dallas Summer Musicals brings the beloved Ralphie and gang to life with this straight-from-Broadway hit. The show’s nostalgic, hilarious quest for a Red Ryder BB gun finds a personality of its one while staying close to the beloved original storyline. Freezing flagpoles will be licked, kooky leg lamps will be glorified, and pink bunny onesies will be worn. Dec 2-14. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave. 214-691-7200. liveatthemusichall.com.
The Grapevine Opry “Christmas Spectacular.” Each weekend, talented Texas singers, comedians, dancers, and musicians will join the cast of Grapevine Opry entertainers for a toe-tapping good time in the Christmas capital of Texas. The Christmas Spectacular is a truly Texas-sized show, busting with enough holiday song and dance to leave you jingling all the way to next Christmas. Nov 22-Dec 20. Palace Theater, 300 S. Main St., Grapevine. 817-481-8733. thegrapevineopryshow.com.
Ebenezer Scrooge. This beloved version of A Christmas Carol has been a favorite at the Pocket Sandwich for over 30 years, and this year is sure to be no different. No humbugs allowed. Nov 28-Dec 23. Pocket Sandwich Theater. 5400 E Mockingbird Ln. 214-821-1860. pocketsandwich.com.
The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. A companion production to the 2005 Off-Broadway hit “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” this fast-favorite puts a tinseled twist on some familiar holiday tropes with everything from an amnesia-stricken trailer park Scrooge to healthy helpings of Keg Nog. Dark, dysfunctional, and downright hilarious, this not-so-kid-friendly Christmas show will make your holiday headaches look like a walk in the trailer park. Dec 5-Jan 4. WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. 972-450-6232. Watertowertheatre.org.
Here Comes Santa Claus. Nov 28-Dec 23, Casa Mañana Theatre, 3101 W Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, 817-332-2272, casamanana.org