Things to Do in Dallas For Christmas and New Year’s


I know I already gave you a Christmas post, but since you’ve been extra good all year, here’s an updated daily planner for your holiday season. If you’d prefer to just skip to New Year’s Eve, just click here.

experiment2Kenny G. plays the Winspear Opera House. The  curly-haired king of smooth jazz will play holiday hits with the backing of the full Dallas Pops orchestra. Kenny G and his soprano sax have interpreted Christmas classics many times and in different ways over the years, so we can’t imagine that this concert would be anything but transportive. The Dallas String Quartet will also perform.

Then there’s the Texas Ballet Theater’s production of The Nutcracker at Bass Hall. It’s a magical night (or afternoon, in this case, since there’s a show at 2 p.m. as well as 7 p.m.) filled with battling mice, exotic sweets, and snowflakes that twirl to one of Tchaikovsky’s most beloved compositions. It really is a visually stunning performance, and will help knock out any lingering grinchiness. And should you get a wild hair, there’s a performance tomorrow afternoon, too.

For something a little different, there’s the Japanese whiskey and ramen event happening at the Libertine Bar starting at 7 p.m. D‘s resident noodle expert, Carol Shih, says this is a totally bizarre pairing. Hot tea, maybe beer. Never whiskey and ramen. We’ll just roll with it, though. If you remember back to Ten Bell Taven’s pop up  midnight ramen shop in February, you know the man behind the broth. Justin Holt, now the sous chef at Driftwood, is determined in his mission to make better ramen. You can try a bowl of tonkatsu for $12 tonight. The Libertine’s bartender, Máté Hartai, and Omar Yeefon (formerly making drinks at beleaguered bar Smyth) will mix you up a cocktail with Japanese brands Nikka Whisky and Suntory Yamazaki.


The Dallas Theater Center’s revamped production of A Christmas Carol closes tonight with a Christmas Eve performance. Director Kevin Moriarty, who adapted this new version for the Wyly Theater’s main stage, has integrated a selection of carols and trimmed the action to 90 minutes. Read our critic’s full review of the show over on FrontRow.

christmasuseGet out of here. Happy holidays.


Don’t let the whole Boxing Day thing stop you from making the Christmas spirit last. You can catch Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Music Hall in Fair Park while it’s still seasonally appropriate. It’s a heartwarming story of love and cheer (two showbiz friends meet the women of their dreams while performing at a cozy Vermont inn) set to Berlin’s classic tunes. It’s proven irresistible to everyone whose heart isn’t two sizes too small, and it might just make you wish for a little snow.



Diplo at Lights All Night last year. Photo by Julian Bajsel for D Magazine.
Diplo at Lights All Night last year. Photo by Julian Bajsel for D Magazine.

Elf is the midnight movie at the Inwood Theater. As you probably already know, Will Ferrell plays Buddy, the man raised as an elf in the North Pole who travels to New York City in order to be reunited with his biological father and infect people with his holiday happiness.

Meanwhile, Austin-based Bob Schneider plays the Granada Theater. He’s got a nice song on his 2009 live album called “All I Want for Christmas,” in which he definitely does not channel Mariah Carey. Across town at the Kessler, the Austin-based Shinyribs play with Parker Millsap and Jeff Whittington for support.

At the Dallas Convention Center, it’s the first of the two-day Lights All Night electronic music and dance festival. Each night features two stages full of big names. Friday’s lineup includes Deadmau5, Icona Pop, Fergie (just a DJ set, but, still Fergie), Krewella, and plenty more.


AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Downton Abbey Season 4 sneak peek sold out in seconds, so don’t even try.

It’s the last evening to catch Santaland Diaries, the one-man dramatization of David Sedaris’ essay on his experience working as a Macy’s elf, at WaterTower Theatre’s Studio Theatre. This offbeat holiday tradition appeals to both our better angels and our inner Grinch.

At the Texas Theatre, relive the Fab Four’s earliest years with the 1994 movie Backbeat and a performance by the Savage Beatles, a Hamburg-era cover band. The film mainly follows former Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe, a close friend of John Lennon’s and the band’s original bassist. Get in one last visit to Mesa before the new year, while you’re in the neighborhood.


This marks the final chance to catch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Majestic Theatre before he flies back to the North Pole. It’s a matinee show, so perfect for the kids.

Beatles cover band A Hard Night’s Day plays at the Granada Theater. Tickets are a wallet-friendly $14, which is good if you’re like us and totally tapped out after Christmas.

Out at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles. You can still get tickets, albeit expensive ones.


Denton-based folk-pop band Seryn headlines at the Kessler with support from Quiet Company. Grab a pizza at Nova before the show.

In Fort Worth, honky tonk meets grunge with The Toadies at Billy Bob’s Texas. Local favorite Eleven Hundred Springs opens.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra chugs into town a little later than usual during the holidays, but better late than never. The 60-piece rock orchestra will play the American Airlines Center for one night only.


Larry G(ee).

NYg(EE) – New Year’s Eve Blowout With Larry g(EE). This mostly-local New Year’s Eve party at South Side Music Hall features Dallas’ beloved Hall & Oates cover band, The Rich Girls, and a double set from funk band Larry g(EE). Tickets are $34.75.

Neon New Year’s Eve at The Dram. Local band Ishi headlines this New Year’s Eve party sponsored by Grey Goose and Perrier-Jouët. The Dram is touting “premium bars, party favors, and neon everything,” so plan accordingly. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.

New Year’s Eve 2014: The Year of the Woman. Hello ladies! This Texas Theatre event is for you, though of course menfolk are invited, too. George Quartz hosts, Zhora, Boan, and Jenny Robinson perform, and there’s a free Champagne toast at midnight. There will also be DJ sets from Wild In The Streets, Ruthie of Blackstone Rangers, and a special guest. Tickets are $15, $20 for VIP.

Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights. We’re starting to feel a little sorry for the significant others of these band members. Southern-tinged rockers Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights have dedicated the past six New Year’s Eves to the Granada’s annual party, and they’re back again this year to help make sure 2014 gets off to a strong start. As usual, the VIP tickets include a balcony seat, some sort of goodie bag, and a complimentary glass of Champagne. The Roomsounds and Quaker City Night Hawks open.

Somebody’s Darling. Local favorites Somebody’s Darling headline Club Dada’s New Year’s Eve gathering, a bill that also includes Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Goodnight Ned, and Bad Mountain.

For more New Year’s Eve events, including classical music concerts from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, go here.


The Heart of Dallas Bowl is perfect for those who like to get up and at ’em while the rest of us sleep it off. The college postseason bowl game, put on by the nonprofit Heart of Dallas, matches up a Big Ten team with a school from Conference USA. Heart of Dallas aims to “leverage the power of sports and entertainment to fuel bold social change,” and has donated the proceeds of past games to organizations such as the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

There’s also the Chinese Lantern Festival in Fair Park, a sight you can only see for a few more days. Each of the 24 lantern sets are a sight worth seeing, but you’ll definitely want to check out the Royal Dragon Boat and the 52-foot Porcelain Pagoda, which is made of 68,000 plates, bowls, spoons, and wine cups carefully tied together by hand. Stay after the sun goes down to see the artwork come to life.