If Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet is the only one you see this year-and chances are good that it will be-then at least it’s a good one. Ballet companies around the world use Hie 1892 ballet as a cash cow to support more avant-garde productions, and the Christmas crowds pack theaters, This year, several local companies will perform The Nutcracker.If one of these can’t get you in the holiday spirit, you’re in trouble.
Fort Worth Dates Ballet
Dallas Children’s Theater
North Texas Ballet Academy
Chamberlian School of Ballet
Dallas Aquarium. Experience the tranquillity of the underwater world by watching 375 marine and freshwater species. For the more excitable ones in your group, check out the shark and piranha feedings, every day except Monday, at 2:30 p.m. Open daily, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fair Park. 214-670-8443.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Holiday at The Arboretum. And you thought your house looked good for the holidays. Celebrate the season as the Arboretum showcases the extravagantly decorated DeGolyer home. Through Dec 31. Open daily; Mon-Fri, 10a.m.-9p.m.;Sat-Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 8525 Garland Rd. 214-327-8263.
Dallas Zoo. Exhibits feature forest, mountain, and river habitats, walk-through aviaries, and the Reptile Discovery Center. Don’t miss the new Primate Place. Open daily. 9 a.m>5 p.m. 1-35 at Marsalis. 214-670-5656.
Dallas World Aquarium. The most peaceful place downtown. This West End aquarium features exotic marine life in 12 saltwater tanks, along with Texas’ largest South African black-footed penguin exhibit. Open daily, 10a.m.-5p.m. 1801 N. Griffin. 214-7201801.
Fort Worth Botanical Garden. The 110-acre. tree-shaded complex includes a rose garden, DEEP ELLUM CENTER FOR THE ARTS. Tired of giving out ties and perfume for Christmas? There’s more than tattooing, tongue piercing, and hair-dyeing going on in Deep Ellum. If the perfect present you’re searching for is somewhere between a teapot and a “Mama Didn’t Love Me” tattoo, the Holiday Art Market will be selling one-of-a-kind pieces by local artists. Dec 3-Jan 2. Tue-Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p,m. 2808 Commerce St. 214-744-2787.
conservatory. Japanese gardens, and the Garden Restaurant Open daily, 8 a.m.-dusk (9 a.m.-6 p.m., Japanese gardens). 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-871-7686.
Fort Worth Zoo. One of the nation’s most acclaimed zoos, with 4,000 exotic and native animals. If a brief visit isn’t enough for your animal-friendly kids, send them to Zoo School, held Dec 28-31 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Students are invited to spend the night on New Year’s Eve. For information call 817-871-7055. Open Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 1989 Colonial Pkwy., Fort Worth. 817-871-7050.
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Get in touch with nature at the 289-acre nature reserve. Attractions include a Raptor Rehabilitation Center, an Aquatics Lab on Bullfrog Pond, wetlands, a Science Resource Center, and the EDS Technology Room. Mon-Sat, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun, 1-5 p.m. Self-guided trails open Mon-Sat, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun, 1-4 p.m. One Nature Place, McKinney. 972-562-5566.
Jewish Community Center of Dallas. This non-sectarian social service center offers programs to serve Jewish and other citizens of Dallas of all ages. In December, the Center will feature L Dor V Dor: From Generation to Generation, an exhibition of artworks by Aliza Smith, Barbara Nehman, and Steven Coben that focuses on Jewish tradition, spirituality, and values. On display in the lobby and the family lounge from Dec 3-13. In addition, book readings and workshops will be available. Mon-Thur, 6 a.m.-10 pm; Fri, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 1-5 p.m.; Sun, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. 7900 Northaven Road. 214-739-2737.
FAIRS & FIESTAS
Arlington’s Jolly Jubilee. Arlington is Christmas Central this season, hosting more than a dozen events, from the 7th Annual Young Country Christmas Fireworks to Six Flags’ Holiday in the Park to Handel’s Messiah Sing-A-Long. Event times and locations vary. For information, call the Arlington Visitor Information Center at 1-800-342-4305.
Texas On Parade. More than 18 marching bands from around the country, along with specialty entries and Texas-themed floats, will parade from Ross Avenue to the Historic West End. Sponsored by the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic. Dec 31, 4-5:30 p.m.
Omni Theater. Greatest Places. This is the easiest way to travel. The giant screen transports you to seven of (he world’s most fascinating locales, from the icebergs of Greenland to the sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Through Apr 15, 1999. Fort Worth Museum of Science and Natural History, 1501 Montgomery St., Fort Worth. 817-255-9300.
Craighead-Green Gallery. Known for her brilliant colors and distinctive high-gloss surfaces. Santa Fe artist Susan Sales is one of the most highly collected abstract painters in the Southwest. Dec 4-Jan 29. Tue-Fri, 10 a.m.-5;30 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 2404 Cedar Springs. Ste. 700. 214-855-0779.
David Dike Fine Art. Scenes of Texas will feature works by Jack Erwin, who specializes in depictions of Texas’ varied scenery. Through Jan 31. Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 2613 Fairmount St. 214-720-4044.
The Karen Mitchell Frank Gallery. Artists “”studies.” blueprints for larger works, are often like the stepchildren of the art world- underappreciated. The Karen Mitchell Frank Gallery is doing its part to change that with the Small Works exhibit. Dec 1-31. Reception Dec 2, 6-8 p.m. Tue-Sat, 10 a.m.-6p.m.; Sun, noon-5 p.m. 4532 Cole Ave. 214-559-4700.
OLD CITY PARK, THE HISTORICAL VILLAGE OF DALLAS. Don’t write this one off as a place for little old ladies to feed pigeons or a tacky theme park where people dress up in goofy costumes, speak in affected, old-timey accents, and try to sell you handmade oven mitts at stores like Ye Olde Butterchum Shoppe. With carolers in Victorian attire, horse-drawn carriages rolling down red brick streets, and hundreds of hurricane lamps, Old City Park is a ticket to holiday spirit. Dec. 5 and 12,5-10 p.m.; Dec. 6 and 13, 5-9 p.m. 1717 Gano Street, Dallas 214-421-5141
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery. Shelby Lee Adams, Appalachian Legacy. Southern Appalachia remains one of the country’s most mysterious places. This intimate exhibit will feature persona! portraits of the Napier, Jacobs, Joseph, and Collins families from eastern Kentucky, where Adams grew up. Dec 4-Jan 16. 3115 Routh St. 214-969-1852.
SOUTHFORK RANCH. Nobody from Dallas cares about the Ewing clan or their ranch. None of us ever watched the show or hummed the theme song. J.R. and his shenanigans are an unsavory blight on the history of our city. That’s what we say, anyway. The truth is, just like the rest of the world, we’re fascinated. Go on, explore the ranch by tram and walk through the Dallas Museum, with memorabilia from die hit TV series and its stars, at least once. If you’re worried about being labeled a tourist, blame it on the fact that your friends from Boston just had to see it. There’s also a Western-wear store and cafe. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Hogge Rd., Parker. 972-442-7800.
The Texas African American Photography Archive. Carl Sidle: A Retrospective 1979-1996. Photographer Carl Sidle explores life in Dallas, East Texas, and Louisiana in this retrospective of his work. Through Jan 30. 1999. Mon-Fri, 10a.m.-4 p.m. 5501 Columbia Gallery. 214-823-8824.
Turner & Runyon. Encyclopedia 1999. A large-scale display of contemporary art. featuring more than 50 artists and their interpretations of three basic genres: the figure, language, and landscape. Opens Dec 10. Tue-Sat, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 2642 Elm Si. 214-653-1132.
MOVIE STUDIOS AT LAS COLINAS. Hollywood has a sign. New York has Times Square, and Chicago has Oprah-we have the Studios at Las Colinas. Dallas has become the “third coast” in terms of movie making, with scenes from such classic films as RoboCop, Leap of Faith, and JFK filmed here. OK, so they aren’t Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, or even Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, but they’re still blockbusters worth our attention. From the nostalgia of The National Museum of Communications to the technology of the Blue Screen F/X Show, the Studios have something for everyone. Open daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 6301 N. O’Connor Blvd.. Las Colinas. 972-869-FILM.
Valley House Gallery. Fantasy Garden Views. Selected 19th-century drawings by French artist Francois Houtin. Through Dec 31. Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 5616 Spring Valley Rd. 972-239-2441.
Wharton limited. Curated by the Pan American Art Gallery. In and Out of Cuba features five contemporary Cuban visual artists who live both “in and out of Cuba.” The works range from those dealing exclusively with the problems of the Cuban people, by Sergio Morenco Carmenate, to human transformations of birds and fish, by Zaida Del Rio. Through Dec 24. Tue-Fri. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.: Sat, noon-5 p.m. 2700 Fairmount St. 214-522-3303.
HOUSE AND GARDEN
The 15th Annual Holiday Home Tour. Presented by The Colleyville Woman’s Club, the annual home tour will feature six exclusive residences, including the showcase home designed by Classical Homes. Dec 6. 11 jtnt-3 p.m. 817-415-3000.
The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. Join the orchestra at Deck the Hall. a special performance for children. Afterward, have your picture taken with Santa Claus and Rudolph. Dec. 12. 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. 214-692-0203.
El Centra College Theater. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The Dallas Children’s Theater’s 10th production will help you rediscover the meaning of Christmas as the Herdmans collide with their annual pageant. Dec 4-20. Show times vary. Main and Market streets. 214-978-0110.
The Crescent Theater The Dallas Children’s Theater, in its 15th season, presents a “dazzlingly different Nutcracker,” as performed by the nationally recognized Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts. This production of the holiday classic promises to deliver spectacular special effects and pure artistry. Dec 4-27. Show times vary. 2215 Cedar Springs Rd. 214-978-0110.
Arlington Museum of Art. Showcases contemporary artists with ties to Texas in a 20,000-square-fboi exhibition space. The museum will be holding its First Cup of the Morning pottery sale on Dec 5. Wed-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 201 W. Main St., Arlington. 817-275-4600.
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum. A trip to DFW can make you forget that flying was ever a roman-tic venture. A trip to this museum, featuring meticulously restored warbirds from WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, will remind you. Mon-Sat. 9a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. M a.m.-5 p.m. Addison Airport, 4572 Claire Chennault. 972-380-8800.
The Conspiracy Museum. This museum exposes alleged cover-ups of the assassinations of presidents Kennedy, Lincoln, and Garfield. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy, as well as the crash of Korean Flight 007, Open daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 110 S. Market St. 214-741-3040.
Dallas Museum of Art. The Jewels of Lalique. This comprehensive exhibition of 230 objects and drawings features works by Frenchman Rene Lalique, whose jewelry bedecked the rich and famous at the turn of the century. Through Jan 10. Tue, Wed, Fri, II a.m.-4 p.m.; Thu, 11 a.m.-9p.m.;Sat-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 1717 N.
Harwood St. 214-922-1200 or 214-922-1355.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Geography can be fun. Just check out the interactive components and audio-visuals in the special exhibit, Earth 2U: Exploring Geography. Mon, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue-Thu, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun, noon-8 p.m. 1501 Montgomery St.. Fort Worth, 817-255-9300.
Kimbell Art Museum. On view ;it the Kimbell will be The Kimbell Collections, which showcase pieces from the museum’s distinguished permanent collection, Masterworks by Caspar David Friedrich, on loan from museums in Berlin and Essen, Germany, will augment the show. Tue-Thu, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri, noon-8 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m. 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-332-8451.
The Science Place. A hands-on children’s discovery center that’s fun for parents too, especially because the museum helps answer all those “why?” questions kids always seem to come up with. It s also home to the 1M AX theater and its 79-foot dome screen. Open daily, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Extended hours Dec 18-Jan 2, Fri-Sat, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Fair Park. 214-428-5555.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL. When your kid tells you the only thing he really wants for Christmas is the electronic Dennis Rodman doll 3000 with glow-in-the-dark hair and kung fu grip, but every store in town is sold out, it’s time to see Charles Dickens’ beloved tale about the true meaning of Christmas. You’ve seen it a hundred times, but with spectacular effects, singing, and dancing, the Dallas Theater Center is able to keep it fresh. Through Dec 27. Arts District Theater, 2401 Flora St. 214-522-8499.
Sixth Floor Museum.
This thorough, intelligent, and moving exhibit in the former Texas School Book Up in Smoke
Either don’t smoke, or do it well. The chic crowd adopted expensive cigars as a fashion accessory Now Zubar has added its own new-wave smoking room: Tables are furnished with multi-hose hookahs, and you choose your own tobacco blend-sweet, strong, or spicy-and share with your friends. Tobacco is gang the way at coffee, I seems-everyone’s a gourmet when it comes to minor vices.
Zubar, 2012 Greenvile Ave., 214-887-0071.
p.m. The Ballpark in Arlington, 1000 Ballpark Way. 817-273-5098.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Casa Manana presents a holiday classic. Experience the spirit of Christmas with “the most famous reindeer of all.” Dec 4 and 11,7:30 p.m.; Dec 5 and 12,2 p.m. 3101 W. Lancaster. Fort Worth. 817-332-2272.