Thanksgiving is when the holiday events really kick into high gear, with no fewer than six holiday events starting or taking place on that day. This weekend also features a sneak preview of an anticipated family movie, and performances from three big stars.
Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Friday, November 25
NorthPark Center presents Reindeer Park and Festival
This special festival at NorthPark Center honors the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph, as well as all of his friends from the story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The event includes a live reindeer corral, holiday crafts, music, a performance by Dallas Summer Musicals, Angel Tree giving opportunities, and more fun.
2016 Texas Christkindl Market
Now in its sixth year, the Texas Christkindl Market is one of the largest open-air holiday markets in the Southwest. Inspired by a cherished German tradition, the market features a unique shopping experience for holiday gifts, decorations, and unique one-of-a-kind finds. Going on every day through December 23, it also includes festive music and new features like Peppermint Park and a 200-foot-long Artic Blast Tubing Run.
Prairie Lights 2016
Upon arriving at the entrance of Prairie Lights, you're dazzled with 4 million lights set along two miles of path. Taking place at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie through January 1, it features hundreds of all-new displays in shapes of all kinds that line and arch over the roads. Halfway through the drive is the Holiday Village, which has food, gifts, Santa, the all-new indoor laser show, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
First airing in 1964, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become a beloved Christmas classic, and now it soars off the screen and onto the stage at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Playing five times through Sunday, it features all of your favorite characters from the special, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, the Misfit Toys, and, of course, Rudolph.
Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Kick off the holiday season with A Christmas Carol, a reimagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic in which the audience is immersed in the story with magical ghosts flying above, scary ghosts bursting out of the floor, and snow falling from the sky. Playing through December 28 at Wyly Theatre, this year's rendition from Dallas Theater Center features a female Scrooge for the very first time, played by Sally Nystuen Vahle.
Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker
The final must-see holiday theater tradition, The Nutcracker, is once brought to life by Texas Ballet Theater. Playing at Winspear Opera House through December 4, the ballet features a score by Tchaikovsky and enduring characters such as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker Prince.
Saturday, November 26
Universal Pictures presents Sing Saturday
After the craziness of Black Friday, Universal Pictures presents Sing Saturday, during which Universal is presenting a round of free first-come, first-served screenings for the new film, Sing, at participating AMC Theaters. At least 200 free tickets will be available at every location to see the new animated feature, which will be officially released on December 21. The film tells the tale of a koala named Buster Moon who has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world's greatest singing competition.
Tig Notaro in concert
Stand-up comedian Tig Notaro has been working hard for many years, but she didn't truly come to prominence until 2012, when she performed a now legendary set about her having cancer. Now cancer-free, she's enjoyed a string of successes, including a new book, comedy series, and more. She is performing at Texas Theatre.
Sunday, November 27
Henry Rollins: Spoken Word Tour
There won't be any music at this event at the House of Blues Dallas, but fans can expect Henry Rollins to mix timely commentary on the current state of politics with anecdotes on his latest L.A. experiences, as well as perspective gained from his extensive world travels. Rollins’ live talking shows are known for their energy, wit, anger, and humor.