Although some places start celebrating early, Thanksgiving weekend is the official kick-off to the holiday season. If you don't feel like getting in that kind of mood just yet, there are still some options, but they're a bit harder to find.
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.
Thursday, November 28
Thanksgiving is all about spending time with your family, and you can start off the day right by participating in one of several area Turkey Trots. Designed to help people get some exercise before gorging themselves — and to support some good causes — the trots include ones in downtown Dallas, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and Frisco.
Friday, November 29
2013 Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights
The Parade of Lights has been a tradition in downtown Fort Worth for 31 years now, and it's as big as ever. Close to 100 illuminated floats parade through the downtown streets, taking a circuitous route that also includes going through the new Sundance Square Plaza. Unless you purchased a grandstand seat, make sure to show up early for a good free spot on the sidewalks.
The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that is presented by a variety of arts organizations. Two very different groups start productions on Friday: Dallas Children's Theater present the annual puppet version, while Texas Ballet Theater presents the more traditional ballet version at Winspear Opera House. DCT's version runs through December 22, while TBT's version only stays around until December 8 before heading to Fort Worth.
Southfork Ranch presents A Southfork Christmas 2013
It's always fun to visit Southfork Ranch, the place that Dallas made famous, and for the first time you can see it decked out in holiday finery. The special event also includes actors from ArtCentre Theatre of Plano acting out holiday vignettes, carolers singing and more. It takes place every Friday and Saturday through December 21.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a classic story and television movie, but chances are you have never had the opportunity to see it onstage. That can change this year as the national tour comes to the Majestic Theatre. Staying through December 29, it tells the familiar story of Rudolph and his friends, Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius, teaming up to help Santa save Christmas.
Saturday, November 30
Ugly Sweater Run 2013
If you ran to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, why not get a jump on Christmas by participating in the Ugly Sweater Run at Fair Park? Another in a line of runs that are more about the fun of doing something wacky instead of actually exercising, this one features hot chocolate stations along the route, beer at the end and awards for a variety of things, including ugliest sweater and best fake mustache.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in concert with Talib Kweli and Big K.R.I.T.
Like a shining beacon in a harbor, the appearance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie is the lone non-holiday-themed event to make our list this week. The rapper/DJ duo have taken the world by storm in the last year thanks to songs like "Thrift Shop," "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love." They are joined by Talib Kweli and Big K.R.I.T.
Sunday, December 1
New Conservatory of Dallas presents Symphony of Toys
This is the 27th annual Symphony of Toys for New Conservatory of Dallas, which they present for free in exchange for donations of toys to WFAA Channel 8 Santa's Helpers Toy Drive. The concert at Meyerson Symphony Center, performed by the young musicians of NCD, includes a variety of compositions and features Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony.