The first weekend in December is naturally chock-full of a variety of holiday-themed events, but there are plenty of non-holiday offerings as well. They include a comedy show from two of the greats, three big-name concerts, a local music showcase, a male dance revue, and the opening of a major art exhibit.
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, December 1
Downtown Dallas, Inc. presents Downtown Wanderland
Downtown Wanderland is season-long programming in downtown Dallas featuring Unbranded, a curated pop-up shop with rotating artists, fashion designers, and other unique merchandise; mini vending trailers and movie screenings in Pegasus Plaza; holiday markets at Main Street Garden; and more. Go to the official website for a full list of events going on through December 17.
John Cleese and Eric Idle: Together Again At Last … For the Very First Time
At this special event, taking place at Majestic Theatre on Thursday and Friday, John Cleese and Eric Idle blend scripted and improvised bits with storytelling, musical numbers, exclusive footage, and aquatic juggling to create a unique comedic experience. No two shows are quite the same, thus ensuring that every audience feels as if they’re seeing Together Again At Last … For the Very First Time, for the very first time.
Friday, December 2
The Suffers in concert with Sarah Jaffe
Most co-headlining concerts are one-night affairs, where the two big acts are preceded by other supporting bands. For this concert, taking place on Friday and Saturday at The Kessler, The Suffers and Sarah Jaffe serve as each other's opening act, reversing their order on each night. Whichever you see, you're in for a night of amazing music.
Christmas with Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant
Once again rekindling their synonymous holiday music magic, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith bring their popular symphony-filled Christmas tour to Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie. They are joined by Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice. The concert also features the Plano Symphony Orchestra.
Maxwell and Mary J. Blige in concert with Ro James
Maxwell and Mary J. Blige come to American Airlines Center as part of their co-headlining King and Queen of Hearts World Tour. Maxwell is touring in support of his new album, blackSUMMERS’night, while Blige is set to release her 14th studio album, Strength of a Woman, on December 9. Ro James serves as the opening act.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Christmas Pops
Conductor Lawrence Loh leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for its Christmas Pops presentation, playing through December 18 at Meyerson Symphony Center. The DSO, joined by the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas during matinee performances, as well as the Dallas Symphony Chorus and soprano Meredith Lustig, is performing Christmas classics, holiday favorites, and sing-along carols. There is also a free abridged performance at NorthPark Center on December 13.
Magic Men Live!
With the success of the Magic Mike movie series, Magic Men Live! has jumped on the bandwagon with this special tour. The live stage performance at the Bomb Factory brings the pop culture phenomenon of the male dance revue to new heights, with a high energy, interactive show, complete with comedic and theatrical skits.
Saturday, December 3
2016 Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade
The 29th annual Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade marches through the streets of downtown Dallas to ring in the holiday season. The parade, which goes down Commerce, Harwood, and Young streets, includes marching bands, festive floats, and fun family activities. Although you can view the parade for free, reserved bleacher seats can only be purchased ahead of time.
Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park
At Klyde Warren Park's annual Celebrate the Holidays event, activities include free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday kids’ crafts, food trucks, activities and demonstrations from area cultural institutions, holiday music entertainment, and a holiday show that culminates with the lighting of the Klyde Warren Park Christmas tree. (Due to the expected inclement weather, Reliant Lights Your Holidays, which was to have followed this event at AT&T Performing Arts Center, has been postponed. Celebrate the Holidays will go on as planned.)
2016 Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase
The 28th Annual Dallas Observer Music Awards features more than 40 local bands on nine stages in Deep Ellum. Venues include Club Dada's indoor and outdoor stages, The Door, Green Room, Off the Record, Prophet Bar, Reno's Chop, Three Links, and Trees. Rapper/singer Sam Lao leads all nominees with five nominations, thanks to her debut album, SPCTRM.
Dolly Parton in concert
Country music legend Dolly Parton, who turned 70 earlier this year, brings her boundless energy to the stage in Dallas, performing her hit songs while weaving in a few new ones from her latest album, Pure & Simple. At this special concert at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, fans can expect Parton to play songs they have not heard live in decades.
Sunday, December 4
Dallas Museum of Art presents Art and Nature in the Middle Ages
The newest major exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art illustrates the evolution of representations of nature across six centuries of medieval European art. The DMA is the exclusive U.S. venue for Art and Nature in the Middle Ages, which is composed of more than 100 objects reflecting the wide range of styles, techniques, and iconography that flourished during this period. The exhibit is on display through March 19, 2017.