Weekend Event Planner

These are the 9 best things to do in Dallas this Christmas weekend

These are the 9 best things to do in Dallas this Christmas weekend

Cast of Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center's annual version of A Christmas Carol runs at Wyly Theatre through December 26. Photo by Karen Almond
The Trains at NorthPark 2015
The Trains at NorthPark will be on display at NorthPark Center through January 3. Photo courtesy of Bank of Texas
Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie
Prairie Lights at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie will be on display through January 3. Prairie Lights/Facebook
Rick Ross
Rick Ross will play at the Bomb Factory on December 26. Rick Ross/Facebook
Robert Earl Keen
Robert Earl Keen will bring his holiday show to House of Blues Dallas on December 27. Robert Earl Keen/Facebook
Cast of Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol
The Trains at NorthPark 2015
Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie
Rick Ross
Robert Earl Keen

Since it's Christmas weekend, most of the big events will be ones we've already highlighted that are designed to get you in the holiday spirit. We'll give a recap of the best ones to see again or for the first time, as well as a smattering of other new events on the docket.

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 24

Holiday at the Arboretum
It's one thing to hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" sung throughout the holidays, but it's quite another to see each of the verses brought to life at the 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum. Back for its second year, everything from a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming gets its own gazebo, and many feature animated characters, lights, and snow. This year, the Arboretum has added 500,000 lights throughout the garden and a 30-foot-tall tree at the center of property. The exhibit is up through January 3.

The Trains at NorthPark
​There are few Dallas holiday traditions as enduring as The Trains at NorthPark, which is now in its 28th year and 17th at NorthPark Center. Sixteen-hundred feet of track takes trains through landmarks across America, including the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Times Square in New York City, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The trains run on time through January 3.

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
DTC has now put on Charles Dickens' classic story for over 30 years. This year the company is mixing things up by having Hassan El-Amin play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge and Brierley Resident Acting Company member Christie Vela be the play's first female director. The production will run at Wyly Theatre through December 26.

Angelika Film Center presents It's a Wonderful Life
If you missed last week's screening of It's a Wonderful Life at the Majestic Theatre, you can make up for it with a Christmas Eve screening at either the Dallas or Plano locations of Angelika Film Center. A film full of darker-than-you-remember moments and plenty of joy, it's the perfect lead-in to Christmas Day.

Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department presents Prairie Lights
Everybody loves to look at Christmas lights, and one of the better displays around is this annual event at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie. Featuring 4 million lights set along two miles of path, it has hundreds of all-new displays in shapes of all kinds lining and arching over the roads. Halfway through the drive, visitors can get out of their cars for a stop at Holiday Village, where they'll find food, gifts, Santa Claus, an all-new indoor laser show, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest. The second half of the drive ends with an animated light tunnel. You can experience the fun through January 3.

Friday, December 25

There are a few events available on Christmas Day, but if there's ever a day to stay home, this is it. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 26

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington vs. Southern Miss
Bowl season comes to Dallas in the form of the annual Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl. Two schools that have never played football against each other, the University of Washington Huskies and the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, will each make their first-ever appearance at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Dallas Children’s Theater presents Lone Star Circus' Zingari!
For its brand new 2015 production, Dallas’s very own Lone Star Circus presents Zingari, a loving tribute to the old gypsy roots of many circus families, replete with a cornucopia of talented acrobats, aerialists, equilibrists, jugglers, clowns and four-legged stars from all over the world. The production will play at Dallas Children's Theater through January 3.

Rick Ross in concert with Jaio
Dallas-area fans are some of the first to see Rick Ross live in concert after the December 4 release of his latest album, Black Market. With songs like "The Boss," "Aston Martin Music," "You the Boss," and the new "Sorry," Ross' music is perfect antidote to the sugary sweet holiday tunes. He'll play at the Bomb Factory with support from opening act Jaio.

Sunday, December 27

Robert Earl Keen's Merry Christmas from the Fam-O-Lee
It may technically be after Christmas, but there's still a lot to enjoy with this concert. Robert Earl Keen brings his annual holiday party back to Dallas for one night only at the House of Blues, with help from special guests Doyle & Debbie. R.E.K.'s Merry Christmas from the Fam-O-Lee is a holiday hootenanny like no other.