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Rockettes, nutcrackers and gingerbread: The best events in Dallas this weekend

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The Radio City Rockettes come to Dallas this holiday season.
The Rockettes perform at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie November 23-December 8. Courtesy of MSG Holdings L.P.
Texas Ballet Theater
Texas Ballet Theater performs The Nutcracker at Winspear Opera House November 23-December 2. Courtesy of Texas Ballet Theater Facebook page
Gingerbread Stroll 2011
You can bid on creations like this at the Gingerbread Stroll at Highland Park Village through November 30. Photo courtesy of The Gingerbread Stroll
The Radio City Rockettes come to Dallas this holiday season.
Texas Ballet Theater
Gingerbread Stroll 2011

Yes, it's Thanksgiving weekend — a time to spend with family. But if being in close quarters with them has you searching for something else to do or looking for a way to spend more quality time together, we've got you covered.

Below are your 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 22

Unless you're headed to Cowboys Stadium to see that turkey of an offensive line take on the Washington Redskins, stay home and take some time to be thankful. Whatever you do, don't go join the conspiracy nuts in Dealey Plaza for the 49th anniversary of the assassination of JFK; wait until the 50th anniversary to properly the loss of a great leader.

Friday, November 23

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Theater companies know that Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to start holiday-themed productions because holiday spirits are at their highest. Dallas Theater Center kicks things off with its take on the classic Charles Dickens tale. It's a musical, so be prepared to sing along. A Christmas Carol runs at Kalita Humphreys Theater through December 23.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes
The Rockettes have been a fixtures at Radio City Music Hall in New York for 85 years, and this year we're lucky enough to see the annual Christmas spectacular here at home. Outside of New York, Dallas-Fort Worth is one of only four cities on the tour, and the only one west of the Mississippi. The show plays at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie through December 8.

Saturday, November 24

Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is one of those ubiquitous holiday shows that's tackled by multiple arts groups every holiday season. Texas Ballet Theater is doing the original version as scored by Tchaikovsky, but for alternate takes you can check out Dallas Children's Theater's puppet show or MBS Productions' risque version, The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker! Texas Ballet Theater's production runs at the Winspear Opera House through December 2.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Holidays
As evidenced by the happenings highlighted so far, music plays a key role in most holiday-themed events, so nothing could be more apropos than the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra playing a bunch of holiday favorites.

A bell choir, visit from Santa and snow inside Bass Performance Hall make the concert seem like Christmas central. The FWSO plays two concerts on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, November 25

The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare Dallas continues its ambitious quest to stage a reading of every one of Shakespeare's works during the next five years with Taming of the Shrew, a comedy that's served as inspirations for countless movies, TV shows and other theater productions.

If you're a completist, you'll need to be on your game, as there will only be two performances — one Sunday and one Monday — in Hamon Hall at Winspear Opera House.

Highland Park Village presents the Gingerbread Stroll 2012
Remember when you tried making a gingerbread house when you were a kid? Most of those were little more than A-frames that inevitably fell apart for one reason or another, most likely at the hands of a sweet tooth. 

You'll find none of those in the Gingerbread Stroll, because Dallas' top pastry chefs use their considerable skills to make these jaw-dropping creations. Better yet, you can take one or more of these home by bidding in the silent auction, with the proceeds benefiting a children's charity. The fun ends November 30.

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Melissa Glenn, Kristina Kiik, Valerie maniscalco, affair of the art