Weekend Event Planner

These are the 13 best things to do in Dallas on Thanksgiving weekend

These are the 13 best things to do in Dallas on Thanksgiving weekend

WaterTower Theatre presents Ella’s Swinging Christmas: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
WaterTower Theatre presents Ella’s Swinging Christmas: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, available for streaming at any time, November 27-January 3. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
Prairie Lights drive-thru holiday lights
Prairie Lights at Joe Pool Park in Grand Prairie starts on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, running through December 31. Photo courtesy of Prairie Lights
Bassem Youssef
Comedian Bassem Youssef will perform at Improv Addison, November 27-29. Photo courtesy of Paramount Theatre
For King & Country
For King & Country will perform twice at Globe Life Field in Arlington on November 28. For King & Country/Facebook
Drive-through donations
CultureMap and Frost Bank presents Donation Drop-off at Pacific Plaza Park on November 29. Photo by SDI Productions/Getty
WaterTower Theatre presents Ella’s Swinging Christmas: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
Prairie Lights drive-thru holiday lights
Bassem Youssef
For King & Country
Drive-through donations

While many events in and around Dallas have either been postponed or canceled during the coronavirus pandemic, some organizations have pivoted to virtual or socially-distanced events to continue offering the masses some entertainment while we need it the most.

Below are the best ways to spend your free time this Thanksgiving weekend. While not every event is out of the house, they all promise to provide a nice distraction from the everyday life.

Wednesday, November 25

Browne Family Holiday Light Show
There are lots of holiday light shows to be found in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but there's something kind of nice about a family turning their home into a destination. The Browne Family Holiday Light Show in Parker is a full light show synchronized with music taking place throughout the Christmas season. While the show is free, it is an official drop-off point for Toys For Tots; visitors are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.

Thursday, November 26

Venardos Circus
The Venardos Circus, a touring Broadway-style animal-free production, will present a brand-new livestream production on Thanksgiving Day. It will feature performers like Guinness World Record holder Brad Weston (golf juggling and sword walking), Derileisy Ramos (aerialist), Manuel and Ilenay Acosta (duo rola bola and duo straps), Chase Culp (comedy) and Rachel Bell (foot juggling and Roman rings). There will be two performances, one at 11 am and one at 6 pm.

Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation presents Prairie Lights
Located along the shores of Joe Pool Lake at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie, Prairie Lights is a two-mile, drive-thru holiday park experience that showcases a display of more than 5 million lights arranged in hundreds of festive holiday scenes throughout the park. There will be no Holiday Village this year due to pandemic considerations, but the event will feature a new drive-through concession option. Pre-purchase of online tickets is highly recommended for the event, which runs through December 31.

Friday, November 27

Texas Christkindl Market
The Texas Christkindl Market, normally one of the largest open ­air holiday markets in the Southwest, will continue the 10-year tradition by moving to an all-online format for 2020. Visitors will discover holiday cheer, decorations, recipes, and one-­of-­a-­kind finds and gifts from favorite vendors through the vendor listings. Online experiences will include video demonstrations, live performances, and more. The market takes place through December 23.

iHeartRadio presents Candy Cane Lane
Candy Cane Lane is a new multi-level visual Christmas attraction that will allow guests to celebrate the holidays in a touchless environment from the safety of their cars. Each level of Candy Cane Lane combines all the wonderful outdoor experiences of Christmas, including a vast array of holiday lights, classic holiday lantern characters, and wonderland surprises around every corner. There is a special upgrade available for attendees to get a photo opportunity with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. The event will take place on select dates through December 26 at the American Airlines Center in the Silver Garage.

Vitruvian Lights
Addison's Vitruvian Park transforms into one of North Texas' most spectacular holiday destinations during Vitruvian Lights, an annual celebration in which 1.5 million sparkling LED lights are wrapped around more than 550 trees to create a blazing wonderland. The lights will remain on every evening from 5-11 pm through January 1, 2021. There will be no special events in conjunction with Vitruvian Lights this year. However, visitors are encouraged to walk through the park in a socially distanced manner or drive through on surrounding streets.

WaterTower Theatre presents Ella’s Swinging Christmas: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
Ella’s Swinging Christmas: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald is a one-woman show featuring singer and actress Feleceia Wilson. The virtual production is a reimagined experience of jazz vocalist and scat virtuoso Ella Fitzgerald’s Swinging Christmas album. Wilson will perform 17 of Fitzgerald’s arrangements of Christmas classics, including “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The production will be available to stream at any time through January 3.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents The Nutcracker
Audiences can get into the festive holiday spirit early with Tchaikovsky’s joyous score from his most famous ballet, The Nutcracker. The miniature overtures, triumphant marches, Russian, Arabian and Chinese dances, and the Waltz of the Flowers will showcase the brilliant sound of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. There will be three concerts through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.

Improv Addison presents Bassem Youssef
Comedian Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was the host of popular TV show Al-Bernameg, which was the first of its kind political satire show in the Middle East. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2013, the physician-turned-comedian will perform five times through Sunday at Improv Addison.

Saturday, November 28

Christmas at the Anatole
This season’s Christmas at the Anatole celebration will feature Breakfast with Santa, which will be served family-style at each table. During breakfast, Santa will make an entrance and interact with the children in a socially-distanced format, including the reading of a Texas-themed Christmas story and letters from the children in the audience mailed from the North Pole mailbox situated in the lobby. There will also be holiday-themed activities throughout the hotel; Peppermint Park will not be part of the activities this year. The event goes on every weekend through December 23.

For King & Country in concert
On the Christian music scene, there are few groups bigger than pop duo For King & Country. Each of their three studio albums has gone higher on the Billboard Christian charts than the one before, with their 2018 album Burn the Ships coming in at No. 1. They recently released their first Christmas album, A Drummer Boy Christmas, which will be highlighted in two concerts at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Sunday, November 29

Dallas Museum of Art presents "Wearable Raffia" closing day
Sunday will be the final day to take in the exhibition "Wearable Raffia" at the Dallas Museum of Art. Drawn mainly from the Museum’s acclaimed collection of African art, the exhibition features garments and textiles made from the woven fibers of Raffia Palm trees from West and Central Africa and the island of Madagascar. Also on display are raffia and textile samples that visitors are allowed to feel.

CultureMap and Frost Bank presents Donation Drop-off
CultureMap and Frost Bank will present a donation drop-off at Pacific Plaza Park, benefiting Genesis Women's Shelter & Support. Visitors are asked to bring items like disinfectant spray wipes, antibacterial hand soap, cloth face masks, sports bras in size adult large and medium, new gloves and hat in all sizes and ages, and new coats of all sizes for women and children ages 0-18. Anyone who brings five or more items will receive a $10 Frost It Forward card (while supplies last).