There will be no escaping holiday events now through New Year's, as a new wave will hit every weekend. Among your choices this week are two shopping events — including an exciting one from CultureMap — a Broadway musical, a local world premiere theater production, several outdoor festivals, concerts, and more. The only non-holiday options will be a crucial college football game and an awards showcase for local bands.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, November 29
Downtown Dallas Inc. presents Unbranded: Downtown’s Holiday Pop Up Shop
Unbranded is an innovative Downtown holiday pop-up retail experience that provides free retail and event space to a curated group of entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, artists, chefs, and more. The holiday pop-up shop, open every Friday-Sunday through December 22, features 8-10 different brands each week, a complimentary gift-wrapping lounge, coffee from Flying Horse Cafe, drinks, crafts and workshops, and more.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Elf
Elf the Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. The production will run through Sunday at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Friday, November 30
Deck the Plaza: City Hall Lights
At this new event, visitors can join Mayor Mike Rawlings for the official illumination of City Hall Plaza, including a 40-foot-tree lighting. The family-friendly event will feature interfaith speakers; a special arrival from Santa Claus; musical entertainment by Dallas Winds and the Castro band; and holiday treats including hot chocolate, apple cider, and cookies.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage
You can take a break from watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV this year and catch it live on stage at the Majestic Theatre instead. This new touring production features everyone’s favorite Peanuts gang — Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally, and more — as they discover the true meaning of Christmas. The production, playing one time only on Friday, showcases the music of Vince Guaraldi, as well as a concert of holiday carols led by the Peanuts characters.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents "A John Williams Christmas"
This concert from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will feature famous movie music from John Williams, like Harry Potter and Home Alone, plus Christmas favorites and many more surprises. The concert, playing four times through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center, will also feature the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. There will also be a shorter performance aimed at families on Saturday morning.
Saturday, December 1
Dallas Holiday Parade
It's not truly the holidays in Dallas until the Dallas Holiday Parade takes place. As always, the parade will march down Commerce Street in Downtown Dallas to kick-off the holiday season with marching bands, festive floats, and fun family activities to carry into the new year.
Big XII Conference Championship Game: Texas vs. Oklahoma
The Red River Rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners usually happens only once a season, but the usual dominance of the Sooners and the resurgence of the Longhorns has them on a collision course in the Big XII Conference Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. At stake is a possible berth into the College Football Playoff for the Sooners, while the Longhorns are likely headed to the Sugar Bowl.
Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Another Dallas holiday tradition is this event at AT&T Performing Arts Center, featuring hundreds of thousands of LED lights placed on the Center’s venues and trees, live performances by Sheila E. and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, fireworks, and more. This nighttime event is preceded by a Holiday Show & Tree Lighting at Klyde Warren Park, featuring a variety of holiday entertainment.
98 Degrees in concert
Boy bands always have to grow up, but they never truly go away, no matter how successful their individual members become. 98 Degrees had a great four-year run, releasing one album every year from 1997-2000 and scoring hits like "Because of You" and "Thank God I Found You." This concert at House of Blues Dallas will feature songs from their two Christmas albums, 1999's This Christmas and 2017's Let It Snow.
Dallas Observer Music Awards
The 30th Annual Dallas Observer Music Awards will feature performances from over 50 local singers/bands, including Becky Middleton, Kirk Thurmond and the Millenials, Paul Slavens, and Vanessa Peters. The performances will take place at multiple venue in Deep Ellum, including Club Dada Indoor & Outdoor Stage, Curtain Club, Off the Record, Reno’s Chop Shop, Three Links, and Trees.
Uptown Players presents A Very Judy Christmas
In this world premiere that pays tribute to the 1960s television specials, Judy Garland, played by Janelle Lutz, invites us into her home for a seasonal special. Share the holiday with Judy and a few surprise guests, including Ethel Merman and Liza Minnelli. This show, running through December 16 at Kalita Humphreys Theater, features some of Garland’s signature songs, along with many yuletide classics.
Sunday, December 2
CultureMap Holiday Pop-Up Shop presented by Verizon
CultureMap Holiday Pop-up Shop presented by Verizon is a holiday boutique showcasing 25 of our favorite local retailers for men, women, kids, pets, jewelry, gifts, home, and gourmet food and beverages. Taking place at Sixty Five Hundred, it also will include cocktails, festive food, carolers, crafting, and more while you shop.
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree with Darci Lynne & Friends
Darci Lynne is the youngest contestant to ever win America’s Got Talent. She is a young ventriloquist who is inspiring the next generation to keep the art form alive. She'll perform a holiday special at The Theatre at Grand Prairie with a variety of her puppet friends, including Petunia the rabbit, Oscar the mouse, naughty old lady Edna Doorknocker, and more.