Holiday-themed events normally dominate the roundups this time of year, but the first full weekend of December features a majority of events not related to the holidays. They include a dinosaur exhibit, a visit from a great pop trio, comedy from both a reality star and a former late night host, and a showcase of local musicians. You can still get your fill of the holidays courtesy of three new theater productions, a classical concert, and two neighboring festivals.
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, December 5
The Firehouse Theatre presents The Wizard of Oz: Concert Edition
The Firehouse Theatre will present a magical concert of the classic story featuring Dorothy, Toto, Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Miss Gulch, and Professor Marvel around the Kansas farm. With dreams of escaping her mundane life “Over the Rainbow,” a tornado hits and Dorothy and Toto are transported to the Land of Oz. The production will play through December 22.
WaterTower Theatre presents Cirque Holidays
WaterTower Theatre in Addison, in partnership with Lone Star Circus, will celebrate the diversity of holidays from around the world through a magical collaboration of theater and circus with Cirque Holidays. Audiences of all ages will be treated to acts ranging from hula-hoops to death defying trapeze stunts, all tied together with a charismatic host and hilarious clowns. The production will run through December 22.
Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents Black Nativity
For 16 years, Langston Hughes’ story of the birth of Christ has transformed the Bishop Arts Theatre stage into a gathering that unites artists and audiences of different ages, backgrounds, and beliefs through the heart-stirring power of song, story, and dance. With a joyous inspirational score, Black Nativity is an Oak Cliff tradition that shares this unforgettable story of the Nativity through compelling gospel music and the beautiful poetry of Hughes. The production will run through December 22.
Friday, December 6
Jurassic Quest with Ancient Oceans
With Ancient Oceans, Jurassic Quest guests will be transported back in time and under the sea into an immersive and interactive environment. This new exhibit will feature over 100 life-sized dinosaur replicas, from the very small, to the gigantic, to those found under the sea. There will also be dinosaur-themed rides, shows, bounce houses, science stations, and a cinema at the event, taking place in the Automobile Building and Museum of American Railroad building at Fair Park through Sunday.
Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Black on Black
Black on Black features the talent of Dallas Black Dance Theatre and DBDT: Encore! dancers choreographing, producing, and performing new holiday-themed works. The performance, taking place at Dallas Black Dance Theatre on Friday and Saturday, is flanked by a happy hour and after party with light bites and spirits featuring a live DJ.
Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will present their annual tradition, with the Dallas Symphony Chorus performing transcendent anthems, classical holiday favorites, and sing-along carols. Also making an appearance will be Santa, snow, and a little bit of Christmas magic. The concert, also featuring baritone Reginald Smith Jr. and the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas, will be at Meyerson Symphony Center through December 15.
Jonas Brothers in concert
It's not often that a band can take a break and come back more popular than ever, but the Jonas Brothers have accomplished that feat. Their new album, Happiness Begins, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, "Sucker," was the first No. 1 song of their career. The three brothers — Joe, Nick, and Kevin — will play at American Airlines Center, joined by opening acts Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw.
Tyler Henry: The Hollywood Medium
Tyler Henry began receiving intuitive mental images when he was only 10 years old. After a series of life-changing events, Henry recognized that his passion, calling, and life purpose was to bring clarity and closure to those he was privileged to read. He now stars in the TV series Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry on E! Television Network, where sits down and has one-on-one readings with top celebrities. He'll show off his talent at Majestic Theatre.
Uptown Players presents Nuncrackers a-MEN!
Uptown Players will open its season with Dan Goggin’s Nunsense Christmas musical, Nuncrackers a-MEN!. Featuring all new songs, including “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us” and “It’s Better to Give than to Receive,” the show is filled with wacky Nunsense humor as the sisters tape their first TV special. The production will run at Kalita Humphreys Theater through December 15.
Jonathan Van Ness: Road to Beijing Tour
As the star of the web series Gay of Thrones and the Netflix reality show Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness has become known in the entertainment industry for his fabulous, unstoppable energy. Now, he brings that energy to the stand-up stage with an unforgettable live show, serving cirque-du-so-gay realness between stand-up sets inspired by his ongoing attempt, and lifelong obsession, to become a figure-skating prodigy. He'll perform at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.
Saturday, December 7
Dallas Children’s Theater presents Little Women: The Musical
Just a few weeks before a new film version of Little Women hits screens, Dallas Children's Theater will celebrate life, love, and family in this festive musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s cherished novel set against the backdrop of the American Civil War. The March sisters face adventure, heartbreak, and enduring hope as they weather life’s changes in this timeless drama. The production, performed by the DCT Academy all-teen cast, will play at Rosewood Center for Family Arts through December 22.
Klyde Warren Park presents Tree Lighting Celebration
Klyde Warren Park's annual Tree Lighting Celebration, presented by VisitDallas, features family-friendly activities and entertainment, including photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painting, crafts, games, and live holiday entertainment. The day will culminate with a holiday extravaganza featuring traditional Christmas music, the arrival of Santa Claus, and the annual tree lighting, all of which will lead into...
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Reliant Lights Your Holidays
...this event at the nearby AT&T Performing Arts Center. Taking place at Sammons Park, Reliant Lights Your Holidays will be an evening of holiday magic, as the campus will be illuminated with dazzling LED lights to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season. The festival includes kids’ arts and crafts, a gigantic fireworks show, and holiday concert featuring WAR and Mariachi Rosas Divinas.
Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase
The 31st annual Dallas Observer Music Awards will celebrate the local talent who make up the thriving, dynamic music community of Dallas. More than 40 local bands will perform in multiple venues in Deep Ellum, including Club Dada Indoor & Outdoor Stage, Off the Record, Reno’s Chop Shop, Three Links, and Trees.
Jay Leno in concert
Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno has a reputation as one of the hardest working men in show business, continuing to perform hundreds of times a year across the country when he could easily rest on his laurels at home in California. He'll show off his unique stand-up comedy style, which currently has him as a minor player in another NBC controversy, in this performance at The Theatre at Grand Prairie.