You might think that with New Year's Eve falling on a weekend this year, events celebrating the new year would push everything else aside. While there are plenty of options on that end, there are a lot of other events as well, including concerts, national and local theater productions, comedy, a huge college football bowl game, and more.
Thursday, December 30
Last call for holiday events
If you somehow haven't made it out to one of the many holiday events in the area, this weekend is your last chance to do so. Among the events taking their final bow for the season are The Trains at NorthPark, Dallas Arboretum's Holiday at the Arboretum, The Elf On the Shelf Magical Holiday Journey, Dallas Zoo Lights, Enchant Christmas presents The Great Search, Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation presents Prairie Lights, and Radiance! featuring Frozen in Frisco.
Lights All Night
Electronic dance music fans have a great way to bring in the new year with Lights All Night, a two-day music festival at Dallas Market Hall celebrating the end of 2021 featuring some of the biggest names in the genre. There will be performances by Deadmau5, Malaa, Illenium, 1788-L, Above & Beyond, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Cheyenne Giles, DJ Snake, Madeon, Subtronics, and more.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Mannheim Steamroller
Mannheim Steamroller will bring their annual holiday tour to Dallas. While 2020 was the first year the group was unable to tour in 35 years, 2021 will reunite the No. 1 Christmas music artist in history with its legion of long-time fans. Guests can experience the music that has become the hallmark of the holidays and a tradition for multi-generational families. The concert will be at Winspear Opera House.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys goes behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, telling the story of four guys who went from the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The production, playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park through January 9, features hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).”
Pegasus Theatre presents Prime Time for Murder!
Pegasus Theatre will present the world premiere of the 21st Harry Hunsacker adventure, Prime Time for Murder! The play, running through January 16 at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson, takes place in a television studio where the program Mystery Theater is broadcast live. Harry, Nigel, and Lt. Foster have been invited to the studio to be consultants on the show. But when bodies start turning up, the trio will have to defend one of their own and find the real killer before it’s too late.
Gary Owen's DFW NYE Takeover V
Comedian Gary Owen will preside over a two-night comedy event celebrating the end of 2021. Night one on December 30 will feature performances by Owen, Kountry Wayne, and Lavell Crawford. Night two on December 31 will feature performances by Owen, Cedric "The Entertainer," J.J. Williamson, and Malik S. The event takes place at Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Friday, December 31
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Alabama vs. Cincinnati
This year's Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will be extra special as it serves as a semifinal game in the College Football Playoff. As long as COVID doesn't interfere, it will feature a matchup between the No. 1 (and perennial favorite) Alabama Crimson Tide and the upstart No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats, the first team outside of the Power 5 conferences (and the independent Notre Dame) that has made the playoffs. The game will be at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Saturday, January 1
Vogel Alcove presents Day 1 DFW
Day 1 DFW is being hosted by Main Event at all seven Dallas-Fort Worth locations. Tickets grant all-access to Main Event activities from 9 am to 2 am on New Year’s Day, plus bowling shoe rental and a $10 fun card for games. Each location also features its own extra activities like magic shows, balloon artists, animal shows, and more. Participants can end the evening at 7 pm at one of two fireworks shows set to children's music at Toyota Stadium in Frisco or Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. Proceeds benefit Vogel Alcove, a nonprofit serving homeless families.
Sunday, January 2
Dallas Arts District exhibition closings
Each of the three big art museums in the Dallas Arts Districts will close exhibitions on Sunday. The Crow Museum of Asian Art's "Carolyn Brown and Palmyra: An Ancient City Through the Lens" showcases 12 of Brown's large-scale photographs documenting Palmyra (located in present-day Syria) from her travels 32 years ago. Nasher Sculpture Center's Betye Saar: "Call and Response" is the first exhibition to examine the relationship between Saar’s sketchbooks, which she has kept since the late 1960s, and her finished works. And the Dallas Museum of Art has two exhibitions closing: "Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico" features devotional works drawn from the DMA’s Latin American collection, and "Focus on: Henry Ossawa Tanner" pairs two works by the acclaimed painter that underwent a comprehensive conservation treatment and technical study by the DMA.