It's the week before Christmas and all through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, everybody is stirring because there's no better time of year to enjoy memorable events. So unless you've procrastinated too much and have to do some last-minute shopping, there's plenty of fun to be had.
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, December 20
Dallas by Chocolate presents Christmas Lights, Chocolate and Wine Tour
It may not be consistently cold in Dallas right now, but that's no reason you can't snuggle up with the ones you love and check out the pretty lights of Highland Park and Kessler Park, courtesy of Dallas by Chocolate. The event, starting at Donna's Pie House Cafe, features bus transportation, wine and hot chocolate and stops at some great Dallas chocolate shops. If you miss your chance pre-Christmas, they'll have several options next week, too.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
What would happen if the ornaments on your Christmas tree came to life? That's the central idea in the show Cirque Dreams Holidaze, playing at Winspear Opera House through Sunday. Acrobats, aerialists and other circus performers dress like reindeer, gingerbread men and penguins, among others, and wow you with their agility, strength and showmanship.
Weld Show 2012
Dallas' art scene is thriving, and co-op workspace WELD is celebrating that fact by putting on an exhibit showcasing the work of 18 of its members. The pieces span disciplines ranging from photography, film, advertising and fine art.
Friday, December 21
2012 Winter SolstiCelebration: Transformation
December 21, 2012 has gotten a lot of play for supposedly being the end of the world, but at least one Dallas tradition will end on that date, as the Winter SolstiCelebration comes to a close after 20 years. Organizer Amy Martin has decided to concentrate on other things, so this commemoration of the start of winter at Cathedral of Hope should be especially memorable
Chef DAT Underground Dinner
Chef David Anthony Temple, aka Chef DAT, has been staging Underground Dinner for a while now, with his loyal followers more than willing to follow him down whatever culinary road he chooses. On Friday, he'll put on a "Creole Christmas" at the Live Oak Music Hall and Lounge in Fort Worth, while on Saturday he'll be at My Private Chef in Deep Ellum.
Brave Combo's Holiday Extravaganza
Brave Combo is ostensibly a polka band, but they're not some oompah group that's only suitable to listen to if you're eating sausage. They can rock out with the best of them, as they'll show the crowd at McDavid Studio inside Bass Performance Hall on Friday night. Dallasites won't be left out of the fun — Brave Combo will also play at Kessler Theater on Saturday night with The Jitterbug Vipers.
Saturday, December 22
The Polyphonic Spree 10th Anniversary Holiday Extravaganza
If you weren't one of the lucky 6,000 or so to get to see The Polyphonic Spree headline the first-ever concert at Klyde Warren Park back in October, you'll get a second chance to get your Spree fix when they celebrate the holidays at Lakewood Theater.
Better Than Ezra in concert with Papa Grows Funk
Better Than Ezra has never truly been able to recreate the success of their first album, Deluxe, and its hit song "Good," although their last album in 2009 was their highest-charting one in years. But they still have what it takes to put on a entertaining show, and they'll do just that at House of Blues Dallas alongside fellow New Orleans band Papa Grow Funk.
Sunday, December 23
Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, along with Mannheim Steamroller, is one of those groups eternally linked to the holiday season. This year they're putting on a rock opera called "The Lost Christmas Eve" at American Airlines Center and it's sure to be as bombastic as ever, with their mixture of musical genres and light show. The two shows will be TSO's last prior to Christmas, making us feel extra special.
Under The Streetlamp in concert with Gentleman's Rule
There's nothing like a little retro music to please all the members of your family gathered together for Christmas. Under the Streetlamp sings a variety of oldies, ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s. The group will play at Wyly Theatre alongside a cappella group Gentleman's Rule.